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OISE Dean Glen Jones receives honorary doctorate from University of Manitoba

Former student leader awarded at alma mater June 6

May 10, 2018

By Kaitlyn Balkovec


Photo of Dean Glen Jones from then and now

Dean Glen Jones then and now. Pictured on the left is Dr. Jones in 1983 after winning the R.C. Armatage Award at the University of Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of the University of Manitoba archives)


Congratulations to OISE Dean Glen Jones, who is receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba on June 6 for his outstanding contribution to higher education.

“I find it absolutely humbling and amazing that my alma mater would recognize me for an honorary doctorate, especially for my contributions to the study of higher education,” Dean Jones said.

Before becoming one of the world’s leading authorities on university governance, Dean Jones began his post-secondary journey in 1979 as a student at the University of Manitoba. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1983 and Bachelor of Education in 1985.

The native of Killarney, Manitoba went on to earn a Master’s and Doctorate in Higher Education at OISE, soon after joining the faculty as a professor and researcher. Since then, he has progressed through a number of prestigious roles, and was appointed Dean of OISE in 2016.

OISE News sat down with Dean Jones to learn more about his experience at the University of Manitoba and how it led him to where he is today.

Early years: Student politics, TV and more

During his time at the University of Manitoba, Dean Jones served as a student politician and spent several years devoting his time to student issues and politics.

“I found it absolutely fascinating that as a 19 or 20-year-old, I could play a role in changing the world around me. I remember being quite surprised at that learning,” he said, noting the experience made him want to be part of something bigger.

From acting as a member of the board of governors to producing a television show for the students’ union, Dean Jones’ involvement in various areas of the university led him to begin seeking answers to the questions, “How do universities work?”, “What are their major challenges and problems?” and “How can we make them better?”

Academic institutions: ‘I was excited about what they could be’

This curiosity about how universities function drove him to pursue studies in higher education.

“I became quite interested in how these whole systems function, how they work, and how they fail certain people and help others,” he said.

Seeing both the strengths and weaknesses of academic institutions inspired Dean Jones to explore how they could be improved and maximized to their potential.

“I have always been fascinated with the potential of academic institutions,” he continued. “The fact that they’re places of education…I was excited about what they could be.”

‘60 or 70 committees’

Dean Jones’ experiences in his undergraduate studies prepared him for the various roles that he would go on to undertake at OISE. His involvement as a student politician and as a member of numerous committees gave him a sense of how the institution functioned across different areas, from its academic departments to its senate and board of governors.

“I had this wonderful opportunity over the years to sit on 60 or 70 different committees, and to meet some very bright and wonderful leaders,” he said. “But I also saw the other side of it, the students who were not being treated fairly.”

Through his work at OISE as professor, researcher and now the institute’s most senior leader, Dean Jones has dedicated himself to improving higher education and is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities in his field. The potential of academic institutions that he became fascinated with during his time at the University of Manitoba continues to be a driving force in his commitment to higher education today.

“The biggest question for me is simply how to make universities what they could be, as spaces for inquiry, as places for freedom and the exploring of ideas – which are so central to their mission,” he said.