Thunderstorm 4/9/2011

Influencing Universities to Embrace Learning Outcomes: Why JOBS is a Dirty Four Letter Word

“Looming low and ominous, in twilight premature, thunderheads are rumbling in a distant overture” (Neil Peart, from the RUSH song Jacob’s Ladder). 

As a 16 year old New Brunswick boy listening to these words I always imagined impending chaos as the power of nature crept slowly upon an earth that refused to change in any but superficial ways.  Now, as a 46 year old professor returning from a conference focused on “Learning Outcomes” these lyrics again come to mind as

Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference.  My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link.

Points I raised in the address include the following:

-Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts for inflation, and even when one accounts for population growth. The exceptions, of course, occur during recessions.

-Yet, since the early 1980s, the federal