Sheridan seeks university status

February 9, 2012

Frustrated by rising demand for Sheridan College's degree programs that Ontario graduate schools refuse to recognize, Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky says the college owes it to students to become an institution that gives its graduates the most options. Zabudsky revealed Sheridan's university ambition this week at a conference about the Ontario government's pledge to create 3 new undergraduate campuses. "To be honest, we had decided on our journey toward university status before the government announced the new campuses -- but now we’re saying to the government, 'You don’t have to build three new campuses; we’re there already and we already focus on teaching undergraduates'." To join the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Sheridan's degree programs would have to represent more than half of all programming, and 70% of staff would have to be full-time faculty, which would mean hiring over 200 full-time professors. The college has allocated $1.7 million to hiring in each of the next 3 years to achieve that goal. Some worry the move to a university could squeeze out the students for whom colleges were designed. "We have to be sure we preserve the legacy of the colleges," says a University of Toronto professor. "We wouldn't want to marginalize the programs that serve a different set of skills and trades." Toronto Star