Université de l'Ontario français
|Established||9 April 2018|
|President||Normand Labrie (interim)|
The Université de l’Ontario français (abbreviated as UOF) is a French-language public university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The university plans to situate its campus in the East Bayfront neighbourhood of downtown Toronto, near the Toronto waterfront.
The university was incorporated by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in April 2018, although it did not offer its first academic program until September 2019. The institution plans to accept its first cohort of full-time students in 2021.
Efforts to establish a Francophone university in central and southwestern Ontario emerged during the 2010s, with several Franco-Ontarian groups, including the Francophone Assembly of Ontario, releasing a report that recommended the creation of a Francophone university within that region on 3 October 2014. A private member's bill to establish a Francophone university was later introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on 26 May 2015. However, the bill failed to pass as the legislature was prorogued. While the legislature was prorogued, a report released from the French Post-Secondary Education Advisory Committee in Central and Southwestern Ontario noted that post-secondary Francophone services were insufficient in central and southwestern Ontario, and recommended establishing a Francophone university within Greater Toronto to help rectify the issue.
The private member's bill was reintroduced on 21 September 2016, after the legislature reconvened. On 22 September, a planning committee was created to help establish the institution, and included the former federal Commissioner of Official Languages; members from other Toronto-based universities including Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto; the president of the provincial French language public broadcaster TFO; and members from other Ontario-based Francophone organizations. The legislation to establish the institution, the Université de l’Ontario français Act was passed in 14 December 2017, and formally went into effect on 9 April 2018. Members of the university's board of governors were appointed shortly afterwards, on 31 December 2018.
However, following the 2018 Ontario general election, the newly formed Progressive Conservative government had announced plans to cancel funding for the establishment of the institution. The issue of funding became a major political issue for the new government among the province's Franco-Ontarian residents. However, in September 2019, the governments of Ontario, and Canada announced they signed a memorandum of understanding, which would see both governments provide C$126-million to fund the institution over the following eight years.
The university offered its first academic program in September 2019, a higher education pedagogy program offered to student teachers at Collège La Cité. The university's first graduate certificates were issued for those who completed the program. The institution plans to accept its first cohort of full-time students in fall 2021.
The Université de l'Ontario français's is situated in downtown Toronto, near the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The university plans to situate its first campus within 9 Lower Jarvis Stret, a high-rise in the East Bayfront neighbourhood of downtown Toronto. The university plans to lease 4,654 square metres (50,100 sq ft) of space within the building, with plans to open the campus to the public by June 2021.
The governance of the university is conducted through the board of governors and the university senate, both of which were established in the Université de l'Ontario français Act, 2017. The board of governors is responsible for governing and managing the university. The board's members includes the university's administration, faculty, student body, and members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for Ontario. The senate is responsible for the university's academic and education policy, including standards for admission and qualifications for degrees, diplomas, and certificates issued by the university.
The university's president and vice-chancellor serves as the university's chief executive officer, with Normand Labrie named to the position on an interim basis on 4 July 2018. The board of governors is also empowered to appoint a chancellor, who acts as the ceremonial head of the institution. However, the university has not yet appointed a person to the position.
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- "Normand Labrie Appointed Interim President". www.newswire.ca. CNW Group Ltd. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
- "Direction". uontario.ca (in French). Université de l'Ontario français. 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "Historique". uontario.ca (in French). Universite de l'Ontario français. 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- "Ford and Trudeau governments team up to establish new Francophone university". Nation Valley News. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- "Université De L'ontario Français First Board Of Governors". www.oas.gov.on.ca. Queen's Printer for Ontario. 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
- Morello, Vincenzo (3 February 2020). "Ontario set to open first French university in 2021". Radio Canada International. Radio Canada. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Nicolle, Rozenn; Ratel, Marie-Hélène (20 June 2019). "L'Université de l'Ontario français annonce un premier programme pour l'automne 2019". ICI Toronto (in French). Radio Canada. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- "Le campus de l'Université de l'Ontario français sera sur les berges du lac Ontario". ICI Toronto (in French). Radio Canada. 25 February 2020.
- "Collèges et universités de langue française". www.ontario.ca (in French). Queen's Printer for Ontario. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.