Taking Notes: Eye on Education – University Presidents Collaborate

This column focuses on a wide range of issues affecting post-secondary students. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about. If suggest a topic or a course alert for taking notes, contact voice@ausu.org, attn: Debbie Jabbour

UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS COLLABORATE

Once again, Alberta’s four universities have joined together in a unique collaboration — this time to say thank you. In the May 20, 2005 edition of several Alberta newspapers’ “Letters to the Editor” section, Athabasca University president Dominique Abrioux, along with Roderick Fraser, Harvey Weingarten, and William Cade, as presidents and vice-chancellors of the University of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge, respectively, commended the Alberta government for the biggest funding increase in more than 20 years. As part of the government’s promised 20-year plan for a “high quality of life for all Albertans,” post-secondary education will see an 18 percent increase in base funding, new infrastructure money, funding for additional spaces, and more scholarship and bursary funds.

In the letter, the four presidents summarize some of the initiatives that the promised funding will make possible and it truly sounds exciting, including recruitment of more high-calibre professors, more support for grad students, renewed infrastructure, better research facilities, improved access and affordability for students, and a chance for more Albertans to “realize their educational ambitions and their career dreams” (Edmonton Journal, May 20, 2005).

Student groups are generally the most vocal stakeholders in protesting tuition hikes and complaining about the weakening status of post-secondary education. It is important to speak up and complain when necessary, but it is also important not to forget to say thank you. It’s good to see our university presidents take the lead in this regard. Hopefully our government will continue to merit our thanks as the complete 20-year plan continues to unfold.

Reference

Abrioux, D., Cade, W.H., Fraser, R.D., and Weingarten, H.P. (2005, May 20). Universities grateful for biggest funding increase in more than 20 years. Edmonton Journal, Letters to the Editor, p. A17. Retrieved May 22, 2005, from http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/news/letters/story.html?id=dd85dcb3-9773-443b-b231-21c22d0321f7

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