Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated

David Climenhaga, Alberta Politics, Jun 11, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As I read the report outlining the causes and possible solutions to Athabasca University's problems, I was struck more of all by its non-specificity. Blaming as it does the university's location, faculty structure, and staff contracts (and ignoring as it does systemic underfunding and administrative mismanagement) the report has drawn the ire of faculty and staff. Only one of the four options envisions the university continuing as is (and even this option highlights cost-cutting and contracting out core functions). You have to think that the committee and Board's response to the putative 'insolvency' crisis is what any businesses would be: fire sale. But that's not really an acceptable outcome for an essential public service.

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