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UBC Reports Apr 27, 1977

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Vol. 23, No. 8, April 27, 1977. Published by
Information Services, University of B.C., 2075
Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1W5.
ISSN 0497-2929. J. A. Banham and Judith
Walker, editors.
ubc reports
Bryan McGill photos
Oft higher education in B.C.
UBC Reports reprints this
interview with Dr. Patrick McGeer
with the kind permission of 77?e Ring
of the University of Victoria.
Patrick McGeer has been
minister of education in B.C. for
16 months now. In this interview
he talks about his expectations
and accomplishments in that
period, his plans for the education
system, especially higher education,
the Universities Council, and
tuition fee increases, among other
Dr. McGeer was questioned
by John Driscoll of 777e Ring.
McGeer: . . .I do have some other
people coming later on, but I'm sure
we'll have time to cover what you'd
like to have in your interview.
The Ring: As minister of education
and minister in charge of ICBC you've
been handling two major portfolios
during your first year in government.
Given the importance of these two
portfolios, do you think there should
be a minister in charge of each?
McGeer: That's entirely up to the
premier of the province. I gave him a
commitment to take on any jobs that
he asked me to do. These were two. In
addition to that, I serve as chairman of
the social services committee and sit
on Treasury Board and I'm part of
Planning and Priorities as well as
regular cabinet, so really there are a lot
of things in addition to the two
portfolios that take up my time. But
these activities take up all of the
minister's time. Our job is really to set
over-all policy for the province, not to
become too involved in the details of
administration of any given portfolio
or crown corporation. As a general
principle, however, I would say one of
the reasons why government should
not become too heavily involved in
operating corporations of one kind or
another is because it does drain the
time of ministers who should be
dealing with those things that cannot
be handled by the private sector.
The Ring: Does ICBC take up less
of your time than Education?
McGeer: Well, at the outset of
course ICBC took up the lion's share
of my time because it was a
corporation that was in very deep
trouble and I think the rescue
operation is done now, so that I'm
able to devote much more time to
other things and required to devote
less time to ICBC. I look forward to
devoting even less time to it in future
because it's not only healthy for ICBC,
it's healthy for the government.
The Ring: If and when you leave
the government, do you plan to return
to your research at UBC?
Continued on p.2 McGeer (continued)
McGeer: I'm certainly planning to
resume a career in brain research.
Whether it will be in British Columbia
or not I really can't say because one of
the major reasons why I was in British
Columbia was because I was spending
part of my time with the B.C.
government. And of course if I weren't
involved with the government then
there would be nothing really to
compel me to stay in British
The Ring: Well, you are on leave
from UBC.
McGeer: Oh yes, I'm on leave from
the faculty at UBC and the staff that I
had is still there. I still do some
scientific work. I'm still publishing
papers, though much fewer; probably
a dozen or so this year and a book.
The Ring: What is the book on?
McGeer: Molecular neurobiology. It
should be going off to the printers
within a month or so. The book was
started, of course, while I was at UBC
and my co-author who's in
Switzerland is working on it. We've
been exchanging chapters. So I'm
hopeful that that book will be in print
before the end of the year.
The Ring: Can you kind of rough
out what you feel have been the major
achievements in education since you
took office?
McGeer: Well, we've really
overhauled the education ministry
from top to bottom. There are major
new initiatives in every aspect of
education. Starting from the junior
part at the elementary and secondary
level, we've commenced our core
curriculum program and the provincial
learning assessment program. These
two thrusts are intended to provide
standards once more in our public
school system, to be certain that the
basics are being taught in schools.
We've divided the subject matter into
what must be learned, what should be
learned and what may be learned, and
the people are accepting this as a
reasonable approach for government
to take after some years of jdrift. We'll
be, commencing in September, becoming much more specific. With regard to
these matters at the present time
there's still a consultation process taking place. Within a very short time we
will be introducing legislation which
will provide for provincial aid to independent schools, something which has
been talked" about for many many
years but which has never been acted
upon by government or legislation.
Moving to the post-secondary field, I
hope again in the near future to
introduce a Colleges and Institutions
Act which will provide a complete new
framework for the operation of the 20
or so institutions which exist in British
2/UBC Reports/April 27, 1977
Columbia. Again this would be legislation which will not please everyone
but which I believe will provide a
framework under which these institutions can thrive in their own right.
The Ring: It seems that in your
term of office with both ICBC and
Education, there have been a number
of controversial issues and they have
involved quite an amount of
controversy. How does that affect
you? You know, you have bumper
stickers, "Stick in in your ear,
McGeer," that sort of tiring.
McGeer: They are collectors' items
now. You can't achieve anything
without controversy. The more you
achieve the more controversy there'll
be because whenever there's a change
there are those who are resistant to
change. That's as it should be; I'm
certainly not objecting to it. But
anybody who tries to get things done
would be a fool not to anticipate
resistance and even resentment in
some quarters. So it certainly came as
no surprise to me, and I quite
anticipate much more controversy in
the future. The test of whether I'm
right or wrong will come only with
time. Anyway I want to assure you
that there will be initiatives.
