U of S students divided on school's $44 million deficit

Students at the University of Saskatchewan hold divided opinions on the school's need to cut programs to make up for a $44.5 million shortfall.
Students at the University of Saskatchewan hold different opinions on how the school should deal with its $44.5 deficit. (CBC )

Students at the University of Saskatchewan hold divided opinions on the school's plan to make up for a projected $44.5 million shortfall by 2016.

The institution is setting up two task forces to review all academic and administrative programs.

They will recommend which programs to keep and which to cut or eliminate entirely.

"I don't think our administrators need to be making 400, 300, 200 thousand dollars a year, especially when we're in a 45 million dollar shortfall," said Jason Underhill, a history student at the university.

What worries Underhill is how students and staff will be affected by program cuts.

"We in the history department have just lost two of our administrative assistants," he said. "It's absolutely insane when you look at how they're actually cutting things around here. They're doing things the absolute wrong way."

Another student, Tannery Meyer, suggests the school cut "lesser programs, like some of the arts."

Meanwhile, Mitch Bonokoski says it's not the institution's fault that it is facing such a large deficit.

"Our administration is doing the best with the hand that they have dealt by the government," said Bonokoski. "There is only so much they can do and the blame for this problem rests with the provincial government."

The university has already made some cuts to support staff and programs.  It has also closed its Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake, Sask.

The task forces will spend most of 2013 doing the review.