Where should University of Guelph’s budget priorities lie?
Budgets are about priorities, and at UofG, Senior Administration’s include:
- Increase tuition fees by the maximum amount (3% for Bachelor programs & 5% for professional programs for domestic students, 5% for incoming international students)
- at the cost of $200-$400 more per student
- Cutting $21 million from 2014-2016 in services and programs while increasing $67.9 million in capital expenditures and locking $195 in internally restricted funds*
- at the cost of quality, accessible education and secure jobs for all workers, despite consistent annual surpluses, including a surplus of $66.6 million last year
* Capital expenditures: obtaining physical assets for long term use, through funds or assumption of a liability | Internally restricted funds: voluntarily restricted, for use to help pay for future expected expenses – these include capital expenditures and buying out workers
The university has begun a “Budget Consultation” process, but are centering the sessions on simply informing participants of Senior Administration’s plans, under set parameters. They have also stated that the upcoming term is a big year for bargaining units. Collective bargaining will be occurring for Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 1334 (trades, maintenance, and service workers on campus) and Local 3913 (the teaching assistants and sessional lecturers union on campus). CUPE 1334 is currently facing cuts to the custodial workers budget for 2016 – 2017, and CUPE 3913 has seen the amount of sessional lecturers at UofG drastically reduced, while the workload for these p
ositions, and for teaching assistants is increased.
As a public, academic institution, there exists no university without the students and workers that fill and maintain UofG, and likewise, there is no place more important in which to invest. Capital expenditures and the growing of internally restricted funds comes at the expense of accessible, quality education.
Now is your opportunity to provide input on what you believe the university’s priorities should be, particularly as the 2016 – 2017 budget is established. Filling out this survey will help the Guelph Campus Alliance create an alternative budget for the University of Guelph. Join us March 7th at 12 pm in Peter Clark Hall, during Senior Administration’s “budget consultation” when this alternative budget is shared.