Strategic Planning Process

Invitation to Participate

We are embarking on a process for a strategic plan for Cape Breton University that, in the end, will provide a framework to guide us forward. The process will be led and shaped by you, our campus community, with many opportunities for those who want to be active in the process to engage. Together we are going to advance CBU, and, in doing so, we will also advance the communities of Cape Breton Island.

It has been nearly two decades since a similar exercise has been completed, making it essential that we do not delay this process any further. Since then, we have addressed challenges and made significant advancements while working within a competitive and constraining post-secondary education environment in Nova Scotia. Realizing early on the effects that declining local demographics would have on CBU, the University set a course of action that successfully pivoted CBU from a regional university into a globally relevant institution that serves students from Cape Breton Island, across Canada, and around the world.

At the same time, CBU strengthened its role as a driver of economic, social, and cultural activity for Cape Breton Island, also establishing itself as a strong contributor to immigration, energy policy, export development, and the economic agenda at both the local and provincial levels. We are an asset to this region and will continue to be.

If you look at our past, our ability to adapt has defined us. From our early days as Xavier College and the Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology and, later, the College of Cape Breton and University College of Cape Breton and, then, Cape Breton University, we have responded as the world has changed around us. As we move through this process, we must challenge one another to think innovatively, keeping in mind the vital role we play within our community in addition to our commitment to delivering a quality education to all learners.

A strategic plan for Cape Breton University will be written with input from those who choose to join us in this important work. I invite you to participate often and listen to others so we can envision the Cape Breton University of the future, a university rooted in our past and well-positioned to inspire the next generation.

Together, let us begin the journey.

David C. Dingwall
President & Vice-Chancellor

We want to hear from you. Please email or provide your thoughts, insights and general feedback via

this form

Engagement Opportunities

There will be multiple opportunities for engagement to maximize the diversity of input. Both internal and external stakeholders are encouraged to participate through a series of group consultations, boot camps, special events, and a culminating Grand Meeting.

  • Official Launch

    The university community will come together to officially launch a process for a strategic plan for Cape Breton University. This gathering will be the first of many opportunities for engagement throughout the process.

    Monday, May 14, 2018
    9 am
    Boardmore Theatre

    Refreshment to follow.

  • School Consultations

    Meetings with the four CBU schools will be held immediately following the launch to explore perceived challenges and opportunities both institution-wide and within units.

    Monday, May 14 – 12 noon–2pm: School of Professional Studies (CE-339)
    Tuesday, May 15 – 8:30–10:30am: Shannon School of Business (Multiversity Room)
    Wednesday, May 16 – 12 noon–2pm: School of Science and Technology (Multi-Purpose Room)
    Thursday, May 17 – 8:30–10:30am: School of Arts and Social Sciences (Multi-Purpose Room)

  • Internal Consultations

    Various consultations with both internal and external stakeholder groups, such as students, alumni, and academic support leaders, and more, will be scheduled.

    May–August 2018


    Student Consultation #2

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018


    Verschuren Centre Atrium


    Alumni Conversation

    Monday, June 25, 2018


    Breton Brewing


    Student Consultation

    Tuesday, June 19, 2018
    Multi-purpose Room


    Academic Support Sessions
    Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    Session 1: 9:30 am to 11:30 am
    Session 2: 1 pm to 3 pm

  • Boot Camps

    Boot camps will be full-day events focused on eliciting feedback on selected internal topics. Although the format may change depending on the topic, boot camps will typically begin with a breakfast followed by a presentation related to the topic of the day. A series of questions will be posed to participants throughout the day with ample time for discussion. 

    The Steering Committee has agreed that boot camps on teaching, research, the student experience, and community connections will take place. Other topics will emerge as the process unfolds. All are invited to make boot camp topic suggestions and to attend all boot camps.

    To date, the following days have been set aside for boot camps.

    Save the Dates:

    The Power of Teaching
    Wednesday, June 13, 2018
    8:30 am to 4:30 pm

    Community Connections
    Monday, June 25, 2018
    8:30 am to 4:30 pm

    Tuesday, July 3, 2018
    8:30 am to 4:30 pm

    Thursday, July 26, 2018
    9:00am- 12:00pm

  • Special Events

    Special events will be focused on factors impacting not only CBU but the post-secondary education sector as a whole, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and trends and innovation in higher education. Guest speakers will be brought in to speak on these high-level topics. All are invited to make suggestions for special event topics and speakers and to attend all special events.

    Special Event #3

    Indigenization in Higher Education with special guest Ovide Mercredi

    Thursday, August 2 (9:00am-1:00pm)

    Special Event #2

    Trends in Higher Education
    Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates
    Monday, June 18 (9:00-10:30am)

    Special Event #1

    Our Roots: Perseverance will triumph
    Cape Breton University’s history through storytelling, video, and music.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    CBU Boardmore Theatre
    11:30am: Our history
    12:30 pm: Standing lunch and conversation (Multiversity room)

    To know our future, we must first know our past. This historical look back event will serve to map the unique history of Cape Breton University and its predecessor institutions.




  • Pop-Up Sessions

    As opportunities arise, pop-up sessions will be scheduled for discussions on various relevant topics.


    Beyond a Logo: Does CBU Need a Brand?

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018


    Location: Multipurpose Room


    CBU Student Experience in PSE – Jim Black

    Friday, May 25, 2018


    Location: TBD

    Jim Black, President and CEO of higher education consulting firm SEM Works, holds a PhD in Higher Education Curriculum and Teaching and has extensive experience working with universities and colleges across North America – including CBU – on strategic enrolment management, including recruitment and retention of students. In this morning-long pop-up session, Jim will present broad trends related to the student experience and lead discussions on what the student experience should look like at CBU in five years. Challenges and opportunities of the ideas generated will be explored as a group.

  • Community Consultations

    Throughout the process, President, David C. Dingwall will connect with community through a number of speaking engagements.


    Gaelic College                                    Details TBA

    Cheticamp                                            Details TBA


    Past Events:

    Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club
    Charter Night
    Wednesday, May 25, 2018

    Cape Breton Partnership Luncheon
    Monday, May 28, 2018 | More information here.

    Port Hood
    Council Chamber
    Monday, June 18, 2018

    New Waterford
    Breton Education Centre Library
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    Glace Bay
    Miners Museum
    Wednesday, June 20, 2018
    6 pm

    Fortress Seniors Club
    Thursday, June 28, 2018
    6 pm

    Sydney River
    Ugly Mug
    July 3, 2018
    6 pm

    North Sydney
    Emera Centre
    July 4, 2018
    7 pm

    Strait Area Chamber of Commerce: Lunch2Learn

    July 5, 2018 (12:00-1:00pm) Maritime Inn, Port Hawkesbury

    McConnell Library
    Thursday, July 5, 2018
    6:30 pm


    August 9th, 2018

    Ceilidh Hall, Keltic Lodge




    August 15th, 2018

    Council Chambers


  • Grand Meeting

    Over two days in late August, the learnings from the strategic planning process will be presented. The focus will be on collaborating to formulate a vision and goals for the strategic plan. CBU will shut down to the public so that all employees will be able to attend. This will be one of the final opportunities to provide input before the strategic plan is drafted.

    August 22–23, 2018
    Membertou Trade and Convention Centre

  • Drafting the Strategic Plan

    Once all input is gathered, the first draft of the strategic plan will be written.

    August–September 2018

  • Finalizing the Strategic Plan

    After feedback on the first draft of the strategic plan is received, the Strategic Plan for Cape Breton University will be drafted.

    September–October 2018