Presidents’ Narrative on the Role of Universities in Society
Presidents’ Dialogue on the Value of Community Engagement
In May 2020, to commemorate three years since the Roundtable on Social Infrastructure that set these conversations in motion, Simon Fraser University, the University of St. Michael’s College and the McConnell Foundation hosted a Presidents’ Roundtable on the Value of Community Engagement
This discussion was designed as a conversation between university presidents on the role of universities as anchor institutions. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually, and the conversation pivoted to explore universities’ responses to the crisis and their role in building an equitable recovery.
Presidents Narrative on The Role of Universities in Society
Catalyzed by the roundtable described above, presidents met for a series of related conversation over the course of the following year. These conversations led them to collaboratively develop a document outlining “The Role of Universities in Society.”
Released in September 2021, this paper provides an upgraded narrative on the role of their institutions in supporting Canadian communities and addressing societal challenges. It articulates the unique and important role for universities in the rapidly-changing contexts of today.