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David Trick Profile

Trick, David



PhD (Political Science): Toronto




(416) 979-5000 x 7046


In addition to a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto, David Trick holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University, a Master of Arts (MA) from Brandeis University, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) – Honours – from York University.  He is affiliated to the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. 

David operates his own business, David Trick and Associates, consultants in higher education strategy and management.  His clients include universities, colleges, associations and government agencies that require advice and expertise on issues in postsecondary education.

David’s career has included twenty years in the Ontario Public Service.  As Assistant Deputy Minister for Postsecondary Education, he was responsible for managing the government’s relationships with colleges and universities during the most rapid period of enrolment growth since the 1960s.  Earlier he was Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance with responsibility for the provincial budget, taxation and federal-provincial finance.  He has also worked in the fields of intergovernmental affairs, economic development, labour market policy and demographic analysis.  He has undertaken assignments at IBM Canada and at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
After leaving the public service, David was the first Chief Executive Officer and Vice Provost of the University of Guelph-Humber, a unique partnership between the University of Guelph and Humber College to establish a new university campus in Toronto.

David and co-author Ian D. Clark won the Institute of Public Administration of Canada’s J.E. Hodgetts Award for best article published in English in the journal Canadian Public Administration in 2006-07.  In 2006, David’s research on public policy received the Douglas G. Hartle Award of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Policy Analysis.

Research Interests:

David Trick’s research interests include comparative higher education policy and the status of the welfare state in Canada.  He has been invited to speak on higher education and public policy issues in Canada, the United States, Japan and Europe.

Current Courses:

At the undergraduate level, David Trick has taught PPA101: Canadian Public Administration - Institutions (formerly PPA322); PPA235: Theories of the State (formerly PPA525); PPA335: Theories of Bureaucracy (formerly PPA624); PPA 404: Issues in Public Administration (formerly PPA604), PPA414: Comparative Public Policy (formerly PPA603); and PPA50: Practicum (formerly PPA30).

Selected Publications:

  • Review of Assessing Quality in Postsecondary Education: International Perspectives, ed. by Harvey P. Weingarten, Martin Hicks and Amy Kaufman (Montreal and Kingston: McGill University Press, 2018): pp. 197.  Higher Education Research and Development (17 May 2018).
  • Mining existing surveys to develop better performance metrics for Ontario colleges and universities (with Jinli Yang). Research Report funded through the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund. Toronto, May 2017.
  • The Role of Intermediary Bodies in Enhancing Quality and Sustainability in Higher Education. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2015.
  • How Online Learning Affects Productivity, Cost and Quality in Higher Education: An Environmental Scan and Review of the Literature (with Thomas Carey). Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2013.
  • College-to-University Transfer Arrangements and Undergraduate Education: Ontario in a National and International Context.” Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2013.
  • Academic Reform: Policy Options for Improving the Quality and Cost-Effectiveness of Undergraduate Education in Ontario (with Ian D. Clark and Richard Van Loon). Queen’s Policy Studies Series. Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011.
  • "Disentangling university research policies."  Review of Research and Innovation Policy: Changing Federal Government – University Relations, ed. G. Bruce Doern and Christopher Stoney; and National Innovation and the Academic Research Enterprise: Public Policy in Global Perspective, ed. David D. Dill and Frans A. Van Vught.  Academic Matters, September 2010.
  • "Definitely not for loss," Review of Mission and Money: Understanding the University, Burton A. Weisbrod, Jeffrey P. Ballou, and Evelyn D. Asch.  Academic Matters (February 2010).
  • Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario (with Ian D. Clark, Greg Moran, and Michael L. Skolnik).  Montréal and Kingston:  McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.
  • "Making Decisions That Endure for Decades." Review of Tertiary Education for the Knowledge Society, Paulo Santiago, Karine Tremblay, Ester Basri and Elena Arnal (Paris: OECD, 2008).  Academic Matters, May 2009.
  • Making College-University Cooperation Work: Ontario in a National and International Context (with Andrew Boggs).  Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2009.
  • “Advising for impact: Lessons from the Rae review on the use of special-purpose advisory commissions” (with Ian D. Clark). Canadian Public Administration 49:2 (Summer 2006): 180-195.


Professional Affiliations:

David serves as a volunteer on the Principal’s Advisory Committee of Glendon College, the Policy and Research Advisory Council of The Learning Partnership, and the Schools Committee of the Harvard Club of Toronto.

Spoken Languages: