When the University of Saskatchewan was created in 1907 it was called the People’s University. It was created not merely to educate students in attendance but to extend knowledge to the province as a whole, and to act as a tool in the advancement of society. In 1931, then Premier Anderson reiterated this sentiment when he opened the School for the Deaf (Williams Building) on campus land by emphasizing that the University is the property of the people of Saskatchewan and that it will always be open to the public for the purposes of education. These sentiments are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.
Judging by the type and number of programs that were ranked in the lowest three quintiles of the recent TransformUS report there is a danger of becoming an “Elite University” that does not meet the needs of the people of Saskatchewan. Realize that TransformUS looked primarily at budget efficiencies and not necessarily the importance of programs to the people of this province.
Will the University of Saskatchewan really become a place that does not offer a comprehensive range of academic programs? The University of Saskatchewan is still the People’s University and the faculty, university community, and people of the province should collectively decide its mission.