- University of Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan is a Canadian public research university, founded in 1907, and located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. An “Act to establish and incorporate a University for the Province of Saskatchewan” was passed by the provincial legislature in 1907. It established the provincial university on April 3, 1907 “for the purpose of providing facilities for higher education in all its branches and enabling all persons without regard to race, creed or religion to take the fullest advantage”. The University of Saskatchewan is the largest education institution in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It is also the only Canadian University that has a partnership agreement with University of Oxford. The University of Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s top research universities (based on the number of Canada Research Chairs) and is a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (the 15 most research-intensive universities in Canada).
The university began as an agricultural college in 1907 and established the first Canadian university-based department of extension in 1910. There were 120 hectares (300 acres) set aside for university buildings and 400 ha (1,000 acres) for the U of S farm, and agricultural fields. In total 10.32 km2 (3.98 sq mi) was annexed for the university. The main University campus is situated upon 981 ha (2,425 acres), with another 200 ha (500 acres) allocated for Innovation Place Research Park. The University of Saskatchewan agriculture college still has access to neighbouring urban research lands. The University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) facility, (2003) develops DNA-enhanced immunization vaccines for both humans and animals. The University is also home to the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, which is considered one of the largest and most innovative investments in Canadian science. Since its origins as an agricultural college, research has played an important role at the university. Discoveries made at the U of S include sulphate-resistant cement and the cobalt-60 cancer therapy unit. The university offers over 200 academic programs. Duncan P. McColl was appointed as the first registrar, establishing the first convocation from which Chief Justice Edward L. Wetmore was elected as the first chancellor. Walter Charles Murray became the first president of the university’s board of governors.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Agriculture and Bioresources
- Arts and Science
- Edwards School of Business
- School of Environment and Sustainability
- Graduate Studies and Research
- Pharmacy and Nutrition
- School of Physical Therapy
- School of Public Health
- Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
- Veterinary Medicine
The institution was modelled on the American state university, with an emphasis on extension work and applied research. The University of Saskatchewan, at Saskatoon, was granted a provincial charter on April 3, 1907. A provincial statute known as the University Act. It provided for a publicly funded, yet independent institution to be created for the citizens of the whole province.
The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to perform institutional leadership. The scope of the new institution was to include colleges of arts and science, including art, music and commerce, agriculture with forestry, domestic science, education, engineering, law, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary science and dentistry.
Saskatoon was chosen as the site for the University on April 7, 1909 by the board of governors. On October 12, 1912 the first building opened its doors for student admission. It awarded its first degrees in 1912. In the early part of this century, professional education expanded beyond the traditional fields of theology, law and medicine. Graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced.
Battleford, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, and Saskatoon all lobbied to be the location of the new university. Walter Murray preferred the provincial capital, Regina. In a politically influenced vote, Saskatoon was chosen on April 7, 1909.
Designed by David Robertson Brown (architect), the Memorial Gates were erected in 1927 at the corner of College Drive and Hospital Drive in honour of the University of Saskatchewan alumni who served in the First World War. A stone wall bears inscriptions of the names of the sixty seven university students and faculty who lost their lives while on service during World War I. The hallways of the Old Administrative Building (College Building) at the University of Saskatchewan are decorated with memorial scrolls in honour of the University of Saskatchewan alumni who served in the World Wars.
The National Film Board of Canada documentary “Prairie University” (1955) directed by John Feeney explores diverse research activities at the University of Saskatchewan on agriculture, medicine, and ice cream.
A college of veterinary medicine opened at the University of Saskatchewan on July 2, 1969. The University of Saskatchewan’s Arms were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on February 15, 2001.
A location next to the South Saskatchewan River, across from the city centre of Saskatoon, was selected for the campus. David Robertson Brown of Brown & Vallance were the initial architects constructing a campus plan and the first university buildings in Collegiate Gothic style: The Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, laid the cornerstone of the first building, the College Building, on July 29, 1910. The first building to be started on the new campus, the College Building, built 1910–1912 opened in 1913; in 2001, it was declared a National Historic Site of Canada.