The Ring: What about at the
university level?
McGeer: Before the year is out, we
will be embarking on a major program
of delivering degree programs to the
Interior. There will be a blending of
the recommendations of the Winegard
Commission report and the Goard
Commission report providing these
Interior programs for the first time.
We've set aside adequate funds, we
believe. It will be in two parts. One
will be for providing on site programs
in several locations in the Interior and
the second will be providing a union
library service so that the holdings of
all our universities will be available to
Interior centres. We're still in the
business of delivering opportunities to
people all around the province. When
you get to the more sparsely
populated areas of the province
obviously you can't deliver university
programming in Stewart, Fort St.
James, or Invermere. So we have to
have a method of extending our
education enterprise, if you like, to
these more remote regions. We've
commissioned the Farris report to
begin looking into this much more
difficult area and they've come back
with recommendations which we
won't be able to get to this year but
which I hope we'll be able to deal with
in a definitive way as our next thrust.
And this is to begin to deliver programs into the home which we feel can
be done through media presentations,
particularly television along the lines
of the open university in Britain, but
also incorporating radio and other
remote delivery systems. Our efforts
will be designed to provide high school
finishing programs and then limited
college programs to the 98 per cent of
homes in British Columbia that have
television sets.
The Ring: Providing university
programs to homes would be an
expensive proposition.
McGeer: Well, not nearly as
expensive as a lot of people would
think because the technological
capacity is there. Television sets are
there, cablevision systems are there.
What isn't there is production and
pursuit. We've got to have the material
to put on the air, and then we've got
to have a way of following up with
seminars, with written projects,
face-to-face contact at intervals during
the course program.
The Ring: What about the coastal
McGeer: Now, at the university
level we've commissioned the Gaudry
Report which is really designed to try
to draw industry and university more
closely together to provide a stronger
economic base for the province, and
therefore a greater capability to
support the higher education
enterprise. I hope that before too long
we'll be able to announce specific
measures that will provide for greater
co-operation, brotherhood if you like,
between the world of business and
industry and the world of academia.
We've also started a new system of
funding capital needs of universities
which has lagged far behind provision
of capital facilities for the 1,500
schools in the province.
The Ring: That's the new system of
funding through the B.C. Educational
Institutions    Capital     Financing Authority.  How  is that working  out
for 1977-78?
McGeer: It's been slow getting off
the mark, but we've now got a system
solidly established which should allow
the universities to complete their
capital requirements. Funding will be
in every case recommended by UCBC.
Then it will be priorized by the
department. We've not attempted so
far to do that sort of thing because our
preoccupation is to get a system
established. If I can give you an
indication of what the balance has
been, this past year, something like
$138 million was spent on the schools
of the province and perhaps $6 or $7
million on the universities. So that's a
balance that has to be adjusted, since
the school population is constant and
the university population growing.
Anyway, the system is now in place
and I think it will function very well
for our education institutions in the
The Ring: Do you think there's a
danger there of adding more red tape?
McGeer: I think that had the
universities completed their capital
facilities, had they been on an equal
footing with the schools in the
province, then obviously one would
not have felt any need to change the
system for the universities. But it's
very evident if you examine it the
universities and colleges have really
fallen far behind.
The Ring: Is there anything in the
first 16 months that you've been
disappointed with?
McGeer: Well, it's just how slow
everything goes. I don't know who's
slower, the civil service or universities.
But the speed of things is never such as
to satisfy. I classify myself as
impatient, but anyway ... I'm used to
getting things done, let's put it that
way. Because when I was devoting
myself to the laboratory, you either
had to produce or you were dead.
The Ring: Has there been anything
specific that has disappointed you,
something you had hoped to get
accomplished by now?
McGeer: Everything is unfolding
slowly as it should. All the programs
that I counted on moving ahead are
moving ahead. I can't really say that
my government colleagues have been
anything but totally co-operative in
the field of education. They've been
unselfish, generous, co-operative,
The Ring: That sounds rather ideal.
McGeer: Well, you have to
remember we compete for a limited
share of the pie. Everybody wants
more and I just have a feeling that my
colleagues in government have been
good to me, have been good to the
education system. I hope their
patience doesn't run thin.
The Ring: You've been both an
academic and the chief administrator
of education in B.C. Do you feel the
two sides have much understanding of
each other's viewpoint?
McGeer: I think that the Ministry
of Education has been more isolated
than it should have been, perhaps
more isolated than it might be in other
provinces. What we have done is to
second   a   number  of  people   in  the
education system to work in the
ministry on specific projects. I hope in
the future to develop much more
exchange between the people who are
in the system and the ministry so that
mutual respect and understanding will
The Ring: You've been a member
of the opposition for a number of
years and now you're in the
government. Do you think the critic is
an easier role to play?
McGeer: It's always easier to
criticize. There's no question about
The Ring: Specifically, as a critic
you have spoken about B.C. as being
educationally undernourished for
generations. Do you feel the same way
after serving as minister of education?
