Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTABILITY An Ontario and New Zealand Perspective.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTABILITY An Ontario and New Zealand Perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTABILITY An Ontario and New Zealand Perspective

2 Accountability

3 Bob Rae, Postsecondary Review, 2005 “When governments, colleges and universities make decisions or set policies, the wider world should be able to understand the reasoning behind the decisions and be satisfied that they are based on evidence and good judgment….”

4 Contents Accountability in Ontario A New Zealand Perspective International Trends Conclusions and Questions

5 University Accountability – Ontario Ontario Legislative environment provides authority to Governing Boards – including strategic direction, financial management and operations Membership of Boards legislated, accountability to students, community & government defined Transfer payment accountability – signed agreements with agreed performance expectations. Results, and periodic reports on financial status and program results Provincial Auditor – criticisms in 1999 and 2001 for lack of accountability in establishing objectives and linking these to funding and to program quality

6 University Accountability - Ontario Information overload –83 reports on grants, performance in enrolment etc –…but no evidence that reports are being reviewed or evaluated –…lack of an overall framework which clearly defines the government’s expectations regarding governance, performance and quality –…is the right information being communicated effectively?

7 Accountability - more data?

8 Post-Secondary Review, 2005 Recommendations (Bob Rae): A new Legislative Framework Establishment of a Council on Higher Education A link of Performance Improvements of Specific Programs Establishment of a Multi-Year Plan Development of a Provincial Web Portal – that provides quality assurance and performance information for all institutions Requirements to report to a standing committee of legislature to review Multi-Year Plans

9 Bob Rae, Post-Secondary Review 2004-2005: “Transparency and accountability are words that are used so often in discussions about governance and performance that they are at risk of losing meaning….but they are important…” “When governments, colleges and universities make decisions or set policies, the wider world should be able to understand the reasoning behind the decisions and be satisfied that they are based on evidence and good judgment….”

10 Bob Rae, Post-Secondary Review 2004-2005: “…that does not mean universal approval. It does mean openness and institutional candor about the rational for decisions. Academic freedom and autonomy, both important principles, should not be challenged by transparency.”

11 Bob Rae, Post-Secondary Review 2004-2005: “Both government and students have a strong interest in making sure the money they are investing is well spent. But the enthusiasm for greater accountability should not become a synonym for more government control…” “ Academic freedom is also an important value. So are self-government and institutional flexibility. This means that the institutions themselves need to make sure that they have got their own internal governance right…”

12 Bob Rae, Post-Secondary Review 2004-2005: “Universities and colleges need to ensure that their own internal accountability structures and business practices are well understood and well monitored. At the same time, the federal and provincial governments have a clear responsibility to ensure that their demands for review and accountability does not become too heavy-handed or to intrusive.”

13 2005 Ontario Budget “Reaching Higher” Response to the Post-Secondary Review Action plan for colleges and universities including $6.2 billion cumulative investment over 5 years Enhanced access, quality, accountability

14 2005 Ontario Budget “Accountability – targets and measures will be set to monitor the quality and performance of post-secondary education sector” “The next phase in the plan for accountability is as follows: oImproved system performance and result measures, including quality and access, through a proposed new Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and new bi-lateral performance agreements with post-secondary institutions. oImproved public reporting of system-wide performance and results.”

15 2005 Ontario Budget “ The government’ s new investments will be tied to performance and results targets….. Multi-year agreements between the government and institutions will set out among other expectations, enrolment and quality improvement targets. The government proposes to establish a new arms-length Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario that would take a lead role in supporting quality improvement in post-secondary education. The Council would undertake research on indicators and outcomes, advice on system-wide results, and report on system performance. “

16 2005 Ontario Budget “The government proposes to make Ontario’s Universities subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and to ensure that Ontario publicly funded post-secondary institutions are transparent and accountable to the people of Ontario while, at the time, respecting academic freedom and competitiveness.”

17 University Accountability - Ontario Interim Accountability Agreements signed for 2005/06 Report on Reporting Requirements completed March 24, 2006, 17 recommendations, designed to rationalise 83 reports sent to government. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and other surveys Audited Financial Reports/Annual Reporting Legislative/regulatory accountability e.g. Workplace safety

18 University Accountability - Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, applicable to universities from June 10, 2006 Higher Education Council of Ontario Multi-Year Accountability Agreements Rationalisation of Reporting Annual Reporting Provincial Auditor Reviews


20 University Accountability - A New Zealand Perspective Statement of Objectives Annual Reports, including Statement of Service Performance Reporting of Budgets Limitations for Borrowing Limitations for Disposal of Assets Limitations on Investments Audits conducted by Auditor General Establishment of a “Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit” Power for Government to appoint “Crown Manager” if institutions are in financial difficulty

21 International Trends Increased focus on accountability to government, connected to policy goals (e.g. increased participation in higher education) –Note the inconsistency between greater accountability expectations to government when government funding has been falling as a proportion of total revenue Recognition of connection between higher education, the knowledge based economy and competitive advantage Increased focus on performance measurement Sarbanes Oxley and comprehensiveness of audits and increased role of Audit Committees Accountability to students: relationship continues to evolve and be increasingly like a normal “customer” relationship

22 International Trends Higher expectations on governing bodies to act more like a “Board of Directors” Strengthening focus of governing bodies on business practices, including: strategic planning, performance reporting, financial management, risk management, capital utilisation and planning, quality assurance etc etc Compliance obligations continue to rise, across a wide range of important policy areas (e.g. safety, access, equity) Increased focus and strengthening role of Annual Reporting

23 Conclusions…..and Questions Accountability is complex; it is an inarguable obligation of organisations that receive public funding, but to whom are universities accountable, and for what? Governments record of successfully micromanaging universities is not positive, therefore future accountability mechanisms should seek assurance of: –appropriate governance and management practices –strategic goals and direction –key performance measures –reporting and monitoring mechanisms

24 Conclusions…..and Questions Accountability has an increased public focus, and appears to be extending: Students off-campus behavior Parental involvement Alumni and Donors Local community Increased regulatory obligations The response? Positive - embrace transparency and accountability Appropriate framework Identify the separate and distinctive roles of accountability for universities, governments and students and ……


Download ppt "UNIVERSITY ACCOUNTABILITY An Ontario and New Zealand Perspective."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google