The Purpose, Power, and Politics of the University

Purpose, Power, and Politics of the University


University is a place where we learn about many things, including culture, science, and social structures. We learn to think critically and we analyze within our areas of study, across disciplines and within our community. But what about the university itself? In this section, the subject of attention will be neither Victoria nor UofT, but the university itself, as an institution with a long history and its own very particular goals and values.

Discussion topics will include: why a good society needs universities; why academic freedom matters; why the limits of free speech on campus are so liberal; who should fund universities; how universities can accept donors’ money with integrity; why a university is not a democracy.

This small, interactive group discussion will be led by former President of Victoria University, Paul Gooch, with distinguished guest speakers from across the city, over lunch for eight weeks.


Once a week (8 weeks total), 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Copper Room, Goldring Student Centre (Second Floor)


At each session, lunch will be provided for all participants. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice.

Current Students