Appendix II: Leadership in Learning

Western’s Mission was formulated to define both the responsibilities and the aspirations inherent in our goal of being an internationally recognized leader in learning.

The University of Western Ontario is dedicated to the advancement of learning through teaching and research and to the discovery and application of knowledge.  The University seeks to provide an environment of free and creative inquiry within which critical thinking, humane values, and practical skills are cultivated and sustained.  By pursuing these objectives, the University endeavors to serve the interests of society.

Leadership in Learning recognized that achievement of this mission would require strategic commitment to the definition and pursuit of the highest levels of scholarship throughout the University and selective investment in areas of demonstrated or emergent eminence.  Western’s Vision, as stated in the plan, was of institutional leadership:

By supporting academic distinction, Western will achieve a place in the first rank of major Canadian universities and, in selected areas, be the leader.

The 1995 plan, in its eight major sections, contained some 58 specific recommendations for action. Progress in addressing these recommendations has been documented in reports to the Senate and Board of Governors, brought forward in May and November of each year since the Plan’s approval.  Most of the recommendations have been carried out fully.  In support of the Mission and Vision, the 1995 Strategic Plan enumerated twelve Principles which characterize the University as a community of learning and are set out below.  


We aspire in our teaching and research to academic excellence which is recognized nationally and internationally.  We set high standards for the recruitment and performance of our faculty, staff and students.


We will identify our academic strengths and build on them with selective allocation of resources.

Education for Leadership 

We are committed to a culture of achievement which ensures that Western graduates are prepared to become leaders of their society.  We seek to create an environment in which students are grounded in the values and responsibilities of the scholarly life.

Academic Freedom

We will protect the right of all in our academic community to speak and write freely.  We expect all who study, teach and do research at Western to uphold the highest ideals of scholarly responsibility.

Western’s People

We value and support all who work and study at Western and seek to create an environment in which they can aspire to excellence and succeed.  The realization of our academic objectives depends on Western’s people.


As part of our commitment to excellence, we seek to recognize and remove the obstacles faced by traditionally under-represented groups in order to facilitate their access to and advancement at Western. We respect and celebrate the diversity of people who make up our community.

Societal Responsibility 

Through our teaching, research and service to the community, we aspire to play a significant role in improving the quality of life and fostering economic development in London and this region, in the Province of Ontario, In Canada, and abroad.


We are accountable to our students and the general public for the quality of our teaching, research and service to the community and for the effective use of our resources.


We will protect Western’s autonomy so that the University, through the Senate and Board, can identify academic priorities and set directions in support of its Mission.


We are committed to fostering an environment that encourages creativity and risk-taking on the part of faculty, staff, and students and that is responsive to new academic opportunities in areas of potential excellence.


We seek cooperative relationships with other academic institutions, businesses, charitable organizations, and governments to enhance and support the educational and research opportunities available at Western, and to bring mutual benefit to the University and its partners.


We are committed to an environment of fairness, broad participation, and openness in which information is widely shared and the processes for decision-making are understood and respected.