Clock ticking for university budget cuts
The Quebec Summit on Higher Education is now over, but the work continues at universities as departments and faculties scramble to find ways to save money with a quarter of a million dollars in budget cuts on the horizon.
The union representing teachers at McGill University's Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences says they've heard about an internal memo saying classes with low-enrolment may be targetted and departments are being asked to weed out the nonprerequisite courses they believe could be dropped.
Spokesperson for AGSEM-McGill Teaching Union Stefana Lamasanu said this will definitely have an impact.
"The professors themselves are going to have to pick up the remaining load as well and not to mention that the students are going to suffer from a lessened course-teaching variety,"
Lamasanu told CJAD 800 News.
"There're going to be more and more big classes taught by professors, I think that's the trend, and less and less interesting, smaller classes with topics that are a little bit more niche."
The memo also said there likely won't be any money for course lecturers for the next year. Lamasanu said they were told they'd be consulted but they didn't even get the memo.
"This memo is coming out of nowhere and clearly there is no reaching out to AGSEM. It's all internal, it's all hush hush," Lamasanu lamented.
University officials could not be reached for comment.
McGill University has to deal with a total of $38.2-million in cuts before April 2014.
In a statement, Concordia University president Alan Shepard said they'll have to make $13.2 million in cuts by the end of April, and another $13.2 million more next year, with details for this year coming in the next few weeks.