University Act, 1910
Premier Rutherford’s provisional 1906 University Act gave the Senate management of both University business and educational policies. During the winter of 1908 and 1909, Dr Tory undertook drafting of an Act that was less cumbersome.
With the help of Mr Sydney Woods, Alberta’s Deputy Attorney-General, Tory’s 1910 Act incorporated legal aspects and provided the University with a governance model that would last almost five decades.
Key elements of the 1910 Act included:
- A separate Board of Governors. The Board consisted of the President, the Chancellor, and nine members appointed by the government. The Board’s role was to deal with the University’s business administration. Fifty percent of succession duties, twenty percent of the Corporate tax, and a portion of the Education tax were to be turned over to the Board.
- The Board was empowered to borrow money or issue debentures, subject to approval by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council.
- The Senate would control University academic policies such as granting degrees and the establishment of faculties and departments, courses, and student discipline.
- The Senate was enlarged to include a chancellor, the president, chairman of the Board of Governors, the Deputy Minister of Education, faculty deans, one elected representative from each faculty, heads of affiliated colleges, a member from each professional society, and ten members elected by Convocation. There was a provision that ex-officio members such as the President, Dean of Faculties, and elected persons could represent their interests on the Senate. In total, there were about 30 Senate members.
- Examinations for all Alberta professions would be under the control of boards that were appointed by the Senate. For awhile, a permissive clause enabled the Senate to negotiate with professional associations. Eventually, all professions that required academic teaching were brought under established standards by the University.
- Tory increased his power, and his successors’ power, by including a provision that indicated the University President was to be appointed directly by the provincial cabinet.
Tory’s 1910 University Act brought a measure of financial security, so he was able to proceed with campus planning. In 1908, the University had 45 students, a President, a Senate, and four academic staff. By 1912, the University boasted 320 students, a teaching staff of 26, non-academic staff, and a governance model that would steer the University through innumerable changes.