Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT VI - February 19, 1999
Report on the 244th Meeting of the Council of
D.M.R. Bentley, Academic Colleague
At the meetings of the Academic Colleagues and the Council of Ontario Universities in Toronto
on February 12, 1999 several matters of interest and importance to Senate were discussed.
- Advocacy Agenda Armed with its soon-to-be-released Angus Reid poll on public and business
perceptions of Ontario universities and their roles, the COU is proceeding with its plans to raise
the government's awareness of the universities' financial plight and needs. The projected
increase in enrolment associated with the "double cohort" appears to be getting the attention of
some policy makers, but there can be little doubt that the demands of the health system, a
disposition towards colleges, and other factors are working against the universities' case.
Should the government commit incremental funds to the universities to cope with the "double
cohort," care will need to be taken to ensure that those funds are directed not merely towards
enrolment expansion, but also, and at least as important, towards enhancing educational quality
through faculty renewal and other means. (To adapt a phrase from "A Modest Proposal,"
mention might be made of one or two universities that "would be glad to eat up [the] whole"
"double cohort" and the funds attached to it.)
- Colloquium on Learning Technologies and the Universities This was held on February 11
and seems to have been quite successful in itself, as a demonstration that COU is taking
distance learning seriously, and, albeit unintentionally, as an illustration of the merits of the
- Digital Library Plans are proceeding to include Ontario's university libraries in a national
proposal to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation that, among other things, will emphasize
the importance of universities as nodal points in the creation and use of information and
- Canada Millennium Foundation The first meeting of the Board of the Foundation was on
February 17. Universities should attend closely to the Foundation's treatment of private
providers to ensure that they are of sufficient quality to warrant inclusion in the Millennium
- Grade 12 Exit Examinations In accordance with its commitment to expand province-wide
testing, the government is now giving serious consideration to the institution of a Grade 12 exit
examination. Thinking about the form and purposes of such an examination is still in a
rudimentary stage. Some of the options being considered are examinations in all subjects,
examinations in English (or French) and Mathematics, tests of generic skills, and assessment of