Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 19, 1999

Changing university landscape focus of U of G conference

University faculty and administrators will discuss the mounting pressures for change in higher education during an innovative conference at the University of Guelph May 27.

The Changing University Landscape: Implications for Faculty Work Life conference will bring together more than 120 participants from U of G and other Ontario universities. They will confront and explore the changes dramatically impacting institutions of higher education.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the U of G Arboretum auditorium. It will feature keynote speeches by well-known academics Alan Guskin and Robert Diamond. Guskin, professor and former chancellor of Antioch University in Seattle, will speak on "Facing the Future: Transformational Change and the Faculty" at 9:30 a.m. "Focusing on student learning turns our thinking about the future of our colleges and universities upside down: from faculty productivity to student productivity,...from faculty teaching styles to student learning styles, from classroom teaching to student learning," he said.

Students at Antioch University do not receive grades, rather, they are provided with extensive written evaluations from their professors that identify strengths, weaknesses and areas of progress. Students work with their degree committees to set goals and establish graduation requirements.

Diamond, research professor and director of the Institute for Change in Higher Education at Syracuse University in New York, will discuss "Institutional Priorities and Faculty Rewards: Bringing Sanity into the System," at 1:40 p.m. He will describe how budgetary constraints led Syracuse to become a student-centred, research-intensive university, and how identifying and rewarding faculty was a key element in that transformation. A question-and-answer session will follow at 2:45 p.m.

The conference will also include working groups, panel discussions and question-and- answer sessions. Topics will range from budgetary constraints, accountability and learner-centredness to technology, faculty work load and curriculum redesign. U of G faculty will participate in a panel discussion at 11:15 a.m. followed by an 11:45 p.m. question and answer session. A working group discussion to identify issues and implications will be at 3:15 p.m.

The conference is being sponsored by U of G's Teaching Support Services and the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS), with support from U of G's five other colleges, the McLaughlin Library and six administrative offices.

"The conference provides an opportunity for the University community to gain new insights on how to meet the exciting challenges we face at Guelph," said Prof. Michael Nightingale, dean of CSAHS. "Insights from well-respected educators facing similar challenges in other institutions can be particularly valuable in provoking us to think outside the box. Without external input, I think there is a real danger of falling into the trap of re-inventing the wheel."


Julie Christensen Hughes Teaching Support Services (519) 824-4120 Ext. 6938

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338.

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