Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT V - November 13, 1998
REPORT ON THE 242ND MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF ONTARIO UNIVERSITIES
D.M.R. BENTLEY, ACADEMIC COLLEAGUE
At the meetings of the Academic Colleagues and the Council of Ontario Universities in Toronto
on October 23, 1998, several matters of interest and importance to Senate were discussed and
- Under the provisional title of "Meeting Ontarians' Expectations of Their Universities in
2003," COU is undertaking a survey and consultations with the object of determining how
Ontario universities may best deal with the major issues that will affect post secondary
education during the next five years (1999 - 2003): (i) government priorities and objectives;
(ii) public perceptions and expectations; and (iii) the needs of the universities themselves in
such areas of infrastructure, deferred maintenance, the "double cohort," and the "retirement
bulge." The new President of COU, Dr. Ian Clark, outlined what he called a "forward-looking strategy that will reflect the government's emphasis on meeting public expectations."
This will be put into effect in the next few months and will involve public and expert opinion
research and close cooperation with the Ministry of Education in an effort to produce a report
that is both credible and effective in advocating the universities' position.
- In meetings with various government and opposition leaders and officials, it has become clear
that in the foreseeable future the universities can expect only a very small increase in funds,
except in targeted areas such as the Access to Opportunities Program (ATOP).
- In October and November, the government is conducting a series of "Premiers' Conference[s]
on Jobs and Opportunities [in] Ontario in the new Millennium" in various centres throughout
the province (including London on November 20). These are providing the universities with a
(limited) means of getting their needs and goals among the "actionable recommendations"
being sought by the government. That this may not be accomplished easily is indicated by the
emphasis on training (apprenticeship, colleges) in the literature that accompanies the
- COU unanimously endorsed the recommendations of two task forces: (i) a task force on the
guidelines governing Ministerial Consents (the conditions under which out-of-province
institutions can offer degree programs and degree-completion programs to Ontario students);
and (ii) a task force on Prior Learning Assessment (and Recognition) (PLA-R) (the use of
means other than the results of previous instruction for the purposes of academic admission
and equivalence). Copies of the documents pertaining to both of these matters have been
forwarded to the Registrar's Office and to the Chair of SCAPA. The experiences of certain
Ontario universities as reported to COU raise the distinct possibility that academic standards
could be eroded by a proliferation of Ministerial Consents and PLA-R practices.
It was reported that a committee to oversee the Millennium Scholarship program has been
established and that work in a variety of areas, most notably OSAP, the OCGS review process,
and secondary-school relations, is proceeding well. COU was also informed that the Ontario
College-University Transfer Guide, a Website that provides information about institutional
credit-transfer policies and practices, will be in place in early December and that the Ontario
Universities' Application Centre is prepared to take steps to ensure that no applicants will be
disadvantaged as a consequence of teaching interruptions in Ontario high schools.