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The Turning Point
(1960 - 1975)

4

“The general feeling of the Board was that present developments in Commerce indicate that there will be a continuing growth in this Faculty over the years on both campuses and that nothing would be gained by moving the senior staff members and the third and fourth year of the curriculum to Calgary when, in a short time, we anticipate independent developments there which could justify the offering of third and fourth year on that campus.”

 President Walter Johns, December 27, 1962
THE TURNING POINT (1960 – 1975)

When the School became a Faculty, a whole host of activities occurred, particularly with changes in the Undergraduate program and the beginnings of Graduate Work at both the Masters and Doctoral levels.  Moreover, there was major growth in providing offshore programs in Kenya and China.  Internally, a number of significant changes occurred in terms of organizational structure along with changes in the name of the Faculty and the renewal of efforts to have a building constructed for the Faculty.  The 1960 – 1975 period can, therefore, be considered a crucial point in time for the ongoing  development of the School of Commerce. 

    1966 also marked some major changed in the establishment of other Universities in Alberta.  The process of revising the University system was actually begun in April 1962 and involved numerous committees and the use of outside consultants.  Walter Johns refers to these major changes in his book, A History of the University of Alberta, 1908-1969.  The new Act, which was assented to on April 15, 1966, went into effect April 1, 1966.  In essence, the Act called for the continuation of the University of Alberta as a provincial university but that additional provincial universities could be established and specific reference was made to the University of Calgary.  As well, provision was made to establish other entities.  The University of Lethbridge was established in January, 1967, and Athabasca University in June, 1970, although the first students for the latter were not enrolled until 1974.  Additional revisions covered a wide spectrum of new roles for other bodies such as GFC, the Senate, et al.
[Walter Johns, Op.Cit., pp. 368-9]

On February 8, 1967, the Board of Governors approved a Long Range Academic Plan for the University of Alberta.  The plan anticipated a total enrolment of 18,990 students by 1970-71, compared to the enrolment of 11,544 in 1966-67.  The estimated increase in enrolment (by percentages) varied from 1.3% for nursing to 21.6% for Arts for that five year period.  For Commerce and Business Administration, the anticipated increase of 7.4% proved to be overly optimistic.  Commerce/Business Administration enrolment as a percentage of total University enrolment and in the number of full-time regular students, is indicated in Table IV-1:

Table IV-I
    Year             Percentage of Total Enrolment        No. of Commerce Students
1960-61                                          4.3                    257
1961-62                                          4.6                    304
1962-63                                          5.3                    392
1963-64                                          6.3                    521
1964-65                                          6.8                    620
1965-66                                          6.2                    608
1966-67                                          6.5                    715
1969-70                       7.4 (Estimated)                   1089
[UAA, 71-101, 131, Box 6]

The total of 715 full-time Commerce/Business Administration students in 1966-67 was, therefore, expected to grow to 1,400 by 1969-70.  In other words, the growth in numbers was to be basically doubled within a matter of two years, but this anticipated increase, as can be seen from the above data, did not occur.  Again, this points out the difficulties in the planning process within a University environment.


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"My own impression is that we should look forward in the not distant future to some organization corresponding to a School of Commerce of which this might very well form a part. Commercial Departments in connection with Universities have so far not been successful in Canada, although I believe that after some years now the one at McGill is making some progress."

- Dr Tory, First President of the UofA
16 January 1919