In what way are you attempting to
change that situation?
McGeer: Certainly the amount of
money that has gone to education has
vastly changed in the last few years so
that what might have been the case in
the 1960s is hardly the case today.
Certainly if I had been guiding things
during the years when really it went
from a very lean adolescent to a
somewhat obese middle-aged status,
I'd have seen the funds distributed a
little differently. But I don't think the
system can really persuade anyone
these days that it's undernourished.
Maybe it can convince its own people
but I don't think people outside the
system would easily be persuaded of
The Ring: You have been quoted as
expressing some concern about the
Continued on p. 4
In the interview on these pages,
Education Minister Patrick McGeer
refers to recommendations by two
commissions and a report by Dr.
Roger Gaudry of the University of
Montreal, former chairman of the
Science Council of Canada. Brief
summaries of the work of the
commissions and Dr. Gaudry's
report follow.
Winegard, former president of the
University of Guelph, was the sole
commissioner in the preparation of
the "Winegard Report." Dr. Winegard, who was assisted by a
nine-member advisory panel,
recommended that Simon Fraser
University be given primary responsibility for providing degree-
completion programs in non-metropolitan areas of the province.
On April 14, Dr. McGeer announced the formation of an
Interior Universities Co-ordinating
Council to oversee the development
and delivery of university programs
to centres outside Vancouver and
Victoria. The co-ordinating council,
an outgrowth of the Winegard
Report, will consider off-campus
programs offered by SFU, UBC and
the University of Victoria. It will
also be responsible for recommending to the Universities Council of
B.C. the extent of degree-level
programs to be offered in the
Interior and on the coast.
TRADES TRAINING. This commission, chaired by Dean H. Goard,
former principal of the B.C. Institute of Technology, reported to the
provincial government in February
and recommended creation of an
occupational training council to
establish vocational training priorities and to allocate funds for
vocational and trades training in
was asked to consider the extent of
university and industrial-based research in B.C. and its adequacy for
future economic and social development in the province, and to make
recommendations on the role of the
provincial government in sponsorship of the social, natural and life
Dr. Gaudry's main recommendation was that the provincial government allocate funds to compensate,
on a temporary basis, for the
shortfall in the national granting
councils' funding of research in
B.C. universities.
The government has not acted
on this or other recommendations
made by Dr. Gaudry. In March,
Provincial Secretary Grace McCarthy said in the Legislature that
$1.6 million in profits from the
Western Express lottery would be
used for medical research. Among
the agencies named to benefit were
the B.C. Heart Foundation, the
Cancer Society and the Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation.
UBC Reports/April 27, 1977/3 McGeer (continued)
value of a general B.A. degree and a
desire for more emphasis on
professional training. Could you
outline your expectations for
post-secondary education? Where do
you see B.C. universities heading?
McGeer: I think you have to
expand those programs where there's a
demonstrated need for graduates and
where there's a waiting list of
applicants. We've got quite a few of
those areas in British Columbia today,
some in professional schools like
medicine and others in vocational
schools, like heavy duty mechanics
and welding. There are jobs and
careers at the end of the line and
you've got students waiting,
sometimes for two or three years,
sometimes forever in the sense they
know they're not going to get an
opportunity because of the limited
size of the class. Obviously it has to be
an objective of the government to
break down the resistance that exists
to expanding these programs so that
they are in better balance with the
needs of the province and the wishes
of the students. We are in the process
of doing that, but again it can't be
done without treading on toes and
producing objections.
The Ring: Isn't it true it also can't
be done without eliminating some
programs, particularly in academic
McGeer: Well, I suppose the first
example we have in British Columbia
is Notre Dame University which was
not a government operation but there
most of the classes had less than 10
students. The courses were not the
kind where there was really any
demand at all for the graduates. This
was funded, in the latter years, largely
by government so the government had
to look at the cost benefit of
supporting a private university to do
those kinds of things versus the
demands of public institutions where
graduates are in desperate need by
industry and where students want to
get into the programs. Obviously
you're spending your money in the
wrong places when you get situations
like this. What we said to Notre Dame
was you'll have to manage on a level of
funding equivalent to the coastal
universities. They were unable to do
that so they had to undergo a
The Ring: Do you feel there is
more emphasis now on technical
programs than on  B.A.s?
McGeer: I think what has happened
is that there was a time when people
who took a B.A. degree were in
adequate demand. But when demands
are   totally   satisfied   you've  got  too
4/UBC Reports/April 27, 1977
many generalists and B.A.s can't get
jobs. There are now a lot of students
who are thinking this over before they
start and saying "can I get into law?"
or "can I get into medicine or nursing
or welding?" or whatever. So we're
saying yes, if there's a need we'll see
that the class is enlarged to give you a
chance to get into these things. Now
that having been done, what will be
the effect of that on those who took
arts because they didn't have these
other opportunities? That's something
I can't predict, but if one looks at the
experience all over North America,
people given alternatives to arts are
accepting them. Therefore, the
universities, I think, have got to
anticipate these trends and adjust
themselves accordingly. Obviously I'm
not going to try to tell the universities
what to do. They have to set their own
directions. But at the same time their
customers are the students and they're
going to have to provide programs that
the students themselves see as being
The Ring: In the final analysis isn't
it the taxpayer who is concerned
about the growing list of unemployed
people with B.A.s?
