This seminar will take place on May 9 and 10, 2016 and is being run by Louis Demers (ÉNAP), Jean Bernatchez (UQAR), Martin Maltais (UQAR), and Michel Umbriaco (TÉLUQ).
Half a century ago, the Parent Report paved the way to a radical reform of higher education in Quebec, including how it was being governed and managed. Breaking from the centralization that prevailed until then, administration of universities had to include particular emphasis on collegiality. Professors began to have a voice, both on boards of directors, and on university- and unit-wide commissions and committees. Students were also invited to participate within these university bodies and express the points of view of those they represented. This design largely inspired the regulations and practices for the newly created Université du Québec, as well as for other universities, when their charters were being renewed.
Since then, Quebec universities completely transformed, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Teaching spaces and methods multiplied, and student backgrounds diversified. The importance of research grew considerably, and university funding became increasingly focused on research productivity. It was no longer an issue of university administration, but of “governance.” A logic that many associate with the new form of public management is gradually leaving its mark on the “idea of a university.” Universities must now prove their economic and social usefulness, be highly accountable, and have a board of directors with a role and composition that are based on the private sector.
Is this transformation simply a passing fad, or does it indicate profound change with regard to how universities are governed and managed, or perhaps in their mission? This seminar aims to study examples of this transformation and to identify what it means for the future of Quebec universities.