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Open Letter to Premier Redford, April, 2013

Open Letter to Premier Redford, April, 2013

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Published by Lori Morinville
post-secondary
government
students and faculty
post-secondary
government
students and faculty

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Published by: Lori Morinville on Apr 23, 2013
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04/23/2013

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Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations
 
CAUS – Council of Alberta University Students
 
11043-90th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1 #2, 9908-109 Street NW, Edmonton, AB, T5K 1H5780 (492-5630) 780-297-4531
April22,2013AnOpenLettertothePremierDearPremierRedford,TheConfederationofAlbertaFacultyAssociations(CAFA)istheprovincialorganizationthatspeaksfortheacademicstaffassociationsatAlberta’sfourresearch-intensiveuniversities(CARIs).TheCouncilofAlbertaUniversityStudents(CAUS)istheprovincialvoiceofthestudents'unionsattheUniversityofAlberta,theUniversityofCalgary,andtheUniversityofLethbridge.Wearewritingtoyou,jointly,onbehalfofourmembers,toregisterourdisappointmentandgraveconcernatthedeepcutinfundingforpost-secondaryeducationannouncedintheMarch7provincialbudget.Yourgovernment’scommitmentlastyearwastothreeyearsofstableandpredictablefundingtothepublicpost-secondaryinstitutions,withannual2%increasestooperatinggrantsoverthatperiod.Instead,theunexpectedcutof$146millioninoperatingsupporthastheseinstitutionsscramblingtoplugmajorbudgetgapsthroughjobandprogramcutsthatwillreducetheaccessibility,diversity,andqualityofthelearningopportunitiesourpost-secondarysystemcanprovidetoAlbertans.Overthelong-term,thisreductioninfundingwillbefeltthroughoutourcommunitiesasourinstitutionsareforcedtodownsize,withtheriskofadditionalfinancialpressureonstudentsandtheirfamiliesthroughincreasedtuitionandfees.Thiswillmakeouruniversitieslesscompetitive,lessaffordable,andlessattractivetostudentsandfaculty.Theinevitablelossofcapacitythroughoutthesystemwillhaveimmediate,andlasting,effectsontheabilityoflearnerstoaccesstheprogramstheyrequire.Alberta’suniversities,colleges,andtechnicalinstituteshavebeenparticularlyeffectiveinfindingefficienciesandinnovativeresponsestothefreezeonoperatinggrantsoverthepasttwoyears.However,thetimehascometore-investinthepost-secondaryeducationsystem,nottocutdeeper.Noonedoubtsthevalueofpublicinvestmentinpost-secondaryeducation,ortheunmatchedreturnoninvestmentitprovides–tooursocietyandeconomy,aswellastotheindividuallearner.Recentpublicopinionsurveys,liketheoneAlbertafacultyandstudentgroupssponsoredduringthelastelectioncampaign,indicatethatastrongmajorityofAlbertansseepost-secondaryeducationasapriority,andwanttheprovincialgovernmentinvestinit.…/2
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