McGeer: I think there's taxpayer
concern but there's also concern on
the part of students. They go into a
program devoting four years of their
lives sacrificing income during that
period with an expectation that at the
end of the road they're going to be in
from established programs? The
education budget isn't going to get
much larger.
McGeer: No it isn't.
The Ring: Where does the money
come from?
McGeer: Well there's only so much
money. We'll do our best to distribute
it around. I can't really predict for you
how the Universities Council will
decide to distribute the money. The
government will usually guarantee as
much money to an institution in an
ensuing year as it got the previous
year, unless of course, the population
of students falls way off. How the
institutions handle the money is their
affair. I'll get as much money for the
educational enterprise as I possibly
can. And I'll rely on the goodwill of
my colleagues to provide it. But we
don't have a money tree growing in
the backyard. I think people have to
be realistic about giving value to their
students and value to society.
The Ring: When in the opposition
you spoke at length of your vision of a
"Science City" where universities and
industries could combine to produce
sophisticated products comparable to
those developed by great corporate
teams in other countries. Is the
proposal to build a research park on
UBC endowment lands put forth
recently by the B.C. Development
Corporation in keeping with your
vision? And would the three public
universities in B.C. have an equal part
to play in such a development?
(Universities) . . . are going to have
to provide programs that the students
themselves see as being valuable.
demand. If they find they're not in
demand they may be just a little
disappointed at what they got out of
their university career. They may
transmit that disappointment to their
younger brothers and sisters, nieces
and nephews. So I don't know what
the demands of students will be in the
future. All that I can say as minister is
that we are going to provide new
alternatives for people, provide
programs in the Interior, both
academic and vocational, we're going
to expand professional and vocational
programs wherever we can identify a
demonstrated need for graduates and a
line-up of students to get through the
door. It's foolish for the educational
system to be the neck in the bottle.
The Ring: But with all these new
programs and a limited source of funds
surely the  money will  have to come
McGeer: The three public
universities definitely will be involved.
May I extend through you a very
hearty invitation to UVic to join in
that enterprise or any other that might
exist on southern Vancouver Island.
After all there's the facility out at
Bamfield. and then there's the one on
Patricia Bay, the Ocean Sciences
Institute. And then there's the
Dominion Observatory. It can spill
over into other areas. There's quite a
little artists' colony in Summerland.
These are all areas where the university
can interact with the community,
where it can be self-supporting. These
are areas where universities can add a
measure of self sufficiency to their
operations. Universities, particularly
here, become more and more
dependent on government, much less
dependent on student fees, much less
dependent       on       donations       and fund-raising amongst the public. Too
many eggs are in the government
basket. This is an opportunity for
universities to blossom out a little.
The Ring: Do you mean in terms of
working with industry?
McGeer: Sure. The TRIUMF
facility for example is a great success
and that's open to UVic. It also
provides students with an opportunity
to reach the frontiers. Many
universities, though not in British
Columbia, are beginning to develop
programs in conjunction with
industry, especially in the eastern
United States. Universities found
themselves in some trouble because
their programs were not particularly
tailored to the needs of their
communities, at least not in a career
sense. So in order to develop a greater
degree of self-sufficiency they entered
with industry into these programs,
work-in-industry programs like they
have now in some of our schools. This
is another novel approach that
universities might think of, if they're
nervous about the long-term future in
the current milieu. UVic is particularly
well-placed for programs that have to
do with government and public
The Ring: When you speak of the
current milieu are you referring to
inflation or attitudes toward
McGeer: Well I'm referring to the
greater reliance that universities have
now on the public purse, and
disaffection that the public has with
the relevance of university programs.
For example, moonlighting professors.
You only have to look at the papers to
see that the mood has changed. While
at one time universities were respected
for years by the public, a period of
strong disillusionment has set in. First
of all the disillusion commenced
during the student vandalistic period
of the 1960s which did enormous
damage to the reputation of the
universities. Probably they'll never
recover from that. Now it's followed
by the extraordinary costs these
institutions have to society relative to
former times. Universities are taking a
much greater share of available
government revenues in taxes and the
public asks why we're spending so
much money there. You see the
universities built up a very broad base.
They used to cater to a small
percentage of people, maybe 10 to 15
per cent. Now those people, following
a B.A. degree, were in high demand in
the community because they had been
given opportunities that the general
public had not been given. They were
desired and were given jobs. Then the
idea came along that we should do this
for everybody and they'll all be in that
position, but of course that turned out
not to be the case. There was nothing
special about the people who came out
of the system. They were just
generalists as those who had come
before were except there were too
many of them for the available jobs.
Now an adjustment has to take place.
