Focus services on students, postsecondary Task Force recommends

Archived Release

Focus services on students, postsecondary Task Force recommends

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - Improved public accountability and service for students are among the key recommendations of Portals and Pathways, the report of the Investing in Students Task Force, which was released today.
The report to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities contains 33 recommendations that could help Ontario's postsecondary education system improve accessibility for students, increase accountability to taxpayers and increase effectiveness.
"In order to ensure we are prepared for the future, we must continue to 'raise the bar' in postsecondary education through innovation and the pursuit of excellence," said Jalynn H. Bennett, Task Force Chair. "The adoption of best practices to increase effectiveness and enhance cooperation and collaboration among institutions will help prepare colleges and universities for future growth."
Established in September 2000, the Investing in Students Task Force was given the mandate to study the administrative operations of Ontario's postsecondary institutions and recommend ways to ensure that students continue to have access to affordable, high-quality education in the 21st century.
Recommendations for improved student service included:

- creating a seamless transfer system to allow students to move easily
from one form of postsecondary education to another
- developing a single window of information for students considering
applying for postsecondary education
- simplifying and co-ordinating student financial assistance policies
- encouraging the collaborative development of e-learning programs

The Task Force also recommended that colleges and universities promote open and transparent public accountability by publishing an annual report containing information about their mission, key strategies and accomplishments, audited financial statements, and outcomes on performance indicators.
Further, the report identifies ways in which colleges and universities could improve effectiveness by sharing services, cutting red tape and adopting cost-effective best practices. The Task Force also recommends that a new charter for colleges be developed to strengthen their role in promoting partnerships and specialized missions.
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 addition to Bennett, the Investing in Students Task Force included the following volunteer 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
Network Services Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One Inc.

"We are pleased to receive this valuable report, and would like to thank the members of the Investing in Students Task Force for their hard work," said Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "We will be reviewing the task force's recommendations as we move forward with a comprehensive plan to prepare our postsecondary institutions for the challenges of the 21st century."
The report is available on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website at www.edu.gov.on.ca. Two companion documents will be released once French translation is complete.

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MEMBERS OF THE INVESTING IN STUDENTS TASK FORCE

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 honorary 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 Network Services Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro One, 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.

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INVESTING IN STUDENTS TASK FORCE - THE CONSULTATION PROCESS

Established in September 2000, the Investing in Students Task Force was asked by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to study the administrative operations of Ontario's postsecondary institutions and recommend ways to ensure that students continue to have access to affordable, high-quality education in the 21st century.
During a four-month review process, the Task Force conducted research into best administrative practices in publicly funded postsecondary institutions in Ontario, the rest of Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia. The Task Force received input from 1,289 postsecondary stakeholders, which included specific proposals on ways to improve administrative efficiency, enhanced accountability and services for students. A number of strategies were used to reach as many stakeholders as possible, including a survey of 800 students and 70 meetings and round table discussions.
The following chart gives a breakdown of those consulted over the four- month period:

<<
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Research/Proposal/Consultation/Survey Multi-Track Process
To Gather Task Force Information
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposals Best Practices Roundtable Stakeholder Student
Received Received Participation Meetings Survey
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129 472 - 20 Roundtables - 50 Meetings - 800
submissions - 13 Topics - 321 Student
- 168 Stakeholders Respon-
Participants dents
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- 63 College - 239 - 20 College - 145 College - 400
College students Stakeholders College
- 30 - 182 - 18 University - 102 University Students
University University students Stakeholders - 400
- 9 Joint - 51 System - 1 Secondary - 68 Student Univer-
Proposals -wide School Assocn sity
- 4 Student Student Stakeholders students
Assns - 56 College - 22 Francophone
- 23 Bus/Cmty Reps Stakeholders(xx)
Organizations - 53 University - 7 Northern
Reps Stakeholders(xx)
- 20 Cmty/Bus - 6 External
Organizations(+) Bus/Cmty
Organizations
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>

* College and University Representatives include presidents, governors
of boards, administrators, faculty and staff.
(xx) College and University Stakeholders above include the francophone
and Northern Reps in the total 145 and 102 count.
(+) External Community/Business Groups or External Postsecondary
Education Institution Association Representatives include business
associations, Chamber of Commerce (francophone), Boards of Education,
Banks and Youth or Student Associations.

The report is available on the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website at www.edu.gov.on.ca. Two companion documents will be released once French translation is complete.

Disponible en français

For further information: Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709; Kerry Kincaid Delaney, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca