Introduction from the Director General
The development of this Strategic Plan 2024-2029 has been foremost a process of extensive consultation and dialogue with the members of the Dawson community. It is thus with gratitude and appreciation that I acknowledge the participation of the many employees and students who contributed their ideas and offered their feedback on our strategic priorities for the next five years. This plan is founded on your reflections on our past and present, and on your aspirations for our future.
The period of 2024-2029 at Dawson College promises to be a time of disruption, adaptation and opportunity. Circumstances specific to Dawson, as well as forces acting across Quebec society and beyond, are requiring us to re-affirm our sense of community and identity, to refine our support for the well-being of students and employees, and to carefully shape our orientations for the next five years.
This Strategic Plan presents a bold vision. Our commitment to the over-arching value of well-being for all will entail significant changes to our institutional culture and what it means to learn and work at Dawson. Our promises in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, as well as indigenization, will involve us in work stretching well beyond the timeframe of the next five years.
Some of the challenges facing us are already well-defined. The revised Charter of the French Language is already requiring a reworking of our assumptions and practices. The Charter is likely to change the makeup of Dawson’s student population. It may also have impacts on student progression and graduation; these are impacts that we will be monitoring carefully. However, I assert that we can also seize the occasion of the Charter to craft a new narrative for our community, one that speaks confidently in both English and French to Dawson’s relationship to Montreal specifically and to Quebec society more broadly.
Other challenges are taking shape or will emerge unexpectedly. The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence, for example, seems likely to create both transformative and disruptive waves in education and the workplace. I have confidence, however, in our ability to address what lies ahead because the specific orientations and goals of this plan reflect our institutional values and our traditional strengths in collaboration and innovation. Guided by the priorities established here, we will both forge ahead with critical initiatives and respond to new factors as they arise.
As it maps out new directions, this Strategic Plan places special emphasis on two values. First is the over-arching value of Well-being for All. Each of the three orientations contains approaches that advance our primary mission of student success and, at the same time, support the wellbeing of our students, of the Dawson community of employees and of the environment that sustains us all. We have equally been guided by our commitment to Institutional Excellence. In the domain of higher education, this translates to an engagement to identify and employ evidence-based approaches in the conception, implementation and assessment of all strategies and actions.
The eight goals of this plan set a high bar for the Dawson community, but we have a history of exceeding expectations and providing leadership to the entire college network. I very much look forward to working together with employees and students alike over the next five years to deliver on the promise of this plan.