On August 7, 2014 the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) published the Strategic Mandate Agreements that have been signed with each university and college in Ontario. As many of you will be aware, we have been discussing Strategic Mandate Agreements with MTCU for a number of years beginning in the summer of 2011 when we first heard about the likelihood that MTCU would be changing the existing Multi-Year Accountability Agreement (MYAA) process to align PSE institutions more directly to government priorities. Carleton began preparing for the development of a strategic mandate process with the creation of the Mandate Working Group in November 2011, the submission of our initial SMA to MTCU in September 2012, and then the development of the University’s Strategic Integrated Plan (SIP) in 2013. We were, therefore, well prepared when on Nov. 29, 2013, MTCU issued a call for revised SMAs to be submitted by Dec. 20, 2013. These new SMAs were to be developed within the context of Ontario’s Differentiation Policy Framework for Postsecondary Education, which had been published earlier in November 2013.
We were able to develop and submit a revised SMA by the deadline, following which we worked with the Special Advisor to the Minister, Paul Genest, to complete the SMA process by March 31, 2014. Carleton’s SMA submission was very well received by the Ministry and we only had to make a few revisions as well as develop the institutional metrics that were required by the March deadline. On Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, I gave a presentation to Senate in which I provided an update on the SMA process and I presented a further update on March 28, 2014. I invite you to review these presentations. Carleton submitted its final SMA by the March 31 2014 deadline.
Now that the Minister has made the SMAs public, I am able to post copies of both the agreement with MTCU (the SMA) and our final SMA submission. These SMAs are extremely important as they provide the institutional framework for the allocation of graduate spaces, the approval of new academic programs, the allocation of capital resources, and ultimately the establishment of a new funding framework for universities and colleges.
Carleton has done well from the initial allocation of graduate spaces, increasing our allocation of doctoral and master’s spaces by 84 and 125 respectively over the next three years. This is a much better allocation of graduate spaces for us than occurred under the previous process and represents a vote of confidence in Carleton by the provincial government as we build our reputation in research and graduate studies. The approved SMA will allow us to develop our undergraduate and graduate programs over the coming years in accordance with our Strategic Integrated Plan (SIP).
I am very grateful to all those who contributed to the Mandate Working Group in 2011-12 and more recently to the SMA Steering Committee, in particular to Katherine Graham who, as Senior Advisor to the Provost, provided critical leadership in seeing the SMA process through to successful completion within tight timelines. Carleton is now well positioned to develop and grow in the coming years with a new suite of graduate and undergraduate programs that will help us maintain our financial sustainability and build our national and international reputation as Canada’s Capital University.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014