Capilano University needs to hit the pause button on its budget plans

by Stephen Petrina on May 2, 2013

Reg Johanson, Georgia Straight, May 2, 2013 — Capilano University executives responsible for a proposed budget, which would see broad program, course, and staffing cuts, say they didn’t have time to consult with faculty and students. In their haste, they have proposed to cut programs and services to students that took decades to build. This is what happens, as Franco Berardi has said, “when we no longer have time to pay attention. We perceive things badly, we are no longer able to make decisions in a rational manner.”

What is the rationale for the cuts? There is a deficit, and under the University Act, the university must make a balanced budget. The deficit is just over $1 million, yet the cuts total $3 million. We are told that the cuts were made not only, or even most importantly, on the basis of cost, enrolment, or quality, but on whether or not they fit the “strategic vision” of the university.

Philosophy courses, science courses, the German language program, studio and textile arts, art history, computing science, commerce, courses and services offered at the Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside, design and animation courses, student support services of all kinds, music therapy—none of these fit the “vision”.

Whose vision is this? Who was involved in developing it? I know faculty and students were not. I’m certain that the North Shore / Howe Sound Corridor community, which the university primarily serves, was not. If we had been, the budget would look very different.

Instead of giving faculty and students the time we need to find our way as a university, our managers have pre-empted this process to impose their own vision. But they do not know best. The university president has been at Cap for only three years. Several key executive and high-level administrative positions have turned over in this time. Put simply: they don’t know what they’re doing.

Read More: Georgia Straight

{ 1 comment }

sharon sherry 05.08.13 at 6:37 pm

As a parent of a teenager attending high school in north vancouver – Capilano University and its arts programs were definitely something my daughter would be looking at in the future. Why again do our students who live on the North Shore have to find post secondary education across the bridges. When Capilano College became a university I assumed there would be more opportunity for my children to attend post secondary education in their neighbourhood – but again this seems to be for a limited amount of academic courses. There is more to the world than math and sciences.

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