People are kind of re-thinking the role
of universities now. Are they bigger
than they need be? Should the
programs  be  changed?   Is  too   much
money    being   spent?   These   aren't
unique questions to British Columbia.
These are questions being asked all
over the world. And I might add,
they're not being answered too well
The Ring: Were the expectations
for universities too high?
McGeer: As I see it, the
expectations were not too high in
some areas, totally unrealistic in
others. Just to expand universities
willy-nilly without giving any thoughts
to the programs or needs for
graduates, that was a mistake. It
necessitates a reassessment of the
situation. Universities don't really have
too many degrees of freedom now.
Universities have a faculty they have
to support, they're committed to a
faculty and there are very few
opportunities today for young faculty
people. The average faculty member
all over North America is growing
older. There's not much turn-over
there and not much growth. Where
does a graduate student go after he
gets his Ph.D. in Medieval History.
Where can he go? Nowhere. It's a case
of over-production. It's a closed
circuit, you know. It went around
faster and faster and finally it blew
The Ring: The new cost-sharing
formula for provincial-federal funding
of post-secondary education which
goes    into   effect   April   1    has   been
criticized by educators who fear that
federal money meant for education
could be spent on other provincial
programs. Is there a basis for this
expressed concern?
McGeer: I don't have any feeling on
that at all.
The  Ring:  You're confident then
that education will get its fair share?
McGeer: Well, certainly education
has had far more out of provincial
coffers as a proportion of the total
budget spent in British Columbia than
any other province. That's merely
another way of saying that the federal
contribution has been less. To be blunt
it's a disgrace. The federal government,
in our view, has given us $300 million
less than it should have under the old
formula. I'm doing my best to recover
money from the federal government
and we remain optimistic that we're
going to get some recognition. It will
mean more money for our institutions
in the province if the federal
government gives us what we feel to be
a minimum break, not an even break.
But that's still in the future.
The Ring: Under the new
cost-sharing agreement between the
federal and provincial government,
does it look like B.C. might be getting
more money from the federal
government for education?
McGeer: We hope so, yes. We've
asked for our tax points to be able to
do the job. As you know a given
number of tax points produces more
revenue in B.C. than it does in other
provinces but on the other hand the
costs of doing business here are higher
than anywhere else in Canada. So we
need more money.
The Ring: Criticism has been voiced
that because you and deputy minister
Walter Hardwick are members of the
faculty of B.C.'s largest and
most-established university your
viewpoint might be biased in terms of
helping the two younger universities in
their development. What is your
response to this?
McGeer: We don't dispense the
funds. The Universities Council does.
All we do is try to get as much money
as we can but we have nothing to say
about how much goes to each of the
three universities. The whole purpose
of the Universities Council is so that
the political pressures exerted by the
universities will be to a .. an interface
if you like. . rather than take a
partisan pressure. I think the
establishment of the Universities
Council was a wise move on the part
of the former government and I
supported it.
The Ring: But the government
makes the final decision on things like
buildings, for example?
Continued on p. 6
UBC Reports/April 27, 1977/5 McGeer (continued)
McGeer: Well, yes but that's all
recommendations by the Universities
Council. I think that we'll have to
priorize requests and give top priority
to requests that fall into more urgent
needs. But that won't mean that
university A will have all category 1
priority and university B have all
category 5 priority. Obviously even if
we did have a bias toward one particular university we wouldn't be able to
exert it because there's a mechanism
there to prevent that (UCBC) and
what I'm saying is that I support that
The Ring: But yours is still the final
authority on financing buildings.
McGeer: Yes, but what we'll be
doing in that regard is spelling out the
ground rules very clearly to everybody. My initial desire was to get the
program instituted and the principle
established. I might say that the
projects that came forward from the
universities were not world-beaters in
the priority sense as far as the society
in general is concerned, but the
program is now launched. I think
everyone is going to be the better for
The Ring: Do you mean such things
as the music wing at UVic and the
aquatic complex at UBC weren't
world-beaters in terms of the needs of
the community?
McGeer: Well I mean in terms of
what the public perceives to be the
way we should be spending our
educational dpllar. We've got a lot of
colleges around the province that are
shacks. They don't have classrooms or
laboratories. They and the university
projects all have to compete for the
same funds. We have to try to sort
them out. We'll spell out anyway what
the ground rules, will be from the
government's point of view. The main
thing is to get a system going that
everyone will understand and that's
what we're doing now.
The Ring: You've been dealing with
the three university presidents for
more than a year. How do you feel
about your government's relationships
right now with the three universities
and UVic in particular?
McGeer: I think they'll have to
answer that themselves. I'm satisfied
with the relationship, I don't know if
they are.
The Ring: Have you ever felt
maligned by the criticism of some
educators about your role as minister?
McGeer: That's part of the job.
You don't expect to be a minister and
take anything but criticism. I've been
around long enough to develop a hide
like a boiler plate.
The Ring: Universities have been
very concerned about the Universities
Council usurping their traditional
powers while at the same time creating
6/UBC Reports/April 27, 1977
red tape and administrative expense.
