Volume 93, Issue 84

Thursday, March 9, 2000


Budget unveiled to council

Funding bypasses liberal arts

Coca-Cola campaign leaves bad aftertaste

City considers posting restaurant health and safety violations

Hampton talks shop in UCC



Caught on campus 1

Caught on campus 2

Caught on campus 3

Funding bypasses liberal arts

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations took on the provincial Conservatives earlier this week, claiming the government's funding strategy for the looming double cohort leaves liberal arts students out in the cold.

On Tuesday, OCUFA president Deborah Flynn condemned the Tories for what she said was an inequitable allocation of post-secondary funding.

"We're absolutely seeing neglect of the humanities and the social sciences," Flynn said, adding the government had concentrated funding in the area of high-tech studies.

In late February, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities dispensed their $660 million Super Build Growth Fund to post-secondary institutions to prepare for the influx of students in 2003-04. Kerry Delaney, spokesperson for the Ministry, said statistics show 24 per cent of those new spaces were awarded to "general academic" faculties. Flynn, however, said this amount was not enough.

"Universities will be limited in the amount of places they can offer students," she stated, "We'll see more students applying for engineering and computer science programs, but that's only because there won't be places for them in humanities faculties."

But Delaney said OCUFA's criticisms were off the mark. "It's incorrect to say that Super Build is ignoring the liberal arts," she said. "Over 680 new modern teaching classrooms are being created. These are classrooms that can be used by the arts and social sciences."

Ernie Redekop, president of the University of Western Ontario's Faculty Association, said he was critical of the Ministry's requirement that new projects raise funds by soliciting donations from the private sector.

"The ideology of this government is to force universities to go into partnerships with corporations," he said. "This means you have to tailor your programs to the demands of these private donors, who often don't have any interest in the greater intellectual mission of the university."

Delaney said she questioned that view. "Partnership funding has made the expansion just that much greater. It has maximized the use of public dollars," she said.

Western's VP-academic, Greg Moran, said the Western proposal which won the Ministry's approval would offer new students a balanced combination of spaces in scientific disciplines and the liberal arts. "It's certainly not a program that leaves out Western's arts and social science students," he said.

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