Provost releases draft of white paper on York’s future

Patrick Monahan, York’s vice-president academic & provost, yesterday issued the following message to members of the York community:

I am pleased to release for public consultation a working draft of the white paper, “Canada’s Engaged University: Strategic Directions for York University 2010-2020”. This document is the product of extensive consultations that took place during the green paper phase of the process over the past 6 months, involving contributions from hundreds of members of the York community. We have attempted to accurately capture the tenor, direction and overall consensus that emerged through those discussions. The working draft of the white paper can be downloaded from the Provostial White Paper Web site.  

We are also releasing today a report prepared by the firm The Strategic Counsel, reporting on a survey of current York students, as well as of students who declined an offer of admission from York and students who did not apply to York but did apply to other Greater Toronto Area universities. This report provides important data and analysis on the current student experience and how it might be improved, and has been factored into the analysis in the working draft of the white paper. It is also available on the Provostial White Paper Web site.

While this represents an important milestone in the process, much work remains to be done. Today we are launching a seven-week consultation process which will provide members of the community a wide variety of mechanisms for further comment and advice: 

  • Time will be set aside at the Senate meeting on Feb. 25, for a discussion among senators of the working draft.
  • There will be two open forums, similar in format to the academic planning forums held last November, on March 4 and 9, to solicit input from members of the community.
  • I will be attending all Faculty Councils over the next seven weeks to receive input from each of the Faculties.
  • I will be reaching out to a number of faculty, staff and student organizations over the next seven weeks, inviting them to provide comments on the working draft.
  • Any member of the community may comment by sending an e-mail to

I will also be working closely with colleagues on the Senate Academic Policy, Planning & Research Committee in the coming months as we move towards a final draft for submission to York Senate for endorsement in April.

As the term “working draft” suggests, this version of the white paper remains a work-in-progress, subject to further revision through the process of public consultation. Thus my colleagues and I will spend the next seven weeks listening and attempting to ascertain whether the broad directions set out here accurately reflect the sentiments of the community. We encourage you to review the document carefully and to participate actively in the consultation process.