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					THE CHANGING FACE OF ACADEME:
The Challenge of Graduate Studies in a University in Transition

Speech by Robert J. Giroux President Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies Winnipeg, Manitoba October 27, 2000

Introduction Let me first take a moment to thank Louis Maheu for his invitation to speak to you today. These are exciting times for the academe, replete with challenges and opportunities. AUCC has been doing some very interesting work in the past two or three years on the various factors that will trigger change in our universities in the future. In fact, these changes have already started to occur. The various responses of each and every of our universities are as many opportunities for renewal and revitalisation. What I would like to do this afternoon is sketch for you the context in which this change is occurring. In many ways, my job is the easy one: outline for you what are the challenges n but also the opportunities n that lie ahead. Your task on the other hand, given your responsibility in educating the next generation of scholars, will be more challenging, but also more rewarding: to create the nurturing environment that will increase the number of graduate students in the future. The importance of the task cannot be underestimated and only serves to highlight the enormity of the challenge. The appetite of our rapidly evolving knowledge-based society for increasingly qualified and creative thinkers is insatiable. And in academe, the expected turnover of faculty in the coming decade will create a huge increase in the demand for faculty. I will focus my remarks today first on why universities will need to dramatically increase the production of PhDs and, second, on how we can all work together to meet this challenge of renewal. Before I do so however, let me turn briefly to the conditions that have set in motion the dramatic changes we expect in academic labour market conditions.

The Changing Face(s) of Academe: Building the New Professoriate The last two annual meetings of university presidents have focussed on the tremendous challenges confronting Canadian universities in the coming decade as they renew their faculty. About a year ago we estimated that, over the period 1999 to 2010, Canadian universities would need to hire almost 32,000 faculty and discussed the factors that led to those projections. This year we discussed the challenges that universities will face in decade ahead. I want to share with you some of the highlights of those discussions and then focus on where those challenges are most relevant to deans of graduate studies For most of the 1990s, Canadian universities have been stuck in retrenchment mode. Faced with unprecedented cuts in government funding, most universities raised tuition fees and looked for ways to reduce expenditures. One common practice has been the introduction of early retirement programs. In the last five or six years, universities have been using part of the savings from these programs to offset declining government revenues. As a result they could not replace all departing faculty. In fact, in the last few years universities have replaced only half the faculty who left academe.

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Now, however, Canadian universities have an opportunity to renew their institutions through significant hiring of new faculty. There are three reasons driving faculty hiring: one, AUCC projects a 20 percent increase in enrolment by 2010; two, there will continue to be a large number of faculty retirements over the next 10 to 12 years; and three, in order to address some of the serious erosion that has occurred, universities will need to replace the 4000 or so faculty they’ve lost since 1992. All three factors will place strong pressure on universities to begin rebuilding their ranks through replacement and growth. But will the resources be available to do so? Government funding is one of the main uncertainties in faculty renewal. It will be very difficult for institutions to grow if additional resources don’t flow into the institutions first. There are positive signs that some provincial governments have turned a corner and are now starting to reinvest in higher education. We must ensure that these directions will continue. The conditions for renewal, therefore, are a far cry from the situation we’ve experience throughout the 1990s. Let’s look at some of the projected changes in a little more detail.

Enrolment

Enrolment is arguably the most important external factor affecting faculty renewal. Student enrolment increases will have a major impact on the need to hire more faculty over the coming decade. Historically, the number of faculty has not kept pace with student growth because not enough resources were invested. However, we hope that in the quest to improve quality we can attract the resources necessary to reverse that trend. We predict strong enrolment increases over the next decade. Total fulltime enrolment is expected to grow 20 percent from 575,000 students to 700,000 over 10 years. This means that universities will need to hire even greater numbers of faculty if they want to restore an acceptable level of student support through teaching, research and scholarship. Why are enrolments expected to grow? Enrolment will grow because of population push and participation pull. The children of baby boomers – the baby boom echo – are just beginning to reach the age when many will start university. The numbers in this cohort will continue to grow over the next 15 years.

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But this growth will be unevenly distributed across the country. In fact, most provinces east of Ontario (except Nova Scotia) can expect to have fewer 18 to 21 year-olds at the end of the next decade than they do now. As the chart shows, strong growth is expected in Ontario (19 percent), Alberta (10 percent) and BC (16 percent). These three provinces are pushing the national figures up.

