Fonds F-201 - Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic fonds

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Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic fonds

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  • Architectural drawings
  • Textual records

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  • Source of title proper: The title of the fonds is based on the name of the creating body.

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  • 1977 - 1998 (Creation)
    Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic

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Physical description

8.63 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1972 - )

Administrative history

The Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic (AVPA) has its origins in the appointment of Ian Mugridge as Assistant Vice-President, Academic in 1972. At that time, the Office of the Vice-President, Academic (VPA) was itself a relatively new unit, having been established only two years before in 1970 (see fonds F-200 for the administrative history of the VPA's Office). The appointment of an Assistant enabled the VPA to delegate a number of responsibilities to the new position: administrative supervision of certain academic support departments (Library, Registrar, Academic Advice Centre), space allocation planning, and some involvement in academic planning. Mugridge left the university in 1975; his successors took the title of Associate Vice-President, Academic. By 1986 the AVPA's Office had established its own record-keeping system and maintained its own files separate from those of the VPA.

Over the years, the division of responsibilities between the VPA and the AVPA has evolved considerably. Academic planning and budget planning generally remained with the VPA until 2001, when a reorganization of the portfolio delegated the primary responsibility for these activities to the AVPA. Space planning and allocation were early delegated to the AVPA in 1972 and have remained with this position since that time

From 1975 to 2001, the primary focus of the AVPA's mandate was the management of employment relations with the university's academic staff. This began with the appointment of Dan Birch as AVPA in 1975. The AVPA took the lead role in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) in 1979; throughout the 1980s and 1990s the AVPA was the university's chief negotiator with the SFU Faculty Association (SFUFA); and in 1996 the AVPA assumed direct responsibility for the Academic Relations Office (for a history of this office, see fonds F-203). The focus on academic employment relations continued until 2001, when the incumbent AVPA (Judith Osborne) became Associate Vice-President, Policy, Equity and Legal. This new position moved out of the VPA's portfolio, reported directly to the President, and took with it most policy-related and negotiating responsibilities. With this reorganization, the focus of the AVPA's mandate shifted to academic planning and budgeting processes, institutional analysis, space allocation, and coordination of major and minor capital projects and IT projects.

The AVPA's involvement in university IT systems planning has varied over the years. Support for academic and research computing requirements was originally a function of the VPA's Office, but was transferred to the newly established Vice-President, Research / Information Systems in 1985. It returned to the VPA's portfolio in 1990, with the AVPA (Ross Saunders) having lead responsibility, though this shifted back to the VPA in 1994; in 2001 all IT responsibilities were consolidated under the Chief Information Officer (CIO), reporting directly to the VPA.

Since its establishment in 1972, the position of AVP Academic has always reported directly to the VPA. The AVPA has had administrative responsibility for a number of different reporting units within the university at various times, include the Academic Advice Centre, the Audio Visual Centre and its successors (Instructional Media Centre, Learning and Instructional Development Centre), the Registrar's Office, the University Library, and the University Archives. See the table attached to this fonds description for a complete list of the units that have belonged to the VPA's portfolio, their distribution between the VPA and the AVPA, and the years of the reporting relationship.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records made or received by the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic in the course of its activities. Activities and topics documented include the AVPA's reporting relationship with the VP Academic (meetings and consultations); liaison with other senior university administrators, including the President and other Vice-Presidents; administrative supervision of and correspondence with units reporting to the AVPA; and the AVPA's participation in a number of Senate committees, including the Senate Policy Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries (SPCSAB), the Senate Undergraduate Admissions Board (SUAB), the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUS), the Senate Committee on Academic Planning (SCAP), and the Senate Committee on Enrolment Management and Planning (SCEMP). Records include correspondence, reports, and meeting agendas, minutes, and supporting papers. For more detailed descriptions of record types, see individual series and sub-series descriptions.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Since 1996 the records of the AVPA's Office have been scheduled under university Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA) 1995-044, resulting in annual transfers to the Archives. Material that had accumulated in the University Records Centre prior to this date was appraised and formally transferred to the Archives in 1994.


The arrangement of the fonds into series, sub- and sub-sub-series is based on the original order of the material as found in the file classification system used by the AVPA's Office to organize the records.

Evidence of the original order is found in the annual file indices that survive from 1987 to 1994 (with some gaps) and in the staff practice from around 1984 to 1996 of coding files and annotating documents with the file classification code. From this, it appears that a file classification plan was adopted around 1984 to organize the AVPA's records independently of the VPA's files. This was based on the system already in use by VPA and shared the same numbering and naming conventions. Over the years, the VPA and AVPA systems began to diverge, however, especially after 1992 when the VPA (but not the AVPA) totally restructured its plan from an alphanumeric hierarchy to a block numeric system. Around 1996, the AVPA's Office appears to have discontinued its classification and numbering scheme altogether.

The arrangement of the fonds is therefore based on the classification system operative between 1984 and 1996. Files outside this date range have been assigned by the archivist to a series within that system. There is evidence of an even earlier file classification plan: a file index exists from 1977 showing different categories and a different numbering system, but no files survive from this period. All file indices are available in series F-201-3-2-9.

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Restrictions on access

Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as required by law. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Series and sub-series descriptions are available, but the Archives has not produced descriptions at the sub-sub-series level. File lists for all levels are included in this finding aid. The surviving file indices produced by the Office (1987-1994 with some gaps) are available in series F-201-3-2-9 ("File indices"). Appendix A provides an alphabetical index of all access points (names) assigned to series; use it to track correspondence with a particular department or other body across different archival series. The Archives has created a detailed concordance between the archival arrangement and the AVPA's file classification system, showing the original classification codes, category titles, and corresponding archival series, while registering changes over time; to consult the concordance, please inquire with the archivist.

Finding aid

Associated materials

Prior to the establishment of a separate record-keeping system for the AVPA's Office around 1984, files created by the AVPA were integrated by the creator into the VPA's file system. For these records, see fonds F-200, series 2-11, Associate Vice-President, Academic.

The Archives has also assigned separate fonds to two offices which are closely affiliated with the Offices of the VP and AVP Academic but which maintained their own files in separate record-keeping systems; see:

F-202, Academic Relations Office fonds.
F-203, Academic Planning Services fonds.

Related materials


All accessions have been processed as of February 2006. Further accruals are expected.

General note

Predominant dates of the records: 1983-1998.

Includes 16 oversize architectural plans (see series 3).

General note

Financial assistance for the arrangement and description of the records and production of the finding aid was generously provided by Simon Fraser University's Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost (October 2005).

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Finding aid prepared by Richard Dancy (February 2006).

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