Strategic Plan 2022-2027
In response to the launch of the Memorial University Strategic Plan (Transforming our Horizons), all units were tasked with creating their own strategic plans in alignment with Transforming our Horizons.
The purpose of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Strategic plan is to assist with focusing and guiding our efforts as a faculty, and as a central unit of the university in both teaching and research/creation.
The HSS Strategic plan was created in consultation with HSS Faculty Council, Department Heads, the Curriculum and Programs Committee, the Planning and Research Committee, our Grant Facilitation Officers, co-op ASM-CEs and members of the Dean’s office. It is the work of the Dean, in consultation with the faculty, to use the strategic plan to articulate specific, actionable items for which progress can be assessed in alignment with university reporting structures and strategic priorities.
In its thinking, action, and engagement, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences works actively to improve the state of the world. We explore the conditions, activities, and aspirations of people in their many environments, examining dynamics of interaction, occasions of creative revolution, and the forces that structure and transform human societies and cultures. Our scholarship and intellectual inquiry, as reflected in our teaching and research, are thus fundamental and far-reaching.
Through a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as core offerings that strengthen student achievement across the university, we foster the analytical, critical, and communicative skills needed for the enactment of democratic life and for effective and transformative engagement with a complex and changing world. We nurture the capacities to analyze complex problems, to communicate with others, to think creatively, to reflect critically upon established norms, to develop a sense of the world beyond the familiar, to foster curiosity, and to recognize and emphasize the import of individual and collective well-being.
Through scholarship, research creation, teaching, and public engagement, our Faculty seeks to unlock, channel, and develop the creative and critical powers of its various communities, by articulating the social problems and possibilities that surround us; building capacities for ethical judgement and decision-making; fostering the interdisciplinary and intercultural conversations necessary to understand, navigate, and positively transform our dynamic circumstances; determining collaborative avenues toward a more equitable and just world; fostering understanding of the past and its reverberations in the present and future; and cultivating a working and learning environment that supports and sustains faculty, staff, and students in achieving our mission.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences holds that research, scholarship, teaching, and service - all understood in the broad senses outlined in this document - are integrally related, representing different dimensions of a single job. We commit ourselves to maintaining and strengthening collegiality and shared governance in their fullest senses, and to ensuring that all academic staff members enjoy the right to academic freedom. In the face of financial and resource-related challenges affecting the university as a whole, our Faculty continues to prioritize sustainability, the growth necessary for us to meet the demands of the job, and the reduction of precarious academic work. The goals that we outline in this strategic plan depend for their accomplishment on these fundamental conditions and values.
Goals for 2022-2027
Informed by our Mission, Vision, Values and the University’s strategic plan, Transforming our Horizons, our goals for the next five years, broadly speaking, are to:
- Integrate Indigenization, decolonization, and EDI-AR priorities into all of our work as teachers, colleagues, research and creative practitioners, and staff members: through revised programs and course offerings, changes to processes and policies, support of EDI-AR in research design and practice, attending to research opportunities in areas impacted by past and current inequities, support for professional development around EDI-AR, exploration of teaching modalities to increase accessibility, and approaches to teaching that prioritize inclusiveness and diversification in course content and attention to structural inequality.
- Cultivate Proactive Programs: Reflect critically on the character of our programming, structures, pedagogy, and research creation with a view to responding actively to the changing circumstances of the world around us, cultivating supportive and stimulating environments for research, teaching, and community engagement, and optimizing our use of resources, in the process of building structures that will support ongoing innovation and current areas of excellence and success.
- Engage in Inspired Learning: In research and teaching, explore and foster opportunities for experiential learning, intercultural engagement, curriculum support and revisions that respond to student and community needs within and outside the university, nationally and internationally, and the development of new skills that meaningfully engage with contemporary social problems and circumstances and open new opportunities.
- Support and pursue Dynamic Research: Hone our research infrastructure to improve our capacity to support diverse world-class research and creative endeavors; streamline application processes; provide guidance in planning research; identify funding opportunities; manage existing awards; collaborate with diverse communities across the province, nationally, and internationally; and recognize the diversity of research, creative activity, and knowledge-production.
- Nurture Commitment to Communities: Work on making HSS more widely accessible and responsive by connecting with non-degree-seeking individuals, social institutions, and diverse internal and external communities though mutually beneficial activities; by supporting International Student success; and by adopting methods of universal design to enable interaction with a wider range of learners.
- Foster Promotion and Pride: Build places and spaces for meaningful contact with each other, fostering our community’s morale and pride in our work, interdisciplinary connections, professional relationships, and our institution, and working to counter the effects of budgetary restrictions, precarious work, and pandemic fatigue. Clearly describe the impact and value of our scholarship, creation, and teaching within the university and outside of it, making HSS more clearly legible to colleagues, other faculties, and larger national and international publics, as well as to its own students, through collaboration and through clear and effective communication about our work, our contributions, and our successes.