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UBC Reports Nov 6, 1969

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 Assault Planned on
Registration Red Tape
Registration red tape will be cut back or at least
trimmed for some students next year.
Rudy Jahelka, a systems analyst who joined the
UBC staff Aug. 1, hopes to use the University's
scientific computer to replace much of the present
card registration system.
The computer will match student course requests
with the academic schedule. Up until now, course
requests have been matched manually in what must
be the largest game of solitaire in B.C. About one
►   •%
RUDY JAHELKA, UBC's new systems
analyst, plans to use the giant IBM 360
computer in the civil engineering building for
an assault on registration red tape. The new
Photo by Extension Graphic Arts
system calls for elimination of course cards
and making the registration process more
personalized and efficient. It will take two
years to put the new system into operation.
quarter million tabulating cards were shuffled and
matched—and some mismatched—during registration
this fall.
Mr. Jahelka said use of the IBM 360 computer in
the civil engineering building will make registration
more personal and more efficient.
"At least 80 per cent of the frustrations and
problems of the present registration system can be
traced to the tab cards," he said. "The cards are a
physical record and can be lost, torn, mishandled or
left at the wrong station in the registration process.
"By using the new system course cards will
disappear. Information now on the course cards will
be fed into the computer."
How the system will be applied and which
facilities will use it first have not been decided as yet.
When registering, the student must select a
program of courses approved by a faculty advisor. He
uses the lecture schedule and the calendar to choose
from a variety of courses which meet calendar
This, however, will not change under the new
system. The problem arises when the student
attempts to schedule his approved selection of
courses. He is often faced with dozens of possible
combinations and permutations because the courses
may be split into a number of sections offered at
different times.
He may find that one or more courses or sections
or both have already been filled. He must go back to
the faculty advisor and start the whole process over
Occasionally the staff manning the course card
stations, under the crushing burden of students'
requests for courses and sections, will give a student a
course card knowing the section is already
over-subscribed. This student won't know until the
beginning of classes that he may have to choose a new
section or revise his course schedule.
Under the new system the computer will print out
a timetable for the student after making many
attempts to find a suitable combination of sections
for him, according to the courses selected.
"Only if there is no possible combination will the
student have to select a new course in the same way
as he does now," Mr. Jahelka said.
Deputy president William M. Armstrong said that
students could make their requests known at the end
of a term so that course selections can be fed into the
computer in late spring or early summer. This would
allow faculty to add or subtract sections in response
to student demands.
"Students will be able to register less painfully and
faculty will be able to respond more accurately and
efficiently to student preferences than is possible
under the system we have now," Professor Armstrong
"Eventually we want to computerize our physical
facilities into the registration process so that we will
be able to choose the best classroom in terms of
location and size."
He said faculty advisors will also be able to use the
computer during registration. "Perhaps the advisor
will be able to use a computer terminal to find out
what courses are prerequisite for a certain honours
program instead of thumbing through the calendar."
"If the advisor makes a mistake in interpreting the
calendar as is possible under the system we have now,
the student may have to pay for it by making up the
course during the summer or during an extra year. A
computer system would avoid making such errors."
Mr. Jahelka calls the new system a
"computer-based student scheduling system" and
points out that it isn't a new concept. Some
better-known universities have computerized student
scheduling. A leader in the field is the University of
It will take about two years to computerize
scheduling and adjust registration procedures at UBC,
he said. Registration and student records are Mr.
Jahelka's major priority. His long-term objective is to
develop an integrated information system for the
whole University. ?
UBC's SENATE began discussion on Nov. 1 of the report of its Committee on
Long-Range Objectives, which has recommended limitation of enrolment
and changes in UBC's administrative structure, among other things. Prof.
William Finn, standing at the far end of table, addressed Senate on the '
chapter of the report dealing with admission policies. Other committee
members, who dealt with other chapters of the report, are seated in the
foreground. They are, right to left, Dr. Cyril Belshaw, who chaired the
committee; Prof. Robert Clark, UBC's academic planner; Prof. John Norris,
department of history; and Dr. Ranton Mcintosh, professor of education.
Also at the head table are President Walter Gage, chairman of Senate,
Registrar J.E.A. Parnall, and recording secretary Mrs. Frances Medley.
IjtariM i
How big should the University of British
Columbia be?
Should it be limited to something close to its
present enrolment of about 21,000 students?
Should it be allowed to expand for another five
years, until it reaches an enrolment of 27,500?
Should it be allowed to expand indefinitely,
perhaps reaching an ultimate size of 60,000 to
70,000 students, either concentrated on the
present Point Grey campus or perhaps spread
over satellite campuses? Or is it already too large
and should it be pruned back to about 15,000
students, which some faculty members feel is
the maximum number that can be properly
accommodated with existing facilities?
