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University Profs Concerned About Tomorrow's Budget - February 16, 2009

University Profs Concerned About Tomorrow's Budget

CUFA BC News Release
February 16, 2009

Professors at BC's research and doctoral universities are concerned that tomorrow's provincial budget could have long term negative consequences for the universities.

"The surprise cuts last March to promised funding threw the whole public post-secondary system for a spin," said Dr. Paul Bowles, President of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC. "Of the doctoral universities, SFU has been hit the worst so far, but it's clear to us that there will be long term negative consequences for the other four doctoral universities if we don't see the cuts reversed in tomorrow's budget."

A surprise 2.6% reduction in promised operating grants for public universities, colleges and institutes last March, only two weeks before the start of the new fiscal year, meant institutions had to scramble to deal with the loss of almost $50 million in revenue.

"The need to restore the cuts and to provide additional new funding is all the more important as demand for university education is expected to increase in response to the economic downturn," Dr. Bowles said. "Already there have been increased applications for university entrance in Ontario and a new report from the United Kingdom indicates that university applications are up by almost 8%."

Dr. Bowles will be participating in the provincial budget lockup in Victoria on Tuesday, February 17th and may be contacted by media outlets participating in the lockup, or by phone at 604-817-1649 after the lockup ends at about 2:30pm. To make advanced arrangements for interviews at the end of the budget lockup, please contact Robert Clift, Executive Director of CUFA BC, at 604-817-1649.

CUFA BC represents 4,300 university professors, instructors, professional librarians and other academic staff at BC's research and doctoral universities – UBC, SFU, UVic, UNBC and Royal Roads.