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[Meeting minutes of the Senate of The University of British Columbia] Nov 25, 1964

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 Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3445
A special meeting of the Senate of the University
of British Columbia was held on Wednesday, November 25, 1964,
at 8:00 p.m., in the Board and Senate Room, Administration
Building, for a general discussion of the report and
recommendations of the Committee on Academic Goals.
Present:  President J. B. Macdonald (in the Chair),
Chancellor Phyllis G. Ross, Dr. K. F. Argue, Dr. C. S.
Belshaw, Mr. R. M. Bibbs, Dr. A. E. Birney, Mr. J. F. Brown,
Mr. W. T. Brown, Mr. F. L. Burnham, Dr. J. D. Chapman,
Dr. I. McT. Cowan, Dean B. A. Eagles, Mr. H. Elder,
Dr. J. G. Foulks, Dr. S. M. Friedman, Dean W. H. Gage,
Dr. W. C. Gibson, Mr. W. Ireland, Dr. J. A. Jacobs, Dr.
S. M. Jamieson, Dr. F. H. Johnson, Mr. J. S. Keate,
Dr. H. L. Keenleyside, Dean S. W. Leung, Dean H. McCrae,
Dean J. F. McCreary, Dr. M. F. McGregor, Dr. K. C Mann,
Dr. G. W. Marquis, Dr. W. H. Mathews, Dean A. W. Matthews,
Mr. F. A. Morrison, Dr. D. C. Murdoch, Dean D. M. Myers,
Dean K. D. Naegele, The Honourable Mr. Justice N. T. Nemetz,
Rev. C W. Nicholls, Mr. E. P. Nicol, Dr. J. M. Norris,
Dean V. J. Okulitch, Dr. M. A. Ormsby, Dr. G. J. Parfitt,
Mr. H. N. Parrott, Dean G. N. Perry, Dr. A. J. Renney,
Dr. W. Robbins, Dr. B. Savery, The Honourable James Sinclair,
Dr. J.H.G. Smith, Dr. Ross Stewart, Mr. B. Stuart-Stubbs,
Mr. E.C.E. Todd, Mr. F. E. Walden, Dr. H. V. Warren,
Mr. A. A. Webster, Acting-Dean R. W. Wellwood, Mr. P. H.
White, Dr. S. H. Zbarsky and Mr. G. Selman. Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3446
Dr. D. H. Copp and Dr. R. F. Scagel were also
present by invitation as non-Senate members of the Committee.
Messages of regret for their inability to be
present were received from Mrs. H. F. Angus, Rev. J. Blewett,
Dean G. F. Curtis, Dr. J.E.A. Kania, Mrs. H. J. MacKay,
Dr. R. F. Sharp and the Honourable Mr. Justice D. R. Verchere.
The President opened the meeting by suggesting that
it should be limited to general discussion of selected parts
of the Report, with no resolutions formulated at this time.
Members of the Committee would summarize the Report, one
chapter at a time (not in sequence), and would indicate the
points deserving consideration. At the conclusion of each
summary, there would be an opportunity for discussion of
the chapter in question.
Chapter VIII - Academic Administration
Dr. Norris stated that a major recommendation of
the Report was the establishment of a Standing Committee of
Senate on Academic Affairs, charged with the responsibility
of advising Senate on the quality and development of the
University curriculum.  The Committee on Academic Goals
proposed that this body have nine academic members, one of
whom should act as Secretary and should hold continuing
membership. Three alternative methods of selection of the
Committee members were outlined:
(a)  Election of part of the membership by the Joint
Faculties, since the Faculties would be affected
by the recommendations of the Committee; Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3447
(b) Election of the members (either including or
excluding the Chairman) by Senate from a slate of
candidates nominated by the Chairman of Senate;
(c) Direct election of the members by Senate.
Dean Cowan expressed his concern that the addition
to the existing framework of such a Committee and, in larger
Faculties, a Faculty Planning Committee (which was also
recommended in the Report) might stifle initiative on the
part of individuals.
Dr. Norris felt, on the other hand, that the Academic
Affairs Committee would encourage initiative and expedite
action, although in itself it would not have executive
authority. Faculty Planning Committees were already in
existence in several Faculties.  Dr. Belshaw added that
machinery was needed to evaluate new ideas from the overall
standpoint of the University; and to determine the extent
to which academic activities now existing on the campus in
a rudimentary stage, or not yet represented, should be
encouraged.
Mr. White believed the Committee on Academic
Affairs should be concerned with continuous development of
policy over a wide academic range. He did not think it
could fulfil this function with only nine members. Appointment of sub-committees to examine specific issues would
permit the specialist approach to those issues, but the
major concern of the Committee should be over-all policy.
