The APUO, along with other campus unions and students’ associations, was dismayed to learn of the closure of the Academic GPS. Home to some 90 student mentors, this service was a vital hub of academic support for undergraduate and graduate students alike. As APUO members know all too well, it is but the latest of many services to be eliminated or reduced as uOttawa’s Central Administration presses forward with ever more stringent austerity measures. This, despite the university’s financial statements recording financial surpluses throughout most of the past eight years1. It is all the more troubling that we, and other members of the campus community, are only learning of this and many other service closures and reductions once they have been implemented.
The campus community’s opposition to both the budget cuts and the undemocratic manner in which the Central Administration has opted to implement them is clear. As we have previously reported, APUO members are mobilizing within their departments to voice their concerns. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is the latest unit to publish a letter about these issues.
On April 20, students and other members of the campus community rallied outside the Board of Governors meeting to demand an end to the imposition of drastic financial measures and for the adoption of a more collegial and transparent budgetary decision-making process.
On May 11, the APUO sent out a media release and hosted a press conference to highlight the negative impacts budget cuts and the lack of transparency surrounding budgetary decision-making are having on the quality of education at our university. The Association of Part-Time Professors (APTPUO), CUPE local 2626, the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa Students’ Union also participated in this event. The release was published in Yahoo Finance, the Financial Post, Street Insider, Radio-Canada, and Le Droit. Radio-Canada also broadcast a news story about program suspensions at uOttawa and featured the story on their Sur le vif radio show.
APUO members are invited to come join with members of other campus unions and associations in a rally against the cuts that is planned for Monday, May 29 at 4pm in front of Tabaret Hall. The gathering will coincide with a meeting of the Board of Governors at which Board members are expected to vote on whether to adopt the budget for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Come add your voice to the growing chorus of calls for transparent and democratic budgetary decision-making that prioritizes protecting our university’s academic mission and the upholding of the highest standards of post-secondary education.
1See item 2, uOttawa 2022-2023 Budget, from the APUO’s July 2022 bulletin: https://apuo.ca/july-bulletin/