University of Calgary cutting 250 jobs
CALGARY — The University of Calgary announced Monday it is cutting 250 jobs. The across-the-board cuts will affect management, faculty, and support staff.
The news was delivered to university staff in a town hall meeting Monday afternoon.
“The University of Calgary faces significant budgetary challenges due to the cuts to post-secondary institutions announced by the provincial government on Oct. 24. We were required to make difficult decisions for this in-year budget," said university president and vice-chancellor Dr. Ed McCauley in a statement following the meeting.
McCauley said the job cuts will come in phases beginning next week
“A total of 100 positions are being abolished through retirements, vacancies and resignations," said McCauley “The remaining 150 positions will be eliminated in two phases that will occur this month and then again in mid-January 2020.”
Staff said they have been told to expect further cuts in the provincial governments’s spring budget in early 2020.
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In its October budget, the province reduced grants to the University of Calgary by 6.9 per cent, which amounts to a $32.9-million reduction in its operating budget.
It also cut all funding for the infrastructure maintenance program, which meant an additional loss of $22 million for the University of Calgary.
The cuts have left students wondering how it will impact their education.
“I think that the quality of education is definitely (going) to be diminished," said student Richie Stokes
“If we're not paying professors properly and we're not putting the effort into bringing in the best professors to help elevate the quality of education, then students are going to be the ones paying for it."
University of Calgary Students’ Union president Jessica Revington echoed those concerns.
“We have significant concerns about maintaining the quality of the education here on campus and the programs and services students use to succeed while they're here,” said Revington
“We're hearing from a lot of students who have significant concerns about tuition increases, about the job losses on campus, about direct impacts to student financial aid and to student loans.”
In its budget update, the province also lifted a freeze on tuition.
Increases will be capped at seven per cent at the institutional level, and at 10 per cent at the program level. The province also cut tuition and education tax credits, and raised the interest rate on student loans to prime plus one per cent.
Students expect to hear more details on how their tuition will be affected in a pair of town hall meetings after this week, the first for undergraduate and the second for graduate students.
AUPE local 52, which represents the University of Calgary support workers, planned a protest against the budget cuts for this Thursday that will still go ahead. An information picket will be held in front of the MacEwan Student Centre on campus at noon on Thursday