Town Hall meetings on Government Funding Cuts and Their Impact on McGill’s Financial Situation
An invitation from Provost Anthony C. Masi and Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) Michael Di Grappa
Dear Members of the McGill University community,
We invite you to attend Town Hall meetings at which we will outline the severity of the financial situation facing our University.
As you may be aware, last December the Quebec government imposed funding cuts of unprecedented severity on Quebec universities, in addition to the cancellation of the increase in tuition fees. Recently the government suggested that these cuts will continue at least for next year, and possibly longer. Unless McGill cuts its spending, our deficit could rise to approximately $40 million for 2013-2014.
We must make every effort to preserve our core academic and research mission.
If the government does not change its position, we will be forced to make some tough decisions. This is one of the most difficult financial challenges McGill has faced to date. We need to be responsible and to look at our options.
These Town Halls are being organized as opportunities for our community to reflect on the current state of affairs, to consider alternatives, and to provide input to the senior administration as we discuss, debate, and ultimately decide what we must do to meet this difficult challenge. More, now than ever, we need to hear the voices of our diverse community.
At the Town Halls we will address the following questions:
- How will McGill address the required $19 million cut in the budget for the current fiscal year (FY2013) which ends on 30 April 2013?
- How will we prepare for McGill’s FY2014 budget?
- What specific information has the Government communicated to us regarding the cuts?
- Can these cuts be addressed by a simple, but deep, across-the-board rollback in allocations to all units at the University? Are there one-time-only expenses that can be avoided or delayed to ease the burden? Are there unavoidable one-time-only expenses that will actually make it worse?
- How will our strategic planning and multiyear budget exercises help us to protect McGill’s core mission and longer term objectives as we face this immediate crisis?
The Town Halls will take place at the following times and locations:
- 11 February 2013, 9:00AM-11:00AM, Bronfman 151 - 1001 Sherbrooke St West
- 11 February 2013, 12:00PM-2:00PM, Redpath Museum Auditorium - 859 Sherbrooke
- 11 February 2013, 3:30PM-5:30PM, Macdonald Campus - R2-045
- 12 February 2013, 10:30AM-12:30PM, Meakins Ampitheatre - 5th Floor, McIntyre Medical Building
Please do your best to attend one of these sessions in order to discuss the options with colleagues and offer suggestions.
We watch with great concern as the government says it values higher education and is willing to invest, but in reality, it is drastically cutting our budgets and severely jeopardizing the future of our universities. We are working diligently with other Quebec universities to oppose these drastic cuts. With the Sommet sur l’enseignement superieur taking place on February 25 and 26, we need to collaboratively oppose the cuts and address the chronic problem of underfunding.
We recognize that this uncertain situation is of considerable concern to many staff and students who worry about the impact that the potential cuts could have on our lives. We empathize with your concern, and we will continue to keep you informed about the outcomes of our consultations and our path forward.
We invite you to consult the Red Blog, where we will keep you up-to-date on the situation.
Prof. Anthony C. Masi, Provost
Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)