The Provincial Budget was delivered yesterday and it contains substantial cuts to Alberta post-secondary institutions. This is unwelcome news. We have endured numerous cuts from the government over a number of years, and from our own administration in years when the government did not cut the Campus Alberta grant. We should not be targeted to bear the burden of the present cuts, for the reason that it will directly affect the quality of education we provide to Albertans, and the valuable research we produce. We are also dedicated academics who have already faced two years of zero increase in compensation.
On the Quad, President Turpin has provided the magnitude of this year’s cut to the U of A’s share of the Campus Alberta grant ($44 million, a 6.9% reduction), as well as a $35 million reduction of the infrastructure maintenance budget for the U. of A. to zero dollars. We have learned that the cuts to Universities in the province were not uniform. The U. of A. and U. of Calgary received 6.9% cuts, while Grant MacEwan received a 7.9% cut, with Athabasca and Lethbridge receiving 3.6% cuts. Mount Royal only received a 1.3% cut.
We will inform membership of further details with respect to the budget cuts as we learn them. I also encourage attendance at the President’s campus forum next Wednesday, October 30th, at noon in Council Chambers, University Hall, to learn more about what the Administration knows about these budget matters.
At 7 am today, I was interviewed by CBC radio with respect to the impact of the budget cuts. I made it clear to the public and this government how valuable the positive impact of the U. of A. is to Alberta, and how these cuts will negatively impact our research and in the classroom. On Monday I will be speaking on CTV.