Letter: Survey? What survey?

By Tony Keller

Editor, the Gauntlet, [Re: “Maclean’s wrong?” Letter, Sept. 21, 2006]

So let’s see if I’ve got this right: Roman Cooney is criticizing Maclean’s for conducting a survey of U of C graduates, despite the fact that Maclean’s never conducted a survey of U of C graduates. According to Cooney, the existence of this non-existent survey of U of C grads “is one of many reasons why at least 21 universities have declined to be part of this year’s rankings.” But of course. The logic is iron clad.

I mistakenly assumed that when Mr. Cooney was quoted criticizing Maclean’s in the Gauntlet, he was complaining about what we actually published. This spring, Maclean’s published the results of two surveys of Calgary students. The National Survey of Student Engagement was commissioned by the U of C administration and conducted in 2004; and the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium was commissioned by the U of C administration in 2005. They were the two most recent national surveys of students in which the U of C had taken part. They were the only surveys of U of C graduates or students that Maclean’s published in our University Student Issue of June 26, 2006.

Mr. Cooney also insist that “[w]e have a long way to go, but the University of Calgary is changing fast by investing millions of dollars in the quality of the student experience. Maclean’s is resolutely determined to ignore this.”

Does any serious person believe that Maclean’s is “determined to ignore this?” Oh come on. Maclean’s’ only interest is in publishing the best and most complete information on every Canadian university. In this fall’s university rankings issue, Maclean’s will be publishing data on finances, grades, students, faculty and more at every Canadian university. The U of C has refused to make available up-to-date information in all of these areas, including data on its allegedly increased spending on improving the student experience. As Mr. Cooney knows, we would be happy to publish this information. Maclean’s has repeatedly asked for this information. We have even filed legal demands for it under Alberta’s freedom of information law. So far, no response from the U of C.

Exactly who is resolutely ignoring whom? And why?

Tony Keller

managing editor,

special projects


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