In the text which follows, for each strategic area the Task Force offers recommendations for changes in practices and policies which we believe are important to realizing our Mission and Vision. Undergraduate education, graduate studies, and research are the three broad areas of University activity and the underpinning of Western's academic enterprise. They are the raison d'être of the University and the heart of its capacity to serve society and advance its cultural and economic goals. In a genuine sense, undergraduate and graduate education and the vigorous pursuit of discovery through research are ends in themselves within the context of scholarly achievement. They are Western's academic foundations. Our recommendations in the other five strategic areas can be seen as supporting both our Mission and Vision and our objectives in the first three areas.
We affirm that Western needs to change if it is to realize its Vision of scholarly leadership in Canada. Indeed, we noted above that this is a document about change. We sometimes present data which show unfavourable recent trends in Western's performance; we nonetheless believe that all at Western should take great pride both in the traditions of academic excellence and community service which have shaped the University, and in our accomplishments during a period of extraordinary fiscal difficulties. Our theme is that, while Western is an excellent university, it must become even better.