Heap: Course cuts have nothing to do with budget

The detailed analysis of Western’s financial decisions and priorities issued by University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) in 2014 (Every Budget is a Choice) concluded that “Western’s coffers are actually stuffed,” and decisions to not spend more on teaching were a choice, not a budgetary necessity.

The same holds true today.

Western has more than enough funds to maintain the contract faculty positions being cut in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and elsewhere across the university. The decision to cut many courses in Modern Languages and Literatures and Women’s Studies and Feminist Research – to name just two of the targeted units – is not primarily a budgetary one. Rather, it is about institutional priorities. If Western really values goals such as internationalization, equity and diversity, then our employer must put its money where its mouth is.

This means assuring stable funding for these courses and the faculty positions to teach them, in pedagogically sound class sizes. Otherwise President Amit Chakma and Provost Janice Deakin are simply paying lip service to goals they are not willing to fund adequately.

David Heap

Linguistics & French Studies