Harrisment (what universities should expect)

Adrian Ivakhiv (ai@YORKU.CA)
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 09:35:23 -0500

Sorry for the length of this, but it seems significant enough for everyone
in academia to read & to ponder. It's a fragment of a speech given by Mike
Harris a few days ago... which suggests the Tory revolutionaries are getting
ready to start chopping university programs and departments and reassigning
us elsewhere...

Should we avoid the rush and redesign ourselves now? Should the geographers
& sociologists among us (not to mention philosophers, those dark-age
dinosaurs) be encouraged to jump ship and fend for themselves with all the
students clamoring at the walls of computer science departments? How else to
ensure a good payoff on taxpayers' investments in our programs?

Adrian Iwachiw (Ivakhiv)
Faculty of Environmental Studies / Science & Technology Studies
York University

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 15:35:27 -0500
From: Erika Shaker <erikas@policyalternatives.ca>
To: c4ed-l@netserver.web.net
Subject: Re: C4ED-L Wasted Courses!?

the speech in its entirety can be obtained from mike's media person at
416-325-7600. it was at the council of universities summit yesterday at
the convention centre. the reference to certain "irrelevant" programs is
as follows:

"who in the university system will decide to reduce enrollments or close
progrmas when there are few jobs available in a profession, like certain
professional or phd programs? for example, do we need 10 phd programs in
geography, or 6 in sociology?

who is responsible for opening or expanding programs in fields where there
are significant shortages, like computer science and software engineering?

our government respects the autonomy of universities in our education
system. but i suggest that there are no avenues for change to rule out as
we face the challenges of the next century.

we need universities on side as a willing partner in addressing questions
about their future--questions that, to a large degree, should find their
answers from within the system.

so this is where we find ourselves today. decisions must be made about
ensuring good value for students and taxpayers in their investment in
post-secondary education."