Could you comment on this?
McGeer: I'm in favor of the
Universities Council. The Council is
serving a useful purpose and will
continue. I can't be responsible for the
fears of universities about everything.
The Ring: What about the
Universities Act? We've heard rumors
that it is to be changed?
McGeer: We won't be changing the
Universities Act in any major way this
year. There may be some minor
changes but government can only deal
with so many major bills each year. An
overhaul of the Universities Act isn't
in the cards this year.
The Ring: Do you have any feelings
on that overhaul, for example about
student representation on Senate and
students and faculty on the Board of
McGeer: There's a lot of criticism
of the present setup. There's no
question about that. But again these
are not priority items for us. We may
get around to some of these things
when we've got our major programs
under way.
The Ring: Are you yourself in favor
of eliminating student representation
on the Senate and faculty and students
on the Board?
McGeer: Well there's been a lot of
criticism of it. A lot of criticism. I
think in some instances it's worked
out well.
If universities can't
manage on what
they get from
governments then
they will have to
turn to alternative
sources of
revenue . . .
The Ring: I want to get into tuition
fees while we still have time. Students
are saying they can't afford fee
increases and point to the poor
economic climate, the inadequacy of
student aid and the fact that an
increase prevents people from lower
income families from attending
university. How do you feel about it?
McGeer: I can only say that
universities set their own fees. The
increase that went to universities from
the government this year was much
larger     than     the    over-all     budget
increase, therefore much larger than
most ministries received. If universities
can't manage on what they get from
governments then they will have to
turn to alternative sources of revenue
which are student fees, gifts and
bequests. We'll do our best to keep the
university funds at least in proportion
to the growth of the provincial budget.
One can't always promise that. It was
certainly out of proportion to the
provincial budget this year.
Universities must look at that
realistically and decide how best to
manage their financial affairs.
The Ring: You've been quoted as
saying everybody can't expect the
maximum increase in salaries under
AIB guidelines. Is cutting wage
increases your idea of a solution to the
problem of universities?
McGeer: The AIB doesn't make up
our provincial budget. It's provincial
revenue that does that. So if people
expect to get more than provincial
taxes will yield, then they have to ask
people to pay the difference, and this
is essentially what is happening. And
the only place they can get it is from
fees. It looks to me like what is
happening is that universities are
saying we want more than taxes will
produce. Therefore, they have to go to
students to get that money.
The Ring: Is there any solution to
this problem that universities face?
McGeer: Well there are two
solutions. One is to cut their expenses
and the other is to get funds from
students. The province has done more
than its part.
The Ring: UBC is requesting
additional funding for operating this
year. Have they any hope of receiving
more money?
McGeer: No.
The Ring: I didn't think so.
McGeer: Neither did they. As I've
said they either have to cut costs or
raise fees.
McGeer Aide: (Are you finished?
You've got a deputy minister and
cabinet colleagues waiting to see you.)
The Ring: Just about. I have a
question about the Winegard Report.
In that report UVic's role appears to
be defined in a way in which UVic
itself has never done. UVic is referred
to as a "highly residential
undergraduate arts and science school
with few professional programs and
limited graduate work." If the
Winegard Report is implemented is
UVic's future sealed?
McGeer: Universities are free to
chart any course they feel they can
successfully complete. Whether or not
they'll be able to convince students
and the Universities Council depends
on how well they do it. I'd use the
UBC motto of tuum est but you might
consider that as favoritism. ■ Senate
UBC's Senate has turned down
requests for a recount of ballots cast
by students in the January elections of
two students to the Board of
Governors and five student
members-at-large to the Senate.
A recommendation to deny the
recounts was made to Senate last
Wednesday (April 20) by its
Committee on the Implementation of
the Universities Act, which has been
considering the requests since February.
Prof. A. F. Sheppard, chairman of
the committee, said a recount in the
Senate election was requested by a
defeated Senate candidate on the
ground that an alleged error in the
counting of student ballots in the
Board election had tainted the Senate
Prof. Sheppard's report said the
committee was satisfied that the count
in the Board election was accurate and
that any confusion concerning those
results did not affect the count in the
Senate election.
The recount of Board ballots was
requested by the Student
Representative Assembly of the Alma
Mater Society through the AMS
secretary-treasurer. Neither the
resolution by the SRA nor the
secretary-treasurer's letter stated any
reason in support of the request. Prof.
Sheppard said.
