According to one 2008 survey, Canadian faculty were the highest-paid among 15 countries studied.
By: Margaret Wente
Excerpt from: Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2010
Full article at:
What is the most pressing problem facing Canadian universities today? If you ask the professoriate, the answer is likely to be: massive underfunding, combined with creeping corporatization and growing threats to academic independence.
If you ask Dalton McGuinty, Ontario’s Premier, the answer is: poor accountability, and not enough bang for the buck. Last week, he fired a warning shot, saying he plans to have “honest conversations” in the coming months about what universities and colleges can expect in return for the extra money they’re getting to educate another 30,000 students. Translation: You folks are in the service business.
The trouble is that universities aren’t set up for that. The principal job of today’s university and college system is not to push forward the frontiers of knowledge, but to efficiently deliver mass undergraduate education to 30 or 40 per cent of the population.
Universities now do this job in the most expensive way possible, argues Ian D. Clark, whose recent book, Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario, should be a wake-up call to everyone in academia. That’s because universities are still based on the research model of higher education, which adheres to the view that students should be taught only by faculty members who are “actively engaged in original research.” Nearly every university, no matter how small and obscure, aspires to this model. At many universities, professors are required to spend no more than 40 per cent of their time teaching. That often means just two courses per term, in a two-term academic year that totals eight months.