Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario



Reference: Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario, Ian D. Clark, Greg Moran, Michael L. Skolnik, and David Trick: Queen’s Policy Studies, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 244 pages, 2009.

Google Scholar citations:

Book cover summary

The large scale publicly funded system of postsecondary education in Ontario developed in the 1960s has been largely successful in fulfilling important societal needs in the areas of education, human resource development, and research. Existing approaches, however, are unlikely to be sufficient to address the challenges of the coming decade.

Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario examines the developments that are re-shaping the province’s post-secondary system, including higher enrollment, further development of a knowledge-based economy, and increased demands for research focused on competitiveness and productivity. Universities and colleges are also adjusting to internal changes in the composition of the student body and staff, faculty work profiles, and funding arrangements. The authors suggest changes in the system’s structure, policy, and funding to respond to these developments.

Ian D. Clark (, former federal deputy minister and president of the Council of Ontario Universities, is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. Greg Moran (, former Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Vice-President, is a professor and member of both the clinical and developmental groups within the Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario. Michael Skolnik (, former William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership in the University of Toronto, is professor emeritus in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. David Trick (, former Assistant Deputy Minister of Postsecondary Education and founding CEO of Guelph-Humber, is president of David Trick and Associates, consultants in higher education strategy and management.

FourAuthorsAuthors’ and publisher’s websites

Ian Clark’s web page at U of T

David Trick’s web page on David Trick and Associates

Greg Moran’s web page at The University of Western Ontario

Michael Skolnik’s web page at OISE/U of T

HEQCO Research Publications

HEQCO Release – November 30, 2009

How to order

McGill-Queen’s University Press

Commentary on Academic Transformation

A must-read for students and scholars of Canadian post-secondary education. (Julian Weinrib, CSSHE, 40, 2010)

Ontario Higher Education as Governance Failures, Review by Gilles Paquet, Optimum Online, Vol. 40, Issue 1, Mar 2010.

Book argues Ontario university model unsustainable (Globe and Mail, Nov 30, 2009)

Glendon advisory committee member co-authors book on transforming academia (YFile)

Sustainability of Ontario’s Model for Baccalaureate Education Questioned (Canada News Wire)

Redesigning undergraduate education (Western News)

New book proposes transforming the undergraduate experience (Ylife)

Radical rethink of Ontario universities (University Affairs)

The elusive ideal of the scholar-teacher (Globe and Mail, lead editorial, Dec 1, 2009)

Ontario’s University System Is Unsustainable, Says New Book (Chronical of Higher Education)

Traditional teaching model obsolete in crowded colleges (Toronto Star, Dec 2, 2009)

‘Teaching’ universities proposed for Ontario (Western News)

When it comes to undergraduate education, we can do better (Globe and Mail Op Ed, Dec 10, 2009)

Considerations of policy issues for higher education rarely make compelling and satisfying reads. This one does. (Michael Ridley, CIO University of Guelph, Jan 4, 2010)

A Review of Academic Transformation (Elizabeth Church, Adjunct Nation, Nov/Dec 2009)

Post-secondary in peril: why higher ed in Ontario is stuck in the past (CACUSS Reads, Feb 6, 2010)

Improve the wheel, don’t reinvent it (Roseann Runte, University Affairs, Feb 8, 2010)

Universities are sitting ducks for reform (Margaret Wente, Globeon and Mail, April 13, 2010)

Clark et al. (2009) have provided much food for thought on the need for greater diversity in the educational and research structure of PSE institutions. (TD Economics, May 17, 2010, p. 36)

Is the teacher-researcher faculty model just too expensive? (Ken Snowdon, Academic Matters, Oct 2010)

Erratum on UOIT degree granting authority
On page 61 in footnote 15, our book states that the University of Ontario Institute of Technology does not yet have the authority to grant master’s and doctoral degrees. This is not the case. In 2007, the Government of Ontario provided the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with unrestricted degree granting authority. The authors apologize for this error.
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 13 January 2016.