Canada's youth population (18 to 21) will grow but it is highly concentrated
20% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% -25%
N S NB Q UE O NT M AN C A N A D A N FL D SA SK AL TA PE I B C

Based on Statistics Canada’s population projections 1999 to 2010

Even in provinces where population declines are expected, a relatively small increase in participation rates would offset a demographic decline. In Newfoundland, the situation is not as promising. Newfoundland faces a very significant population decline and Memorial University, the only university in the province, will be strongly challenged to maintain its current enrolment. So why are we projecting increases in participation? There are a host of interrelated factors that affect university participation rates. Despite the reservations of many faculty members about focusing the university on preparing students for the labour market, it is clear that students increasingly consider labour market factors in their decisions to attend university. More importantly, in an increasingly knowledge-based society, the fastest growing occupations are those that require a university degree. This chart confirms that the five fastest growing occupations in the last 10 years also require the highest level of education – 30 to 70 percent of the employees in these occupations have university degrees.

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The fastest growing occupations require the most education
Primary Industry Trades, Transport and Equip. Business, Finance and Admin. Processing, Mfg and Utilities Sales and Service Occupations Health Occupations Social Science, Educ., Gov't Management Art, Culture, Recreation/Sport Natural and Applied Sciences

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FT job growth 1987 to 1998

Proportion with a university degree

Another reason for expected increases in participation rates is that children are far more likely to attend university if one or both of their parents have completed a university degree. Many more “baby boomers” have completed degrees than the generation that preceded them -- 17% of today’s 45 to 54 year-olds hold a degree compared to just 6% fifteen years ago. Since many of the boomers’ children are about to complete secondary school, it stands to reason that this group will cause significant upward pressure on participation rates. A year ago we conservatively projected that the rate of participation for women will grow by just under 1.3 percentage points (to 22%) over the coming decade while the rate for men will grow by 2.3 percentage points to about 16.5%.

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Participation rates of 18 to 21 age cohort
25 M e n 20 W o m e n M e n 15 W o m e n

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The impact of this change in participation combined with similarly small changes in the participation rates of other age cohorts is shown in the next chart. Total fulltime enrolment is expected to grow from the current level of 575,000 students to 700,000 - an increase of over 20 percent. This projection now seems quite conservative. Over the last two years growth in enrolment has been much stronger than population change would have suggested. For example, in the fall of 1999 first-year enrolment grew by five percent while university age population grew by just one percent. First-year enrolment increased by another one percent this fall despite no growth in the underlyinig population. This means that participation rates are clearly increasing faster than we originally projected. What is behind this recent surge participation? The knowledge economy has produced an incredible change in the distribution of employment. Human Resources Development Canada officials project that over the next five years almost one-quarter of new jobs will require a university degree, up from under 17 percent of current jobs. This kind of growth in employment opportunity will encourage even higher levels of university participation.

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The first prerequisite for meeting expected growth in enrolment is to expand the resources available to the sector. The mix in demand for human and physical resources will vary from province to province and from institution to institution, but expansion overall is required. Enrolment growth of the magnitude projected can only occur if additional resources are pumped into the system. But, enrolment growth of this magnitude has important implications for Deans of Graduate Studies – in the longer term it means higher demand for graduate programs. In the mid-term it means finding ways to increase the number of graduates coming from your programs to meet the rapid rise in demand for faculty to teach these students.

Meeting the Demand: A Challenge to Graduate Studies Universities will need to expand their human resources quite rapidly to recoup the 4,000 faculty cut in the past five years and to match the expected enrolment growth in the coming decade. In fact, with the added impact of the double cohort in Ontario, growth in faculty numbers there will have to be much more rapid in the first half of the coming decade than in the latter half. We estimate that the growth rate in faculty would have to be in the order of 3.5 percent per year until 2004, then slowly decline to about 1 per cent growth by the end of the decade. In 2010 there would be just over 44,000 faculty, 20 percent more than in 1992, essentially matching the expected rate of increase in student numbers. However, growth is not the only determinant of our hiring needs.

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Due to the age profile of faculty replacing retiring faculty will also become a growing part of the need to hire over the coming decade. We can demonstrate the aging of our faculty by tracking the big bulge that moved from their late thirties in 1976 to their late fifties in 1997. Within a decade most of the bulge should have moved completely through the career cycle. The upshot of this is that over the coming decade the need to replace departing faculty will increase.

