Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 02, 2004
U of G earns top grade for public accountability
For the second year in a row, the University of Guelph earned an A+ in the Canadian University Accountability Survey. U of G was rated the top comprehensive university and second among all institutions in public accountability and external reporting. Queen’s University was first.
“Queen’s and Guelph should be used as role models for practices by other Canadian universities,” said William Banks, a professor in Wilfrid Laurier’s School of Business and Economics, who leads the annual study. “They deserve our congratulations and thanks for a job well done.”
The survey, which has been conducted since 1988, is the only one in Canada that focuses on university accountability. The 2003 survey rated 46 universities 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 and was one of only two universities receiving scores in the 90s. Guelph was also the top comprehensive school in the 2002 survey.
“The University of Guelph has always embraced the values of public accountability and responsibility, and it is gratifying to be recognized nationally for this commitment,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “Our philosophy is that accountability is not only filing reports and making them available, but it is also about setting clear and measurable objectives, then continuing with dialogue about whether these goals are achieved.”
Banks said that although the top schools are doing an excellent job of demonstrating their commitment to accountability, “there remains much room for improvement.” Six universities received scores in the 80s, seven in the 60s and six in the 50s, and 18 received failing grades.
A research article on the survey results appeared in Canadian Accounting Perspectives, published by the Canadian Academic Accounting Association. The survey has been funded by Certified Management Accountants Canada for the past nine years.
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