Hi-tech CEOs Say Value of Liberal Arts is Increasing

The following is a statement by leaders of Canadian high-technology corporations underscoring the importance of liberal arts education in the digital economy:

Funding of higher education in this country needn't be an either/or proposition between technology or liberal arts and sciences, as public debate suggests.

As leaders of some of Canada's growing high-technology companies, we have first-hand knowledge of the necessity for a balanced approach.

Yes, this country needs more technology graduates, as they fuel the digital economy. But it is impossible to operate an effective corporation in our new economy by employing technology graduates alone. We have an equally strong need for those with a broader background who can work in tandem with technical specialists, helping create and manage the corporate environment.

A liberal arts and science education nurtures skills and talents increasingly valued by modern corporations. Our companies function in a state of constant flux. To prosper we need creative thinkers at all levels of the enterprise who are comfortable dealing with decisions in the bigger context. They must be able to communicate to reason, create, write and speak for shared purposes: For hiring, training, managing, marketing, and policy-making. In short, they provide leadership.

For example, many of our technology workers began their higher education in the humanities, and they are clearly the stronger for it. This was time well spent, not squandered. They have increased their value to our companies, our economy, our culture, and themselves, by acquiring the level of cultural and civic literacy that the humanities offer.

We stand with the chancellors of Ontario's universities, who recently stated that funding must "permit universities to manage enrolment demand and maintain a diverse and forward-looking curriculum."

It is critical that all universities in Canada receive sufficient funding to ensure a well-educated workforce and a new generation of leadership.

Pierre-Paul Allard
President and Managing Director
Cisco Systems Canada Co.

Everett Anstey
President, CEO and Chairman
Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc.

Micheline Bouchard
Chairman, President and CEO
Motorola Canada Co.

Paul Butler
Artech Digital Entertainments

Stuart Butts
Chairman and CEO
Xenos Group Inc.

Peter Ciceri
President and Managing Director
Compaq Canada Inc.

Ashraf Dimitri
Oasis Technology Ltd.

Kevin Francis
Chairman, President and CEO
Xerox Canada Inc.

James de Gaspé Bonar
President and CEO
CCH Canadian Limited

Grant Gisel
Sierra Systems Group Inc.

Carl Glaeser
Bowne Internet Solutions

Dean Hopkins
Cyberplex Interactive Media

Robert Johnson
CEO and President
Bowne & Co. Inc

Paul Tsaparis
President and CEO
Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd.

David Wagner
President and CEO
Unisys Canada Inc.

John Wetmore
President and CEO
IBM Canada Ltd.

Paul Bates
President and CEO
Charles Schwab Canada, Co.

Kevin Bennis
President and CEO
Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Sprint Canada)

Jean Monty
President and CEO
BCE Inc.

Michael O'Neil
Country Manager
International Data Corporation

Joseph Pilarski
CEO and Director
EcomPark Inc.

Eugene Polistuk
President and CEO
Celestica Inc.

Doug Steiner
Versus Technologies Inc. (E*Trade)

Carol Stephenson
President and CEO
Lucent Technologies Canada

Guthrie Stewart
Executive Vice President,
Global Development
Teleglobe Inc.

Don Tapscott
President and CEO
New Paradigm Learning Corporation

Yves Thibodeau
President, Canadian Division
DMR Consulting Inc.

David Ticoll
Managing Director and CEO
Alliance for Converging Technologies

Sheelagh Whittaker
President and CEO
EDS Canada Inc.

D. Craig Young
Vice Chairman and President
AT&T Canada Inc.

April 7, 2000


Avril Dell

Don Tapscott

David Ticoll
416-979-7899 X225

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Maintained by the Communications Department; last updated: April 7, 2000