Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) News Release
(Ottawa, June 2, 2010) The organization that represents more than 65,000 academic staff at 122 universities and colleges across Canada is pleased with today’s federal government announcement that it will provide up to an additional $4 million in funding for the First Nations University of Canada, but warns that a commitment on long-term core funding is essential to the institution’s survival.
Indian and Northern Affairs minister Chuck Strahl announced today that the “transitional” funding would be provided through the Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP).
“We are pleased that the federal government has stepped in with enough funding for this vital institution to survive until March 31, 2011,” said CAUT’s executive director James Turk.
“But the only way First Nations University can be assured of any real future is with a federal government willingness to restore long-term core funding,” he added. “No university can survive short-term project funding, which makes it impossible for the institution, faculty and students to plan ahead.”
“It is simply impossible to ensure four year student programs when you don’t know what funding you will have from year-to-year,” he added.
Turk said he was disappointed that despite today’s announcement, significant lay-offs will still be taking place.
This spring more than 2,000 academics signed onto an open letter circulated by CAUT calling on the federal government to fully restore funding for the university.