Province should avoid PSE cuts, says uManitoba president

April 9, 2013

Writing for the Winnipeg Free Press, University of Manitoba president David Barnard writes that in recent budgets, the Manitoba government has shown wisdom in recognizing the benefits of multi-year, predictable funding for higher education. But the optimism in the province and at uManitoba is tempered by the fiscal challenges faced by the province, the university's largest funding partner, writes Barnard. The government is currently forecasting a $567-million deficit for 2012-13, and is dealing with similar problems in the upcoming and future budgets. As vice-chairman of AUCC, Barnard says he is aware other provinces have cut their PSE investment to PSE to deal with their own fiscal challenges. "This is tempting but short-sighted, and the Selinger government should avoid cuts to post-secondary education as it makes the final decision on the financial blueprint for the province," Barnard writes. He says investments in PSE are critical to Manitoba's future because they address the full breadth of the province's strategic priorities, such as health care, poverty, and the environment. "The true Manitoba advantage is our people and we must take advantage of this tremendous natural resource," writes Barnard. "We have achieved significant momentum together. This is a time to continue moving forward." Winnipeg Free Press