Scholars and Dollars

Scholars and Dollars: Politics, Economics, and the Universities of Ontario 1945-1980

PAUL AXELROD
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 270
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2tv4mj
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  • Book Info
    Scholars and Dollars
    Book Description:

    The author concludes that not only did the universities prove to be imperfect instruments of economic development, but the efforts expended in the task compromised their vital role as islands of culture and critical thought in a materialistic society.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7960-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[viii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [ix]-2)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)

    In the fall of 1981, amid a flurry of publicity, the federal government rediscovered Canada’s universities. Long the silent partner who paid half the bills and asked few questions, Ottawa seemed intent on reversing this process by slashing its grants and tightening the strings. It floated plans to reduce dramatically its support of higher education through the Established Programs Financing arrangement and to redirect its funds towards university programs designed to serve the country’s economic needs.¹ The extent of the cuts and the nature of the conditions remained unclear, even after the federal budget of 12 November. None the less,...

  4. ONE Education, Utilitarianism, and the Acquisitive Society
    (pp. 7-33)

    The enormous progress made in the development of Canadian education in the past century has been the object of high praise by politicians, educators, and various writers in Canada. One author attributes this admittedly impressive advancement to society’s ‘never-ending effort to develop an organizational structure which encourages every individual... to realize his fullest potentiality’.¹ Too often, however, historians of educational change in Canada and elsewhere have carried out their work within narrow and uncritical intellectual parameters. The result, as Bernard Bailyn notes inEducation in the Forming of American Society,has been the ‘wrenching of events from historical context.’ In...

  5. TWO Corporate Aid to Higher Education
    (pp. 34-53)

    The attitudes of Canadian businessmen towards higher education throughout the late 1950s and early 60s did not differ significantly from those of other groups in Canadian society. The crucial relationship of educational training to the economic development of Canada, reflected in speeches, conferences, editorials, and polls, was established with powerful, unceasing, even tedious consistency. If ever there was unanimous consent over any issue in Canadian history that cut across class lines and regional barriers, the faith of Canadians in the economic value of higher education was surely it. But if the main link between education and society was perceived to...

  6. THREE Private Power and Public Institutions
    (pp. 54-76)

    Businessmen involved themselves in the expansion of higher education in two basic ways. In the first instance, as we have seen, a number of companies provided universities with financial support from their private and corporate resources. The second method involved those who, at the behest of university organizers and administrators, became directly involved in the organization, planning, and governing of Canadian universities. But if corporate donations provided only a small portion of a university’s total budget, then why was the participation of prominent corporate leaders considered to be so vital in institutions that were essentially publicly funded? The answer to...

  7. FOUR Provincial Planning 1945–67
    (pp. 77-99)

    As we have already noted, the major financial responsibility for ensuring the extension of post-secondary educational facilities was assigned by business, academics, and the public at large to the government and to government agencies. Keynesian ideology – the state practice of engaging in significant public spending within the context of a free-enterprise economy – had swept the country in dramatic form after the Second World War.

    Yet within the higher educational sector, the bureaucratic structures through which these developments would occur were, in the late 1940s, barely visible, let alone sophisticated. The number of government officials in Ontario who dealt with university...

  8. FIVE The Curriculum, Professionalism, and the Market Economy
    (pp. 100-140)

    From the preceding account, it is evident that the university system which evolved in Ontario during the postwar period was shaped by. the values, the culture, and the political forces of a mixed capitalist economy. For all intents and purposes, the universities were publicly funded, privately operated, and primarily designed to fulfil economic functions. Yet one major question remains. How, precisely, did the universities set out to satisfy theirraison d’être?If the main purpose of higher education was to contribute to economic piosperity, then how did the universities engage in this task?

    This chapter focuses on what must be...

  9. SIX More Scholar for the Dollar 1968–73
    (pp. 141-178)

    Propelled by buoyant economic conditions, favoured by free-spending politicians, and buttressed by widespread public support, higher education during the 1960s became one of Ontario’s major growth industries. Between 1962 and 1968, full-time enrolment in the province’s universities increased from 39,000 to over 92,000. Public funding of higher education rose from $76,000,000 in 1965 to $360,000,000 in 1969. Over the same period, the proportion of the total provincial budget absorbed by higher education rose from under 1 per cent to 11 per cent.¹ The spin-off effects of educational investment into other areas of the provincial economy, if uncalculated, were unmistakably evident.²...

  10. SEVEN Students, Staff, and the State: The Politics of Scarcity 1974–80
    (pp. 179-213)

    The process of financial retrenchment ushered in at the beginning of the 1970s continued largely unabated throughout the rest of the decade. At best, the universities endured what John Deutsch had described as the era of the ‘steady state’ or ‘the problem of maintaining viability when new programs are not evolving.’¹ At worst, they suffered through a depressing period of permanent underfunding. While they managed to avoid both massive lay-offs of full-time faculty and the closure of ‘uneconomical’ institutions, the impact of continuing restraint was none the less considerable. Higher education absorbed a diminishing proportion of public funds; corporate support...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 214-220)

    Academics can always be counted upon to defend in righteous and eloquent terms the prime function of a university: ‘to create, transmit and extend knowledge.’¹ But as we have seen, the degree to which knowledge is advanced and truth pursued depends on forces external to the university itself.

    This study has explored the impact on higher education of some central components of a mixed capitalist economy in post-war Canada. Following a discussion of the important economic role universities played during the war, we described how the pervasive commitment to economic development forced higher education to the forefront of public concern...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 221-254)
  13. NOTES ON SOURCES
    (pp. 255-256)
  14. Statistical Appendix
    (pp. 257-260)
  15. Index
    (pp. 261-270)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 271-272)