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During the past year the universities of Ontario have been the object of increasing discussion in the various news media, on public platforms, and on the floor of the Provincial Legislature. Inevitably, much of the comment has tended to come under the heading of complaints or criticisms or anxious inquiries. Some people have been worried by charges of Americanization of programmes of study and of faculties. Others have questioned the effort and the expense devoted to graduate studies, at a time when Ph.D.’s in certain areas of specialization are finding it difficult to secure a suitable position. Still others have expressed concern about the total cost of higher education in the Province, evidently fearing that, if expansion continues at the present rate, important social and medical services will be deprived of essential funds. And lately there has emerged a disposition to question the belief that every qualified and ambitious student should find a place in a university, an assumption hitherto almost universally accepted. Some of these shifts of opinion are certainly unwelcome, yet, from another point of view, they must be regarded as a tribute to the importance of the universities in Canada today. Ten years ago there was little comparable attention on the part of the public. It is not necessarily a bad thing to be required, repeatedly, to re-examine the basic policies of higher education in Canada, particularly when there are impressive and substantial arguments on behalf of the universities. I am entitled to add, with pleasure, that the role of the University of Windsor is very widely endorsed in our own community, as we learned when our recent drive for funds achieved a success far beyond that of any similar university campaign elsewhere in Canada in recent years. Throughout the world there is a concern to debate the function of the university, both with respect to the needs of the individual and to the claims of society. Some theories brought forward in this connection achieve swift acceptance, but after a brief period of popularity drop out of discussion, and it is not always clear whether we are dealing with the wave of the future or only the undertow of the past. However, it remains my personal conviction that any discussion of university matters must be judged essentially defective if it does not concede a prior emphasis to the individual. This is the basic preference which we seek to achieve at the University of Windsor.
University of Windsor
University of Windsor, Assumption College, The Ambassador
History | Public History
University of Windsor, "The Ambassador: 1971" (1971). The Ambassador. 22.