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Interview with Ron Baker by Kathy Bossort November 27, 2015 - Track 6

https://search.heritageburnaby.ca/permalink/oralhistory640
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Dr. Ron Baker’s discussion about the choice of branding SFU the “engaged” university at the time of its 50th Anniversary, and the need for university Presidents to fund raise. He talks about the relationship between UBC and SFU, and the reasons for hostility t…
Date Range
1950-2015
Length
0:10:17
  1 Audio  
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Summary
This portion of the interview is about Dr. Ron Baker’s discussion about the choice of branding SFU the “engaged” university at the time of its 50th Anniversary, and the need for university Presidents to fund raise. He talks about the relationship between UBC and SFU, and the reasons for hostility towards UBC in the 1950s, especially from interior BC communities.
Date Range
1950-2015
Length
0:10:17
Name
Simon Fraser University
University of British Columbia
Subject
Education
Public Services
Events - Anniversaries
Geographic Access
Burnaby - Burnaby Mountain
Interviewer
Bossort, Kathy
Interview Date
November 27, 2015
Scope and Content
Recording is of an interview with Dr. Ronald James Baker conducted by Kathy Bossort. Ron Baker was one of 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about the founding of Simon Fraser University from the perspective of SFU’s first faculty member and Director of Academic Planning, Ron Baker. Ron Baker talks about John B. Macdonald’s report on higher education in BC (1962) and how it lead to the provincial government’s decision to establish a new university and to put it in the Burnaby area. He tells stories about how the site on Burnaby Mountain was chosen; about the building of the campus; and about the challenges of planning the academic structure of the university. He also talks about the attraction of creating with little interference an institution trying out new ideas and tells stories about his working relationship with Gordon Shrum. He considers the problems created by building universities in out of the way places and the ideas such as UniverCity for dealing with SFU’s isolation.
Biographical Notes
Ron Baker was born in London, England, in 1924, and served in the Royal Air Force during WW2. He emigrated to Canada in 1947 and studied at UBC where he obtained a BA degree (1951) and MA degree (1953) in English Language and Literature. He served on the faculty of the UBC English Department beginning as a lecturer in 1951 and advanced to positions of Assistant Professor (1958-63) and Associate Professor (1963-65). He was a contributor to John B. Macdonald’s 1962 report “Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future”, and continued to make significant contributions to the establishment of the community college system in Canada throughout his career. In 1963 the newly established Simon Fraser University hired Ron as its first Director of Academic Planning, serving also as first head of SFU’s English Department. In 1969 Ron left SFU to become the first President of the University of Prince Edward Island, a position he held until 1978. In 1978 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to higher education. Ron has contributed to many organizations, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, on Canada Council, and as President of Association of Atlantic Universities and the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English. In 1990 Ron Baker was asked by the government of BC to prepare a preliminary report on the establishment of the future UNBC in Prince George. Now retired Ron Baker lives in the Edmonds area of Burnaby.
Total Tracks
7
Total Length
1:33:46
Other Tracks
View All Tracks
Interviewee Name
Baker, Ronald J. "Ron"
Interview Location
Ron Baker's home in Burnaby
Interviewer Bio
Kathy Bossort is a retired archivist living in Ladner, BC. She worked at the Delta Museum and Archives after graduating from SLAIS (UBC) in 2001 with Masters degrees in library science and archival studies. Kathy grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to this career change, she lived in the West Kootenays, earning her living as a cook for BC tourist lodges and work camps. She continues to be interested in oral histories as a way to fill the gaps in the written record and bring richer meaning to history.
Collection/Fonds
Community Heritage Commission Special Projects fonds
Series
Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project series
Item No.
MSS196-013_Track_6
Media Type
Sound Recording
Audio Tracks

Track six of interview with Dr. Ron Baker

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