Frontiers of Medicine: A History of Medical Education and Research at the University of Alberta

By Elise A. Corbet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
From Medical School to Health Sciences Centre

The sixties to the present

THE 1960s was a decade of tremendous growth and unprecedented changes in administration and organization within the University of Alberta. "In its entire history, no period reflected greater excitement and organizational turbulence." 1 During this period the first "baby-boomers" reached university age, academic staff began to demand increased participation in the policy and the internal government of their institutions, student unrest emerged as a potent force for change in universities across the country, and in Alberta a new university act called for significant changes in the lines of responsibility and the hierarchy of the institution. After the flood of war veterans had worked their way through the institution, the university had settled down to a much slower growth in the 1950s; but this was the calm before the storm--a prelude to the explosion of the sixties when enrolment almost tripled, from 6,400 to 17,300. 2 To provide buildings, equipment and faculty to cope with this tremendous expansion were problems enough, but the new act created even more.

Under the terms of the new University Act of 1966, although the Board of Governors retained ultimate responsibility, essentially major decisions now rested with the General Faculties Council, as its role expanded to include matters of policy in most aspects of university life. To deal effectively with this considerable expansion of its responsibilities, GFC needed a new and much expanded committee structure. It took several years to

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