“It’s difficult to develop a vision for the College when the government is lacking in its own vision of how it wants the Cegep network to develop.” – Normand W. Bernier
Mr. Normand W. Bernier, Director General of Vanier College, announced today that at a meeting of June 16th, 2015, the Vanier College Board of Directors adopted a deficit budget for the next fiscal year. Vanier therefore joins the majority of other public Cegeps that already have or foresee having a deficit for 2015-2016. The Vanier deficit of $574,630 is only possible because of the College’s good stewardship in previous years that accumulated a surplus for the college. Legally only colleges with a surplus can have a deficit.
“There will be jobs lost as positions vacated through retirement will not be filled,” said Mr. Bernier. “We have tried not to affect services to students, but there is no doubt the cuts are going to have an impact. Contract workers and special projects are not being renewed. There is no guarantee that if the government continues to impose drastic measures, valuable services to students will not be lost.”
At Vanier the impact of the cuts has been held in check by the reorganization of certain sectors such as Continuing Education, International Education and aspects of Student Services. “We tried to not lose anything essential by maximizing what we can provide with the personnel we have. But it’s difficult to develop a vision for the College when the government is lacking in its own vision of how it wants the Cegep network to develop,” said Mr. Bernier.
The real problem for the Cegeps is the future as they have been warned similar cuts could be imposed again next year. “Cutting to the bone may work well on a production line. But with education you need resources to enrich student experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Research has shown that student engagement is the key to student success, but how do you engage today’s young people if you’re being forced to return to teaching methods more suited to the 19th than the 21st century?” concludes Mr. Bernier.