An ever-tightening fiscal belt and sustained low enrollment at Selkirk College means administration and teaching staff layoffs will happen in coming months.
“We are looking through some reductions in some of our services and programs and we’re just working through right now to determine the extent of which we’ll have to adjust the workforce,” said Angus Graeme, President and CEO of Selkirk College.
Graeme said that the college faces a structural deficit each year from static government budgets.
“We haven’t received an increase to our base grant in the last few years, but in addition to that, some implications of the most recent provincial budget make the challenge a little bit more significant,” he Graeme.
“Part of that relationship is that we’ve experienced some sustained low enrollments over time and so we just want to make sure that we’re using our limited resources in the most effective way.”
The college’s final draft of a balanced 2013 budget will be presented on March 27, which is when Graeme says the implications of that budget will be known.
“At that point we’ll show that we have basically balanced the budget for 2013 and what the overall impacts of that are.”
“We’re working as hard as we can to minimize the impact of those budget challenges on programs and services, but there will be some minor changes.”
Graeme said that the most significant impact will be a reduction in the number of university level second-year science courses available at the Castlegar campus as well as a few revisions to the studio programs at KSA.
The reduction in service won’t see that any Selkirk College programs are cancelled, however some course reduction and reconfiguration will occur.
“We’re not exactly sure the number [that will be laid off,] it’s hard to know until we’ve worked through all the process of looking at the vacancies and retirements and then there’s a process of working through the seniority list and so forth,” said Graeme, adding that as a new president he recognizes that the post-secondary landscape is changing and Selkirk College needs to be proactive in meeting that challenge.
“These are difficult times, but they’re times that also really force us to closely examine the work that we’re doing for the community.”