Friday, April 30, 2021 - Agenda

Institutional Autonomy

11:00 – 11:10 am


Joy Crawford, CUBA-ACCAU Vice-Chair and Vice-Chair, Board of Governors, University of Saskatchewan

Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council, University of Toronto

11:10 am – 12:00 pm

‘Fireside Chat’  - Institutional Autonomy

University people celebrate institutional autonomy though rarely with careful attention to its meaning. What does it mean in 2021? Is it constant over time or is it changing under increasing pressures and expectations from stakeholders and communities? Do we need to reassert its importance to our missions and rally to its defense?

Peter MacKinnon, President Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan

Harvey Weingarten, Principal of the School of Applied Health Sciences, Michener Institute; Former President and CEO, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO); President Emeritus, University of Calgary

Q&A Moderator:

Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council, University of Toronto

12:00 – 12:15 pm Break
12:15 – 1:15 pm

Panel Discussion - Learning from Experience: Former University Presidents Reflect on Institutional Autonomy

In this facilitated conversation, three distinguished former university presidents/rectors share some of the challenges they faced related to institutional autonomy. What did they learn from these experiences? What roles can boards (and board chairs) play in protecting institutional autonomy in the face of what they view as inappropriate external interventions?



Guy Breton, Rector Emeritus, Université de Montréal

M. Elizabeth Cannon, President Emerita, University of Calgary

David H. Turpin, President Emeritus, University of Alberta and President Emeritus, University of Victoria


Glen Jones, Professor of Higher Education and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

1:15 – 1:30 pm Break
1:30 – 2:30 pm

Panel Discussion - The Board’s Role in Advocacy

What are appropriate ways in which Boards and Board members can advocate on behalf of their universities? How can Board Chairs appropriately support the President in government relations matters? 

Jean-Paul Boudreau, President and Vice-Chancellor, Mount Allison University

Sophie D’Amours, Rector, Université Laval, and Chair, Universities Canada

Steve Orsini, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities (COU)

Jaime Watt, OCAD University, Chair, Board of Governors


Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council, University of Toronto