• 1962

    First meeting of delegates to form what was initially called the Committee of Faculty Associations of Universities and Colleges in Ontario (December 15). Provisional Chairman is D.W. Slater (Queen’s University); Provisional Secretary is A. de Vos (Ontario Agricultural College). Faculty associations from all 15 public universities in Ontario are members of the Committee.

  • 1963

    The Committee adopts a new name, the Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations.

    The Council publishes its first brief, University Education in Ontario.

  • 1964

    Higher education now falls under the newly created Department of University Affairs, within the Ministry of Education.

    The Council adopts its first constitution.

    The Council helps formulate a joint list of members for the Advisory Committee on University Affairs (ACUA), the predecessor to the Committee on University Affairs (CUA).

  • 1965

    OCUFA submits a brief to the Bladen Commission, which examined and made recommendations vis-à-vis the funding needs of Canadian universities.

  • 1966

    The community college system is established in Ontario. Centennial College is the first such institution.

    The Ontario government establishes its first student aid system; assistance was allocated through a formula combining loans and grants, and a ceiling of $600 was placed on the amount a student could borrow.

    Commission to Study the Development of Graduate Programs in Ontario Universities (John Spinks, Chair) created.

  • 1967

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees: $522 ($3,643 in 2014 dollars).

    Decision to establish an office and paid executive position made by the Council’s Board of Directors.

    W. C. (Charles) Hebdon becomes the Council’s Director of Research and Financial Planning; one-year contract.

    Salary Committee established.

    Taxation Committee established.

  • 1968

    Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations changes its name to the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

    Spinks Report on graduate education published; Ontario Council of Graduate Studies set up in response to the report’s recommendations.

    Joint Pensions Committee of OCUFA and CPUO (Committee Presidents of the Universities of Ontario) struck to study the feasibility of a single pension plan and pension fund for all Ontario universities.

  • 1969

    OCUFA moves its offices to 40 Sussex Avenue; the building is leased from the University of Toronto.

    Educational Policy Committee struck; its main function is to set up terms of reference and direct research efforts for OCUFA.

    Charles Hanly becomes OCUFA’s first Executive Director (then known as the Executive Vice-Chair).

  • 1970

    Teacher Evaluation Committee is established.

  • 1971

    William Davis becomes Premier of Ontario; he remains in office until 1985.

    Ministry of Colleges and Universities is established, bringing both sectors under a single ministry.

    OCUFA conference on the role of faculty as teachers is held.

    Professional Ethics Committee is struck.

  • 1972

    CAUT board members from Ontario become “corresponding members” of OCUFA.

    The Commission on Post-Secondary Education in Ontario
    publishes its report, The Learning Society.

    Greg Bennett takes over from Charles Hanly as Executive Vice-Chair.

    Status of Women Committee formed (October); disbanded in 1974.

  • 1973

    Teacher Evaluation Committee publishes a teacher evaluation guide.

    OCUFA Teaching Awards established.

  • 1974

    Ontario Council on University Affairs (OCUA) created; buffer body to advise on allocation of resources among institutions.

  • 1975

    Norma Bowen becomes first female president of OCUFA.

    Public Relations Committee is struck.

  • 1976

    Algoma and Nipissing faculty associations join OCUFA.

  • 1977

    Established Programs Financing (EPF) introduced; federal contributions to provincial programs tied to increases in the gross national product.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees: $725 ($2,873 in 2014 dollars).

  • 1978

    University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) notifies OCUFA of its intent to withdraw; issues include its level of influence in the organization, and the desire to have OCUFA play a greater role in provincial bargaining.

    OCUA issues white paper, “The Ontario University System: A Statement of Issues.”

  • 1979

    Internal restructuring process begins at OCUFA in response to UTFA action and concerns from other members; goal is to refine its mandate and focus.

    OCUFA publishes faculty mobility study.

    Launch of OCUFA Forum news bulletin (later a magazine).

  • 1980

    OCUFA incorporates (August 28).

