The University of Alberta has eliminated 400 positions and could cut another 600 in the coming year in face of government funding reductions, says president David Turpin.
“Over the last four months we have received a reduction in government funding in the order of $110 million,” Turpin told reporters Friday at a news conference. “That is resulting in major changes here.
“We are restructuring programs, we are focusing on administrative savings, we are changing our academic programing — last year alone we cancelled 30 programs and there will be more coming,” Turpin said.
The Alberta government is reducing funding to the province’s 26 post-secondary institutions by 20 per cent in the next three years.
“These are big changes we’re going through,” Turpin said. “There is a lot of anxiety out there.”
Turpin would not say which positions were affected but said they were eliminated through a mix of attrition and layoffs. More layoffs are coming, he said.
“We would anticipate layoffs of over 600 people … in the coming year, but we are working very closely with government to find a way to manage some of those with the hope of saving between 200 and 300 of those jobs,” Turpin said.
“We will not have clarity on that until the final budget is approved.”
The 2020/21 budget is expected to be approved later this month.