Demographic bulge is moving through the system
1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0

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The next chart demonstrates the shift in an even more dramatic way, It shows that faculty aging is not some distant problem for future generations of administrators to manage. It confronts us now. The proportion of faculty over age 55 surpassed 30 percent for the first time in 1998. It was just 20 percent a decade earlier. There is very little doubt that the number of faculty retirements will grow in line with the projections we made last year.

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We can no longer wait to see if the anticipated change will come about. It is here. There are more students than ever. And our academic staff has never been older and never more certain to leave our institutions in greater and greater numbers. The combined impact of growth and retirements will significantly increase the hiring requirements of universities. Universities will need to hire 1,200 to 1,400 faculty per year over the next 6 years in order to meet enrolment growth. The need to replace those leaving the system should rise from about 1,300 a year to 1,600 a year over the same period, resulting in combined hiring needs of 2,500 to 3,000 new faculty per year.

Increasing the supply of qualified candidates

The first challenge we face is that of increasing the supply of qualified candidates. There are only a few ways to confront this challenge. We can increase our domestic production of PhDs. Or, we can recruit more aggressively on the international academic labour market. Before reviewing these solutions it worth recalling the types of shifts in labour market conditions we can expect. How high is the bar?

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This next chart illustrates the tremendous change we can expect in academic labour market conditions over the coming decade. Universities have enjoyed labour market conditions characteristic of a buyer’s market for much of the 1990s. In the mid-1990s hiring requirements of universities fell to fewer than 1,000 annually. Meanwhile the supply, through domestic production, grew steadily, with almost 4,000 graduates in 1996. However, almost 1,000 of these graduates are foreign students and are therefore not immediately part of our hiring pool.

Over the next decade a seller's market will emerge if nothing is done. The last bar shows that a 50 percent increase in domestic production is required to meet labour market needs at the end of the decade, assuming no increase in our current market share of graduates.

Increasing PhD production

One of our primary challenges will be to expand our graduate programs so as to meet the needs in the labour market. As you well know, there are no quick fixes. Moreover, recent trends are working against us. Bachelor’s enrolment levels did not grow at all through the mid-1990s. This, of course, has had an impact on bachelor's and master’s degrees granted and subsequently on the number enrolled in PhD programs. PhD enrolment has not grown since 1994 and the number of degrees granted has remained constant since 1997. 9

Given the time it takes to complete a PhD program, stable enrolment signals that relatively little change in the number of PhD degrees can be expected over the next five years when requirements will almost triple. Our graduate programs would need to produce at least 50 percent more graduates to meet this need. Clearly, increasing our PhD production is a long-term solution. It will not help us in the short term. Furthermore, it may well be unrealistic to expect that universities will be able to attract the resources necessary to increase graduate programs by 50 percent – even in the longer term. In the short term universities will have to confront the challenge of attracting more of our graduates into academe. It is increasingly clear that a career in academe is only one occupational choice for our graduates. As the Census data indicates universities do not have a monopoly on PhD graduates. Indeed, other sectors employ the majority of our graduates – historically between 60 and 70 percent. Our challenge is to attract a greater share back to academe. But, even if we were successful in meeting this challenge in the short-term, with the changes that are taking place in an increasingly knowledge-based economy it is highly doubtful that the demand for PhDs in other sectors will fall. In the longer term it is likely that growing demand in all sectors will mean that graduate programs will have to grow at least as fast, if not faster than the 20 percent plus that is expected at the undergraduate level. 10

The proportion of P h D s employed in academe has remained relatively constant
50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% SSH NSE Health Total 1986 1991 1996

Seizing the Opportunity For this to happen, we will need to seriously turn our attention to creating the nurturing environment needed for successful graduate studies. Much of that challenge is internal to universities. And I understand that CAGS is hard at work on this front and that a study analysing some of the factors affecting such important issues as duration of studies and completion rate have been discussed here in Winnipeg. I applaud those initiatives. Part of the challenge of convincing undergraduate students to move on to graduate studies will be to communicate better the rewards they can expect from longer studies. If only from the economic perspective, the case is compelling enough. Income premiums and employment levels are significantly higher the longer you study. This has to be said loud and clear. The funding environment for university research has changed dramatically over the last three or four years. Much of the answer to the challenge of how to create those right conditions I mentioned earlier can be found at that level.

