Volume 93, Issue 80

Thursday, March 2, 2000


Western researchers get American money

Profs join students in strike

Chancellors praise liberal arts

Greenspan pays visit to campus

God debate finds no answers



Chancellors praise liberal arts

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Ontario university chancellors sent a clear message to the public this week.

Chancellors from 16 universities across Ontario issued a statement to the media Tuesday about the current state of post-secondary education in the province, which focused on the value of a liberal arts education, said Avie Bennett chancellor of York University.

"It was sent on behalf of all the chancellors," Bennett said of the statement. "There was no relationship between the statement and the budget announcement," he added.

Bob Everett, a spokesperson for York, confirmed that last fall Bennett notified all Ontario chancellors to talk about general issues and a meeting was then held in November with just over half of the 16 chancellors present, Everett said. "A statement was drafted that they all signed onto."

Bennett said chancellors across Ontario felt higher education was important to its future. He also said the statement expressed the view that a liberal arts education provided students with the well-rounded, general education needed to get a job in today's market.

Western's VP-academic Greg Moran agreed with the statement and said students with a liberal arts education were essential not only to universities, but to society as well.

"The current trend to downgrade the value of a liberal arts education is terribly regrettable and wrongheaded," Moran said. "All of the statistics speak to the fact that a liberal arts education is an absolute necessity and highly valued in order to find good jobs."

Sid Noel, a Western professor of political science, said liberal arts educations were highly valued because training could quickly become obsolete. "Learning how to learn is very important," he said.

While Noel said he did not think Western had lost its strong liberal arts tradition, he added the chancellor's statement would probably not provide any real change.

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