The Opportunity

The School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) is embarking on an update of its strategic plan and I am seeking your help in developing it. When I became Director of the School earlier this year, I committed to launch a process that would review where we had come from and shape a strategy for taking us forward. It will build on the previous strategic plans prepared by the School over the last decade but on this occasion there are three major reasons that make it uniquely timely for SCARP to develop a new strategic plan.

  • First, UBC is renewing the University's strategic plan that began as TREK 2000 almost a decade ago. Mandated by President Stephen Toope it is to be completed by the Fall 2009.
  • Second, the recently established College for Interdisciplinary Studies, in which the School is established, is beginning a strategic planning process to guide the development of the new College. Mandated by the newly appointed Principal, Dr. Michael Burgess, this plan is to be completed through next year.
  • Third, SCARP needs to prepare a self-assessment report by June 2009 as the basis for re-accreditation of its masters degree program by the US Planning Accreditation Board and the Canadian Institute of Planners. A key part of the School's report is an assessment of its progress since the last accreditation reviews 5 years ago and proposals for its advancement in the upcoming years.
It is thus a most opportune time for SCARP to be renewing its strategic plan. If you read the vision statements of President Toope and Principal Burgess, you will see why I am so very excited about the opportunities for SCARP. More than ever before the School has the potential to be one of the major contributors to the vision for the University as it enters its second century and the College as it embarks on its new life. I do hope you will help us in seizing this opportunity.

This web site will be used to keep you and other members of SCARP's widespread community informed about the School's planning process and to facilitate involvement in it by faculty members, adjunct professors, students, staff, alumni, employers and the many others with whom we work and who are members of our community around the world. The associated pages provide links to previous strategic planning by the School and the recent activities and programs of SCARP. They also indicate the scope, organization and timeline for our present planning process.

One of the key ways in which we are getting our work underway is to conduct a SWOT analysis. The continuing faculty have already contributed some initial ideas that you can read. We have established an online survey for you to give us your views. We are very much hoping to hear from all parts of the SCARP community. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

I have asked Tony Dorcey to Chair the Working Group for this strategic planning. Please read his introduction and contact him if you have any specific questions or comments.

I look forward to working with you.
Penny Gurstein
Professor and Director