Dean Myers stated that the proposed terms of
reference were virtually the most important functions of Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3448
the Senate itself, and he deplored the possibility that
Senate might become a "rubber stamp" for an advisory
committee.  He felt also that the recommendations in the
Report with respect to Faculty Planning Committees, and the
function of Faculty Curriculum Committees, should be considered by the individual Faculties and not by Senate.  The
President replied that the Committee presenting the Report
intended the recommendations to be considered by the
respective bodies concerned.
Referring to Mr. White's comments, Dr. Savery
expressed the opinion that an over-all policy committee
should have only a small number of members, but should call
on appropriate members of Faculty for advice on specific
issues.
The President pointed out that the participants
in the discussion had indicated a wide variety of viewpoints.
He felt this was one reason against attempting to move too
rapidly in implementing the recommendations of the Report.
Chapter II - Admission Policy
and Enrolment
Dr. Chapman stated the Committee on Academic Goals
believed the University would shortly be in a position to
determine its size, because of the growth of other institutions and the provision of other avenues of post-high-
school education.  The University would also be in a position
to influence the direction of its growth.
Tables 1 and 2, indicating enrolment in 1963 and Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3449
1973, were a cross between a forecast and a goal.
Dr. Chapman reported growing interest across Canada
in the use of standard University admission tests, either
alone or in conjunction with high-school records.
Dean Perry commented on a report recently prepared
for the National Conference of Canadian Universities and
Colleges by Dr. E. S. Graham, on the application of the
United States College Entrance Examination Board tests to
Canadian conditions.  McGill and Bishop's Universities had
used these tests because they found it difficult to evaluate
candidates from other provinces on the basis of their
secondary school performance, and because the reports on
secondary school performance were not available soon enough.
Dr. Graham strongly recommended that the N.C.C.U.C.
should develop a Canadian equivalent of the C.E.E.B.
examinations, and suggested that in the meantime the Canadian
universities should use the United States tests, on the
assumption that Canadian students would not be competing to
any great extent against United States students for admission
to Canadian universities.
The President stated there had been almost
unanimous agreement at the recent meetings of the N.CCU.C
that Canadian tests should be developed, since there was
increased movement of students from one province to another,
and from other countries to Canadian universities.
Mr. Justice Nemetz inquired about the recommendation
in the Report that "studies comparing achievement in secondary Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3450
school and performance at university be enlarged in scope
and carried out regularly by the Office of Student Services
in conjunction with the University admission officers." He
asked why British Columbia should not revert to the
matriculation examination system.
Dr. Chapman felt, first, that the Canadian
universities favoured investigating the C.E.E.B. examinations,
but that not all of them would adopt a system of this type
in the near future.  The University of British Columbia had
found the most reliable indication of a student's academic
standing was the high school examinations or recommendations,
interpreted in the light of the experience of Dean Gage and
the Registrar. Adoption by other Canadian universities of
a uniform testing programme would provide useful information
on correlation of the results with those in high school
examinations.  In brief, he believed a multiple estimate of
a student's ability would be better than a single estimate,
but there was some limitation on how much better.
Dr. Birney asked whether the recommended limit on
enrolment by 1973 (16,500 undergraduate and 5,500 graduate)
was based on computation or educational philosophy. Dr.
Chapman replied it was principally a proposal for restricting
undergraduate growth so that the University could focus on
development of graduate and professional schools.
Dr. Friedman inquired whether the Committee had
considered the provincial or national interest, or the need
of the potential students.  He cited a New York report on Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3451
the testing of 13,000 freshmen, which concluded that nineteen percent went to universities for higher education, and
another twenty-seven percent in preparation for professional
training.  Over fifty percent had interests peripheral to
the interests of the university.  He asked whether there
were figures available on individuals with inclination and
motivation towards university education, who because of
other responsibilities of one kind or another did not take
university entrance examinations.
Dr. Norris stated that the Committee had examined
a report by a member of Faculty in 1959 on the motivation
of a small sample of University students. Additional data
since that time could form the basis of a further study.
To establish a precise goal for future enrolment,
it would be necessary to study such factors as the economy
of British Columbia, the level of expectation for higher
education, and the level of expectation on investment in
education.
Dean Gage cautioned that the tables in this
chapter required knowledgeable interpretation:  for instance,
the definition of "graduate" students (Table 1) varied in
different institutions; comparisons between students from
First Year University and Senior Matriculation (Tables 5 and
6) did not allow for the fact that the majority of high-
ranking students from Grade XII went directly to the
University because of the financial assistance available.