Basic Questions
And what are the educational, political and
social implications of these questions? If UBC
decides to set a firm limit to its size, how should
it select the students it will admit? Purely on the
basis of demonstrated academic achievement?
Or should it try to redress social inequities by
making entrance easier for students from lower
socio-economic strata? Should it discriminate in
favor of B.C. students and against those from
outside the province or from other countries?
And if enrolment is restricted, what will happen
to those students who are denied admission?
Will society provide other universities and
colleges for them?
These questions and many others were raised
Saturday (Nov. 1) at a special meeting of UBC's
Senate, in the second round of debate on the
report of Senate's Committee on Long-Range
Senators discussed the 132-page report for
three hours without coming to any conclusions
or taking any decisions on its 39 specific
The meeting was intended only as an
introduction to the final version of the report.
The debate will be continued at Senate's next
regular meeting Nov. 12, and perhaps at
subsequent meetings. (A preliminary version of
the report was presented to Senate May 21 and
was discussed briefly then).
The final report contains four chapters
dealing   with   major   problems   for   Senate's
2/UBC Reports/November 6, 1969
consideration —academic goals, admissions
policy, curriculum, and improvement of the
University's academic organization—and a fifth
catch-all chapter entitled "What Else?"
Each chapter was introduced at Saturday's
meeting by a member of the committee, and
then opened to discussion from the floor.
The issue that seems likely to generate most
of the discussion in future debates, as it did
Saturday, is the difficult question of enrolment
The majority of the committee has
recommended that enrolment be limited to a
total of 27,500 students, in a ratio of four
undergraduates to one graduate student.
Undergraduate enrolment would be limited to
22,000 on the existing campus. The rate of
increase in graduate enrolment would be limited
to 15 per cent per year, reaching a total graduate
enrolment of 5,500 by about 1975.
Prof. Cyril Belshaw, head of the department
of anthropology and sociology and the
committee's chairman, dissented from this
majority position and proposed instead that
enrolment be limited to the number of students
that each faculty or college considers it has the
capacity to educate.
Prof. W.D. Finn, acting dean of applied
science and a member of the Belshaw
committee, presented the enrolment-policy
section of the report to the special meeting.
He called on Senate to take a forceful and
unambiguous stand on the central question of
whether UBC's size should be limited to
something roughly consonant with its present
structure, or whether the University should
maintain its open-door policy indefinitely.
All Concerned
Only then, he said, could the many other
questions posed by the committee's report be
approached rationally and unemotionally.
Students, faculty and the public are alike
concerned by the stresses and strains that are
racking universities today, Prof. Finn said. Some
of these stresses may be due to deficiencies in
curriculum matters but others are the result of
the impersonal nature of the university, the lack
of individual attention for students, and severe
limitation of resources for study, for reflection
and for recreation. *
No Amenities
These stresses, he noted, increase with a
university's size. Amenities are provided only
after minimal needs for functioning are met. If
UBC continues to grow, he said, it may be able
to provide sufficient classrooms and find enough. .
instructors, but the important amenities will not
keep pace. With a student body of 60,000 or
70,000, given the University's geographic
location on the end of a peninsula, there w^4d
be grave problems simply in providing phywil
access to the campus, sufficient parking space,
and supporting services which are not directly
related to the educational process.
Unless these difficulties were overcome, he,.
said,   any   internal   adjustments the  University '
might make would be negated.
Prof. Finn noted that the Belshaw report
points out that there are certain advantages to
large size. These include a greater variety of
educational opportunities, and the possibility of
a quantum leap forward in science or the arts
because of the University's larger pool of talent. ^,
The committee was divided, he said, between
those who felt the University should remain at
something like its present size, and those who
favored unlimited growth. It was virtually
impossible to be sure which was the wiser
choice, he said. The important thing was for
Senate to take a clear-cut stand one way or the
Dr. Finn recognized the political implications
of adopting a firm enrolment policy. But he said
Senate's decision should be made on educational
grounds, without anticipating the difficulties
that other institutions or authorities might have
in adapting to this situation.
HHH Volume 15, No. 22, Nov. 6,
IIIkI 1969- Published by the Univer-
B B B B B B sity of British Columbia and
^^ ^^ ^^ distributed free. J.A. Banham,
REPORTS Edltor; Barbara Claghorn, Production Supervisor. Letters to the Editor
should be addressed to the Information Office,
UBC, Vancouver 8, B.C. Photo by  Extension  Graphic Arts
By adopting the committee's majority
Recommendation for an enrolment limitation of
27,500, he said, the University would be giving
those responsible five years in which to respond.
"I feel, above all," he said, "that we should
have the courage to make the proper educational
decision." Senate should take a stand based on
its judgment of what is best for UBC,
recognizing that it might later have to readjust
tfvis position in the face of political, financial or
community pressures.