Changing funding environment for research

After a turbulent decade that saw a steady decline of the federal government's role in supporting university research and a significant increase in partnerships and knowledge transfer activities, the last four federal budgets and the mini-budget of October 18 have brought a wind of renewal to university research. 11

Recent federal initiatives
• 1997: CFI, NCE • 1998: Council funding restored • 1999: CHSRF, CFI, CIHR, NCE, council funded increased • 2000: CFI, Canada Research Chairs, Genome Canada, SSHRC increase • Mini-budget: CFI, SSHRC

At least four major federal initiatives have literally transformed the funding landscape for university research in Canada since 1997. Taken together, the creation of the Canada Foundation for Innovation in 1997, the restoration of funding to the federal granting councils in 1998, and the establishment of the innovative Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 1999 and the Canada Research Chairs in 2000 are definite signs that the federal government is taking seriously its commitment to making Canada an innovative and knowledge-based society. Let me briefly outline for you the significance of those initiatives.
Canada Foundation for Innovation

Since its establishment in 1997, the federal government has added to its initial investment of $800 million in the Canada Foundation for Innovation $1,6 billion and extended its mandate to 2005. This endorsement is only one sign of the tremendous success of the CFI. So far, it has funded over 1000 projects in virtually all universities across the country. This represents a total capital investment in research infrastructure of over $2 billion once matching components are taken into account. The impact on campuses is huge. First, the renewal of the research infrastructure has been a real shot in the arm for our research community. There has been a real change in attitude on campuses about doing research in Canada. We can think boldly. Secondly, by requiring research plans from the institutions, universities have started to think far more strategically about setting research priorities and forging good partnerships among themselves and with 12

the private sector. Also, annual impact reports submitted by universities show that an investment of that scale is bringing researchers together across disciplinary boundaries and between institutions.
Granting councils

The federal budget of 1998 restored the base budgets of all three granting councils to 1993-1994 levels, reversing a declining trend. Except for the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and short-term increases granted to NSERC and SSHRC to fund projects that are consistent with the CIHR objectives, the granting councils budgets have since not increased very much. That is, until the government announced last week an infusion of $100 million into SSHRC over the next five years to conduct research into the new economy. This is a very good sign and language in the recent mini-budget speech and signals from Ottawa make me think that we can expect more good news in the month to come.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Let’s not forget also that the CIHR are just getting established. Announced in the 1999 federal budget, the legislation creating the CIHR was passed on June 7 and the CIHR are now open for business. The CIHR concept is an innovative one - a multi-disciplinary approach organized through a framework of "virtual" institutes, each dedicated to a specific area of focus, linking and supporting researchers pursuing common goals. To ensure talented investigators are provided with the resources and training needed to address the health challenges faced by Canadians, the CIHR's budget will be $402 million in 2000-2001, rising to $533 million the following year. This strong commitment will allow Canada to keep its best and brightest scientists and remain internationally competitive in today's knowledge-based economy. As a result, Canadians will enjoy both the health and economic benefits that are created by a robust health research enterprise.
Canada Research Chairs

Finally, let me say a word about this latest initiative. Announced in the Fall of 1999 Speech of the Throne, the Government of Canada provided in its 2000 budget $900 million to support the establishment of 2000 Canada Research Chairs in universities across the country by 2004-05. The goal of this exciting, innovative program is to build a critical mass of world-class researchers who will help Canadian universities achieve research excellence and encourage today's leading researchers to remain in Canada. So far, over two hundred nominations have been received and although it was expected that, in the first year, universities would concentrate almost exclusively on retaining their brightests, 14 of those nominations come from outside Canada. Those are net gains for our country and a clear signal in the rest of the world that Canada is a place to be to do leading-edge research.

