2018 Leadership Forum: Navigating Higher Education in Times of Change

Being a leader in times of ambiguity, uncertainty and change means navigating complex realities.  Please join the conversation on Friday, March 23, 2018 with the Higher Education leadership cohort and the OISE community about evolving trends in higher education.

The Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education is pleased to convene this special event which will showcase current leadership and management issues in higher education while providing opportunities for our higher education cohorts to reconnect, network, learn and collaborate. We hope that you will be able to join us for this new event!

Date & Location

Friday, March 23, 2018

9:00 am to 3:00 pm (check-in begins at 8:30am)

OISE Library, Main Floor, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Next Steps

View Program 




The Honourable Mitzie Hunter, MBA

Mitzie Hunter is Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. In the role, she’s working to make sure everyone has access to the education and training needed to succeed in the new economy.

Hunter was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2013 as the MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood. She previously served as Minister of Education and as Associate Minister of Finance, responsible for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Before entering politics, Hunter was CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance where she championed unlocking the GTA’s potential by ensuring fair and inclusive access to employment and training.

Hunter and her family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1975, and she grew up in Scarborough. She graduated with a BA from the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) and completed an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Professor Charles Pascal

Currently, Charles is Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at OISE/University of Toronto where he is coordinator of the PhD Program in Early Learning. He also teaches in a PhD program in leadership that he developed for postsecondary and community leaders. Charles is also the Senior Advisor to the Chagnon Foundation in Montreal, special advisor to Australia’s Good Start Early Learning organization, a regular contributor to the Toronto Star newspaper and conducts seminars and workshops on lifelong learning, leadership, policy-making and strategic philanthropy.

President Ann Buller, Centennial College

President Buller’s career spans more than 25 years in the college system, where she has made significant contributions to student success. She assumed the presidency of Centennial College in June 2004. Since then, leadership approaches that enable major transformative change have become her hallmark. Thanks to her leadership, Centennial has introduced new award-winning programs to support students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education.

Morning Concurrent Sessions

Navigating Bill 132 and Campus Sexual Violence Policies                        

Jennifer McLean – M.Ed Candidate, OISE, University of Toronto

On January 1, 2017, all postsecondary institutions in Ontario were required to implement a new stand-alone sexual violence policy for their campus as legislated by Bill 132, Schedule 3. Leaders in higher education were required to navigate change and uncertainty as they quickly implemented the new legislation. This presentation looks at the changes in sexual violence policies one year after implementation. Join the conversation about the impact of Bill 132 on two large postsecondary institutions in Ontario and whether there was a positive change in sexual violence culturally, structurally or directly.

Orientation and Transition Programs in Ontario Colleges and their Impacts on Student Retention, Persistence, and Engagement

Cory Coletta – Coordinator, Orientation & Transition Programs, Humber College

Orientation is the college’s best opportunity to introduce a strong learning environment, build the foundations for academic success, welcome students and families to the campus community, promote student interactions with [peers,] faculty and staff, and convey the values and traditions of the new institution (Mullendore & Banahan, 2005, p. 391). The unique living and learning journeys of the college student population [many of these students work while studying, receive OSAP and financial aid, are the first in their family to attend post-secondary, are mature learners, and reside in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas] enrich the culture and community at the college; but they also call upon us to do better, if not more, to consider how these contexts shape their experience as they transition into, or back into, postsecondary studies. Intentional orientation programs are tied to increasing student engagement, persistence, and retention. This pilot study and exploration of programs identifies areas of success and opportunity for a curricular approach to college orientation programming and its impacts.

Mind the Gap: Filling the Funding Shortfall in Research

Colin Swift – Business Development Officer, Industry Partnerships, University of Toronto

I will begin with an overview of the philosophy underlying industry partnerships, and how industry drivers are balanced against academic research requirements. I will then describe some of the federal and provincial programs supporting industry/academic partnerships in the physical sciences, how political priorities can influence these programs, and how universities can still preserve their independence over time. Finally, I will discuss research in progress investigating the success of a government program designed to incentivize wary potential industry sponsors to engage with academic research in a low-risk scenario.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

Cannabis Legislation in Canada: Impacts in Higher Education

Lauren Silvestro-Arbuthnot – Coordinator, Residence Conduct, Western University

Brandon R. Smith – Manager, Residence Life & Education, Ryerson University

New legislation will legalize possession of cannabis for recreational purposes, thus removing marijuana use and possession from the Criminal Code. As a result, postsecondary campuses will need to respond with new policies and procedures that address marijuana use, which is currently criminalized; therefore, unwelcome on campus property. Join Lauren and Brandon as they look at this shift from two lenses: Lauren’s focus on post-secondary residence contracts and necessary changes required as a result of changing legislation, and Brandon’s focus on undergraduate students’ attitudes and behaviours related to the use of cannabis.


Work Outside of Formal Work Hours: Examining Experiences of Higher Education Administrators

Laura Ferlito – Academic Advisor, Office of the Registrar, University of Toronto Mississauga

“Karoshi” is a Japanese term meaning “death by overwork.” Regions in Asia are known for long work hours, despite government attempts to institute mandatory limits to the work week. This may be a hidden trend in Canada, but definitely still exists. Available literature is focused on employees in professional designations or managerial roles, but a limited amount was found surrounding higher education professionals. We know the landscape of higher education is ever evolving in Canada, including the increasing complexity of student needs. Has the complexity or volume of work increased as a result?

This presentation will highlight the current literature on hours worked outside of a standard work week in administrative professionals, focusing on higher education studies where available. Data will be presented on a current study examining the experiences of administrators at an Ontario university to draw attention to the perceived causes and impacts of work outside of standard work hours.


Comparing Academic Outcomes for Chinese Students who Studied in Canadian High Schools at One University Campus

Lorretta Neebar, Interim Registrar & Director of Enrolment Management, University of Toronto Mississauga

More and more Chinese students are choosing to study in overseas schools at the secondary level prior to entering postsecondary, providing additional revenue for private secondary schools as well as public school boards. Ideas of internationalization and the commodification of education have informed this analysis of academic outcomes comparing Chinese students who have studied in Canadian high schools prior to entering university to other students from China, other international students and the overall population. This presentation looks at the quantitative data analysis using student data from one university campus. The quantitative data will help inform a larger mixed-methods study, which will include qualitative data about the students’ lived experiences as they move away from home without parents or family nearby during a critical life transition.