New task force to focus Ontario's postsecondary resources on students

Archived Release

New task force to focus Ontario's postsecondary resources on students

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - A new postsecondary education task force will look at ways to ensure that students continue to have access to affordable, high-quality education in the 21st century, Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced today.
"We know our postsecondary system will experience significant growth over the next few years as more and more students turn to our colleges and universities to gain the skills and expertise they will need to compete in today's rapidly changing economy," said Cunningham. "To prepare for that increased demand, we have already increased postsecondary operating funding by $73 million to $2.4 billion; the task force will provide advice and recommendations to ensure those dollars and future spending in this period of growth continue to be invested in a better education for all our students."
The Investing in Students Task Force, which will be chaired by Jalynn H. Bennett, will study college and university administrative operations across the province, examining options for shared services and identifying best practices for administrative functions such as information technology, procurement and data collection. Bennett is President of Jalynn H. Bennett & Associates Ltd., a consulting firm in strategic planning and organizational development in both the public and private sectors.
"In today's knowledge-based economy, a postsecondary education is of vital importance," said Cunningham. "Changing demographics, an increasing emphasis on lifelong learning and the introduction of the new four-year high school program will mean that more students - both traditional high school graduates and older students with different needs - will be entering our colleges and universities."
"To meet those needs, Ontario students must continue to have access to high-quality, relevant education where and when they need it throughout Ontario," she added.
As part of its plan to meet the increased demand, the Government and its partners have committed $1.8 billion in the largest postsecondary capital expansion in more than 30 years that will create 73,000 new student spaces at Ontario's colleges and universities.
"This is an exciting opportunity to review the system to ensure that its administrative foundation can support the rapid enrolment growth and changing needs of students," said Bennett.
In addition to Bennett, Cunningham also announced the following volunteer task force members:

- Jean Bédard practises law at Sotos Associates Barristers and
Solicitors in Toronto;
- Roderick D. Fraser is President of the University of Alberta;
- Ray Ivany is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nova Scotia
Community College; and
- Courtney Pratt is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro One
Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc.

After consulting with postsecondary stakeholders, the task force will submit its final report in January 2001.

Backgrounder
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Terms of Reference for the Advisory Task Force on Investing in Students

Introduction

Ontario's postsecondary system will experience significant growth over the next few years as more and more students turn to colleges and universities to gain the skills and expertise they will need to compete in today's rapidly changing economy. Changing demographics, an increasing emphasis on lifelong learning and the new four-year high school system will mean that more students - both traditional high school graduates as well as older students with different needs - will be entering our colleges and universities.
As part of its comprehensive plan to provide high-quality, accessible postsecondary education to all willing and qualified students, the Ontario Government is committed to ensuring that future spending in this period of significant growth can be invested where it will do the most good: On supporting access to excellent and relevant academic programs taught by high- quality faculty that will meet the changing needs of a growing number of students.
To further this goal, the Ontario Government has established the Investing in Students Task Force. This task force will study existing college and university administrative operations and receive proposals from institutions to see where new technologies and best practices can be introduced so that current and future spending can be re-invested to assist Ontario's colleges and universities respond to the new challenges they will face in this period of rapid growth.

Mandate

1. The purpose of the task force is to advise the Minister on ways to
ensure that public funds supporting postsecondary education are
directed at providing the highest quality of education while ensuring
access for students, affordability and accountability. In conducting
this review the task force will examine best practices in Ontario and
comparable initiatives in other jurisdictions.

2. In developing its recommendations, the task force will give full
consideration to the significant role that postsecondary institutions
play in their local communities, the need to maintain service in
local communities while assessing how service delivery may be made
more effective, and the need to continue to offer postsecondary
education opportunities in English and French in all regions of the
province.

3. The task force will examine options for shared services, finding
"best of class" examples of service provision and looking for
administrative applications elsewhere in the postsecondary education
system, concentrating on issues of common service delivery and good
administrative practices (e.g., information technology, procurement
and data collection).

4. The task force will recommend ways to ensure a continuing focus on
best practices and their implementation so that current and future
spending is directed to meeting the changing needs of students.

5. The task force will seek the views of students, postsecondary
institutions, faculty and staff associations, local communities,
business groups, and other organizations as appropriate to ensure a
broad, system level perspective is obtained.

