Campus News

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

News Release

October 14, 2003

U of G earns A+ for public accountability, survey says

The University of Guelph is the country’s top comprehensive university and second among all institutions in public accountability and external reporting, according to the annual Canadian University Accountability Survey.

“The university has always taken the responsibility of self-assessment and public accountability very seriously,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “We have ongoing internal reviews and performance assessments based on our own indicators of excellence, and it’s very rewarding to have those efforts recognized nationally for excellence in public accountability as well.”

The findings of the survey, which have been conducted since 1988 by Wilfrid Laurier University professors and are the only surveys in Canada that study university accountability, appeared recently in Canadian Accounting Perspectives, published by the Canadian Academic Accounting Association. The survey examined 2002 data from 45 schools, rating them on an accountability disclosure index of 1 to 100. Points are awarded for depth, clarity and quality of information in 26 categories such as financial, operating and mission statements, investments and research summaries.

U of G received a score of 90.6, with Queen’s University receiving the top score of 90.9 They were the only two universities receiving scores in the 90s. Three universities received scores in the 80s, and the average score was 57.5. “An A+ was earned by both Queen’s and Guelph for their accountability disclosures,” said William Banks, a professor in Wilfrid Laurier’s School of Business and Economics, who leads the survey. “This is the first time that Canadian universities have earned such high scores,” he said, adding that Queen’s and Guelph’s scores also compare favourably with the best in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

U of G was also the top comprehensive school in last year’s survey, placing fourth overall. This year, 12 universities matched or exceeded last year’s highest score and 40 of the 45 universities reviewed improved their scores. “There remains much room for improvement by many Canadian universities but the universities in the top quartile are doing an excellent job of demonstrating their commitment to accountability,” Banks said. “Now it’s a matter of each university bringing all of the information together in one place and making it publicly available.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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