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Office of the Vice-President, University Services

  • Corporate body
  • 1971 - 1977

In January 1970 the Board of Governors created SFU's third Vice-President position: Vice-President, University and Community Services. By the time Stanley Roberts started in 1971, the position had been renamed Vice-President, Development. Shortly after, the name was changed again to Vice-President, University Services.

In 1971 the Vice-President had five primary responsibilities that included improving public relations through community services; improving internal non-academic activities (university student services); increasing student enrollment; ensuring adequate funding of university functions; and maximizing personnel and budget efficiency.

In 1972 S.T. (Stephen) Stratton resigned as the Director of the Division of University Services. The position of Director was discontinued and Roberts, as Vice-President, assumed full administrative responsibility for University Services. From 1971 to 1977 he reported directly to the university President. By 1972 University Services had expanded to include Alumni Affairs, the Campus Information Centre, the Centre for Communication and the Arts, Chaplain's Service, Counselling Services, Health Services, Residence and Housing, the International Office, the Reading and Study Centre, the Resources Office, School Liaison, the Student Placement Office, University News Service, and the University Theatre. In 1973 Financial Aid and the Daycare Centre were added to his sphere of responsibility, followed by Athletics and Recreation Services in 1974.

From 1972 to 1973 Ian B. Kelsey served as Assistant to the Vice-President, University Services and was followed by William (Bill) Stewart from 1974 to 1977. When Roberts resigned in 1977, the position of Vice-President, University Services was discontinued. Bill Stewart, his former assistant, became the new Director of Student Services (a position Stewart would hold until 1996). In 1981 the title Vice-President, University Development and Extension was resurrected with the appointment of Jack Blaney, but the focus was on expansion of the university, not provision of student services.

Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost

  • Corporate body
  • 1970 -

The Vice-President, Academic and Provost (VPA) is the senior academic officer for Simon Fraser University, responsible for the overall leadership of academic activities at the university.

In SFU's first years, all faculty deans and senior administrators reported directly to the President. Planning for the establishment of a Vice-President's Office to oversee academic matters began in the late 1960s, and two faculty members served as temporary Acting Vice-Presidents during 1968-1970 (Rudi Haering and Lalit Srivastava successively). In 1970 the university appointed Brian Wilson as Vice-President, Academic, and the Office was formally established on September 1, 1970 when Wilson's appointment commenced.

The main responsibilities of the Vice-President, Academic are to oversee reporting units (both academic faculties and academic-support departments); coordinate the university's academic planning processes; lead academic budget allocation planning; manage employment relations with academic faculty; coordinate external reviews of academic departments; coordinate space allocation and planning of facilities, infrastructure and IT systems; and liaise with other senior administrators at the university, government bodies and agencies, and other universities and educational institutions.

While the main functions of the Office have remained generally stable, the processes involved, the administrative framework, and the distribution of roles and responsibilities have evolved considerably over time. Four major reorganizations of the portfolio can be identified. (1) In 1972, the position of Assistant Vice-President, Academic (AVPA) was created with the appointment of Ian Mugridge. Mugridge was delegated responsibilities for supervision of the support service units within the VPA's portfolio (Library, Registrar, Academic Advice Centre), space planning and allocation, and some involvement in academic planning. (2) In 1975 Mugridge left the university; Dan Birch was appointed his successor as Associate Vice-President, Academic, and the division of responsibilities between VPA and AVPA was revised. Birch's focus as AVPA was on academic personnel matters and liaison with the SFU Faculty Association (SFUFA), while academic planning and budgeting remained with the VP (still Brian Wilson). This pattern continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s under VPAs John Munro and George Ivany. During this period, two new units were created out of the VPA's Office: the Academic Relations Office (1988) to coordinate personnel-related services, and Academic Planning Services (1990) to support planning activities and provide administrative support for the external review process. Also during this period, the Office of the Vice-President, Research / Information Systems was established (1985) and took on (and expanded) functions relating to IT planning and research support services that had been previously handled by the VPA's Office. Responsibility for academic computing returned to the VPA's portfolio in 1990. (3) In 1996 under VPA David Gagan, many of the responsibilities of Academic Planning Services moved with its Director (Alison Watt) to her new position in Secretariat Services in the Registrar's Office. At the same time, the Associate VP Academic (Judith Osborne) assumed direct responsibility for Academic Relations, further defining the AVPA's position in terms of the university's academic employment relations with the faculty. Two faculty members were appointed Special Assistants to the Vice-President, Academic - Kathy Heinrich, with responsibilities for academic planning; and Bill Glackman, with responsibilities for information technology planning. (4) In 2001, the incumbent AVPA (Judith Osborne) left of the VPA's portfolio to become Associate Vice-President, Policy, Equity and Legal, reporting directly to the President and taking with her the role of chief university negotiator with SFUFA, as well as many policy-development responsibilities. The mandate of the new AVPA (Bill Krane) was redefined to focus on academic planning, budget, space allocation, and coordination of major and minor capital projects and IT projects.

