Nfld. & Labrador

Don't make cuts behind closed doors, says MUN student union

MUN’s student union is calling on the university to put all budget cuts up for transparent public review, following the closure of the Math Learning Centre.
Memorial University's Math Learning Centre is shutting down in September in an effort to save costs. (Memorial University)

MUN's student union is calling on the university to put all budget cuts up for transparent public review, following the closure of the Math Learning Centre.

The union says closing the Math Learning Centre was a "knee-jerk decision" made without proper consultation with faculty or students.

Renata Lang, director of student life, said this decision was made by a small group of administrators, instead of going through the usual process of consulting senate, committees, and faculties.

Lang said that isn't acceptable, particularly when cutting academic units.

"Of all cuts being made the academic is the last one we believe should be cut," said Lang.

"If they're proposing cuts we'd love them to go through this more comprehensive decision-making process before such major decisions are made."

Renata Lang, MUNSU director of student life, says academic units should be the last place MUN makes cuts. (Gary Locke/CBC)

The Math Learning Centre provides foundation level math courses to students who aren't ready for for-credit university math courses.

The Dean of Science said closing the centre in September will save roughly $585,000 per year.

Lang said that beyond administrators "meeting behind closed doors," there should also be more transparency with their own spending, salaries, and travel budgets.

MUN's president Gary Kachanoski said that to deal with the university's budgetary shortfall it will cut $4.1 million from administration, $1.3 million from its travel budget, and will save a further $3 million through a new attrition plan. Kachanoski said in May that there would be no cuts to front-line teaching services.