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Emerging issues

Despite the dramatic shift of fortune for university research since 1997, at least three themes are emerging on the horizon:

Emerging issues
• Indirect costs of research - stars are aligning (ACST, Industry and Finance Cmts, Conseil de la science et tecnhologie du Québec, Ontario) • Research capacity • International competitiveness of council funding

Granting councils still lagging behind

First, much remains to be done to increase Canada’s international competitiveness in research and development. Fortunately, this problem was recognized explicitly by Minister Martin in a recent speech to the Toronto Board of Trade. Funding to the granting councils may have been restored to 1994 levels, but these increases pale in comparison to recent funding announcements elsewhere, notably in the United States. In fact, the increase of $4.2 billion that the U.S. National Institutes of Health received in the last two years alone is more than four times the total federal investment in university research in Canada. Moreover, even bigger increases are expected in this year’s budget in the U.S. to both the NIH and the NSF. As a result, recent federal re-investments in university research are only beginning to address the growing international funding gaps. And here your assistance in conveying to the government the importance of funding the councils for the sake of graduate studies would be extremely useful. The government formally recognises the importance of graduate studies. For example, in its 1994 New Framework for Economic Policy, the support of graduate research and graduate students through the granting councils was highlighted as a key to the education of the highly qualified people n in universities and elsewhere n needed to establish Canada as a leader in the emerging knowledge economy. 14

This recognition, that the adequate financial support of the advanced training of young people through research is essential for developing researchers and creative innovators, was how the federal government presented its strategy for restoring in 1998 the budgets of the granting councils to their 1994-95 levels. Graduate education and training is one of the three axes of development identified by SSHRC in its innovation platform. It proposes to double the number of awards to doctoral students while at the same time increase the level of support (the value of each scholarship). Part of SSHRC’s plan is also to introduce a scholarship program for master’s students targeting areas of strategic importance for Canada. SSHRC has not been able to put to work its plan so far but hope is around the corner. The announcement last week of an $100 million to SSHRC, while targeted, is a sign that better funding, at SSHRC but also at NSERC, to provide research grants, scholarships and fellowships for graduate and post-graduate students is around the corner. You are in a unique position to help make the case for the need for more funding for graduate research.
Funding the indirect costs of research

I mentioned earlier the importance for universities to create and nurture the research environment that will attract more young people to graduate studies. A very big barrier in our ability to do so is the fact that the indirect costs of research are not supported in Canada. In the last decade, the decrease in core funding of universities and fundamental changes in the way research is conducted in the knowledgebased economy (e.g., more emphasis on collaboration and partnerships, new funding arrangements, need to comply to various regulations) have resulted in a decrease in the number of faculty members (but not of researchers), a reduction of administrative support services, a decline in plant renewal and maintenance, a lack of resources to hire research personnel and ensure the operation and maintenance of research facilities, insufficient time for researchers to carry out research programs, and the inability of institutions to provide for indirect costs of research (administration, libraries, space, utilities, etc.). The mismatch between funding for operating support and research support has increased markedly over the past twenty years. Since research overheads are not covered by the granting councils, new funding creates further stress on core activities. Given the importance of research in knowledge-based economies, the next big challenge for Canada’s innovation system will be to find a permanent solution to the problem of how to fund the indirect costs of research. We have made this our first priority and signs are promising that our message is being heard in Ottawa. Not only is this fundamental issue garnering support in various government studies and reports (most recently in the ACST Panel report on international S&T) but the announcement of last week that the CFI will be allowed to cover some of the operating and maintenance costs of the facilities they fund is a great opening on that front. While thanking the government for the CFI announcement, I will continue to press senior officials in government as I meet with them in the coming weeks on the importance of indirect costs. Your support will be instrumental in making this a reality in the coming months.

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Capacity of small universities

Finally, let me say a word on smaller universities. The recent debate around the establishment of the federal program of Canada Research Chairs has brought to the fore concerns that smaller institutions confront on-going difficulty in developing research strengths that enable them to be competitive in the national competitions of the federal granting councils. One of the key factor in capacity building is the ability to attract graduate students and nurture a research environment. We have worked hard on this in the past year and the federal government has acknowledged that this is a problem. It has been recognized in the Canada Research Chairs allocation. It is being considered in the current review of the indirect costs of research and is the subject of further review by all three granting agencies and Industry Canada. We are working also closely with them.

Conclusion Two years ago at the CAGS annual meeting in Vancouver, AUCC reported on the international trend around the world toward the strengthening and expansion of doctoral programs, which appeared to be one of the overriding education priorities in many nations around the world. It is time for us to work on the various steps that will allow us to meet to challenges graduate studies will face here in the coming decade.

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