"The (Senate) committee is
satisfied that the officially announced
results of the election . . . were
accurate," the report said. "The
problem was that the student
scrutineers prematurely released the
results on the evening of the election
before their accuracy had been
checked. The next day the Registrar's
Office discovered arithmetical errors
which did not alter the outcome. Since
the committee is satisfied that the
results which the Registrar officially
announced were accurate, it does not
feel the errors in the unofficially and
prematurely released results warrant a
♦  *  *
Rules and regulations governing
student membership on the 12
faculties of the University were
rescinded by Senate last week on the
recommendation of its Committee on
the Implementation of the Universities
The rules and regulations, which
were implemented in 1973 and 1974,
will remain in force as guidelines until
they have been reviewed by faculty
committees. Prof. A. F. Sheppard,
chairman of the Senate committee,
said this "will not lead to chaos,
because before a faculty can change its
rules regarding (student)
representation, those rules must come
back to Senate for approval so Senate
will exercise the right of supervision
over provision for student
Prof. Sheppard said the 1973-74
rules and regulations had been passed
under the old Universities Act, which
has been superceded. The new act
grants the faculties power to provide
for student representation at faculty
meetings. This provision was not in the
former act, he said.
* * *
Two new regulations affecting
student representation on the Board of
Governors have been approved by
The first provides that "until the
Universities Act is changed, a student
representative on the Board ... is
considered to have vacated his seat on
the Board when he ceases to be a duly
registered student at the University."
The second regulation provides
"that a vacancy for a student position
on the Board be filled immediately by
the student body through an election
conducted by the Student
Representative Assembly of the Alma
Mater Society, the winning candidate
to hold office until the next regular
* *  #
Senate has agreed that the Centre
for Continuing Education will take
responsibility for remedial programs in
English offered after 1979.
Although Senate agreed a year ago
that "school-level instruction in basic
English composition is not the proper
function of the University," some
program in remedial English will be
necessary for those students admitted
to UBC with outstanding ability in
other subjects. The new admission
standards will come into effect in
1979, after which the composition
workshops, now offered as part of
English 100, will be discontinued.
The Centre for Continuing
Education's remedial English program
will have to be completed by students
deficient in English composition
before they enrol in English 100. An
advisory committee with
representation from the Faculty of
Arts will monitor the curriculum and
standards for the program.
Senate's Committee on Standards
in English also recommended that
students not have to bear the full cost
of this extra program they are required
to take. That recommendation was
referred to the Senate Budget
Directory assistance?
Some 5,000 new B.C. Telephone
directories are being distributed on the
UBC campus.
That means that 5,000 copies of
last year's directory are about to be
And that means that Tex
Eymundson, a senior technician in the
Faculty of Education, wants to hear
from you.
For some years now, Mr.
Eymundson has been collecting old
telephone directories for recycling.
This year proceeds will support
Vancouver-area Boy Scouts, who are
raising money to attend their annual
jamboree in Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Eymundson will pick up
directories almost anywhere on
campus provided they can be
stockpiled in department offices or
some other convenient place.
Call him at local 4946 if you're
prepared to assist his project.
Executive director
appointed to UCBC
Gerald A. Schwartz of Montreal has
been appointed executive director of
the Universities Council of British
Mr. Schwartz, 40, is presently the
assistant executive director of the
Montreal Childrens' Hospital. He was
formerly its director of finance and
has also held lecturing appointments
on the faculty of management at
McGill University.
The Universities Council of B.C.,
under the chairmanship of Dr. William
Armstrong, advises the minister of
education on university affairs, makes
recommendations regarding the
disbursement of money allocated to
the universities, and co-ordinates some
aspects of university planning to
minimize unnecessary duplication of
As executuve director, Mr.
Schwartz will be responsible for
organizing the day-to-day operations
of  the  Universities Council.
Mr. Schwartz's appointment becomes effective June 1.
This is the last regular edition of
UBC Reports untit September, and
the last of "Next Week at USC"
until Summer Session. During July
and August, we will keep you up to
date on what's happening on
campus with "Next Week at USC "
published Wednesdays beginning
July 6. Notices should be sent to
information Services, Main Mail
North Administration Building, by
5 p.m. Friday of the week before
UBC Reports/April 27, 1977/7 NEXT WEEK AT UBC
Three exhibitions are currently on display. A
special exhibition by Fine Arts students entitled
Huacos and Huacas: Objects from Sacred Places of
Ancient Peru continues until May 15. Anthropology students have prepared two exhibitions,
Chinese Peasant Textile Arts: Kwangtung and
Szechuan Provinces, and The Strangled Man, Haida
Argillite Carving in Retrospect, which continue
until June 15. An exhibition of Costumes and
Textiles from the museum's collection begins June
14. 6393 N.W. Marine Drive.
Telephone numbers for information on summer
recreation programs are: Youth Sports Camp,
228-3341; Skate UBC, 228-3177; Ice Hockey
School, 228-3177; Soccer School, 228-3341; Empire Swimming Pool, 228-3400 or 228-2494. Pool
opens May 16.
Jansons, viola; Olga Grike and Dace Karklina,
voices; and Brigita Ritmanis-Osis and Ina Denne-
kamp, piano. Recital Hall, Music Building.
2:30 p.m.    COMPUTING   CENTRE   LECTURE.   First   in   a
series of six lectures on Introduction to Computing
by Alvin Fowler, Computing Centre, UBC. Room
310, Computer Sciences Building.
3:30 p.m. BIOCHEMICAL SEMINAR. Dr. B. J. Jourdan,
Centre de Biochimie et de Biologie Moleculaire,
Marseilles, France, on Synthesis and Processing of
Ribosomal RNA in Drosophila. Room 200, Wesbrook Building.
