Have Canadian Universities Lost Their Way? Part 2 - Follow the Money

We continue our series on the challenges facing Canadian universities with a look at their funding model. Where do they get their money and how does that influence priorities?
According to the Canadian Federation of Students, in the '60s and '70s, governments covered more than 90 per cent of post-secondary costs. By 2013, that had decreased to 57 per cent. (The Associated Press)
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According to leadership guru Warren Bennis, "No manner of leader deals with as vast and complicated a cartography of stakeholders as does the head of a major research university. A university president is called on to be an entertainer, a visionary, a priest, a psychologist, and a CEO of ten or twenty vastly different enterprises."

The university leader, after all, is in charge of keeping the university on track in matters of teaching and research, but also in its finances. And the main source of money, government funding, has been shrinking over the years. According to the Canadian Federation of Students, in the '60s and '70s, governments covered more than 90 per cent of post-secondary costs. By 2013, that had decreased to 57 per cent.

What are the funding challenges universities face? Where does the money come from? What strings are attached? And are those dollars being well spent? Professor Ron Srigley raised some of these concerns a couple of weeks ago on our program. In this episode, we follow up with several people who have first-hand experience running a modern university.

Rob Prichard
Michael speaks first with former University of Toronto president Rob Prichard, who launched a revolution in the way Canadian universities raise money.

A panel discussion follows, with Amit Chakma, president of Western University; Indira Samarasekera, who stepped down in June after a decade as president of the University of Alberta; and Cheryl Regehr, vice-president and provost of the University of Toronto.

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