OCUFA participates in first Government of Ontario consultation on university reform

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On July 19, 2012, OCUFA President Constance Adamson and OCUFA staff attended the first of seven government-led consultations on the reform of Ontario’s universities. The session was also attended by representatives of student groups, colleges, and university administrators.
The theme of the consultation was “Quality Teaching and Learning Outcomes”. The session began with presentations from a government-selected panel, including Harvey Weingarten, CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario; Julia Christensen-Hughes, Dean of the College of Management and Economics at the University of Guelph; Eileen De Courcy, from the Humber College Centre for Teaching and Learning; and Valerie Lopes, from the Centre for Academic Excellence at Seneca College.
After the presentations, participants were assigned to roundtables to discuss a series of discussion questions. OCUFA provided a critical perspective on the assumptions and ideas contained within the government discussion paper, Strengthening Ontario’s Centres of Creativity, Innovation, and Knowledge, including the harmful proposal that university funding be tied to learning outcomes.
We continue to assume that the roundtable discussions are part of a genuine consultation process, as the government has maintained, and the outcome is not already pre-determined.  Although we do have concerns, we will continue to participate in the consultations with the hope that the government will actually listen to the concerns and perspectives of Ontario’s faculty, students, and universities.
This past week, we also attended consultations at Fanshawe College, Ryerson, and Laurentian. We will be providing more information on these meetings in next week’s report.

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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