Two more doom-ridden stories showed up on this morning’s Academica Top Ten roundup of postsecondary news.
The first comes from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix:
"The University of Saskatchewan has issued a memo detailing the number of positions cut as part of the effort to address a projected deficit of $3.3 million for 2013-14. USask has so far cut 248 jobs — 198 through layoffs, 50 through unfilled vacancies — and there may be more to come as uSask works to offset a projected $44.5-million budget shortfall in 2016. The hardest hit area was the campus Facilities Management Division, which lost more jobs than any other department or college. The jobs eliminated so far will save USask $8.5 million by 2016. The TransformUS project is currently ranking programs and services to determine areas for additional savings, and when the report is finalized in November, more layoffs could ensue."
The second is from the Edmonton Journal:
"The University of Alberta is offering its professors voluntary buyouts in order to cut its budget by $56 million in the next two years, with some professors expected to leave as early as December. The move comes less than a week after UAlberta asked its staff to reopen 2-year collective agreements to help balance the budget and avoid mass layoffs."
The Selinger government reneged on its three-year commitment to increase operating grants five per cent this year, the third year of that pledge. Still, the universities get a 2.5 per cent operating grant increase for the 2013-2014 school year starting next month. The universities have acknowledged that that increase is one of the reasons that cuts here are nowhere near as remotely dire.
Neverthless, the universities are calling for talks on postsecondary financing, including the government’s capping tuiton fee hikes at the rate of inflation.
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