6. The task force will solicit proposals from institutions on ways to
increase administrative efficiencies through shared services,
administrative collaborations, or other activities, while maintaining
access and ensuring affordability and accountability. The Task Force
may also provide advice to the Minister as appropriate.

7. The task force will ensure proposals are accompanied by a strong
business case and will develop criteria for such business cases.

Reporting

- The task force will provide a report with recommendations to the
Minister in January 2001. The report will address all aspects of the
task force's mandate. The report will address how to implement
recommendations, taking into account legislative implications and the
business case for any recommendation with financial implications.

Structure

- The task force will be composed of five volunteer members appointed by
the Minister.

- An expert consultant will be appointed as Executive Project Director,
to support the task force and oversee project groups. The Executive
Project Director will report to the advisory task force. The number
and structure of the project groups would be determined by the scope
of the review and the recommendations of the Executive Project
Director. The project groups will report to the Executive Project
Director with task force members. Secretariat staff will provide
logistical support to the Executive Project Director.

Backgrounder
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Members of The Investing in Students Task Force

September 19, 2000

Jalynn H. Bennett (Chair) is President of Jalynn H. Bennett & Associates Ltd., a consulting firm in strategic planning and organizational development in both the public and private sectors. Prior to 1989, Bennett served as Vice- President of Corporate Development for Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.
She currently is a member of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, Vice Chair and Lead Director of Westburne Inc., and a director of CanWest Global Communications Corp., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Sears Canada and Ontario Power Generation. Bennett is Past Chair and honourary member of the Board of Governors at Trent University. She was made a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors in 1999 and Member of the Order of Canada.

Jean Bédard practises law at Sotos Associates Barristers and Solicitors in Toronto. Prior to accepting his current position, he was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Associates Financial Services of Canada. Ltd. (formerly Beneficial Canada Inc.).
Mr. Bédard is a member of the Quebec Bar, the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Fellow of the Professional Order of Chartered Administrators of the Province of Quebec. He has been Chair of the Board and director of the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus and served as President of the Advisory Committee on the Franco-Ontarian Economic Development Fund and a member of the French Services Committee of the City of Toronto.

Dr. Roderick D. Fraser has been President of the University of Alberta since 1995. Under his leadership, the university has moved from ranking second to first in Canada for the number of 3M Teaching Fellowships. In 1999, the University of Alberta claimed an unprecedented four 3M Fellowships, bringing the total to 22 over the program's 14-year history. The University of Alberta also leads all other Canadian institutions with over $4.2 million in licensing revenue from new discoveries.
Dr. Fraser strongly endorses life-long learning for university alumni and the community at large, and has raised the international profile of the University of Alberta by participating in Team Canada and Team Alberta trade missions.

Ray Ivany joined the Nova Scotia Community College as President and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. Over the past 15 years, he has been active in shaping postsecondary education and economic development policy within the region as a member of the Nova Scotia Research, Development and Innovation Advisory Board, Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission and the Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning Board. He has also served as a special advisor on education, training and sustainable development at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Mr. Ivany serves on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy and is a member of the Canadian College Presidents Network. Recently, he was a member of the Fiscal Management Task Force that advised the Government of Nova Scotia on budget and government reform.

Courtney Pratt is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro One Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc. responsible for the regulated transmission and distribution business. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Pratt was President of The Caldwell Partners and Chair and President of Noranda Inc.
He is a Director of The Empire Company and Moosehead Breweries and is Chair of Imagine, an organization funded by the private sector to promote corporate citizenship and increase private-sector contributions to the community. Mr. Pratt was recently named to the Order of Canada.

Executive Project Director

Glenna Carr is Chief Executive Officer of Carr-Gordon Ltd., a Canadian company specializing in public-private partnerships, alternative service delivery, and service quality. Carr has been a senior executive in both business and in government. She was Vice President of Corporate Affairs with Laidlaw Inc., and a Deputy Minister in ministries of the Ontario government including Management Board of Cabinet, Consumer and Corporate Relations and Skills Development.
In 2000, Carr launched Sounding Boards Inc., a partnership which creates Advisory Boards. She has served on many Boards of Directors including Ault Foods Ltd., Sheridan College, Wilfrid Laurier University, Women's College Hospital and the United Way.
For further information: Kerry Delaney, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709