15 August 2007

Most expensive uni in Canada

So much for finance minister Tom Marshall's insistance that making a Grenfell College a university will have only marginal cost implications.

So much too, for his claim that those outside Corner Brook won't notice the difference. Who does Marshall think will be subsidizing his decision on grenfell, done for entirely political reasons and without a comprehensive plan?

Every taxpayer in the province that's who.

Oh yes, and for those who don't think the objective for Grenfell was established before the consultants were hired to provided a smokescreen to cover cover a decision already taken - without any plan or evidence to back it up - there's this great quote from Premier Danny Williams:

"At the end of the day, Grenfell will have autonomy," Williams told CBC News recently. "Now, whether that means complete, separate independence from Memorial, if that's not the right way to go, then we'll do a hybrid that works for everybody."


Jay said...

I abgrre with some sort of autonony for Grenfell. Being a former graduate and student council memebr I can see why the school wants to be cut from memorial in some sort of way. The admin at MUN are always meddling in Grenfells affairs especially when it comes to which programs are offered in Corner brook. Also these problems even extent to the campus liquor licence where the pub at Grenfell(The Backlot) is under the same liquor licence as MUN's pub (The Breezeway). This situation menas if the staff in St John's messes up and causes closure as part of a fine then Grenfell also has to shut down their bar (same licence) and the Grenfell Student Union loses the cash. Any and every event has to be approved by the Masters at MUN and they operate so slowly.

Not sure if a new University is warranted but they have to stop manipulating Grenfell College.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Some sort of autonomy, huh. What a meaningless phrase.

So does that mean letting Grenfell let its own tenders or backing Grenfell becoming the most expensive university in the country based on a complete lack of planning by Grenfell's current admin and the provincial government?

As for the liquor license thing you might want to think again or check the relevent laws. of course your comments reflect more of the major issue here - namely attitude - not with whteher or not there is a case for doing something with the administration at Grenfell.

To be frank, the issue of one institution holding a single license to cover all its facilities versus letting Grenfell have its own is about as petty and trivial a point as i can think of. Then again, it's pretty much the entire argument made so far on behalf of the "Free Grenfell" cause.

Can anyone provide a single concrete example of a workable explansion plan that was vetoed by the Board of Regents or turned down by the university administration?

Just one?



The longer the debate goes on and the longer we wait to hear anyone supporting "Free Grenfell" coming up with a solid example to back their claims, the more I am convinced this is all political posturing.

canadian.dry said...

The only person being political here is you ed. Try to deny that with a straight face. If you want to talk about governance, there is little effect on Memorial at St.John's and there is a huge opportunity for the Grenfell campus. That's sound policy for the west coast, that's what we elect people to do if you haven't realized, not just trash them for being affiliated with a certain party. Grenfell now reports to a St. John's VP, St. John's VP reports to St. John's dominated executive, excutive gets approval of BOR. (BOR by the way, appointed by government since the begining of MUN, so don't give me any of this unheard of political intererence BS. Especially when nobody seems to complain when government announces tuition freezes). Option 1(a) gives Grenfell it's own executive, and it goes straight to the BOR, with no interenrence (good or bad) from the St. John's executive. So how does that affect MUN St. John's campus? It doesn't. How does that help Grenfell? They get to make their own decisions. How can you be so paternalistic and be against this?

If you want to talk about finances, if you actually READ CHAPTER 6 of the report you'll see much of the costs are "start-up costs" that will disappear over the initial years. The costs are "high-level" estimates, abbiding by the accounting principle of conservatism. The costs are also based on students doing 8 courses per year, as opposed to the normal 10 courses a year. This is also done for conservative purposes, and going by 10 courses per student the cost would drop by $1,000 per student. Also, the costs would drop with increased research activities undertaken by the school, which is much of the point of changing the governance structure, in order to mirror the success in st. john's. It also mentions the costs would drop with more students, which, c'mon ed, a school with University in it's name will attract more students that a school with College in its name. Please bring up the declining population argument ed because Wolfville, Sackville, Frederiction, Cape Breton do have populations the size of New York City, right? And we can't do anything better that wolfville, nova scotia right? Please Ed, for the love of God, read Appendix 9 of the report. It's done by a chartered accounting firm. Read some of the other appendices as well. Maybe you'll see why this means so much to the region. Don't just get your facts from John Crosbie, Ed Roberts, and Lee "Do I have a journalism degree?" Pitts. I'll say it again, READ THE APPENDICES. It's worth it.

I know your answer though: "Well this report was just done to support the decision the government had already made". Believe what you want, but more autonomy for Grenfell has bee sought after on the West Coast for decades. There have been other reports, put in a drawer by the executive. It's only this year you have chosen to show some interest. I suppose you want to tear down the fine arts school now that you know it's there. Hell, tear the whole campus down, right Ed? Heck, let's just all move to Toronto and speed the whole process up.

Edward G. Hollett said...

I've read the report and its various appendieces. Those appendieces are, for the most part various submissions, not the views of the consultants or analysis completed to support their conclusions.

The accountants report is simply a costing of how to get to "autonomy" not an appraisal of the costs, nor, as i have said before is there any analysis anywhere in the report by anyone of two crucial points:

1. The prospective student population for Grenfell in its new role; and,

2. The course offerings/expanded programs and student demand for same.

You don't offer any either. It is perhaps most noticeable that your entire commentary, like that of all the proponents of greater Grenfell "autonomy", doesn't focus on the meat and potatoes. rather you focus on rivalries, real and imagined, what I will characterise as perceived oppresseion by townies and so forth.

Your argument is entirely emotional. There is not a shred of fact and evidence in any of it.

Perhaps someone would like to explain how the student enrolment at Grenfell will treble in the next decade successfully. It currently stands at around 1150 (less the nurses) and needs to reach 3K.

Perhaps someone would like to deal with the three possible problems raised by the consultants themselves with Option 1(a).

Emotional -almost hysterical - commentaries such as yours don't do a thing to bolser the case for expanding Grenfell in any way.