    OCUFA’s standing committees now include Academic Affairs, Internal Affairs, Collective Bargaining Caucus, Salary, Teaching Awards, and Redundancy/Stringency.

  • 1981

    Ministry of Colleges and Universities publishes Report of the Committee on the Future Role of Universities in Ontario (also known as The Fisher Report).

    Report of the Minister’s Task Force on College Growth published: Growth in Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology.

  • 1982

    Inflation Restraint Board (IRB) created; Bill 179 (public sector wage control legislation) enacted. Approximately 500,000 public service workers are affected by maximum wage increases of 5%, the elimination of the right to strike, and the extension of all collective agreements for one year.

  • 1983

    Bill 213 introduced; allows for direct government intervention in any university that incurs a deficit in excess of 2% of its operating budget.

    National Universities Week held (October 2–8).

    OCUFA staff organize under CUPE Local 1281.

    UTFA rejoins OCUFA (July 1).

    Staff now comprises Executive Director Patrick Wesley; Senior Research Officer Helen Breslauer; Research Officer Trish McAdie; Communications Co-ordinator Doreen Brown; Organizations Co-ordinator Maureen Davies; and secretaries Heather McKenzie and Willow McDonald.

    OCUFA now represents 10,000 professors and academic librarians.

    Provincial grants to universities increase by 7.5%; also a one-time grant of $12 million for equipment and books is announced.

  • 1984

    Major report from the Bovey Commission published: Ontario Universities: Options and Futures (Commission on the Future Development of the Universities of Ontario, 1984). The Commission recommends policy changes to increase competitiveness and differentiation in Ontario universities, including separating the funding of research from that of teaching.

    Employment Equity Incentive Fund established; provides $4.3 million over a two-year period for equity programs in school boards, hospitals, municipalities, and universities.

    University Research Incentive Fund announced; awards grants based on the advice of an independent board and with a requirement that research be supported in part by private-sector investors.

    Howard Epstein takes over as Executive Director.

    Status of Women Committee re-formed.

  • 1985

    David Peterson (Liberals) comes to power (to 1990), with a slight minority, and agrees to a formal Accord whereby the Liberals agree to introduce a series of progressive measures, including pay equity, in exchange for support from Bob Rae’s NDP MPPs.

    New University Excellence Fund announced; provides an extra $50 million in special grants to the universities in 1986/7: $10 million for faculty renewal, $15 million for research resources, and $25 million for library acquisitions.

    OCUFA and CAUT agree to sponsor two test cases to establish whether universities can force employees to retire at 65.

    Ontario government begins creating Ontario Centres of Excellence; federal government follows suit in 1988 with a similar program nationally.

    Provincial employment equity funding extended to the university sector: “the fund is intended to assist institutions in developing and implementing employment equity/affirmative action programs for women employees.”

  • 1986

    Major report published: Report of the Advisor to the Minister of Colleges and Universities on the Governance of the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (Walter Pitman).

    Huron and Ryerson faculty associations join OCUFA.

    OCUFA adds two more staff members.

    Status of Women Committee publishes its first major report, Employment Equity for Women Academics: A Positive Action Strategy.



  • 1987

    New funding formula for universities announced; basic operating grants will be separated from a special $50 million research and accessibility fund.

    National Forum on Post-Secondary Education held (October) in Saskatoon.

    October 19 is Black Monday, the biggest stock market crash since 1929.

    Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) comes into effect.

    OCUFA launches its first multi-language advertising campaign, noting that qualified students are being turned away from Ontario universities and “to make parents aware of the fact that it is much more difficult now to get their children into any of our post-secondary institutions.”

  • 1988

    Ontario Court of Appeal decision: mandatory retirement is justifiable discrimination; OCUFA and CAUT fight the ruling.

    The Premier’s Council, a 28-member advisory group of business, labour, and academic leaders set up to develop strategies for economic development issues, publishes its report, Competing in the New Global Economy.

    COU report on the financial position of universities confirms that Ontario comes in last in terms of per-student funding; the province provides $5,618.55 per student, while the Canadian average is $6,178.98.

