ONTARIO’S ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, 1905-06: POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCED THE FINAL REPORT OF THE FLAVELLE COMMISSION (2007 MA thesis)

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Although much has changed in the relationship between Canadian governments and publicly-assisted universities over the last century, the principles of ‘institutional autonomy’ and ‘annual public grants’ remain sacrosanct. The codification of this

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  ONTARIO’S ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE UNIVERSITYOF TORONTO, 1905-06:POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FACTORS THAT   INFLUENCED THE FINAL REPORT OF THE FLAVELLECOMMISSION By  Andrew Michael Boggs A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Theory & Policy Studies in Education Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto© Copyright by Andrew Michael Boggs, 2007 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.  Abstract Ontario’s Royal Commission on the University of Toronto, 1905-06:   Political and Historical Factors that Influenced the Final Report of theFlavelle Commission Master of Arts, 2007  Andrew Michael BoggsTheory & Policy Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of Toronto Although much has changed in the relationship between Canadian governmentsand publiclyassisted universities over the last century, the principles of ‘institutional autonomy’ and ‘annual public grants’ remain sacrosanct. Thecodification of this relationship may be found in a document written in 1906; thefinal report of the Royal Commission on the University of Toronto and UniversityCollege, also known as the Flavelle Commission of Ontario. Appreciating theforces that acted upon the commission is important to understanding thefundamental principles of government/university interaction in Canada today. Theforces that acted on the commission included a growing recognition of the UnitedStates as a comparable jurisdiction for Canadian public policy questions, thebackground and personal relationships of some commissioners and the politicallandscape of Ontario at the time. This paper examines some of these issues andthe impact they had on the commission’s recommendations. ii Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.  Table of Contents  Abstract .................................................................................................................. iiTable of Contents .................................................................................................. iiiIntroduction ............................................................................................................. 4Research Methodology and Sources ..................................................................... 7Politics and Higher Education: The University Question ...................................... 11Goldwin Smith ...................................................................................................... 22Goldwin Smith and Oxford University ............................................................... 22Goldwin Smith and Cornell ............................................................................... 24Goldwin Smith and the Politics of Canada ....................................................... 27Goldwin Smith and the University Question ..................................................... 29Goldwin Smith and His Second Royal Commission ........................................ 30The Appointment of the Commission ................................................................... 32The Commission’s Timeline ................................................................................. 34The University Survey .......................................................................................... 36The ‘University Movement’  .................................................................................. 49Cornell and Jacob Schurman .............................................................................. 53The Commission Report and Recommendations ................................................ 59Governance and Administration ....................................................................... 62 Academics ........................................................................................................ 68Research and Scholarship ............................................................................... 70Financing .......................................................................................................... 71University Autonomy and Accountability .............................................................. 76Works Cited .......................................................................................................... 83 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.  4 Introduction It has been argued that Ontario’s universities enjoy more institutional autonomy than any other public university system in the Englishspeaking world (McDaniel, 1996; Ontario Council on University Affairs, 1995; Roberts, 1932; Stewart, 1970). This relationship did not evolve out of thin air. The University of Toronto    Act of 1906   set the template for university funding and universitystate relations which permeated Ontario’s university system as it expanded from one ‘public’ university to the eighteen publiclyassisted universities the province now has as of 2007. The 1906 University Act arose from the final report of the Royal    Commission on the University of Toronto and University College,  more popularly referred to as the Flavelle Commission.Based on evidence surrounding the work of the Flavelle Commission, it may be surmised that the modern incarnation of universities in Ontario were born from a hybrid of best practices drawn from the private and public higher education spheres as demonstrated in the United States of the late nineteenth century. As will be discussed, the commission was clearly directed by the provincial government of the day to pursue an investigative line focussed on the United States. The commission’s final report makes specific textual reference to  American universities and American university leaders. It is hardly surprising, then, to find parallels between most of the commission’s recommendations and activities in the higher education sector of the United States. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.  5 There was a great deal of activity going on within the realm of American colleges during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The rising influence of scientific inquiry within the academic realm, highlighted by the German concept of the ‘university’, had introduced the concept of researchfocussed graduate programs to the traditional, privately endowed American undergraduate colleges. The demands of a burgeoning national economy were also making an impact, calling for study in applied fields to sen/e natural resource markets like agriculture and forestry. The state and federal governments were also realizing the economically strategic importance of higher education and the value of public subsidies to open academies that were no longer the exclusive purview of the rich and powerful. Given the perceived demographic and economic similarities between Ontario and the United States at the time (Smith, 1891; Smith, 1893), it is not surprising that Ontario would consider the United States when looking to reform and improve the province’s ‘state university’, including the emergence of the  American ‘land grant’ universities, rather than rely on traditional British examples and best practices.There is more to this story, though. One of the commissioners, an eightytwo yearold historian and political scientist, Goldwin Smith, not only had considerable personal experience with college reform but also a very personal connection to the American university system and one college in particular. Smith had been a member of two commissions struck to review and make recommendations on modernizing Oxford University while he was a member of  Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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