J. M. Elwood and Dr. B. J. Morrison, in the third in
this series, discuss Case-Control Studies. Conference Room, second floor. Cancer Control Agency
of B.C., 2656 Heather St.
Board and Senate Room, Old Administration
4:00 p.m. BASIC SCIENCES COURSE. Dr. M. Yeung, Medicine, VGH, on Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
of Asthma. Lecture Hall A, Faculty of Medicine
Building, Vancouver General Hospital, 10th and
Heather St.
SEMINAR. Dr. Peter Hoogewerf speaks on The
Future of Research and Family Practice in Canada.
Room 146, Mather Building.
2:30 p.m. COMPUTING CENTRE LECTURE. Second in a
series of six lectures on Introduction to Computing
by Alvin Fowler, Computing Centre, UBC. Room
310, Computer Sciences Building.
Gracovetsky, Concordia University, Montreal, on
An Approach to the Diagnosis of Human Lumbar
Spine Disabilities. Room 418, Electrical Engineering Building.
9:00 a.m. MEDICAL GRAND ROUNDS. Dr. William D.
Odell, Department of Medicine, Harbor General
Hospital, Torrance, Calif., is the visiting professor.
Lecture Hall B, Faculty of Medicine Building,
Vancouver General Hospital. Grand Rounds
continues throughout May at same time and place.
On May 12, Dr. S. Grzybowski, Medicine, VGH,
speaks on Asthma; on May 19, Dr. G. Molnar from
the Univeristy of Alberta speaks on Metabolic
Derangements of Diabetes — The Challenge of
Normalization; on May 26, Dr. Irving Salit from
Rockefeller University, New York, is the guest
12 noon DENTISTRY     SEMINAR.     Dr.     Alan     Lowe,
Orthodontics, UBC, on Neural Mechanisms Involved
in Tongue Mobility. Room 388. Macdonald Building.
2:30 p.m. COMPUTING CENTRE LECTURE. Third in a
series of six lectures on Introduction to Computing
by Alvin Fowler, Computing Centre, UBC. Room
310, Computer Sciences Building.
7:30 p.m. BOTANICAL LECTURE. Mrs. Frances Perry, well
known horticulturist from Britain, and a member
of The Royal Horticultural Society's Council,
speaks on Garden Perennials. VanDusen Botanical
Display Garden. For tickets and information,
phone the UBC Botanical Garden office at
9:00 a.m. PEDIATRICS GRAND ROUNDS. Dr. Andrew N.
McTaggert, Division of Child Psychiatry, UBC, on
Suicide in Children and Early Adolescents. Lecture
Hall B, Heather Pavilion, Vancouver General Hospital.
2:30 p.m. CHEMISTRY SEMINAR. Dr. Sefik Suzer, Department of Theoretical Chemistry, University of
Sydney, Australia, on Mechanisms and Wavelength
Dependence of Photon Induced Ionizations. Room
225, Chemistry Building.
J. M. Elwood and Dr. B. J. Morrison, in the fourth
in this series, discuss Analysis and Interpretation.
Conference room, second floor, Cancer Control
Agency of B.C., 2656 Heather St.
year's theme "We Care . . ." spotlights services
provided all year round. Hon. R. H. McClelland,
minister of health, will officially open the hospital's new operating room facility. Guided tours,
exhibits, refreshments. Continues until 4:00 p.m.
250 W. 59th Ave.
4:00 p.m. BIOCHEMICAL SEMINAR. Dr. William Kay,
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,
University of Victoria, on Platelet-Membrane Interactions. Lecture Hall 1, Woodward Instructional
Resources Centre.
J. M. Elwood and Dr. B. J. Morrison, in the fifth in
this series, discuss Screening. Conference room,
second floor, Cancer Control Agency of B.C., 2656
Heather St. Four more seminars are scheduled
during May. For dates and times please call the
Cancer Control Agency, 873-6212.
4:00 p.m. BASIC SCIENCES COURSE. R. Donevan on Response of the Lungs to Injury, I. Lecture Hall A,
Faculty of Medicine Building, Vancouver General
Hospital, 10th and Heather St. Seminars continue
at same time and place throughout May. May 17 —
Response of the Lungs to Injury, II; May 24 —
Pathophysiology of Respiratory Failure; May 31 —
Pulmonary Infections.
Joshua Dayan, Mechanical Engineering, Technion,
Haifa, Israel, on Evaluation of a Chemical Heat
Storage  System for a Solar Steam  Power Plant.
Room 206, Chemical Engineering Building. On
Wednesday, May 18, same time and place, Prof.
John W. Eldridge, Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., will speak
on Catalytic Reduction of NOx in Stack Gases.
8:00 p.m. SENATE MEETING. Free tickets for interested
members of the University community are available from Frances Medley, 228-2951. Board and
Senate Room, Old Administration Building.
8/UBC Reports/April 27, 1977


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