    OCUFA hires its first female Executive Director, Marion Perrin.

    OCUFA moves to 27 Carlton Street, Suite 400.

    Access to higher education becoming a major concern, as funding levels drop and fees rise.

  • 1989

    December 6: Marc Lepine kills 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal.

    Pay Equity Act proclaimed (January 1).

    Employment Equity Committee is struck.

  • 1990

    Bob Rae’s NDP government elected; in power until 1995.

    Federal transfer payments to universities frozen.

    Ontario Council of Regents for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology publishes major report: Vision 2000: Quality and Opportunity. Its recommendations include revising the role of colleges to support accessibility, program quality, and linkages to universities.

    Task Force on University Accountability publishes University Accountability: A Strengthened Framework.

    OCUFA, COUSA, COU, and OFS (the Ontario Federation of Students) agree to cooperate to lobby government; the first time the four groups have worked on a joint effort.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees: $1,680 ($2,690 in 2014 dollars).

  • 1991

    Smith Report published.

  • 1992

    Severe recession takes hold; hangs on until late 1993.

  • 1993

    NDP introduces the Social Contract; public sector unions required to implement $2 billion in wage cuts, centred around a forced 12 days of unpaid leave (“Rae Days”). Public sector collective bargaining agreements re-opened and re-negotiated, and faculty associations made to negotiate 5% wage cuts; those associations that don’t comply have a settlement imposed on them.

    New Ministry of Education and Training created; combines the two former ministries of Education, Colleges and Universities, and Skills Development.

    Task Force on University Accountability established (William Broadhurst, Chair).

    Task Force on Advanced Training established (Walter Pitman, Chair).

  • 1994

    North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect.

    Model C funding structure proposed; the government to become an active partner with the universities in determining each institution’s mission and the balance of its activities among teaching, research, and community service. The funding of teaching would be separated from the funding of research.

  • 1995

    Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives elected; in power until 2003.

    A 16% cut to university funding is implemented, programs are cut, performance indicators are created and applied, and tuition rises sharply as the government allows universities to increase fees by as much as 20%.

    Activists begin holding a series of “Days of Action” across the province to protest the Harris cuts.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees (2014 dollars): $3,655.

  • 1996

    Major report published: Excellence Accessibility Responsibility (Report of the Advisory Panel on Future Directions for Postsecondary Education, 1996); recommendations for reform organized around the themes of investment, quality, and accountability.

    OCUA disbanded.

    Board restructuring begins taking place at OCUFA, after a period of internal turmoil and tightened finances.
    Henry Mandelbaum become OCUFA’s Executive Director.

  • 1997

    Average Ontario university tuition fees for an arts program (2014 dollars): $4,208.

    Creation of the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario R&D Challenge Fund.

    York University Faculty Association on strike for eight weeks (March to May).

  • 1998

    Government introduces key performance indicators (KPls) for colleges and universities.

    Bill 160, Education Quality Improvement Act, introduced.

    Student Day of Action organized by Canadian Federation of Students (January 28).

    25th anniversary of OCUFA Teaching Awards.

  • 1999

    Ontario government announces the elimination of the 13th year of schooling; high school would go from 5 years to 4, thus creating a “double cohort” of first-year university entrants by 2002/3.

  • 2000

    New funding for research initiatives is announced, including the establishment of 2000 Canada Research Chairs by 2004/5.

    Federal budget allocates an additional $2.5 billion for post-secondary education and health over four years under the Canada Health and Social Transfer program.

    OCUFA begins organizing a series of communications and lobbying workshops for its members, to help them learn how to more effectively lobby the provincial government.

    OCUFA commissions a series of polls to gauge how residents in particular areas of the province feel about their children’s ability to access higher education.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees: $4,297 ($5,638 in 2014 dollars).

  • 2001

    lnvesting in Students Task Force established (Jalynn Bennett, Chair).

  • 2002

    The Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) is eliminated and a double cohort of students enter post-secondary institutions.

