"Faculty and Conservatory of Music rally against new report"

Vol. 6, No. 18 Wednesday, January 4, 1984
by Jonathan Freeman (News Bureau)
     A report on the future of music studies at U of T is drawing objections from both parties involved: the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Faculty of Music.
     The report, by a six-member provostial taskforce, published Dec. 19 in the Bulletin, recommends sweeping changes in the structure of both institutions and especially in that of the Conservatory. The Conservatory, Canada's official music school would be reduced to a community service operating out of branches around Metro. McMaster Hall, the current home, would be leased for private development. And examinations, the largest source of the Conservatory's revenue, would be taken over by the Faculty.
     Joseph Macerollo, president of the Conservatory's faculty association, calls these recommendations "a rape of our resources." He feels that the taskforce has not followed through on its mandate. "Their mandate was to find a way for integration (of the two institutions)," he said. "They changed their terms of reference in midstream."
     Macerollo also criticized what he described as the patronizing tone of the report and the fact that there were no musicians among the members of the task-force. "They shouldn't be making specific proposals in areas where they aren't specialists," he said.
     He sees the proposals as ill-considered and vague. "They make mention of funds for assistance but without specifics or any sense of commitment."
     The Faculty of Music also raised strong objections to the report. Professor Robert Falck, associate dean of the Faculty, said the primary objection was that the report failed in its original goal of producing a unified faculty.
     "I had hoped that the report would help to heal wounds between the two bodies," he said. Falck added that the aspects of the report dealing with music studies indicated a lack of knowledge.
     Responding to these objections, Roger Wolff, vice-provost and chairman of the taskforce, said, "They are reacting to what they read into the report. What we are recommending is good for all parties." The taskforce, he said, stands behind the report but invites suggestions from the parties involved. 
     Wolff insisted that the financial plans have been well looked into and that the proposals are sound adding that if every detail of the investigation had been published, it would have been a 500 page book. He said that although he had anticipated the response the report received from the Conservatory he was surprised that the Faculty objected to it so strongly.
     A formal reaction to the report is already being planned. The Conservatory has engaged the services of the law firm of Sach and Cherny, who are studying the matter. Former provincial NDP leader Stephen Lewis has been acting as their advisor since March.
     Macerollo feels that Wolff looks down at the Conservatory's faculty association because its members are not certified teachers. They are currently looking into such certification for the purposes of collecting bargaining, Macerollo said.
     The provostial taskforce is the latest of many attempts to clarify the roles of the Conservatory and the Faculty. Conservatory teachers do two-thirds of the performance teaching at the Faculty, but the relationship has had its problems. Macerollo points to an "overzealous" former administration at the Conservatory for antagonizing the Faculty administration. However, he said, "The staff has always gotten along and there is no kind of active feud."

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