On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) announced that a new campus, jointly run by York University and Seneca College, would be built in Markham, a northeastern suburb of Toronto. The announcement is the result of a call for capital expansion proposals put forward by MTCU in early 2014.
According to the MTCU press release, the new campus will serve 4,000 students, with the potential for future expansion. The new facility will focus on experiential learning and offer courses in business, arts, and social science.
MTCU had indicated that up to three new campuses could be approved, but in the end only one proposal was selected. Milton and Barrie had been widely touted as other potential locations for a new satellite campus, so their exclusion came as some surprise.
OCUFA is pleased that the government is abiding by its own criteria in selecting expansion projects. We welcomed the announcement of the Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework in 2013, as it promised to provide some clear structure and guidelines to the development of satellite campuses. Previously, these campuses been developed haphazardly with some negative short-term consequences for students and faculty. At first, satellite campuses often have inadequate teaching and learning resources, such as libraries and common spaces. Faculty at these campuses are often excluded from the university’s collective agreement, or attempts are made to flout the provisions of the existing agreement at the new facility.
OCUFA will be working closely with the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) to ensure that the new campus is properly resourced, and that the rights of faculty teaching and conducting research at the Markham facility are protected.