CANADA: Staff cuts to boost class size on campus

A wave of staff reductions at cash-strapped universities will mean larger classes and fewer services for students at campuses this September, writes Elizabeth Church for The Globe and Mail. The budget squeeze - the result of falling investment income and rising costs, especially for pensions - has left many universities scrambling to find millions of dollars in savings for the coming academic year.

With salaries accounting for the lion's share of budgets, job losses are the inevitable result, university leaders say. That has led to a range of actions to reduce head counts on campus, including layoffs, buyout offers, the cancellation of teaching contracts and hiring freezes.

"You've got to know these discussions are going on at every university in this country," said Harvey Weingarten, President of the University of Calgary, who recently warned that as many as 200 jobs would be lost on campus this autumn. While many institutions say it is too soon to put a firm number on job losses, others are in talks with unions or have already taken action.
Full report on the Globe and Mail site