Brown & Vallance designed the Administration Building (1910–12); Saskatchewan Hall Student Residence (1910–12). Brown & Vallance designed the Engineering Building (1910–12) as well as additions 1913 in 1920 and rebuilt the building after it burned in 1925. Brown & Vallance designed the Barn and Stock Pavilion (1910–12) and Emmanuel College (1910–12). Brown & Vallance built the Faculty Club (1911–12) and rebuilt it after it burned in 1964. Brown & Vallance constructed the President’s Residence (1911–13) Qu’Appelle Hall Student Residence (1914–16) Physics Building (1919–21); Chemistry Building (1922–23); St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College (1922–23); Memorial Gates (1927–28) and the Field Husbandry Building (1929).
The original buildings were built using native limestone – greystone – which was mined just north of campus. Over the years, this greystone became one of the most recognizable campus signatures. When the local supply of limestone was exhausted, the University turned to Tyndall stone, which is quarried in Manitoba.Saskatchewan’s Provincial University and Agricultural College were officially opened May 1, 1913 by Hon. Walter Scott.
The original architectural plan called for the university buildings to be constructed around a green space known as The Bowl. The original university buildings are now connected by skywalks and tunnels. Clockwise, from the north; Thorvaldson Building (August 22, 1924) (Spinks addition); Geology, W.P. Thompson Biology (1960) adjoined to Physics Building (1921); College Building (May 1, 1913) (Administration addition); Saskatchewan cojoined with Athabasca Hall (1964); Qu’Appelle Hall (1916); Marquis Hall adjoined to Place Riel – Qu’Appelle Addition; Murray Memorial Main Library (1956); Arts (1960) cojoined with Law and adjoined to Commerce building complete the initial circle around the perimeter of the bowl.
Francis Henry Portnall and Frank Martin designed the Dairy & Soils Laboratory (1947).
Roughly adhering to the original plan of 1909, numerous colleges were established: Arts & Science (1909); Agriculture, now called Agriculture and Bioresources (1912); Engineering (1912); Law (1913); Pharmacy, now called Pharmacy & Nutrition (1914); Commerce, now the N. Murray Edwards School of Business (1917); Medicine (1926); Education (1927); Home Economics (1928); Nursing (1938); Graduate Studies and Research (1946); Physical Education, now called Kinesiology (1958); Veterinary Medicine (1964); Dentistry (1965); and theSchool of Physical Therapy (1976).
The U of S also has several graduate programs amongst these colleges, which give rise to a masters or doctorate degree. In 1966, the University of Saskatchewan introduced a masters program in adult education. Diploma, and certificate post secondary courses are also available to aid in professional development.
Theological Colleges, affiliated with the university, were also established: Emmanuel College – (Anglican denomination) (1909), St. Andrew’s College (as Presbyterian College, Saskatoon) then United Church of Canada (1913), Lutheran Theological Seminary (1920), St. Thomas More College (1936), and Central Pentecostal College(1983).
Regina College was saved from bankruptcy and became part of the university in 1934, and was given degree-granting privileges in 1959, making it a second University of Saskatchewan campus. By another act of legislation in 1974, Regina College was made an independent institution known as the University of Regina.
The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. The single-university policy in the West was changed as existing colleges of the provincial universities gained autonomy as universities.
Correspondence courses were established in 1929.
Other federated and affiliated colleges include Briercrest Bible College and Biblical Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan; Gabriel Dumont College and St. Peter’s Historic Junior College in Muenster, Saskatchewan.
In the late 1990s, the U of S launched a major revitalisation program, comprising new capital projects such as an expansion to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the building of a new parkade, and a revision of its internal road layout (which has already seen the East Road access being realigned). The Thorvaldson Building, which is home to the departments of chemistry and computer science, hosts a new expansion known as the Spinks addition. The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition has also had a number of renovations.
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