Title and statement of responsibility area
James Downey fonds.
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- Source of title proper: Title from content of the fonds.
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Downey, James
Physical description area
ca. 4.8 m of textual records
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Name of creator
James Downey was born in Winterton, Newfoundland in 1939. He graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and attended the University of London as a Rothermere Fellow where he earned a Ph.D. in English Literature. Downey began his career at Carleton University. There, he held a series of academic and administrative posts including Vice-President Academic and President pro tempore.
From 1980 to 1990, Downey was President of the University of New Brunswick. During that period, he also served terms as President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities, and Chair of the Corporate-Higher Education Forum.
From 1990 to 1993, Downey was Special Advisor to the Premier of New Brunswick; Special Advisor to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and co-chair of the New Brunswick Commission on Excellence in Education, which published two reports that guided educational reform in that province.
James Downey was President of the University of Waterloo from 1993 to 1999. During his presidency of the University of Waterloo, he also served terms as Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and Chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
After stepping down as president of the University of Waterloo, he founded and directed Canada’s first centre for the study of co-operative education, located at Waterloo; led an annual seminar for new university presidents sponsored by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and from 2007 to 2010 was the founding president of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
Among Downey's awards are nine honorary degrees; the Symons Medal for outstanding service to higher education in the Commonwealth, received from the Association of Commonwealth Universities in 2000; and the David C. Smith Award for contributions to universities and public policy in Canada, received from the Council of Ontario Universities in 2003. In 1996, Downey was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. And, in 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada.
Downey's publications include The Eighteenth Century pulpit (Oxford University Press, 1969), Fearful joy (McGill-Queen1s University Press, 1973), Schools for a new Century and to live and learn (reports of the New Brunswick Commission on Excellence in Education, 1992, 1993), and Innovation : essays by leading Canadian researchers, edited with Lois Claxton (Key Porter Books, 2002).
James Downey died in March 2022.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of material relating to activities and interests of James Downey from 1963 to 2004. The fonds contains biographical information, manuscripts and typescripts of his published works and speeches, "commonplace books," files relating to his various academic positions, files relating to consulting and advisory work on behalf of provincial governments. Includes appointment calendars, clippings, personal and professional correspondence, ephemera, manuscripts and typescripts, reports and research materials.
Also includes papers received from Florence Reid.
Immediate source of acquisition
Donated by James Downey in 2005.
The fonds is arranged in 10 series:
1. Appointment Calendars (File 1-30)
2. Consulting and Advisory Files (File 31-44)
3. James Downey's Memorabilia (File 45-71)
4. James Downey's Papers and Articles from Carleton University Years (File 72-85)
5. Miscellaneous Correspondence (File 86-175)
6. Notebooks (File 176-198)
7. Speeches and Speech Notes (File 199-261)
8. Works by James Downey : Manuscripts (File 262-266)
9. Works by James Downey : The Eighteenth Century Pulpit (File 267-274)
10. Writings and letters of Florence Reid (File 275-281)
Language of material
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Restrictions on access
Some files are restricted.