Into the program prioritization debate

Last week, we published an article by Leo Groarke and Beverley Hamilton on program prioritization. For the uninitiated, program prioritization is a process – now much in vogue at Ontario’s universities – for ranking academic and non-academic programs for the purposes of directing resources. Some have called it a “rank n’ yank” process, where programs deemed to be under-performing are slated for cuts or outright elimination. Suffice it to say, program prioritization is controversial.

Not surprisingly, Leo and Beverley’s

Doing the PPP: A skeptical perspective

So-called “program prioritization processes” have been a hot topic at American and Ontario universities. But as Leo Groarke and Beverley Hamilton argue, the cost of PPP is much higher than many administrators realize.

More on bad Ontario/California comparisons

Ken Snowdon has released a paper that echoes our criticisms about Ian Clark’s recent article advocating “California Style”differentiation in Ontario. OCUFA, our publisher, has the complete document and a short summary.

Snowdon’s analysis reveals several facts that should give policy-makers pause before they rush to emulate California: Clark’s analysis is a bad case of “apples-to-oranges” comparisons; there is little evidence that California’s system is any cheaper per student, or any better in terms of outcomes; and invalid comparisons of

The perils of California Dreamin’ in higher education

Writing in the National Post, Ian Clark argues that emulating California’s higher education system will increase the productivity and efficiency of Ontario’s universities. No doubt, this is an idea that will appeal to some, but the rest of us should be cautious in accepting his conclusions.

Clark, along with David Trick and Richard Van Loon, have built a bit of a cottage industry around diagnosing the ailments of Ontario’s universities and suggesting ways to cure them. Their work, expressed


Expanding graduate programs and renewing the professoriate: What’s the connection?

Does Ontario need to expand its master’s and doctoral programs in order to supply the professors who will teach these additional students? Ian Clark, David Trick and Richard Van Loon argue that in all fields of graduate study, the government should take into account the best available evidence to ensure that the number of graduate spaces is sufficient to meet the needs of the workforce, but not higher.


Drummond Will Likely Have Little Impact on Universities

How would post-secondary education be affected by the recommendations of the Drummond report, and is Drummond’s approach advisable? Professor Paul Axelrod suggests that in an environment of instituional autonomy, the effects will be minimal. As has been the case for many years, Drummond continues the trend of expecting universities to teach too many students with too few resources.