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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 05:44

Great Plains College responds to budget cuts; basketball program suspended

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With approval and support from its Board of Governors, Great Plains College will be moving into its 2017-18 academic year with a balanced budget.

But this did not come without ramifications. “Given the five per cent cut in operational funding, along with the other reductions in various program areas, difficult decisions had to be made,” explained David Keast, president and CEO of Great Plains College.
As a result of the budget cuts, the SunDogs Basketball program will be suspended for 2017-18 at Swift Current Campus. The Volleyball program, however, will continue as planned.
Mandated changes to Adult Basic Education program structure and English as a Subsequent Language (ESL) funding policy have reduced instructional contracts for staff in various college locations.
Other budgetary reductions include the downsizing of the Rosetown Program Centre and adjustments to some of the service and support staff positions across the organization.
“We are taking a close look at the program mix at the Rosetown Program Centre,” stated Keast. “While we do not have intentions of closing the centre, we certainly want to ensure that the resources allocated there are serving the community and industry in the area.”
When it comes to enduring and navigating fiscal restraint, Great Plains College is certainly not alone. Earlier this year, the University of Regina informed the college of their decision to change the delivery model of the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Swift Current Campus. Previously, students could complete their entire four-year degree at Great Plains College. Now, students are required to take the first three years of the course in Regina or Saskatoon, with an option to complete the fourth year in Swift Current. Alternatively, students can take a year of pre-nursing and/or the Practical Nursing diploma program at the college, and transfer into the BScN.
“Our goal in dealing with deficit reduction was, and will continue to be, to protect the core business of the college and to mitigate the impact on students,” said Keast. “We’ve done the best we can on this front, given that we had very little to work with.”

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