Report of the Committee on International Studies at the University of Toronto and the Role of the Munk Centre

January 17, 2008

The Committee & its Mandate

The Committee on International Studies at the University of Toronto and the role of the Munk Centre met three times, on 13 and 19 December, 2007, and 11 January 2008, with the following membership:

  • David Klausner, Vice-Dean FAS (Chair)
  • Derek Allen, Trinity College
  • Amrita Daniere, GGR (UTM)
  • Lorna Jean Edwards, AVP, International Relations
  • Franca Iacovetta, HIS (UTSC)
  • Louis Pauly, CIS
  • Mark Stabile, SPPG, ECO
  • Janice Stein, Munk Centre
  • Ross Upshur, MED
  • Lynne Viola, HIS, CERES
  • Robert Vipond, POL
  • Joseph Wong, POL, Asian Institute
  • Jessica Lahrkamp, graduate student CERES
  • Colum Grove-White, undergraduate student, Trinity IR

The Committee’s mandate was:

  • to consider the appropriate status of the Centre as an extradepartmental unit, with special reference to cross-appointed faculty and the Centre’s present breadth of activities
  • to consider the position within the Centre of the collaborative MA program in International Relations
  • to consider the appropriate continuing relationship between the Centre and the following units/programs:
    • the Faculty of Arts & Science
    • Centres and Institutes presently within the Munk Centre
    • Trinity College
    • the Centre for International Studies
    • the Canadian International Council
    • the School of Public Policy and Governance
    • other Faculties and Divisions at the University of Toronto
  • to consider whether the present governance structure of the Centre is appropriate.

Present Status of the Munk Centre

Since its foundation in 2000 the Munk Centre for International Studies, located in renovated space in the former residences of Devonshire House, has become Canada’s foremost centre for teaching and research on international relations. The Centre is now widely known for academic excellence, providing a home for a range of academic programs, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as for strong research centres and institutes. The Munk Centre, in coordination with its constituent Centres and academic programs, is now poised to move beyond its present excellence towards an academic program of world-class stature, attracting the very finest students.

In their review of the Centre in March, 2007, Professors Michael Barnett (University of Minnesota) and Steven Weber (UCal – Berkeley) described the Munk Centre’s “extraordinary achievement” in moving in its first seven years “from being an idea to becoming Canada’s premier and one of North America’s leading centres for international studies.” The primary thrust of this report, then, is the creation of a structure at the Munk Centre that will facilitate the implementation of the reviewers’ many recommendations. The enhanced academic program which the reviewers envision will be a fitting partner for the new Canadian International Council, as well as an appropriate legacy for its founder.

Our first recommendation involves a change of name. The normal international terminology for such a unit is “School” (Harvard’s Kennedy School, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, Columbia’s School of International Public Affairs, Carleton’s Norman Patterson School), and we have seen extensive anecdotal evidence of the confusion caused (both within the University and outside) with a Centre acting as the home for a number of other Centres. We therefore recommend that the Munk Centre be renamed the “Munk School of International Studies.” Clearly such a move will require consultation between the University and both the donor and Trinity College (noting in particular paragraph 7 of section 9.01 of the lease), but the branding advantages of the change from a centre to a School are very strong. The Munk School would be far more competitive internationally in the global search for the very best students. The committee’s recommendation is supported by the precedent within the University of the School of Public Policy and Governance.

The external reviewers recommend the ability of the Munk Centre/School to expand its faculty complement. This is not possible at present, given the status of both the Munk Centre and its constituent academic centres as EDU C, a status which does not permit faculty appointments. We therefore recommend establishing the Munk School as an EDU B, allowing the unit to make minority faculty appointments.

Recommendation 1: That the University re-establish the present Munk Centre as “The Munk School of International Studies.”

Recommendation 2: That the Munk School be classified as an EDU B.

Academic Programs

The Centre presently houses five undergraduate programs (International Relations, American Studies, Latin American Studies, European Studies, the David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies), three collaborative MA programs (International Relations, Asia Pacific Studies, South Asian Studies), one stand-alone MA program (European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies), and two collaborative PhD programs (Dynamics of Global Change, South Asian Studies). Although these existing programs are strong, they can be improved.

The continued strength of the present undergraduate IR program housed at the Munk Centre, and administered by Trinity College will be dependent upon the ability of the School, Trinity College, and the Faculty of Arts & Science to work together to develop new research and study opportunities for its students.

The present collaborative MA program in International Relations (currently the responsibility of the Centre for International Studies, nine collaborating departments and the Faculty of Law) has now reached a level of maturity that it would benefit greatly from the increased resources available to it as a stand-alone program. We also heard convincing evidence that a professional masters degree represents the direction from which the bulk of student interest will be coming in the near future. We recommend that it be moved into the new Munk School, where it would provide a complement at the masters level to the new PhD program in Dynamics of Global Change. We also recommend that the present collaborative MA in International Relations be redesigned as a stand-alone professional master’s degree; the potential of increased revenue accruing to such a program could make its increased costs revenue neutral. We recommend that any changes in the present MAIR degree be developed in close coordination with the School of Public Policy and Governance as well as with the teaching staff involved in the collaborative MAIR program. Following the recommendations of the review report, we recommend that steps be taken further to integrate graduate students into the School. These steps might include faculty-student research awards, modest travel awards for conference and research, and other programs which would bring together graduate students from the School’s programs.