Moreover, distribution of high-ranking students among the Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3452
Faculties was not in the same ratio as total enrolment.
Dean Gage believed it was premature to recommend
that "students entering from Senior Matriculation be required
to have a clear pass at first attempt in five subjects and
an average of 60$" until the University had decided the
standard it would require for students seeking admission
from junior colleges.
Dr. Mann stated that the Committee was well aware
of the proportion of high-ranking students from Grade XII
proceeding immediately to the University, but thought its
recommendation about those entering from Senior Matriculation
was valid since the situation with respect to First Year
University and Senior Matriculation was not likely to change
in the near future.
Dr. Zbarsky inquired whether 5500 was a desirable
goal for graduate students by 1973, or an upper limit.  Dean
Cowan regarded it more as a goal, since he felt it would
require continuous effort to achieve adequate financial
support for a graduate school of that size.
President Macdonald commented that it was almost
the uniform experience of eastern Canadian institutions
attempting to restrict their enrolment in recent years, that
they had not been able to maintain the restriction to the
level considered ideal at an earlier date. Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3453
Chapter V - The Design and
Structure of the Curriculum
Dr. Norris summarized the recommendations with
respect to undergraduate curriculum.
Dr. Stewart expressed conflicting views on many
of these recommendations:
1. Optional programmes as a replacement for
unprescribed electives - Dr. Stewart felt students should
retain the privilege of choosing electives in a field of
their own interest.  This would not necessarily destroy the
cohesion of the individual's programme.
2. .Replacement of the unit system of measurement by a
series of designed programmes of study - whatever system
was used, some procedure for evaluating courses would be
necessary.
3. Requirement of Bachelor degree in Arts or Science
for admission to a professional programme - Dr. Stewart
doubted that the full programme could be prolonged to this
extent.
4. Relation of selected discipline, allied disciplines
and general education - there should be greater emphasis on
the selected discipline in an honours programme, and there
should be free choice of subjects in the "general education"
category.
5. Requirement of three "general education" courses
in the first two years would preclude an adequate level of
specialization in an honours programme. Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3454
6.  The honours programme should retain the traditional
emphasis on high academic standard as well as specialization.
Mr. Nicholls suggested provision might be made
for some students to specialize intensively and accelerate
their programme.  Consideration should also be given to
methods of instruction other than formal lecture courses -
e.g., directed instruction of small groups.
Dr. Murdoch commented that this chapter appeared
to refer almost entirely to the Faculty of Arts. Even
though the general honours programme was not to be regarded
as inferior to the selected honours programme, in practice
the majority of high-ranking students would be proceeding
to graduate study and, particularly in the Faculty of
Science, would enrol in a specialized honours programme.
He felt also that "general education" courses
would prove impractical, since only outstanding teachers
could effectively present such courses. A "cultural" course
in science, including mathematics, would be of less value
to a student in the arts than one of the existing fundamental
courses.
Dr. Norris pointed out that the recommendations
left ample scope within the selected honours programme for
a high degree of specialization.
With respect to the recommendation that a
Bachelor*s degree should precede admission to a professional
programme, Dean McCreary stated that medical schools in the
United States had for some years followed such a pattern. Wednesday, November 25, 1964     3455
Medical schools in Canada had had a different approach,
which was gradually being adopted by institutions in the
United States: admitting good students at the end of their
third undergraduate year, and deferring consideration of
others until they completed a Bachelor's degree. Dr. Norris
explained that the Committee believed some of the basic
medical science courses might be included in the programme
leading to the Bachelor*s degree, thereby permitting a
shortening of the professional training.
Chapter III - The Quality of
Instruction and the Assessment
of Achievement
Dr. Belshaw summarized the recommendations on
instructional methods and assessment of student achievement.
Dr. Robbins quoted the statement in the Foreword
to the Report that "the Committee consulted widely with
members of the Faculty".  No member of the Department of
English, the largest Department in the University, could
recall being consulted during the study.
Table 9 of the Report, quoting statistics on
percent distribution of final grades in some courses in
English, was misleading because of the wide variation in
qualifications for admission to these particular courses.
Dr. Murdoch and Dr. Johnson added that the same was true of
the courses in Mathematics and Education cited in the table.
Dr. Savery pointed out some of the difficulties
involved in giving effect to recommendations with respect Wednesday, November 25, 1964
to reducing lectures to an "effective minimum", and
recording standing on transcripts by letter grades and the
rank order of the student.
The President suggested that the other chapters
of the Report be discussed at the next regular meeting of
Senate as time permitted.
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m.
3456
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