In September 2011, President Deane issued an open letter entitled Forward with Integrity: A Letter to the McMaster Community The letter was prepared after a year of consultations and discussions with members of the McMaster community and establishes the guiding strategy and the priorities that are to be the focus of the University’s efforts over the next decade.

The key priorities are to develop a distinct, effective and sustainable undergraduate experience, build upon and strengthen McMaster’s long-standing record of excellence in research, and enhance the connections between McMaster and the communities we serve, both locally and globally.

Student Experience

The intention is to build on the success of McMaster’s most creative and innovative programs to provide a high-quality education for all students. In order to create an enriching and transformative learning experience, it is proposed that an institution-wide reconsideration of teaching practice and learning assumptions should take place and that, wherever appropriate, programs new and old should integrate elements of experiential learning, self-directed learning, and interdisciplinary.

Community Engagement

Community engagement and a commitment to service and to the public good has been a key part of McMaster’s history. The University has demonstrated on many occasions that academic work can be an extraordinary force for the good of human beings, society, and nature; the task for the future is to consolidate and deepen that contribution. In order to achieve this, community engagement must be integrated fully and meaningfully into the work of the academy – into the normal activities of exploration, questioning and synthesizing, and subject to the most rigorous academic values.


McMaster’s researchers have achieved extraordinary success throughout the history of the University. In reaffirming McMaster’s position as a student-centred research-intensive University, and in focusing on a heightened level of community engagement, the University is also committing to even greater achievements in research. It is intended to support this continuing excellence in research in alignment with the educational mission, with the aim of achieving continuity between the two in terms of academic values and scholarly practice.


Internationalization should be viewed not as a separate project, but as one aspect of the University’s integrated priorities, with international activities having a coherent and integrated role in the overall mission of the academy. Internationalization of the University by the adoption of an internationalized perspective in curriculum and program design is crucial if the University is to foster global citizenship on its campus and develop an active orientation to the challenges of the world.

For more information about the development and evolution of Forward with Integrity, including the many projects and initiatives completed and underway, please see:

The President’s latest FWI Update, FWI: The Next Phase lays out priorities and areas of focus for the 2015-2016 academic year and beyond. It is published alongside McMaster Goals and Priorities, 2015-2016, which contains a more detailed account of McMaster’s FWI priorities, as well as some of the key initiatives and outcomes associated with them. This document forms part of the 2015-2016 McMaster Fact Book produced by the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis.