CUASA Statement on Proposed University Funding Changes in Provincial Budget

CUASA Statement on Proposed University Funding Changes in Provincial Budget

Yesterday, the provincial government released its budget, including a proposal to renegotiate Strategic Mandate Agreements with Ontario’s 45 publicly assisted colleges and universities to increase performance-based funding from the current 1.4% up to 60% by the 2024-2025 academic year. These performance outcomes will supposedly be measured using 10 unannounced metrics that, “align with the government’s priorities in skills and job outcomes, and economic and community impact”.

CUASA is dismayed with the government’s blatant attack on education quality, faculty, staff, and students. Imposing metrics without proper consultation or identification of what those metrics could be is a warning sign of poor public policy development.

“Academia is not a corporate boardroom to be ruled by one political party,” said Root Gorelick, CUASA’s President. “It is a community for higher learning, critical thinking, and creative thought. CUASA believes in excellence in education. We want our members to know that we will not tolerate interference or inappropriate action by this government.”

CUASA is equally upset with Carleton University for not consulting with the Union or the Carleton Senate. The University’s press release today, which contains more details on the themes of the proposed metrics than have been released by the government, suggests the University had prior knowledge of this, which they did not share with CUASA.

CUASA is also concerned by the University welcoming the creation of an Expert Panel to develop an action plan for intellectual property, especially since ownership of intellectual property is a right under the CUASA collective agreement. No expert panel may interfere with CUASA members’ collective bargaining rights for their intellectual property.

Learning in and of itself is performing. Universities are a place to grow. Threats to university funding tied to performance-based metrics will do nothing but stifle that growth, and weaken postsecondary education in the province. CUASA will continue to keep Carleton University as an institution for learning and growth for generations to come.

To read OCUFA’s statement, click here.

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