TransparentU: A Repository of Responses to Principal Woolf’s Vision Statement (27 April 2010)

Update, 2 April 2012:  Many of the unit responses are now accessible via “Restored Records.” 

Dear Queen’s Community Member,

Principal Woolf’s recent vision statement Where Next? invites the Queen’s community “to engage in a discussion process that leads to a set of clear choices on what we will do and what we will not do” (p. 2) both academically and financially. This academic planning exercise, initiated by Woolf’s own document, is framed as a collective engagement that will ultimately reflect the shared values of our university. To determine the strengths and priorities of the various units that constitute Queen’s, the Principal requested submissions from faculties, departments, schools, and individuals that will be subsequently synthesized into a draft university plan to present to the Senate and to the Board of Trustees by the end of 2010 (p. 3).

The gravity of this university plan cannot be overstated. Although Principal Woolf assures us that “as we choose institution-wide areas of focus, we must continue to support individual or group activities that do not (at the moment) reflect institution-wide priorities” (p. 9), he clearly indicates the impermanence of this protection. Equal allocation of funds, or enforcement of cuts, is effectively “inequitable” (p. 9), he argues, and the difficult spending decisions facing the university “involve funding some areas at higher levels than others” (p. 9). We are confronted, then, with the inevitable reduction or elimination of some services and programs, to be determined based upon majority interests; yet how are we to know what these “institution-wide priorities” are?

One of the fundamental “values” that Principal Woolf proffers as central to the role of Queen’s is “transparency in decision-making” (p. 6); we suggest that transparency in this academic planning process is not only necessary, but also achievable. All of the Queen’s community will be far better poised to understand the administration’s recommendations if we are already acquainted with each other’s concerns and interests. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the Principal’s proposed timeline (p. 22) for an open publication of the submissions by all formal academic units (Deans and Department Heads) that will be used to shape the future of this institution.

As a remedy to this oversight, we propose a compilation of those documents to be made publicly available in both electronic and print versions. To this end, we urge you to share with the Queen’s community the response that you provided to Principal Woolf and to read the responses of others (please find instruction below).

When all of the voices at Queen’s are heard by all of the stakeholders in this academic planning exercise, then a true “discussion process” can begin.


AMS Assembly SGPS Council QUFA Executive and Council


To Submit a Copy of Your Response to the Principal:

* Please send your document as an email attachment (in .doc or pdf format) to the following address:

* Both departmental and individual submissions from the Queen’s community-at-large are welcome (e.g.,
individual faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni)

* Anonymous submissions are welcome, but documents which include personal attacks or offensive
language will not be uploaded

* Documents will be uploaded to the QShare system where they will be available for viewing by any individual with a Queen’s netid

* Uploaded documents will also be given to the Queen’s University Archives for safekeeping

To View Submissions:

* To view uploaded documents:

Use the following link:

or alternatively use:

* Login in using your netid and password

* Click “search” and enter “TransparentU” in the “enter all or part of the filename” box. Be sure that the box labeled “look in” is empty

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