Major job cuts were announced at First Nations University of Canada on Thursday, bringing to 46 the total number of staff and faculty positions eliminated in recent months.
The total includes 29 people who were laid off Thursday morning. Another 17 positions have been eliminated over the past few months through vacancies, retirements and resignations, FNUC officials said.
Although officials wouldn't say what percentage of staff and faculty were cut, the 46 positions represent about 22 per cent of the 210 employees that were on the FNUC payroll in February.
The cuts are part of a reorganization FNUC officials said is necessary to eliminate a structural budget deficit at the Saskatchewan-based institution. About $3 million a year will be saved.
One professor, Randy Lundy, told CBC he lost his job and has already turned in his keys.
"Today is just the culmination of five years of inappropriate governance and bad management at the university," Lundy said.
It's the latest episode in a difficult year for the First Nations-controlled school.
Earlier this year, the federal and provincial governments cut $12 million in funding, saying there were governance problems and reforms were not happening quickly enough.
The money was later restored and the board of governors was restructured. The school is now being administered by the University of Regina, which is adjacent to the FNUC main campus.
Earlier this year, FNUC said it had 824 students enrolled at the main campus and at satellite campuses in Saskatoon and Prince Albert. The university said some classes are being scaled down, with the changes announced Thursday affecting about 20 per cent of students.
Most of the cuts, 21, were at the Regina campus, six were at Prince Albert and two were in Saskatoon.
The university says it will reduce duplication of administrative services and centralize operations in Regina. None of the campuses will close, although the Saskatoon campus building is being sold, FNUC said.
Rob Norris, the minister responsible for post-secondary education in Saskatchewan, said Thursday's news is difficult for those affected, but probably good for the long-term future of the university.
"It's important because it's focused on the long-term success of the students, it's focused on greater accountability to taxpayers and it's focused on institutional reform and renewal," Norris said.
Norris said the provincial government will continue to provide money to the institution, according to a deal signed with the University of Regina and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.