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A message from Interim Dean Glen Jones on the passing of Professor Emerita Cicely Watson

January 8, 2016


It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our colleague and friend of many in the OISE community, Professor Emerita Cicely Watson passed away on Thursday, December 17, 2015 surrounded by her loved ones. She was 94.

Professor Watson was one of the founding members of OISE. When the Institute was first established in 1965, she was the founding Chair of the Department of Educational Planning which offered the first educational planning degree program in the world. In 1979, she became Chair of the Higher Education Group, which was a separate academic unit before the merger of OISE and FEUT.

Professor Watson was a highly respected scholar who did foundational work on the planning of higher education systems including Ontario’s system of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. In 2010, she was honoured by the International Society for Education Planning in Washington DC for her outstanding contributions to the academic field of educational planning.

Professor Watson retired in 1987 but continued to be extremely active in teaching and doctoral supervision. She supervised to completion well over 100 doctoral students in the course of her career. On the occasion of Cicely’s 80th birthday in November 2001, the Higher Education Group at OISE created the Cicely Watson Graduate Scholarship to honour her amazing career-long contributions.

In collaboration with Cicely’s family, colleagues in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education organized a celebration of her life and accomplishments on Monday, January 11 at 1:00 p.m. in the OISE Library.

We extend our sincerest sympathies to Cicely’s family.