Accession GA248 - James Downey fonds : 2014 accrual.

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James Downey fonds : 2014 accrual.

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  • Source of title proper: Title from content of fonds.

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  • 1966-2013 (Creation)
    Downey, James, 1939-

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Physical description

1.8 m of textual records and other materials. - 11 photographs : col. ; 22 x 28 cm

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Biographical history

James Downey was born in Winterton, Newfoundland in 1939. A graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, he attended the University of London as a Rothermere Fellow and earned a PhD in English literature. At Carleton University, where he began his career, he held a series of academic and administrative posts including Vice-President Academic and President pro tempore .
From 1980-90 he 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 1990-93 he 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. His 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).
After stepping down as president, he founded and directed at Waterloo Canada’s first centre for the study of co-operative education; led an annual seminar for new university presidents sponsored by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; and from 2007 to 2010 was founding president of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
Among his awards are nine honorary degrees; the Symons Medal for outstanding service to higher education in the Commonwealth; and the David C. Smith Award for contributions to universities and public policy in Canada.
He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. (Source: text from

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Scope and content

Accrual consists of materials relating to the personal and professional activities and interests of James Downey from 1966 to 2013. Includes primarily correspondence as well as files relating to committees, consulting work, and personal research interests.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by James Downey in 2014.


Series arrangement follows that of the original finding aid so not all series numbers may be present.

Arranged in six series as follows:
2. Consulting and Advisory Files;
3. James Downey's Memorabilia;
5. Miscellaneous Correspondence;
7. Speeches and Speech Notes;
8. Works by James Downey: Manuscripts;
10. Writings and Letters of Florence Reid.

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Described by Jessica Blackwell, winter 2014.

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