    Introduction of Bill 65, An Act to enact, amend or revise various Acts related to postsecondary education and opportunities, (Postsecondary Education Student Opportunity Act).

  • 2003

    Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals elected; McGuinty is dubbed the “Education Premier” for his focus on improving the quality of, and access to, higher education in the province.

    Federal government announces increased transfer payments to the provinces for health and higher education.

    November 15: OCUFA moves to 83 Yonge Street.

    OCUFA begins running a major radio campaign, focusing on the issues of opportunity, affordability, and quality of education; ads also challenge the government on its lack of adequate preparation for the double cohort and warns about the quality and accessibility of Ontario’s higher-education system, which has had more than $1 billion withdrawn from it since 1995.

    OCUFA estimates that it will take about $800 million to hire the 11,000 faculty the Rae Review said would be needed to cover both looming faculty retirements and increased applications to universities in the coming decade.

  • 2004

    Differentiation starts to become a focus in the province, and for OCUFA, as the government seeks to force institutions to focus on core areas.

  • 2005

    Major report published: Ontario: A Leader in Learning (The Rae Report, Bob Rae, 2005). Five themes are explored in the report–accessibility, quality, system design, funding, and accountability–and seven strategies are decided on, with 28 recommendations/actions.

    The government’s “Reaching Higher” plan is launched; promises to boost per-student funding over a five-year implementation period. A total of $6.2 billion is invested into the system.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees (2014 dollars): $5,814.

    OCUFA advocacy campaign to have the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) extended to universities begins. That legislation is applied beginning in June 2006.

  • 2006

    Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario created; new body to conduct research and provide evidence-based policy advice.

    Interest in e-learning accelerates, as do debates around how this will change the process of higher education.

    End of mandatory retirement in Ontario announced.

    OCUFA launches Academic Matters, a magazine of research, analysis, and commentary on higher education in Canada.

  • 2007

    Average Ontario university tuition fees for an arts program (2014 dollars): $4,741.

    OCUFA launches its “Quality Matters” campaign; beginning of a longer-term strategy to create a focus on ensuring that faculty have the resources they need to give all students the highest-quality education possible.

  • 2008

    Financial crisis hits, causing major recessions in much of the world.

  • 2009

    Grievance Committee struck.

    Provincial budget introduces one-time funding initiatives designed to help alleviate some long-standing financial issues, including $780 million over two years to improve university infrastructure.

  • 2010

    Full-time enrolment has increased by 57% over the last 15 years.

    Provincial government introduces wage freezes on public-sector workers.

    Provincial government announces that the Ontario Online Institute will be created as a way to increase the availability of post-secondary education to Ontarians; in response, OCUFA joins with the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees to study the initiative.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees: $6,347 ($6,831 in 2014 dollars).

  • 2011

    Provincial government announces new funding to support an additional 60,000 students at universities and colleges: $64 million in 2011/2, $309 million in 2013/4.

    Mark Rosenfeld becomes OCUFA’s Executive Director.

  • 2012

    Student unions in Quebec boycott classes to protest the provincial government’s plan to increase tuition fees.

    OCUFA’s Status of Women Committee wraps ups its Listening Tour, during which it travelled to seven universities in the province to speak with female faculty members about a number of issues, including equity, access to tenure, and promotion. A subsequent report and recommendations released early in 2013.

    OCUFA anti-austerity education and mobilization campaign begins.

  • 2013

    OCUFA launches its “We Teach Ontario” campaign (January 22), to promote the important connection between teaching and research at Ontario’s universities through feature videos; faculty, student and community stories; and social media.

    Launch of OCUFA pension reform initiative to create a multi-employer pension plan in the university sector.

    Kathleen Wynne becomes Premier, taking over from Dalton McGuinty.

    Average Ontario university undergraduate tuition fees (2014 dollars): $7,436.

    OCUFA offices move to 17 Isabella Street, a renovated 19th-century house.

  • 2014

    Ontario Liberals win majority in June election.

    OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians through its 28 faculty association members at all Ontario universities.

    OCUFA now has 11 staff members.

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