As a professor I have always felt acutely the privilege of my position. To be entrusted with the intellectual growth of students is a favour to be discharged not only through dedicated teaching, but also through research which empowers humanity and which ultimately will enable those students to take our society and our planet further into a fortunate and humane future.
As President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University I have acknowledged the same privilege, amplified by the opportunity to facilitate my colleagues’ efforts in support of students and in pursuit of the answers to our most challenging questions. And now as Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities I am pleased to be able to contribute on an even more broad scale, working with the COU President, staff and my fellow Council members to realize the ambitions and potential of students and researchers across our province.
Universities in the European tradition have a nine hundred year history, during which time they have been places where the evolving attributes of a prosperous and enlightened community could be imagined, discussed, and—through education and discovery–brought to reality. Today in Ontario that task is increasingly complex, as the social and economic role of higher education is publicly debated, and as demographic shifts contribute to a changing profile for the student body.
Resilient and creative as they are different from each other, the universities of Ontario will find ongoing renewal in their negotiation with the changing currents of our society.
I am proud to serve the Council of Ontario Universities as its Chair.
Dr. Patrick Deane
President and Vice-Chancellor
Chair, Council of Ontario Universities