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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Meeting with the Council of Ontario Universities

On March 26, we had the opportunity to meet with the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), a generous sponsor of OLIP. We were thrilled to speak with Steve Orsini, President and CEO of COU, and former Ontario Deputy Minister of Finance, Secretary of the Treasury Board, and Head of the Ontario Public Service. We were also lucky to have Krista Orendofff, Vice President of Public Affairs, Eva Busza, Vice President of Policy and Sector Collaboration, Dominika Flood, Director of Government and Stakeholder Relations, and Andrew Naples, Chief of Staff, join us for the meeting.

The Council of Ontario Universities provides a platform for universities across Ontario to advocate on behalf of their common mission to improve the learning experience and environment for students. We had a fascinating conversation about some of the financial challenges facing Ontario universities in light of COVID-19. In light of these challenges, universities have been more resilient than ever, finding investment through research funding and other innovative sources.

We also discussed some other challenges facing universities, including competing for international students in a global education market, maintaining institutional autonomy, weaving soft skills such as communication into all programs to graduate “job-ready” students, and competing with the private sector for talented administrators. We wrapped up our meeting with a brief discussion about the importance of maintaining and strengthening humanities programs in a world increasingly dominated by technology and artificial intelligence.

We are so grateful to the team from COU for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions about the university sector. Thank you for your continued generosity and support of OLIP!

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