Accreditation of environmental degree
programs raises concerns
L’agrément des programmes d’études
environnementales fait débat
University of Guelph intends to make program review part of its regular planning cycle.
Fiscal realities prompt some
universities to review all programs
‘No hit list and no sacred cows’ says one provost about the university-wide process.
PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
as universities continue to grapple with
ongoing fiscal constraints and demands for public accountability, some of them are undertaking
a broad review of their programs and services
to determine whether any should be eliminated
The University of Guelph launched its “pro-
gram prioritization process” in September, in
part to help the university eliminate a projected
$34-million budget gap over the next four years.
“We need to ensure the long-term financial via-
bility and sustainability of the institution,” said
Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president,
academic, at U of Guelph. “That means having dif-
ficult conversations about what we can continue
to do and what we have to stop doing.”
www.affairesuniversitaires.ca / décembre 2012 / 31
U of Guelph has already trimmed $46 million
from its budget over the last four years, mainly
through attrition. But the gap continues to widen
between revenues and expenses, she said. All
academic and non-academic units – from athletics
to the president’s office – will be included in the
review. “There’s no hit list,” she said “and no
At a recent campus town-hall meeting, Dr.
Mancuso and U of Guelph President Alastair
Summerlee faced some blunt questions about
possible closures and layoffs. “We have a finite
amount of money and increasing costs,” Dr. Sum-
merlee said. “We have to find a way to change
what we’re doing. … Can I guarantee that at the
end of the day this won’t affect people’s jobs?