Academic Philosophy

The University of Lethbridge endeavours to cultivate humane values; it seeks to foster intellectual growth, social development, aesthetic senstitvity, personal ethics and physical well-being; it seeks to cultivate the transcendental dimension of the scholar's personality.

Flexibility and openness to innovation will be the distinguishing feature of the Univeristy of Lethbridge.

A University is composed of a variety of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. The aim of the University should be to accomodate these individuals.

The University ought to be organized in such a way that individuals are encouraged to interact, but not compelled to do so.

The undergraduate is, and should remain, the focus of the University's endeavour. Students are invited to participate in all phases of University life.

The multi-disciplinary approach ought to be one of the features of the program planning.

The University should actively seek to develop interrelated programs with other institutions of learning.

The University recognizes its responsibility for contributing to the total education needs of the community and the wider society.

The University commits its allegiance to the world-wide community of scholars, and wishes to emphasize the fact that learning transcends national boundaries.

The University asserts its right and responsibility for free expression and communication ideas. it is self-evident that a University cannot function without complete autonomy in this domain.

*Excerpts from the University of Lethbridge Academic Plan and Users' Report, September 27, 1968

Academic Plan

The University of Lethbridge expects to be a multi-faculty institution, limited for the near future to the Faculties of Arts and Science and Education. There will be a program of Continuing Education integrated intimately with the offerings of the Faculties but also limited to where the resources of the University can be useful to special demands in the community.

Within the programs to be offered, the University expects to emphasize teaching in small classes where this is considered valuable plus communication by means of modern techniques and media where these are useful. Optimum interaction between faculty and students is a primary goal. To ensure the quality of the total educational experience, facilities and resources for individual faculty and student scholarship will be made available. Particular and continuing emphasis will be directed to undergraduate education. however, it is recognized that by definition a University must ultimately include post-graduate development. Therefore, the University is actively preparing a plan whereby a gradual involvement in graduate studies in ways that are consistent with local resources, provincial needs and this Unversity's philosophy can be achieved.

Important considerations for a University seriously oriented towards undergraduate students are adequate residences, adequate library resources for learning and scholarship, flexibility in units of learning such as it allowed by the semester system, flexibility of curriculum, optimum availability of information presented by all media of comunication, and the best possible counselling.

Academic Policies

It has been the policy of the Univeristy, and the understanding of its community, that from the inception of the University a very significant emphasis should be placed on the Fine Arts. Therefore, the University proposes to develop art, music and drama to a much greater extent than would normally be associated with an institution of a liberal arts type. The arts will be simultaneously an integral part of the academic core of the University and a base for University involvement in the cultural affairs of the community.

The University has legislated so that multi-disciplinary approaches to learning may flourish. It will legislate specific programs when the academic initiataive and reources are available. meanwhile, the kind of conference and departmental space specified at this time is essential for such multi-disciplinary efforts.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences regards it as an absolutely essential that the individual laboratory experience of students in beginning courses be redesigned and up-graded to the point where it is the major if not only component in those courses. Our present and proposed programs will also include individual student research as an essential component in many senior undergraduate courses.

The present and proposed programs fo the Faculty of Arts and Science are designed so as to accommodate a wide spectrum of student needs, including those that would be identified with Honors students elsewhere.

The Faculty of Education accepts its unique opportunity to experiement with new approaches to teacher education. The new approaches involve: joint responsibilities, at both the pre-service and in-service stages of teacher education, by universitities, the teaching profession, school systems, and the Department of Education: a high degree of individuation in instruction to counter the mass assembly approach to teacher education; a heavy research orientation, partitcularly in applied research by faculty and students; integration of theory and practice through professional semester; emphasis on student teaching and other field experiences; and a university-wide approach to teacher education, featured by the pre-education phase in Arts and Science. These new approaches, and particularly the research orientation, independent study, and involvement of professional personnel outside the University, demand the utmost flexibility of facilities provision and use.

Residence Policy

Though there is a diversity of opinion in the University regarding residential development, a concensus has been achieved with regard to the following:

A. The University should encourage the students to live in residence in order to obtain the greatest exposure to and benefits from the academic experience.

B. To the greatest extent possible the University should seek sources outside the University's budget to finance the building of residences.

C. Even in the earliest stages of development, the University should resolve NOT to adopt the in loc parentis approach to its housing program.

D. In keeping with the institution's philosophy and objectives, there should be a variety of types of housing in order to satisfy the needs of the individual.