Davenport Timeline

1993 On September 23, the announcement of Paul Theodore Davenport as the 9th President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Ontario is made by Claude Pensa, Chair of the Board of Governors.

 

Described as “a president for the 21st century.” 

1994

July

In his opening address, Davenport says Western needs a strategic plan. Sets priorities: administrative openness; emphasis on putting academic priorities first – excellence in teaching and research; strengthening ties with the external community; establishing a task force on strategic planning.

 

First meets university community by serving hamburgers and hot dogs at a community BBQ on the Concrete Beach.

 

September

Strategic Planning Task Force formed to establish priorities and develop a mission statement.

 

Davenport is Western’s first computer literate president, uses a PC and sends e-mail.

 

October

Officially installed at the 263rd Convocation.

 

November

Presents brief to Finance Minister Paul Martin urging stronger federal support for higher education.

 

1995

February

Preliminary report of Task Force on Strategic Planning released for community discussion. Public meetings held throughout the year.

 

June

Leadership in Learning: Western’s Draft Strategic Plan released. The agenda for change includes 53 recommendations.

 

November

Board of Governors approves Strategic Plan.

 

1996

January

Meets with Ontario Education Minister John Snobelen. Seeks flexibility for universities in setting tuition fees to deal with Ontario budget cuts. Cuts at Western range from 0-20% based on academic priorities.

 

February

Review of UWO Act launched.

 

May

Looking Forward document proposes faculty restructuring to deal with fiscal crises.

 

June

Senate approves merger of Nursing, Applied Health Sciences and Kinesiology faculties into Faculty of Health Sciences.

 

July

Faculty of Communications and Open Learning established, merging Library and Information Sciences, School of Journalism and Part-Time and Continuing Education.

 

August

Western backs City of London bid to host 2001 Canada Summer Games.

 

October

Davenport appointed chair, Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada.

 

November

Final report on review of UWO Act. No major changes requiring amendment by provincial legislature.

 

1997

February

University report on student recruitment and retention seeks improvement in overall student excellence.

 

March

Faculty renewal hiring. Special $1.25-million fund to hire new faculty; Senate approves merger of Medicine & Dentistry.

 

May

Staff launch certification drive.

 

June

London Alliance wins Canada Summer Games for 2001. Western is a key partner in hosting athletes and officials as well as opening and closing ceremonies.

 

September

Undergraduate enrolment rises to 15,600 full-time students; graduate student numbers rise by 140 to 1,800.

 

Teaching assistants union approves first contract.

 

October

Davenport’s performance reviewed by Board of Governors committee. A community process seeks input from university and external communities.

 

Staff vote to form independent union.

 

Faculty launch drive for union.

 

November

Board considers new stadium to replace J.W. Little Memorial Stadium for 2001 Canada Summer Games.

 

December

Davenport reappointed for second five-year term. Priorities include faculty and staff renewal and recruiting outstanding students.

 

1998

January

New 385-bed residence to open on University Drive by September 1999.

 

February

Name change proposed for Faculty of Communications and Open Learning. Student applications to Western jump by 12.9%.

 

March

Faculty vote to unionize.

 

New faculty named Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Includes journalism and library and information science but drops part-time and continuing education.

 

July

Western launches biggest funding raising campaign in history – seeks $250-$300 million.

 

1999

January

To take three-month leave of absence for research in Paris, France on role of universities in knowledge-based economy. Will work at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from May 1-July 1, 1999.

 

February

Federal budget from Finance Minister Paul Martin helps university research.

 

Proposed fundraising campaign going to Board and Senate in April with $270-million goal.

 

April

Urges provincial government to begin planning for enrolment demand from double cohort with elimination of Grade 13.

 

September

Elgin Hall, new 3,500-bed residence on University Drive, opens.

 

Contract awarded for construction of new stadium.

 

October

Davenport elected chair, Council of Ontario Universities.

 

2000

March

Davenport announces Western to build 700-seat theatre-style classroom in Natural Sciences Centre as part of province’s SuperBuild Program.

 

Modest growth in campus core envisaged until 2020 in planning paper prepared by Davenport.

 

June

Davenport receives honorary degree from University of Toronto.

 

September

Grand opening of TD Waterhouse Stadium.

 

November

Western among top 5 in Maclean’s survey for third straight year.

 

Strategic Planning Task Force created to plan for next decade.

 

2001

January

Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco and Davenport celebrate announcement that Centre for Continuing Studies will move downtown to Galleria London.

 

Davenport appears weekly on CHRW Radio Western on Barney Booth Jazz Show.

 

May

New 400-bed residence proposed adjacent to Faculty of Education.

 

June

Davenport knighted by France – receives Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour).

 

Draft Strategic Plan Task Force report released.

 

August

Canada Summer Games held at Western and at sites around region. 

 

2002

January

Planning for increased cohort well underway.

 

March

First-year admissions set at 4,500 – 150 higher than 2001.

 

June

Provincial budget brings money to help cope with increased enrolment.

