President Harker Addresses Recent Government Funding Cut

To the University community,

Yesterday, the Minister for Labour and Advanced Education announced both a Memorandum of Understanding with the universities and, more importantly, the latest Cut in university funding imposed on our universities by the provincial government. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada investing less in higher education, not more.

The Cut to come into effect for 2012-13 is 3.12%, coming on top of the 4% cut imposed for the current financial year and, with the necessary absorption of costs taken into account, this means that the government has taken $75 million out of the universities since it came into office.

Like every university in the province, we will have to look hard at how we can maintain effective, quality, delivery of our programs and meet the mandate and mission of an institution vital to our region and continuing to meet local and global needs.

As Chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, I ended my press release of yesterday by noting that “The province’s universities are one of the most significant and brightest economic growth opportunities for Nova Scotia, so it remains a puzzle as to why this government has chosen to negatively affect the system and its hard-earned reputation for high quality and national competitiveness”.

Perhaps I should have said international competitiveness also!

We here at CBU know all about struggling to build and maintain quality programming, and we know that without it, sustainability is both unattainable and undeserved. The months ahead will present challenges, but that is nothing new to CBU.  As we begin our Budgetary cycle, let’s apply ourselves with even greater vigour this time around.

Details of the MOU between government and the universities, which did not deal with the Operating Grant, and which was also announced yesterday, can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/lae/.

H. John Harker, LL.D.
President & Vice-Chancellor