"The government is the ultimate arbiter," Dr.
Finn said. "If they do nothing, then we'll have
to ojttrige our minds again. But we are the best
pec^M to advise on the situation at this
University. If we don't let the government know
what we think is the right and proper
educational step to take, how do we expect
them to react?"
Stan Persky, making his first appearance as a
student Senator, contended that the question of
[ enrolment policy cannot be decided on purely
[ educational  grounds;  in  his view  it  is also a
political and a moral question.
The report admits, he said, that how many
students come to the University is a political
.question. It warns that the University should
avoid taking partisan political positions and
should steer clear of political questions
generally. But, he said, any solution the
University finds is bound to be a political
solution, using the word in a broad sense.
Inform Public
Enrolment policy, Mr. Persky said, must be
made a real issue to the general public. Ancl this
will not be done if Senate adopts patchwork or
temporary solutions to the problem. Public
concern with the real problems of the
University, rather than with its "image," is not
,9,oing to be fostered by removing the problems
from the public.
"One traditional area where we do have
something to say about this question has to do
with the issue of standards. Here we can speak as
professionals who have good advice to give, but
whether we ought to impose our standards
seeCns to me to be another question," Mr. Persky
He saw the University as an institution of the
"just society," although, he said, "we tend to
shy away from serious talk about this subject
and to talk very pragmatically, because it's easier
to talk pragmatically."
Although the committee was handicapped by
lack of a sociological analysis of UBC's student
population, Mr. Persky said, studies made
elsewhere have shown an inordinate relationship
between who goes to university and economic
class background.
Equal Opportunities
This relationship, he contended, is
maintained by the University's policies. By not
acting positively to make society more just
through providing genuinely equal educational
opportunities to all, he said, the University
supports the status quo and thus commits an
"invisible" political act.
The University, he said, should make
enrolment policy an issue of real public concern.
It should offer advice on standards of
excellence. It should say to the public that
limited University resources must be allocated
on the basis of the number of students society
sends to the University. And it should say that
this may soon mean that the University will not
be able to offer all its students a full program of
five or even four courses, and therefore students
may not be able to get a degree in four years.
The Long-Range Objectives Committee
report says that students have been raising, and
should continue to raise, moral questions, Mr.
Persky noted.
"Shrewdly but not cynically aware of how
facilely moral questions can be shoved aside," Mr.
Persky said, "I'm bringing my objection to the
enrolment restriction recommendation to you
essentially as a moral question."
Dr. Aaro E. Aho, a Convocation Senator, said
the University's goal should be excellence in
research and in teaching. This could not be
achieved, he said, under a policy of unlimited
growth. Entrance into University should be
made more difficult, he said, but it should be
based on academic rather than on social or
financial   criteria.    The   University   should
encourage the admission of "people of
intelligence who can contribute to the progress
of society." To open the question of enrolment
policy to public discussion would be to invite
further mediocrity, he said.
Prof. Sam Black, of fine arts and education,
said he feared that if it imposed a rigid
65-per-cent admission requirement, Senate
might be denying entrance to some of B.C.'s
most gifted and creative students in music,
drama and the fine arts.
Prof. W.E. Willmott, anthropology and
sociology, said he agreed an enrolment
limitation was necessary, but the limit set by the
Long-Range Objectives Committee was too high.
"We are already on the slippery road to
mediocrity in this university and we are facing
classes which are much larger than we can
possibly teach usefully or educationally," he
said. Senate should be considering a maximum
enrolment of 15,000 to 17,000 rather than
Political Issue
Dr. John Chapman, geography, said the
question Mr. Persky raised—how many people
should attend institutions of higher
education?—was a fundamental political issue
for which no machinery exists to resolve.
The issues for Senate, he said, were to
establish the right number of students to be
admitted to UBC and the means of selecting
them. Senate must have the courage to depart
from the easy way of growth, simply by adding
numbers of students. The hard way, he said, is
to grow in stature and quality. Senate must first
resolve to limit enrolment; the questions of
numbers and selection are lesser issues.
* * * #
A summary of the proceedings of Senate's
special meeting may be had by writing to
Information Services, Main Mall North
Administration Building, Campus, or by phoning
A summary of the Long-Range Objectives
Committee's report and a complete list of its 39
recommendations was contained in UBC
Reports for Oct. 23. Copies of this edition are
also available from Information Services.
UBC Reports/November 6, 1969/3 We asked our assistant
information officer,
To take the acting head of the
department of psychology,
To a recent campus showing of cartoons featuring the ROADRUNNER
and WILY E. COYOTE. We wanted to know why students these days
are cheering for the Coyote. Her report begins below.
