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Is Cumming School of Medicine acting preemptively due to potential job losses?

By Gurman Sahota, July 22 2019 —

The University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine is allegedly facing budget constraints that may be further inhibited by the upcoming fall release of Alberta’s provincial budget.

On June 10, an email sent by Jon Meddings, Dean of Medicine, to members of the faculty, reads that the faculty is facing a strained budget that may be further choked by the release of the Alberta budget sometime this fall. The email lists that the upcoming provincial budget “could include budget cuts to public institutions,” leaving staff members confused and concerned about stable employment.

It is not certain how exactly the release of the provincial budget will affect the operations of the Faculty of Medicine, however, transitional funding from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, in particular, will no longer help aid in employment. Approximately 100 jobs may be affected due to this particular financial cut and cuts to various funding programs, leaving the faculty in an “operating deficit of several million dollars” that must be addressed, according to the email. 

The email was publicly released by PressProgress, an independent, nonprofit newsroom, on July 11.

At the time of publishing, U of C administration maintained that the release of the email was premature. Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president academic, provided a written statement.

“The email sent on July 10 by the Dean of the Cumming School of Medicine to the faculty and staff of the School regarding budget was premature,” the statement said. “The University of Calgary has received no communication from the Government of Alberta regarding their upcoming fall budget and the potential impact on our university.”



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