Board of Governors, June 28, 2000 - APPENDIX VII, Annex 6
Report on the 251st Meeting of the Council of
Ontario Universities Held at the University of
Toronto Friday, June 1st and 2nd, 2000
D.M.R. Bentley, Academic Colleague
At the meetings of the Academic Colleagues there were extended discussions of the relationship between
the Council of Ontario Universities and the present provincial government and, more specifically, of
what issue or issues COU should emphasize in its dealings with the government. On the first matter
there was general agreement that COU should adopt neither an oppositional nor an acquiescent posture
but, rather, strive to achieve a working relationship with the government without abandoning such core
values of the university as the interdependence of teaching and research. On the second matter, there
was consensus among the Academic Colleagues that faculty renewal should receive top priority in
COU's representations to the government.
At the meeting of Council, several items were presented for information, discussion, or action, most
- A Report on the Implementation of the Connell Report on the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies,
which, among other things, recommended the retention of consultants for all periodic appraisals of
graduate programs. With regard to this recommendation, the Executive Director of OCGS, Dr.
David Leyton-Brown reported that "[t]his year each section of the Appraisal Committee undertook a
pilot project in one discipline with broad representation across universities in the province (i.e.,
Computer Science, History and Sociology). Consultants were retained in all of the appraisals in these
disciplines to gain experience with the availability of sufficient consultants; the workload implications
for the Appraisal Committee, the OCGS Secretariat, and the universities; appropriate questions to put
to consultants in programs at various levels of quality above the good quality threshold; and the
changed relationship between the Appraisal Committee and consultants. Important lessons have been
learned about the management of the process, and we will implement the recommendation fully in the
coming year. To deal with the increased workload, the budget approved by OCGS and COU will
accommodate increased staff for the OCGS Secretariat. A fourth section of the Appraisal Committee
will be created, with each section having one less meeting in the course of the year, for a net increase
of four meetings." Dr. Leyton-Brown also observed that the erosion of faculty that has been
underway for some time in Ontario's universities is especially damaging to small graduate programs,
where the loss of even one person can threaten or destroy the program's viability.
- A Presentation on the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation by
its Executive Director, Mr.
Norman Riddell. Of particular interest in Mr. Riddell's presentation was the information that Ontario
has yet to follow such provinces as Alberta and Manitoba in announcing its plans for the reinvestment
in post-secondary education of a sum equivalent to or greater than the amount of its share by
population of the CMSF funds and his intimation that the year abroad will soon be a part of the
Foundation's Excellence Awards Program. An aspect of Mr. Riddell's presentation that will come as
a surprise only to eremites and troglodytes is the fact that, although the CMSF has no affirmative
action agenda, success rates in both its Excellence and its Bursary programs are running heavily in
favour of females over males (72% to 28% in the former and 61% to 39% in the latter).
- A Proposal by the President of COU, Dr. Ian Clark, to arrange a
"breakfast session" in which
university presidents could enter into dialogue with business leaders on such topics as the labour
market and the nature of the university.
In honour of the late David C. Smith, Council established the David C. Smith Award for Significant
Contribution to Scholarship and Policy on Higher Education in Canada.