Alberta PSE institutions brace for provincial budget cuts

February 11, 2013

If provincial grants are frozen in the next budget, the University of Alberta will not be able to continue to offer its wide range of programs and courses, says president Indira Samarasekera. At the provincial level, it may be time to consider reducing undergraduate spots at research universities such as uAlberta while smaller institutions take more bachelor's degree programs as part of new financial realities, Samarasekera says. That's one scenario being considered as PSE institutions face the possibility they might not get their promised 2% increases in the March 7 budget. uAlberta will not implement across-the-board cuts, as it has in the past 3 years, should grants be frozen again. Instead, it will make strategic decisions on where to cut or spend more. While uAlberta ponders its future, MacEwan University has instituted a hiring freeze on academic and non-academic staff, pending the upcoming provincial budget. "It's effective immediately until the full disclosure of the budget comes down on March 7," reads a memo sent to all MacEwan faculty and staff by president David Atkinson. "Verbal offers that have already been made will be honoured, but all active competitions will be placed on hold." Edmonton Journal | CBC