ACAD faculty left in dark as college faces uncertain future, association president says
Consultant report concluded Calgary art college teetering on 'verge of unsustainability'
Instructors at the Alberta College of Art and Design should have more input on spending decisions and planning in light of a recent report that questions the Calgary school's ongoing viability, says the faculty association president.
The report by Ronald B. Bond Consulting concluded that ACAD is headed toward unsustainability for seven key reasons. Those include the "comings and goings" of those in senior leadership positions, a failure to update programs and curriculum at the school to stay competitive, and insufficient integrated planning.
According to faculty association president Natali Rodrigues, ACAD instructors were not surprised to hear of the college's financial woes, but faculty members have been in the dark when it comes to decisions made by administration.
"Within the faculty, we feel like there is a deep well of knowledge, and a deep commitment to making sure that the college continues," she said.
$6.3 million spent on consultants and reports
"Now the question is, do we have the managerial and governance capacity for that? I hope we do, but only time will tell."
A search of the Canada Revenue Agency's website reveals $6.3 million was spent over the past five years by ACAD on private consultants and reports — documents that Rodrigues says have not been shared with faculty members.
"We've never been informed of the costs, or of the brief that those consultants might have been given, or even whether we've had any processes to check outcomes," she said.
"Six million dollars is a huge amount of money for an institution our size — and I am shocked. Deeply, deeply shocked."
ACAD president Daniel Doz told CBC News the institution is not in trouble this year, but something has to be done soon because revenues are being outpaced by inflation.
Last week, CBC News obtained a copy of the Ronald B. Bond Consulting report, which says, "despite its past and current record of achievement, the institution is on the verge of unsustainability."
The report points to 22 "action items" on which the school can move to correct its path.
Administration is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the issue with students on Wednesday afternoon.
The faculty association is planning a meeting on the matter within the next few weeks.
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With files from Dave Will