Vol 48 No 3 (2018)
Articles

Provincial Oversight and University Autonomy in Canada: Findings of a Comparative Study of Canadian University Governance

Julia Antonia Eastman
​Adjunct Professor, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
Bio
Glen Alan Jones
OISE/University of Toronto
Bio
Olivier Begin-Caouette
Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Bio
Sharon X Li
OISE/University of Toronto
Christian Noumi
OISE/University of Toronto
Bio
Claude Trottier
Departement des fondements et pratiques en education. Faculte des sciences de l'education
Bio
Published December 31, 2018

Abstract

In order to fulfill their missions, research universities must maintain conditions and capacity for knowledge production and dissemination, while responding to the expectations of governments, other stakeholders, and/or markets. That universities succeed in this quest is vital, not only for their own future as organizations but also for the benefit of current and future generations of students, stakeholders, and society at large. We sought to contribute to the understanding of how higher education institutions and systems rise to the challenge of achieving and sustaining relative institutional autonomy by conducting a comparative case study of the governance of six major universities in five provinces in Canada. This article presents our findings with respect to provincial oversight of the case universities. We found that the case universities appeared to be coming from and to remain at different points on a state supervision/autonomy continuum, but all appeared to be experiencing greater provincial supervision.

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