USFA e-Letter: Informed decision-making

Academic decisions at the U of S employ an informed decision-making process. It is explicit in our Collective Agreement and implicit in academic culture.

In order to be meaningfully engaged in the academy and set the academic agenda we must insist on the right to full information and full participation. The U of S is an academic institution and it ought not to appear to be the playground for administrators to build their C.V.s for their next position elsewhere. It is incumbent on us to seek the information necessary for us to make informed decisions.

Many USFA members are troubled about the lack of information available to them as we embark on TransformUS. Speculation about everything from what assumptions were made to arrive at the projected deficit of $44.5 million to what are the criteria on which decisions will be made to establish priorities.

Following are some of the questions we’ve heard from members. We would encourage you to make these part of the discourse.

  • Why should it be believed that that there is a $44.5 million deficit when financial assumptions have been blatantly inflated?
  • Why is there a need to take another $10 million from operating funds to address pension challenges when the last $10 million taken for that purpose was not used and not returned to the academic programs from which it was taken?
  • Why is $5 million being put aside when there is a deficit and we are told there are no sacred cows?
  • Why is the Provincial Government not taken to task for reducing funding commitments at this critical juncture of the University?
  • Why isn’t early retirement being considered when recent lay-offs appear to have impacted employees with significant years of service?
  • What is wrong with a reduced pace of recruitment?
  • Why are cuts being made before program prioritization decisions have been made?
  • What initiatives and activities are being curtailed to focus on TransformUS?
  • Why are operating funds being used to support targeted initiatives instead of addressing the deficit?