Letter in The Ring Responding to Budget Cuts Article

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From the December issue of The Ring:

We read with interest the article “University Continues to Plan for Budget Reductions” in the November 2012 issue of The Ring. We were encouraged to hear that the presidents of the province’s research-intensive universities are making the case forcefully for not proceeding with the reductions to university funding announced in the last provincial budget. However, we are concerned that these reductions are being implemented at the University of Victoria in a manner that will undermine the effectiveness and efficiency of our teaching.

So far, sessionals have been the main target of these cuts, yet how will we replace the inexpensive teaching that they provide? Substantially fewer sections will be offered as a result of these cuts, which will lead to longer waitlists, students enrolling elsewhere, some very large classes, lower student satisfaction, and a poorer quality of education for those who remain on this campus. Moreover, sessionals with continuing status will, according to their collective agreement, ultimately have to be compensated for lost sections.

Meanwhile, we hear that the university is proceeding with new multi-million dollar capital projects such as a new parkade, expansion of the cafeteria, and an expensive stadium; should these projects be a priority when front-line services to students are being cut?

Greg Melnechuk and Matthew Koch
President and Vice-President, CUPE 4163