Federated Universities Framework Signing Ceremony
June 27, 2008
Remarks on the occasion of the signing of Federated Universities Framework.
Good morning friends of the University of Toronto, and an especially warm welcome to the heads of our federated universities:
- From Victoria University, Paul Gooch, President, Murray Corlett, Chair, Board of Regents and Principal of Victoria College, David Cook
- From Trinity College, Provost and Vice-Chancellor Andy Orchard, Tom Rahilly, Board Chair and Derek Allen, Dean of Arts & Vice-Provost
- From the University of St. Michael’s College, President Richard Alway, Frank Morneau, Chair of the Collegium and Yves Roberge, Acting Principal of St. Michael’s College
- Provost Vivek Goel
- And all the other administrators, professors and friends of our community
Today is a day of celebration of important partnerships and the next step in a decades-long process of collaboration, one of the defining features of life at the University of Toronto.
With the integration of their academic departments within the Faculty of Arts and Science starting in 1974, our federated universities concentrated on roles that revolved around providing home bases and services for undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
In fact, of course, they still provide crucial roles in teaching and administrating distinct, interdisciplinary programs. Some of the important highlights include:
- At Vic: Literary Studies, Renaissance Studies, Semiotics and Communication Theory and the Concurrent Teacher Education Program
- At Trinity: The Ethics, Society and Law Program, International Relations, and the increasingly popular Peace and Conflict Studies programs
- At St. Mike’s: Book and Media Studies, Celtic Studies, Christianity and Culture and Medieval Studies programs
In addition, these universities are home to world-leading centres and even their own constituent colleges, like the Munk Centre for International Studies at Trinity, the Centre for Medieval Studies at St. Mike’s, and Emmanuel College within Victoria University
As Professor Ted Hodgetts, President Emeritus of Victoria and one of the central framers of the agreement between U of T and Vic said last Thursday – during his convocation speech after receiving an honorary degree – the students at these three federated universities have benefits that far and away exceed the sum of the parts of the University of Toronto and their homes at St. Mike’s, Victoria or Trinity.
Students from these three universities have the double benefit of being part of small, navigable and closely-knit neighbourhoods, while simultaneously being surrounded by vast choices and opportunities on a scale unequalled by any other university in Canada. This double advantage is so valuable, in fact, that the University of Toronto has shamelessly emulated it within our four other colleges.
Today, this virtue of “dual citizenship” is felt more than ever.
While strengthening their roles as focal points for interdisciplinary programs and centres, our federated universities have also fostered an intellectual community where students and faculty together pursue scholarly excellence and curricular innovation.
Today’s signing of the Federation Framework Agreement between the University of Toronto and the Federated Universities represents the next step in a long process of integration and collaboration.
The Agreement is separated into three separate documents reflecting the different purposes it serves – a federation agreement with each Federated University; a statement on the role, rights, responsibilities, and accountabilities of the Colleges; and operating agreements with each Federated University with regard to services, accountability reporting, and funding.
In particular, the new and improved proposed funding model would provide a more meaningful link to the services provided and was more consistent with the University’s new budget model. The net result would be an increase of approximately $1.45 million to the total funding to the Federated Universities over a three-year period, funded by the Faculty of Arts and Science and University-wide cost bins.
These increases reflect the true costs of space, enhancements for administration and information technology, and support for the student experience. In return, the Federated Universities are committed to developing enhanced accountability metrics.
The strength of our entire University is based on a unique collaboration among the four institutions that contributed to its founding. The University of Toronto, Victoria University, Trinity College, and the University of St. Michael’s College continue to be independent institutions.
Together, these institutions remain dedicated to advancing the cause of excellence in undergraduate education.
The Memorandum we are signing today strengthens and deepens that dedication.
Check against delivery.