June 13th, 2024

Budget cut to the university could be a way to punish the NDP


By Lethbridge Herald on March 5, 2022.

Editor:

The UCP brought in a balanced budget due to higher than expected oil and gas revenues. But instead of maintaining funding for Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge, they cut the U of L budget by 5.1 per cent.

There is absolutely no good reason to do this.

A motive could be found in Jason Kenney’s speech when the university opened the new science building. He said the university needs to do more “practical” research that brings in jobs.

Another motive: punish the NDP.

The U of L is one of the largest employers in Lethbridge and thousands of students rent apartments and houses, work part time jobs and spend money here. 

 The U of L is recognized across Canada for the research done in neuroscience, First Nations history and culture, business degree programs and teacher training. When a business considers moving to Lethbridge, the university is an attractive incentive: a source of quality education for the children of workers and managers, and a source for a skilled professional workforce.

Where was MLA Neudorf when this budget was designed? 

How can this funding cut be in the best interest of Lethbridge?

Allan Wilson

Lethbridge

Share this story:

12
-11
19 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
johnny57

Oh well Allan! Short term pain for long term gain!

TJohnston

From your perspective, what does that long-term gain look like?

snoutspot4

I posted the same above.

Ben Matlock

johnny57 — 10 words to 2 exclamation marks, a ratio of 5:1. That puts you in first place of the “Old Men Shouting at Clouds ‘Words to Exclamation Marks’ List”.

Southern Albertan

It’s not looking good for Kenney’s leadership on April 9th let alone the whole of the UCP party. The Party is glaringly split, and, the UCP have never been good at ‘reading the room.’ Their drastic cuts to postsecondary education will not endear many voters.
There will be much to ‘fix’ and ‘reverse’ once the AB NDP retain power.

DarrenC

It seems the UCP doesn’t like academics who criticize neoliberal policies. They are much happier promoting oil and gas.

snoutspot4

I have the same question as T Johnson, What is the long term gain, Johnny? Whose short term pain?

Last edited 2 years ago by snoutspot4
meisplayfull2

Perhaps it was the NDP overfunding the university. The administration would ask for an extra 10 or 20 million and yes ,, this is the NDP way . Sadly though it appears most went to add staff to administrative positions. Just count the titles like Vice President or Executive Director. I am familiar with Information Technology and at one time they went from several Programmer/analyst positions to almost 20 and now back to 7 or so. Did they really need 20 at a cost of 80K each . I have no access but look at their computer software and decide whether it was improving at a 1 million bucks a year. and that is now money gone from the true purpose of the university. Faculty and students are now being hurt by many bad years of administration overspending on themselves

OpinionIsMine

While I agree that our administration is bloated in both numbers and salary, the salary quoted for IT is not high by industry standard: anything less would simply be pointless as there is a large demand in private industry for much higher pay. Many recent graduates can start at 70K anywhere, and many a lot more.

meisplayfull2

oops sorry not commenting on the induvial salary but the number of staff and the total cost to the university to develop and support software. They also pay plenty of money to an American company for the annual licensing fee of their Banner software. I think at least half of the total cost should be going to the faculties. It would be very interesting toknow what percentage of total budget goes to administration and even more interesting would what percentage other universities spend on administration as a percentage of total budget. By administration I mean all indirect support services to run the university

Last edited 2 years ago by meisplayfull2
OpinionIsMine

A student made this table: https://twitter.com/websweaved/status/1499552666510249985/photo/1

I cannot say anything about the accuracy of the data.

Fedup Conservative

When you compare it to other provinces it isn’t out of line. All of our wages are higher. The problem is we are not collecting proper oil and tax revenues that are legally owed to all Albertans , but don’t take my word for it, find yourselves some lawyers, accountants, oilmen, bankers and former MLAs. Alaska and Norway aren’t this stupid.

OpinionIsMine

I believe that even when it was an NDP government, the U of L did not get any real funding increase. There was a small increase but tuition was frozen, so overall it was a cut. It just isn’t as bad as it is now.

Fedup Conservative

Of course if these phoney conservatives , starting with Ralph Klein , had been collecting proper royalties and taxes like Lougheed was doing there would never be this problem. We didn’t have any problem under Lougheed and Alaska and Norway aren’t having any problems with the massive of oil wealth they are collecting.

dibble

While the NDP was in office, Advanced Ed was given annual increases of 2.5% – less than our inflation. The institution has been in cut mode for at least a decade. So you are completely misguided with respect to overfunding by the NDP.
Our most significant budget increases were given to us by successive conservative governments and we used that money to grow. My (academic) department grew in size from 10 academic staff in 1990 to 22 academic staff which includes 6 Research Chairs and three winners of teaching awards. We bring in almost $2M in research funds every year and employ 100 graduate and undergraduate students. Now, the UCP wants to take all of that away.

Chmie

I believe the UCP is trying to centralize educational opportunities in Calgary and Edmonton. They really don’t care about us below Calgary, look at our lack of physicians with no real effort to correct that, and with more post secondary cuts will lead to a lack of educational opportunities in our area. They should be expanding not, contracting services we deserve the same treatment. The UCP MLA is weak and uninterested in helping his constituents.

Fedup Conservative

The truth is they are trying to privatize both health care and education that’s their mandate and it’s always been that way with the Reformers. Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother in-law of one of my uncles. The MLAS I got to know taught me to never trust a Reformer and they were certainly right.

dibble

As tuition rises and our operating grant from the government drops, we become more of a private university every year.