Press release on UNB budget sent out earlier today:

Press release on UNB budget sent out earlier today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

UNB faculty association deeply concerned about “doing less with less”

FREDERICTON and SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK (April 19, 2013) — The Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers (AUNBT) expressed its dissatisfaction with the new budget announced today by UNB management. “UNB has balanced its budget on the backs of the faculty, while increasing administration,” said Miriam Jones, president of AUNBT. “For the province, this budget means graduating fewer teachers, nurses, engineers, lawyers, computer scientists, biologists and psychologists. Academic programmes have been eroding for the past decade. What is new, is that we may have now reached a point of no return. There is nothing left to cut. Departments have been cobbling together programmes with insufficient resources, courses are on the calendar that we have not been able to teach, and faculty members have been stretched to the breaking point in order to provide students with an appropriate breadth of courses and programmes. For the last several years we have seen more administrators, more big capital projects, and that’s not what we need. In Saint John we have the magnificent new H.W. Klohn Commons but even less space for books than we had before. In Fredericton we have the impressive Currie Center, but its upkeep cuts into our already shaky operating budget.” While the funding for capital projects on university campuses is usually raised separately, cost over-runs and upkeep tend to come out of the core budget.

“And what will get cut to accomplish this goal of ‘less with less’?” continued Jones, in reference to yesterday’s media statement from UNB president Eddy Campbell. “We already have programmes held together by one person, we have gaps in our curriculum, we have salaries — academic staff salaries, at least — well below the national average. We are not competitive with start up money for new researchers. Now our programmes themselves are being threatened. How are we to be ‘world class’ under those conditions? How are we even to maintain our status as a provincial comprehensive university?” According to the most recent data from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, UNB salaries for assistant professors, the starting rank, are 22% below the national average. “Let’s be clear. If we become any ‘less,’ we cease to be a comprehensive university.”

“This focus on balancing the budget at whatever cost is going to cost our province dearly,” continued Jones. “Without real universities, universities with administrations primarily focused on supporting teaching and research, universities supported by the provincial government even in difficult times, New Brunswick is going to seal its fate as the call-centre province. We need to think of our students and their needs, first and foremost.”

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Categories: Austerity politics, Press release, PSE funding

5 Comments on “Press release on UNB budget sent out earlier today:”

  1. April 24, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Tyler McLean: good interview.

  2. April 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    T-J.

  3. April 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Talked this morning to radio station 88.9.

  4. Alyssa Sankey
    April 22, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Well done.

  5. April 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Just talked to Acadia Broadcasting.