Report of Long Range Planning Committee to Board
February 2008

Chair:                  Sheilagh Hickie
Members:            Lyla Barclay, Joe Casse, Barney Matisko, Margaret Prugovecki

Recommendations:

1.            On the promotion of diversity in the Academy, the Committee in general promotes the idea of diversity but has some problems with marketing to the ethnic communities solely on the basis of their ethnicity. Members agree that it would be an excellent idea to approach such groups as Black Alumni of UofT, perhaps Toronto District School Board teachers about to retire and other similar groups of potential members. Sheilagh was asked to explore with the Maytree Foundation             how they would suggest we do this. Sheilagh will also be in touch with the UofT alumni staff in this regard.

2.             On capping or not capping our membership, the numbers are set by our location, our volunteer base, and whether or not we employ paid staff. At present, the members suggest our numbers do not exceed 400. If we stay at Knox, and our demand appears to be moving us beyond 400, the Committee thinks we should investigate the possibility of renting one additional classroom. 

The Committee also suggests we investigate the hiring of a half-time person, or using the services of an outside contractor, to take over some of the routine duties now handled by Academy volunteers. Duties would include such areas as maintaining the data base.

The Committee has no difficulties with our raising fees modestly to cover additional costs and would agree with our accumulating additional money for future costs, such as the need to move into more expensive quarters. Should we find a donor prepared to fund our future (see Item 3) space, the            members would welcome this.

3.            On closer relations with other seniors groups, the Committee agrees that this can only benefit all the groups involved. It was suggested that contact beinitiated with each of the groups – Later Life Learning at Innis, LIFE Institute at Ryerson, the Ulyssean Society, George Brown, LLIR at Glendon and perhaps others to be specified. One person from each Board (the Past Presidents were
suggested) be represented and discussion should be on the common areas and problems faced by all. Perhaps the Senior Elder Research Centre at Sheridan College should also be included.

As space seems to be a common problem, it was suggested that we investigate the construction of a Seniors’ Learning Building. Money should come from the various governments, the universities and gifts from donors interested in lifelong learning. With the baby boomers reaching age 60 soon, there will be a need for additional learning centres and programs of interest to this active group. There
will be a need in the next few years for additional undergraduate space by the Toronto universities which could mean disruption for some seniors groups so the idea of a senior learning centre appears to be sensible. How exactly this would work is to be decided but the Committee felt the management of such a building should be in the hands of government or university personnel and rent be paid by   the various seniors groups.

Submitted February 15, 2008 to the Board of Directors, Academy for Lifelong Learning