Capilano University instructors & students protest program cuts

by Stephen Petrina on April 28, 2013

Capilano University arts instructor Toni Latour stands with art students outside of the studio arts building at the North Vancouver campus. Photograph by: Mike Wakefield, NS NEWS

CBC News, April 27, 2013 — Students and faculty at Capilano University’s studio art program are using today’s graduation to protest the university’s decision to cut the program.

“This program is so amazing… teachers, everyone they encourage you, they push you through stuff, they push you to go beyond your limits,” said student Samineh Afrough.

At the graduation showcase, students covered their art with black shrouds and gathered several hundred signatures at the popular Go Craft fair.

On Friday, Capilano University announced that it is cutting several programs as the school faces an estimated $1.3 million shortfall in its upcoming budget.

The school would not specify which departments are being cut, but said it amounted to about 200 courses from about 10 programs, including the Studio Art, Textiles, Software Design, Computer Science and Commerce.

Under the proposed budget, students half-way through their programs will have the chance to finish. But after they graduate, the programs will be cut.

Interim Vice President, Academic and Provost Bill Gibson says it was a tough decision.

“Every program we offer should lead to a degree and at this point in time studio art did not lead to a degree,” said Gibson.

The final decision on program cuts is expected next month, but faculty say the decision came suddenly without consultation.

“I am appalled. It strikes me as being utterly senseless,” said Instructor Marcus Bowcott, who has been teaching Studio Art at Capilano for two decades.

Read More: CBC News