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U Of S To Encourage Native Enrolment

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      NOVEMBER 1980      v10 n11 p39  
(ADVANCE) ... SASKATOON, OCTOBER 11 - In a series of five-year plans,: President Leo Kristjanson, has outlined major goals the University of Saskatchewan will be working toward through the 1980s and beyond.

Addressing the University Senate, he stated that in the next five years, the institution will strive to improve the quality of its teaching, and to attract amore representative cross section of people to its educational programs, in particular those of native ancestry, rural residents, and students beyond the traditional 18 to 24 age group; make a significant start in bringing agricultural research and service to the levels warranted by the importance of the industry; increase significantly teaching, research and service related to the province's other resource industries; strengthen the health sciences programs and improve health services for the entire province; and allocate sufficient resources so that more of the large numbers of students wishing to study commerce may do so.

Dr. Kristjanson said these goals are attainable with the support of University groups and individuals and the provincial government. Although objectives are "less clear" for the five years beginning, with 1986, he identified four goals that, are as important as those set for the short term but are being delayed because "all cannot be accomplished at once." They are to complete the expansion of the agricultural facilities and program; rebuild and extend the physical education facilities and program; rebuild and enlarge facilities for drama; and increase the activities of the fine arts departments throughout the province.

Dr. Kristjanson said that if the goals set for the first two five-year periods are met, the University will be serving the province well, and developments in the five years, beginning with 1991 will centre more on the research park on campus and related ventures.

He said that he based his projected goals on priorities reflected in the decisions of key University committees over several years, on statements by  members of the University's Board of Governors - and Senate and by such public agencies as the Government of Saskatchewan, on his observations of the role of universities elsewhere, and on his own personal, views.

He went on to comment that because it is difficult to =predict levels of government funding and demands for teaching, research and service, the goals are in fairly general terms.

The University has a somewhat unique planning problem in that it relies-and is expected to rely -- to a very significant extent on individual faculty for generating new ideas and new plans. A university that rejects proposals from these people on the grounds that they were not advanced soon enough to be included in the five, 10 - or 15 year plans will soon cease to be university."

Similarly, if a university fails to respond to requests from government or the public for services it can best provide, "the financial and other support to achieve the plans in place will disappear."

He also said that the plans will need to be adjusted frequently in view of "the unpredictability of the behavior of a number of the key participants in the planning process."

"Nevertheless, current budgetary proposals and the allocation of funds in the last few years are entirely consistent with the goals and objectives set out."

BACKGROUND

Dr. Kristjanson noted that the Colleges of Education and Law have succeeded in developing programs that attract people of native ancestry. He added that in striving to increase native participation to, the level of other groups, a realistic objective for the next five years would be for the rest of the University to attain the same measure of success.

He said he realizes that because of occupational preferences, proportionately fewer rural than urban residents will attend the University. However, the rural student participation rate appears to be lower than is justified by differences in occupational choices alone.

"Better information about University opportunities will be provided to rural residents, our' High School Liaison Office will expand its program, and we will collaborate further with the Department of Continuing Education.

Similarly, "we have become `increasingly aware, that age groups other than the traditional 18 to 24 year olds are eager to benefit from our courses. The Board recently extended access to senior citizens on a tuition free basis. We are Attempting to improve our contacts throughout the province using short courses, community college programs, and other off-campus methods, and we are redrafting, and making more effective the correspondence type program by using


U Of S To Encourage Native Enrolment

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      NOVEMBER 1980      v10 n11 p40  

audio-visual technology more extensively."

He noted that numerous studies indicate that university graduates achieve higher life-time earnings than other groups. They are also, likely to participate more fully in the political and social life of the community.

"Wherever possible, then, all citizens of the province should have access to university education."

To improve agricultural research and service, high priority will be given to remedying space deficiencies in the College of Agriculture. The Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Arts and Science will share in this research and service, and collaboration will continue with agriculturally oriented agencies of the federal and provincial governments.

"The success of the Veterinary Infections Disease Organization, the establishment of the Prairie Swine Centre, and the development of the Kernen Crop Research Farm are major achievements of recent years." Dr. Kristjanson noted.

He stated that the reconstruction of the Engineering Building, expected to be completed in 1982, will result in additional research and service for the mining, forestry and petroleum industries. The Department of Geological Sciences is expected to play a significant role, but to be fully effective it urgently requires new facilities. Important contributions are also expected from such departments in the College of Arts and Science as Biology, Geography, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Economics and Political Science.

Programs are already under way in the University's five health sciences colleges to improve teaching, research and service.

However, new facilities are needed for the College of Nursing and more space is required for clinical medical research. Interest is growing in locating research programs in pharmacy and biotechnology, in the research park on campus and some production for external markets is expected to follow.

Dr. Kristjanson noted that in recent years many more applicants than could be accepted have sought admission to the College of Commerce. He also noted that employment opportunities for commerce graduates are favorable, and "it is most unfortunate that Saskatchewan residents are denied the' opportunity to choose to study for the commerce degree."

To allow more students into the College, "some additional resources will have to be obtained and existing resources re-deployed."