The University plays a leading role in the economic, social, and cultural life of London and Southwestern Ontario. Western attracts students from across Canada and around the world who become members of our community, contribute to its diversity and its quality of life, and reflect the University among its neighbours. Progress has been made in our relations with the community through our Housing Mediation Office and by Western students' involvement in philanthropic activities, such as the annual Cystic Fibrosis Shinerama campaign.
As one of the leading corporate citizens in the community, the University itself is also a consumer. In institutional and personal spending by faculty, staff, and students, Western contributes well over $600 million annually to the London economy and is the city's second-largest employer. Western is a tremendous resource for the people of London. From cultural and sports events to cooperative support of services in the health care and medical fields to a vigorous commitment to life-long learning within all sectors of the community, Western is an accessible asset to London and Southwestern Ontario.
One of Western's great strengths is the pride and commitment of the some 145,000 Western alumni around the world. Our Alumni Association does an outstanding job in providing services for our alumni and keeping them in touch with their University. Our alumni are eager to help the University in such endeavours as communicating Western's successes, recruiting students, and finding financial support for important academic projects. The University should work with the Association to strengthen ties between Western and its alumni.
During the last decade, tax-receipted private gifts have grown rapidly, as has the value of Western's endowment. However, there can be no cause for complacency. It is vital that Western build on the success of the Renaissance Campaign, to ensure that annual giving, including gifts from alumni, major gifts, corporate gifts, and bequests continue to grow as sources of support for the University. Foundation Western has been and will continue to be a vital partner in these efforts.
Western is particularly proud of the University's relationship with our educational partners. The close association at both the program and institutional levels between the constituent University and Brescia, Huron, and King's Colleges enriches the academic environment of both the Colleges and the University. Students are provided a much broader range of educational opportunities and environments, and faculty find their teaching and research horizons expand through stimulating interaction.
One of Western's most important academic alliances is with Fanshawe College. The College and the University are active partners in a number of endeavours and collaborative academic initiatives, including development of a combined program in Nursing which is presently awaiting government approval and a substantial history of joint research and instructional programs in Engineering. Western courses in English and Sociology are taught at Fanshawe by College instructors, and both institutions are alert to opportunities for extending these course offerings. Western is a signatory of the newly-formulated College-University Consortium agreement, aimed at facilitating credit transfers, program continuity, and greater interaction between the Colleges and Universities of Ontario, reflective of recommendations arising from the Vision 2000 study. As an institution, Western also seeks closer collaboration with the other universities in Ontario, particularly as the entire postsecondary community faces increased fiscal challenges and the need to articulate the role of education in shaping the future of this province and the nation.
The Task Force found strong and widespread support for maintaining the official name of The University of Western Ontario. Many, however, believe that the use of "Western" as a designation, as is presently done by Alumni Western, Foundation Western, and the Western Business School, should be endorsed as an option when this is felt to be effective in furthering regional, national, or international recognition.
7.2 Western should encourage Alumni Western in fostering the commitment and support of alumni through the development of additional Association chapters and involving alumni in student recruitment and placement activities.
7.3 The University should expand continuous learning opportunities for alumni and other members of the community requiring non-traditional educational opportunities.
7.4 The University should present an Annual Report to the community, both on campus and off, to foster improved relationships with government, business, and citizens and to provide a clear accountability process to the broader community.
7.5 Western should continue its efforts to increase private giving and the size of our endowment, with emphasis on the support of faculty and students, and the funding of equipment and the adaptation of existing facilities for academic purposes.
7.6 In cooperation with student governments and the City of London, the University should work to address issues arising with our neighbours in the surrounding community.
7.7 The University and Fanshawe College should work to review interinstitutional transfer credits on an ongoing and course-specific basis.
***UWO, "Leadership in Learning", November 1995***