'It's Part of the Rebellion Thing'
The Roadrunner cartoons pit the Road-
runner (Speedipus Rex), a super-speedy bird
that never flies, against the Coyote (Wily E.
Coyote), a cocky villain who uses all manner
of imaginative means to try to run the Road-
runner to ground.
Now as any Roadrunner regular can tell
you, the Coyote's villainous schemes invariably backfire. The Roadrunner, you can
bet your sweet beep-beep, escapes unscathed,
while the Coyote inexorably suffers the dire
results of his own horrendous schemes.
Dr. Signori believes that this accounts for
the students' giving their support to the
Coyote. They are cheering for the underdog.
"It is a tradition in North American culture," he said "and a not uncommon characteristic."
The Coyote certainly is an underdog.
Nothing ever goes right for him. He's a loser if
ever there was one.
"Loser", however, is a loaded word in hip
lingo and has come to have a pejorative
meaning. Since most students are pretty hip,
why do they cheer for the Coyote if they
believe he's a "loser" in the scornful sense of
the word?
"It's part of the rebellion thing," one
fourth-year    English    student   explained.
"Students are rebelling against traditional
values. Traditionally nobody cheers for the
villain, so the students do. It's the in thing to
The students also appreciate the Coyote's
"He comes up with such ingenious devices
that never work out," said one.
"The Coyote has all the brains," said
They also admire the Coyote's persistence
and unwillingness to admit defeat.
"I wish he'd win," said one Coyote fan
The students become sufficiently involved
in the Coyote's exploits to shout warnings to
him when they foresee that, as one student
put it: "He's going to get sucked in again!"
"Don't do it," they warn him.
Dr. Signori conjectured that there may be a
serious side to the students' warnings. "They
become highly suspicious of most events
surrounding the Coyote," said Dr. Signori.
"In effect they are saying: 'Never trust
appearances. You can never tell what is going
to happen next.' "
Another reason suggested by Dr. Signori
for the students' strong identification with
the Coyote is the enjoyment they may derive
from vicarious participation in the violence
that erupts around him.
"The violent and often brutal mishaps that
befall the Coyote when his schemes to catch
the Roadrunner misfire are not an uncommon
part of normal fantasy—having the edge of a
cliff drop from under you or the sensation of
falling from heights," Dr. Signori pointed out.
The Roadrunner cartoons certainly utilize
all the known tools of violence: bombs, guns,
rockets, boulders and countless other destructive devices supplied by Acme Products
Ltd. that quash, squash and otherwise
mutilate the Coyote.
While Dr. Signori admits that depicting
violence in a humorous way might possibly
encourage viewers to "learn to become joyful
about violent acts," he doesn't think that
enjoyment of violence in the Roadrunner
cartoons is harmful.
"I wouldn't judge that identification with
violence presented in a humorous situation
that doesn't involve people as such would
necessarily add to the development of violent
attitudes toward people," he said.
It would appear, then, that watching
Roadrunner cartoons is a harmless enough
pastime. Is cheering for the Coyote harmless
too? The Roadrunner could probably tell us,
but he's a hard bird to pin down.
Board Names Second Associate Dean
The University of B.C.'s Board of Governors has
approved the appointment of a second associate dean
in UBC's faculty of medicine.
Dr. Donald H. Williams, currently director of the
division of continuing education in the health
sciences, will relinquish his post to become the
faculty's second associate dean.
As associate dean Dr. Williams will be responsible
for organization of the faculty's grant system and for
further development of a medical alumni group.
Dr. Donald Graham, the other associate dean of
medicine, will continue to have responsibility for
student affairs and admission policies.
Dr. John F. McCreary, UBC's dean of medicine,
said Dr. Williams would supervise the collection of
4/UBC Reports/November 6, 1969
information on funds and grants available for
research, teaching and student support from
governments and foundations.
"UBC has now graduated 843 doctors, many of
whom are in practise in B.C. and other parts of North
America," Dr. McCreary said. "Dr. Williams will be
responsible for further development of relations with
our graduates and creation of a close-knit alumni
Dr. McCreary said development of alumni relations
was important in the light of the development of the
Health Sciences Centre at UBC.
"Dr. Williams," he said, "has been responsible for
the growth of continuing education courses for
doctors at UBC and the new Health Sciences Centre
will become an even more important focal point for
this activity in the future."
UBC's Health Sciences Centre, now half complete,
will provide facilities for the education of health
professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses,
pharmacists and physio and occupational therapists. *
A major aspect of the Centre's activities will be
providing courses for health professionals to keep
them up to date on the latest developments in their
Dr.  Williams,  a noted dermatologist, joined the
UBC faculty in  1960 to organize the department of
continuing medical education. Earlier this year he was       fc
appointed   head of the new division of continuing
education in the health sciences.


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