We do not recommend changes to the academic programs of the constituent Centres and Institutes within the Munk Centre. Conversely, we strongly recommend the preservation of the multidisciplinary aspect of these programs not only in the continuing development of their own curricula, but also in the expansion of faculty complement.

Recommendation 3: That the present collaborative MA program in International Relations be moved into the Munk School from its present home in the Centre for International Studies.

Recommendation 4: That the collaborative MA program in International Relations be reconfigured as a stand-alone professional master’s degree.

Recommendation 5: That further steps be taken to integrate graduate students into the School.

Recommendation 6: That the multidisciplinary aspect of the School’s constituent academic programs be maintained and enhanced.

Administration & Governance

We recommend that the Director of the Munk Centre become the Director of the Munk School. As an EDU B the School will be able to house minority faculty appointments. In all cases we assume that the majority appointment would be held by a department, and such appointments would be made in a manner consistent with the academic priorities of both participating units, based on an integrated approach to complement planning. In order that the teaching of these faculty be allocated to constituent academic programs (both graduate and undergraduate) in a manner that is both
strategic and equitable, we recommend that the Director seek the advice of a Council of the Munk School of International Studies on academic priorities. The Council should be chaired by the Director of the School and include in its membership the directors of the constituent academic programs (Asian Institute, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Centre for International Studies, Centre for the Study of the United States, Latin American Studies, as well as the International Relations program at Trinity College and any new teaching programs in the School). The Council should also include the Provost of Trinity College or his/her delegate (as provided for in President Pritchard’s letter of 17 September 1998 to the Provost of Trinity), at least two representatives from cognate departments and related programs and schools, and representatives of graduate and undergraduate students.

Trinity College’s John W. Graham Library is housed in the Munk Centre and, consistent with Article IX of the Centre’s lease, includes a substantial International Relations collection and associated services in support of International Studies. However, the Graham Library’s connection with the Munk Centre has been largely informal. We encourage the Librarian to further explore the strengthening of resources and services to support effectively the programs of the proposed Munk School.

Recommendation 7: We recommend the formation of a Council of the Munk School with the mandate to advise the Director on academic priorities and the allocation of faculty teaching resources to academic programs within the School. 

Recommendation 8: We recommend that oversight of the Munk School be lodged with a Council of Deans of appropriate divisions within the University, with the Faculty of Arts & Science remaining administrative lead division chairing this Council.

Recommendation 9: We recommend that the Council described in Recommendation 7 establish a committee to meet with the Librarian of Trinity College to explore the potential of the Graham Library for providing enhanced service for research and teaching in International Relations and supporting the Munk School’s initiatives and outreach.

Three Campuses

The Munk Centre’s presence on the UTM and UTSC campuses has been limited, since its growth has been focused on its formal home on the St. George Campus. We recommend that the School investigate co-curricular and extra-curricular programming possibilities to enhance the engagement of both faculty and students between the three campuses. This might mean holding some Munk-sponsored events at UTM or UTSC, as well as the continuing provision of shared office space at the School for UTM and UTSC faculty. We recommend that any discussion of the School’s tri-campus involvement be undertaken in the context of ‘Towards 2030.’

Recommendation 10: We recommend that the School investigate ways of enhancing the involvement of the three campuses in its programming.


Clearly many of the Committee’s recommendations are dependent upon the availability of new resources. In order to mount top-tier programs on both the master’s and doctoral levels, new faculty lines will be necessary, as well as the ability to attract excellent adjunct teaching staff. Necessary resources will include not only faculty complement, but also appropriate administrative resources and space. Space, in particular, is vitally important to the growth of the School; the present Munk Centre has grown to overflowing, and any expansion will require additional space. Similarly, the present administrative staff is working at its limit. If the MA in International Relations is reconfigured as a professional degree, it will need a significantly increased commitment from an academic director, additional faculty, and further administrative support to manage admissions, marketing, enhanced program requirements, and, ultimately, internship placements.

Recommendation 11: We recommend that the University seek the resources necessary to support the future direction of the Munk School.

The Munk School of International Studies Within the University of Toronto

The Munk School occupies a unique position within the University. It works actively with the Faculties of Arts and Science, Law, Medicine, Education and with the School of Public Policy and Governance and the Rotman School of Business, as well as research centres and programs across campus. It is vitally important for the future of the Munk School that it continue to work across disciplines, across programs and across faculties, and that it continue to serve, as it presently does, the University community as a whole.