Since its inception in 1970, the Office of the VP Academic has always reported directly to the President, and all faculty deans have always reported to the VP Academic. The relationship of the Office to academic-support bodies, however, has been more complex, with different units transferring into and out of the reporting portfolio at different times. Moreover, the reporting relationships have sometimes shifted between the VP and the AVP. See the table attached to this fonds description for a complete list of the units that have belonged to the VP Academic's portfolio, their distribution between the VP and the AVP, and the years of the reporting relationship.

Makara Magazine

  • Corporate body

The Pacific Women's Graphic Arts Cooperative, in co-operation with Press Gang Publishers (a feminist press in Vancouver), produced Makara magazine from 1975 to 1978. The magazine was billed as "The Canadian magazine by women for people," and sought to explore alternatives to traditional journal structures and work toward positive social change. Makara is a general interest magazine that reflects a wide range of interests and philosophies, and contains fiction, articles, interviews and dialogue, features, and children's section. The Co-operative, consisting of ten women, controlled the majority of production, with printing and four-colour layout done by Press Gang. Makara stopped publishing after 13 issues because it was not self-supporting; sales and advertising revenues did not cover printing costs or salaries.

Technical University of British Columbia

  • Corporate body
  • 1997 - 2002

The Technical University of British Columbia had its roots in the Fraser Valley University Society, a group of concerned citizens founded in February 1991 to lobby government for the creation of a university in the Fraser Valley. On February 2, 1995, the Society's efforts were rewarded when Premier Mike Harcourt announced that $100 million would be provided for the establishment of a technical university in Cloverdale. According to the "Statement of Government Purpose" that was issued for the university, there was to be an emphasis on access, applied research, innovative programs, and the use of new learning technologies. Partnerships were to be developed with private industry to decrease operating costs, and there would be a unique governance structure.

On May 1st 1995, thirteen people were appointed by the Minister of Skills, Training and Labour to an Interim Planning Council (IPC), which was to provide advice to the government regarding the mandate and characteristics of the "Technical University of British Columbia" (TechBC); the first meeting of the IPC took place on June 10th. The original terms of reference for the University were delivered by the Ministry on May 8th, and on August 10th the original constitution and bylaws were registered, under the name "Technical University Society of British Columbia." The first President of TechBC, Dr. Bernard Sheehan, an original IPC member, was appointed on January 1, 1996. On September 27, 1996 the IPC presented its final report to the Provincial Government, and on October 19th the twenty member Council was replaced by a five member Interim Governing Board.

The establishing legislation for the Technical University of British Columbia, Bill 30, was introduced on June 9, 1997, and the Government announced a $2.8 million operating grant for the University. On July 28th, Bill 30 received its third reading; however, the lack of a union, tenure, and a senate in the proposed governance structure prompted the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) to protest the bill. When the "Technical University of British Columbia Act" was eventually proclaimed on December 5, 1997, CAUT boycotted the new University. The first meeting of the Board of Governors was one week later, on December 12th. An Academic Planning Board was created in place of a senate and on May 8, 1998, the CAUT boycott was lifted.

During this entire period, the University's location was a source of controversy and dispute. The Cloverdale site was deemed unsuitable and, eventually, on July 20, 1998 it was announced that the University campus would be constructed at Surrey City Centre. On October 14th, TechBC's Education and Information Centre at Surrey Place Mall was officially opened, although some students had been attending classes offered through other universities at that location since September 10th. The first ninety students for TechOne, the required first year program for TechBC students, did not begin classes until the following September, and the official opening ceremony for the University was held at Surrey Place Mall on October 14, 1999. A few weeks earlier, on September 23rd, a second announcement had been made confirming plans to construct a 450,000 square foot campus at Surrey City Centre; the development project, scheduled for completion in 2003, would be a joint venture with ICBC, the City of Surrey, and the Provincial Government. In July 2000, the amount of space allocated to TechBC at Surrey Place Mall was increased to 110,000 square feet.

