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About Us > Staff & Faculty > Charles Pascal

Charles E. Pascal

Email: charles.pascal@utoronto.ca

Charles E. Pascal has a strong background in education, training, policy development, leadership, and organizational development. He has published extensively in the fields of education and psychology. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in psychology in 1969 and joined the psychology faculty of McGill University in Montreal.

While at McGill, Pascal was a founder of The Centre for Learning and Development. He also founded the McGill Community Family Centre, a full-service child-care centre that was the first of its kind in Canadian universities. He also served on numerous community advisory boards and committees dealing with the education of disadvantaged and special-needs children. In addition, he headed a team at Montreal Children’s Hospital that provided training to help parents support children with disabilities.

Pascal moved to Toronto in 1977 to accept a joint position with the University of Toronto, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and the Council of Ontario Universities Program for Instructional Development. At OISE, he served as chair of the higher education group and in 1981 became the executive head of graduate studies. During this time, he was a member of the Governing council of the University of Toronto. Pascal also served on Dr. Bette Stephenson’s steering committee for the Secondary Education Review Project.

In 1982, Pascal became the second president of Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology. During the next six years, he was also a member of the board of Trent University and a member of the Committee for the National Forum on Post-secondary Education. In addition, he became the first non-private-sector chair of the Greater Peterborough Economic Council. In 1987, Premier David Peterson appointed Pascal as Chair of the Ontario Council of Regents, the government’s chief policy and planning body for the colleges of applied arts and technology. Pascal also provided leadership for the Vision 2000 process to develop a renewed mandate for the province’s college system.

In January 1991, Pascal was appointed Deputy Minister of the Premier’s Council on Health, Well-being and Social Justice. Chaired by Premier Bob Rae, the council was a policy body designed to provide advice and research to the government and the public on building a just, healthy, and fairer society. The Council produced a major policy framework for the determinants of health and a policy and program plan for early learning and childcare.

In August 1991, Pascal was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, where he contributed to the government’s plans for reform in welfare, childcare and long-term care, and assisted in developing plans for restructuring Ontario’s social services. Premier Rae appointed Pascal as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Training in February of 1993. He provided leadership during the integration of three former ministries and two major projects into the new Ministry of Education and Training. In addition, he provided support and leadership for the government’s major education reform initiatives through the establishment of the Royal Commission on Learning and responding to its recommendations.

In January 1996, Pascal was selected as the first full-time Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation that promotes social and economic justice in the tradition of its founder, Joseph E. Atkinson. He led the Foundation for fifteen years as it emerged as an effective agent for change.

Pascal has received honorary diplomas from Niagara College, Humber College and George Brown College. He is a recipient of the Yorktown Family Services Humanitarian of the Year award (2003). Pascal is also a Fellow of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, was the 2008 recipient of People for Education’s Egerton Ryerson Award in recognition of his dedication to public education, and the recipient of the 2009 “Excellence in Advocacy” award from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare. He has also been named an “honorary” elementary school principal by the Ontario Principals Council (2009). He has had extensive experience in the developing world, including China and South Africa, providing capacity building expertise in policy making and organizational change. He was Chair of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) for Ontario from 2005 – 2008.

In late 2007, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Pascal as his Special Advisor on Early Learning. In June 2009, Pascal released his report With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario. Pascal is a Professor of Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at OISE/University of Toronto, an assistant baseball coach at the University, and a Senior Fellow at the University’s Massey College. He is also the Senior Advisor to the Chagnon Foundation in Montreal, a regular contributor to the Toronto Star, and an associate with an executive search firm.

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