 

New 6-storey residence under construction near Althouse – 2003 completion.

 

October

125th Anniversary Committee established to plan celebration in 2003.

 

December

Board appoints to third term – only the third Western president to serve longer than 10 years.

 

Receives honorary degree from University of Moscow.

 

2003

January

Applications up 72% as more than 50,000 students apply. Western is the highest first-choice university after University of Toronto. Western will accept 6,595 first-year students.

 

February

Federal budget brings funding for indirect costs of research. Davenport calls it “a landmark decision.”

 

March

Western celebrates 125th anniversary with yearlong events.

 

May

Davenport receives Order of Canada at Rideau Hall.

 

June

Western hosts Canadian Council for Advancement of Education conference for first time.

 

September

Western welcomes largest first-year class – 6,700 students.

 

Campaign Western reaches $278 million, topping $270-million goal.

 

October

Western ranked highest by students in Globe and Mail report card.

 

November

Western ranks in top 3 universities in Maclean’s rankings for third straight year.

 

 

2004

January

Davenport named Newsmaker of the Year for 2003, a new award by the New PL (now A News) and The Londoner newspaper.

 

May

Campaign Western closes with $327 million raised.

 

October

Rae Review of post-secondary education tops Davenport’s priorities for 2004-05.

 

Western receives top marks in Globe and Mail survey of universities.

 

November

Joint paper by faculty, staff, students and administration to Rae Review.

 

 

2005

February

Davenport works with COU to rally public support for Rae Report recommending major investment in post-secondary education.

 

March

Dr. Henry Morgentaler to receive honorary degree at Spring Convocation. Ignites months-long controversy.

 

May

University hails best provincial budget in decades. $6.2 billion over the next five years.

 

Western prepares to host 2005 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences with 7,000 delegates.

 

June

Spring Convocation. Honorary degree awarded to Morgentaler under unprecedented campus security. More than 300 protesters, many national media on campus.

 

September

Davenport heads local United Way campaign. Seeks to raise $6.4 million.

 

November

Top marks again in Globe and Mail survey.

Solid results in Maclean’s survey – Western third in medical/doctoral category.

 

 

2006

February

Plans introduced for $230-million campus makeover over next seven years.

 

Davenport a celebrity reader in Western Reads program. He advocates for The Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston with fourth-year medical student Sandy Clark.

 

June

Western’s Draft Strategic Plan “Engaging the Future” released. Lays out blueprint for growth and change from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

 

November

Western tops Globe and Mail survey for 5th straight year among 15 largest universities.

Western expanding grad studies with 815 new spaces to be created.

 

 2007

January

 

More secondary school students make Western their top choice, 8.3% increase in applications.

 

April

Capital budget soars as campus grows. Over $134 million for projects.

 

May

Active learning in France. Davenport takes cycling trip with 20 kinesiology students of professor Albert Salmoni on 310-km trek along rural roads in Loire Valley. Davenport serves as tour guide.

 

2008

January

Campus surpasses record-breaking total with $576,819 for United Way.

$13 million from provincial government for campus renewal and infrastructure.

 

March

Davenport to be honored in June by Jewish National Fund for leadership and commitment to defending human rights. Ignites some criticism from faculty and students who felt it should be refused.

 

University begins search for Davenport’s successor. Search committee struck, headed by Board Chair Michele Noble.

 

June

Davenport receives Negev honor. Western praised as one of the most tolerant and peaceful campuses in Canada. Davenport and wife Josette receive standing ovation.

 

September

Western begins $500-million fundraising campaign to run until 2014.

 

October

Western outlines $700 million for construction, renovation and renewal as second phase of Long Range Space Plan. Includes $100 million for new Ivey building.

 

London Reads has Davenport as celebrity reader for “Gratitude” by Joseph Kertes with Delilah Deane Cummings from the London Public Library.

 

Alumni Association makes $250,000 gift to refurbish Talbot Theatre, to be named the Paul Davenport Theatre.

 

Former PM Jean Chrétien receives honorary degree.

 

November

Western responds to economic downturn by putting “pause” on new construction, trimming next year’s operating budget; reviews capital project needs.

 

 2009

January

Market downturn deepens. Layoffs possible.

 

Stevenson-Lawson renovations over next two years force relocation of president’s office to Natural Science Building.

 

Federal budget earmarks $2 billion for university and college infrastructure.

 

February

Retirement incentives offered to minimize layoffs. Town meeting held to discuss budget situation.

 

March

President reflects on 15 years of leadership during Leaders’ Forum for academic and administrative leaders.

 

April

Western passes 2009-10 operating and capital budgets, announce 55 staff layoffs due to revenue decline.

 

June

Retires on June 30.

 

 

Research by Jim Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

For other articles on The Davenport ERA visit:

 

https://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/a_farewell_interview_with_dr._paul_davenport_20090618444488/

 
https://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/davenport_legacy%3a_what_others_say__20090618444495/