When it opened, TechBC offered Bachelor of Science and Master of Applied Science degrees in three program areas: Information Technology, Interactive Arts, and Management and Technology. In May 2000 the University received government approval for a PhD. program in Applied Science to begin in February 2001.

TechBC Corporation, a wholly-owned, for revenue subsidiary of TechBC, was created in October 1999 in order to establish partnerships with private industry, conduct applied research, and develop and support new businesses.

In September 2000 Sheehan resigned, and the search for a new President began; Dr. Jean Watters was selected, and he began his term in August 2001. His term, however, would be a short one. In May 2001 a Liberal government had been elected in British Columbia. After months of investigation into the TechBC situation, the Government withdrew its support of the University. On February 7, 2002 it was announced that TechBC would be closed at the end of the academic year, and its students and modified programs transferred to Simon Fraser University, although the Surrey campus would remain in use. Watters' last day as President was March 20, 2002.

Academic Relations Office

  • Corporate body
  • 1988 -

The Academic Relations Office is the planning, policy advising and administration office for faculty, professional librarians and archivists, and academic administrators at SFU. The Office was established in 1988 with the appointment of Sharon Cochran as Director. Its main functions are to coordinate human-resources services for faculty personnel; advise faculty and provide administrative support to the appointment, renewal, tenure, promotion, and salary review processes; and liaise with the SFU Faculty Association. Prior to 1988, a number of these responsibilities had been carried out within the Office of the Vice-President, Academic (VPA) by Alison Watt in her position as the Assistant to the Vice-President (1978-1990).

Throughout its history, Academic Relations has always belonged the VPA's reporting portfolio. From its establishment in 1988 until the departure of its first Director in 1996, Academic Relations reported directly to the VPA. Subsequently, the Associate VPA, Judith Osborne, assumed direct responsibility for the unit from 1996 to 2001. A new Director, Sue Roppel, was appointed in 2001 following a reorganization of senior administrative portfolios at the university. This saw the incumbent Associate VPA (Osborne) move to the new post of Associate Vice-President, Policy, Equity and Legal, and the mandate of the Associate VPA redefined, shifting from academic employment relations to academic planning and budgeting.

Senate Committee on University Priorities

  • Corporate body
  • 1975 -

The Senate Committee on University Priorities (SCUP) was originally instituted in 1971 as the Senate Committee on Academic Planning (SCAP). It replaced the Academic Planning Committee (ACP) previously established under the President's Office and was responsible for coordinating and implementing a system of academic planning at the university. Its functions included identifying priorities in the development of new and emerging programs; coordinating academic planning with allocation of resources; operating the system of external reviews; and reviewing and making recommendations for the establishment and disestablishment of academic departments and research units, centres and institutes. In 2001 Senate restructured its committee organization, and SCAP was renamed the Senate Committee on University Priorities (SCUP). It retained its academic planning functions, but took on additional responsibilities for advising the President on university budget matters.

British Columbia Federation of Women

  • Corporate body
  • 1974 - 1989

The British Columbia Federation of Women (BCFW) was founded in 1974 as an umbrella group of women's organizations. Its objective was to bring about women's liberation through fundamental social change, providing a provincial network of support, information- and resource-sharing, and coordinated action. Groups joined as affiliate members and were organized into regional units; federation-wide matters were overseen by the Coordinating Collective, several standing committees (Finance, Communications and Convention), and various ad hoc committees established to address specific issues and projects. At the Annual General Convention delegates from each of the regions elected committee members and voted on policy resolutions. The BCFW disbanded in 1989.

Senate Policy Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries

  • Corporate body
  • 1986 -

The Senate Policy Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries (SPCSAB) is a standing committee of Senate, established in 1986 when its predecessor – the Senate Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries (SCSAB) – was reorganized into three distinct committees to deal separately with policy, undergraduate adjudication, and graduate adjudication. The main functions of SPCSAB are to set terms of reference for all university administered award programs and their adjudication; establish budget requests; integrate award programs with recruiting; and establish university policies relating to student funding from non-university sources.

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