I have been at the University of Calgary for over 20 years. As provincial funding shrinks, and as central admin "redirects" funding to choice programs on campus, I have watched the gap between spending and income in my own Faculty yawn wider each year. I have written about the budget woes in my own Faculty, and the need for positive changes in Faculty coffers. Lest you think the spending problem is in our faculty -- let me correct your view: our current shortfalls are brought about by the budget two-step across campus. Even though there have been signs of administrative corruption, evidence of a recent crime committed at the University of Calgary by our own president leaves me stunned. While I am being expected to buy my own paper and toner, take on more teaching and graduate students, to seek out new research funding, I learn that our CEO rigged a multi-million dollar golden handshake to line his personal coffers. I am dismayed, outraged and disgusted by the current revelation that our outgoing CEO, formerly of McMaster University in Ontario, who is quitting early, is taking a cool 4.5 million in pension when he abandons this sinking ship. Yep, I am calling him a rat.
I have lived in Alberta my entire life; I am aware of some of the stereotypes associated with my dear province (i.e., rednecks). It is true that our former Premier, Ralph Klein, was known for his colorful language. In fact, many in the East liked to hold their noses and poke fun at our colorful Premier. However, in the case of this Easterner, I am inclined to believe Klein was right when, as mayor in 1982, he told the bums and creeps to stay home. Klein, or someone like him, should have told the imported Robber from McMaster to stay home. Instead, in the last 8 years, the University of Calgary, and the province of Alberta, has been HAD by this creep and bum from the east -- and we do not like it.
In an internal document this week, TUCFA's President weighs in by calling for an immediate forensic audit of the finances of the University of Calgary. One juicy quote: "the widespread belief is that there are all sorts of undisclosed expenditures hidden within the budget – slush funds to support the pet projects of the powerful few within the University administration – while the core programs are left to wither through continuous erosion of funding". In my faculty alone, we have lost over 10 professors and instructors, and several support staff -- and we have been told there will be NO HIRING for the next five years. Thanks, Rat - you have done a great deal to cement the view that many in the East regard Alberta as a ripe plum to be plucked.
More on Eastern Harvey's 4.5 million heist here: Cooper, Pension plan all the buzz on campus . I agree, Barry - the optics stink.