In your May 31 editorial, “Power Grab On Higher Education,” you conclude the opinion with “this creates a situation ripe for abuse — but to what end, unfortunately we just don’t know.”
This latter issue has been raised in academic circles in the province in terms of what was the panic and why hide it in the provincial budget documentation and hurriedly advise the university and college administrations very quickly after the budget release.
It becomes even more intriguing when we review quotes from Education Minister James Allum in a story written by Nick Martin in the Winnipeg Free Press on Feb. 22 (“College Fails To Make The Grade — Optimism For Northern University Despite Damning Report”)
On being interviewed by Martin on this report, Allum said: “Our goal is to try to strengthen UCN, and yet UCN is also an autonomous institution. I really want to respect they’re an autonomous institution.”
I presume that the provincial budget documentation was well on the way to completion in late February. Was University of Manitoba economist Richard Lobdell’s very critical review of the University College of the North the catalyst for a total change in position by politician James Allum in such a short space of time?
Dr. Bill Paton
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 10, 2014