Updated : October 2020
Since 1995, the administration has presented the Board of Governors with an annual report describing Western's progress towards our strategic goals and giving members of our community a sense of our relative standing within the Province and the country on a variety of statistical measures. Between 2005 and 2013, the annual reports were given a more formal structure and the reports reproduced the same array of core performance and activity indicators on a consistent basis, so that we will have a set of benchmarks which can be measured over time.
Starting with the 2016 report, the format has been modified to align the indicators with the University's most recent Strategic Plan - Achieving Excellence on the World Stage - which was approved by the Board in January 2014. The indicators in this document have - with the best available data - been aligned with the fourteen metrics (A through N) outlined on page 18 of the Strategic Plan. In the coming years, if other new data become available, we will incorporate them in the report as additions/improvements.
These annual reports are an important element of the administration's accountability to the Board. Increasingly the provincial government has been calling upon Ontario's universities for greater levels of accountability and transparency - and at Western we are already well-positioned to respond to these calls, in the sense that our strategic plan, budget plans, financial statements, and Board and Senate proceedings are already
publicly available through a readily-accessible public accountability website.
In selecting the set of indicators, we have attempted to produce a concise and focused report. It is important to note that this is not intended as a promotional document. It contains not only indicators which suggest significant achievement by Western, but also ones that identify areas where improvements are necessary in order to achieve our strategic plan priorities and aspirations.
Dr. Alan Shepard
President and Vice-Chancellor
The Primary Data Sources
The Council of Ontario Universities has for many years collected a wide variety of information from its member institutions: applications and marks data, space inventory, faculty and staff counts, and an annual financial report. By agreement, the member institutions do not publish comparisons which might impact the reputation of another member institution. Therefore, Western's performance indicators compare us to the
aggregate of the other member institutions or present institutional comparisons without identifying other institutions.
In 1999 the executive heads of the G10, Canada's ten most research-intensive universities (Laval, Montreal, McGill, Queen's, Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, Western, Alberta, and British Columbia) formed a data exchange consortium to facilitate comparative analysis and benchmarking. The G10 data exchange (G10DE) was modelled after a similar data exchange consortium of leading American research universities, and with the passage of
time, the G10DE has produced a valuable set of comparative data. The G10 group was expanded in 2006 and again in 2010 to include Dalhousie University, the University of Ottawa, the University of Calgary, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Saskatchewan. Since that time the comparative indicators have been expanded gradually to include the larger U15 group as the five new members begin to provide data. Similar
to the COU agreement, Western's performance indicators compare us to the aggregate of the other member U15 institutions or present institutional comparisons without identifying other institutions.
Western also participates in the American-based Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) which provides comparative information on student retention and graduation rates and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). When considering comparisons to American universities, Western selects the group of publicly-funded institutions classified by the Carnegie Foundation as being in the highest category
The Format for the Indicators
The indicators in this report will be presented in one of three formats, and the selection of a particular format is in large measure a function of data availability. Over time, with increased data availability, the format of a particular indicator may be modified and enhanced. Data will be presented as one of:
1. Western compared to peer institutions over time,
2. Western compared to peer institutions at a point in time (the most recently available year), or
3. Western's performance over a period of time with no peer comparator data.