Students Offended by Deceptive Consultation Process Over University's Budgets
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Vice President Academic's Council (VPAC) will be reviewing the departmental budgets that will be handed in this week during a retreat sometime in December. By the end of January, the budgets, with VPAC's reviews and modifications, will be passed along to the Provost and Planning Steering Committee before final, official endorsement at the April 20th 2005 Board of Governor's (BoG) meeting.
"It is extremely unlikely that the BoG will vote against any recommendations made by VPAC. Essentially, by that point, the BoG acts as a rubber stamp," says Scott Gilbert, External Affairs Commissioner at the University of Guelph's Central Student Association (CSA).
Every year, the University of Guelph strikes a committee called the Student Budget Advisory Group (SBAG) that is comprised of students from various student governments at the University of Guelph to give student recommendations on the University's operating budget. While this committee has just started meeting on a regular basis, department budgets are already due next week.
"While the University has led on students to believe that they might actually have an opportunity to impact the budgeting process this is not the case. SBAG's report isn't due to be presented to the Board of Governors until next Spring, but all important budget decisions will have been made by the end of December," says Gilbert. "This consultation process is a sham that allows the University to look like it has used due diligence to consult the students of this campus. In the end students' hard work, research and recommendations for the budget won't make a difference."
"The CSA believes that we should be consulted on the budgeting process
before department budgets are due and as of yet we have not received any
information about this process from the University administration," says
Hannah Draper, Communications Commissioner at the CSA. "The budget process
is one that will affect every student and every department on this campus
and it is something that should be openly discussed and debated among
members of the university community. We have been totally left out of the
loop and there appears to be a lot going on behind closed doors."