Some 300 members of York community participate in first green paper forum

More than 300 participants from across York University turned out recently for the two-day Academic Planning Forum 2009: Informing the White Paper and Making Choices – A Collective Discussion on the Green Papers, held in Founders College.

The workshop-style forum, hosted by the Senate Academic Policy, Planning & Research Committee and the Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost on Nov. 2 and 3, allowed for the discussion of green papers developed as part of the process leading up to the preparation of a Provostial White Paper on the future of the University.

Left: Patrick Monahan (left), vice-president academic & provost, listens as members of the green paper planning forum discuss key issues

The green-paper topics of student experience, teaching innovation and student learning, and strategic enrolment and program planning were discussed on the first day, with strategic expansion of research activity, internationalization and community engagement, and York’s overall reputation up for discussion the following day.

“I am very pleased to report that more than 150 members of the York community, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the University administration attended each day of the planning forum,” said Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost. “Over the course of the two days, participants had the opportunity to engage in thoughtful and collegial breakout group discussions and were asked to consider what they thought ought to be the top priorities that should guide the University over the next 10 years in relation to each green paper.”  

Right: Martin Singer (left), dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and Mamdouh Shoukri, York president & vice-chancellor, discuss the green papers during day two of the planning forum

The first phase in the white paper planning process was the development of a series of green papers that frame the issues, ideas and suggestions that have emerged as being of strategic importance across the academic divisions of the University. The purpose of the planning forum was to provide senators and other members of the community an opportunity to engage in a discussion of the green paper topics and to reflect, as a collegium, on how these concerns are impacting – and may impact – the future of York.

Participants’ input, comments, reactions and suggestions will help to inform the future direction of the white paper process. Full reports on the outcomes of the breakout group discussions can be found at the Provostial White Paper Web site.

“I am tremendously pleased with the level of engagement that was demonstrated at the planning forum and hope that this spirit will continue as we move along in the white paper process,” said Monahan.

Anyone who was unable to attend the planning forum, or anyone who has further comments they would like to make on any of the green papers, can send their submission to by Monday, Nov. 30.