We, the students of Queen’s University, petition the Board of Trustees to cancel the undemocratic academic planning process that is underway. We furthermore urge the Board to halt the budget cuts that have prompted this rushed restructuring of our university.
The “improvements” so far proposed by Queen’s Administration include: larger class sizes, virtualized teaching, and less contact with professors during the first and second years of undergraduate degrees. We believe that these changes would cause irreparable injury to the quality of the University, and, more importantly, that they are not necessary.
Queen’s routinely forecasts an inflated deficit: for the 2009-2010 in-year budget, the deficit has already shrunk from $8.3 million to $4.7 million. With more than $300 million in reserves that could be released, the Board has no acceptable excuse for its continued refusal to finance the university’s temporary shortfall.
We demand that the Board use strategies such as deficit financing and use a portion of the unrestricted reserves instead of gutting our school’s academic structure. This is the only way to allow us to engage in an academic planning process with the true interest of our education at heart.