OTTAWA, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite sustained criticism of its budgeting process, the University of Ottawa plans to approve controversial tuition fee increases for the 2010-2011 academic year, and seeks to do so during the last week of exams, the busiest period of the university calendar. This evening, the University's Board of Governors will set fee levels for the next year, with recommended hikes of 4% for returning students and up to 8% in increases for medicine, management, and law students. For most other faculties, this represents about $200 of increases on top of some of the highest tuition fees in Canada. "My tuition is already skyrocketing," says criminology student Christine Moncrieff. "It's tough to even afford the basics anymore if you want to pursue a university degree."
Meanwhile, the University has recently come under scrutiny for its 'Resource Optimization' process, which saw $160,000 paid to external consultants to produce a report which recommended across-the-board budget cuts of 5%, resulting in reduced services and increased user fees. Unfortunately, student financial support, increased class sizes, and eliminations to faculty represent the bulk of the cuts.
Attempts at representation on the responsible committee by students and faculty were met with stark refusals. "The lack of consultation between the administration and the university community is appalling," said Sean Kelly, President of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2626, which represents teaching assistants. "Every student, faculty member and support staff is as much a part of it as a university administrator." A letter signed by the professor, part-time professor and support staff unions, along with the undergraduate and graduate student's unions, expressed deep reservations about the cuts, particularly in the face of sharply rising expenses within the upper administration.
Representatives of the faculty, support staff and student's unions will be present at the Board of Governors' meeting on Tuesday in Tabaret Hall, room 083 at 6:30 PM to make their case against tuition fee hikes and to urge a collaborative effort to balance the University's budget, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that ignores spiralling administrative expenses.
SOURCE Carleton University Students' Association
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