Dr. Glen Jones is widely recognized as the foremost scholar writing about Canadian universities, as well as one of the world’s leading authorities on university governance.
He grew up on a farm near Killarney, Manitoba, the youngest of four children. He began his post-secondary education at the University of Manitoba, earning his bachelor of arts in 1983 and bachelor of education in 1985.
During his studies, he developed a passion for universities, envisioning these post-secondary institutions not just as places to be educated, but as extraordinary spaces where ideas are born and diverse perspectives come together. He has since devoted a lifetime to the study of what makes the Canadian system unique, why it works and how we can maximize its capacity to be an incubator of new opportunities.
Dr. Jones pursued this dream at Canada’s largest all-graduate faculty of education, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. After earning his master’s and doctorate in higher education, he joined the faculty as a teacher and researcher. He progressed through a number of roles, and was the first to hold the prestigious Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement.
In 2016, he became dean of OISE, an appointment that allows all of his strengths to converge. With Dr. Jones at the helm, the organization has successfully undergone a comprehensive and rapid transformation involving a range of stakeholders, from students and staff to policymakers.
While his leadership skills are revered, he is most proud of his contributions to higher education research. Collaborating with peers from around the world, he has greatly expanded our academic understanding of the factors impacting Canadian universities, from systems and governance to politics and policy.
His work has explored the unique aspects of the Canadian model, including the strong national partnerships that have flourished within the world’s most decentralized university system. Two decades ago, he explained these differences in the book Higher Education in Canada: Different Systems, Different Perspectives, and it remains a foundational work for understanding higher education across our country.
Dr. Jones has written or co-authored 14 books and more than a hundred articles on Canadian higher education, and has been called upon to share his expertise in more than 40 countries. The many awards and honours bestowed on his work have taken him to Barbados, Beijing, Oslo and Shanghai, to name a few.
The University of Manitoba is proud to award a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, to Dr. Glen Alan Jones for his outstanding contribution to higher education.
Glen Alan Jones