We need a plan for multi-year university funding
From today’s Daily Gleaner:
It was encouraging to read The Gleaner’s Oct. 31 editorial calling attention to New Brunswick’s dismal record of funding the operational needs of the University of New Brunswick and other public universities.
The decline in provincial investment began during former Premier Frank McKenna’s time and, despite a pause under Bernard Lord, has never been reversed. As even the Shawn Graham government’s controversial post-secondary education report acknowledged, this province’s support for universities on a per student basis is the second worst in Canada.
Do people realize that UNB has fewer full-time professors and librarians today than it did 30 years ago? And yet it has nearly 80 per cent more students. What must be the impact of this added professorial workload on the quality of the student experience?
UNB attempts to square this circle by employing a large number of contingent teachers, most of them shockingly underpaid and lacking health and pension benefits. None of them has job security.
What UNB and the three other public universities need now is not just realistic funding for day-to-day operations, though they certainly need that. They need from the province a multi-year funding corridor so that they can plan effectively for future as well as present student needs.
President, Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers