Great Plains College has been engaged in a substantial operational review to manage the annual budget for the upcoming academic year. Reduced operational funding combined with revenue decreases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an environment requiring fiscal restraint.
The current pandemic situation has challenged the college to look at programming and services across all locations to ensure it continues to meet its fiscal responsibilities. After a thorough review of college operations, a number of programs and services will be impacted at Great Plains College for the 2020-21 academic year to address budget shortfalls:
- Biggar Program Centre – due to multi-year declining enrolments in the electrician and adult basic education programs, these offerings have been suspended indefinitely. With reduced programming at the centre, administrative workloads and some instructional staff positions will be impacted.
- Whitecap Dakota First Nation – due to multi-year declining enrolments and the unavailability of a facility that would ensure health and safety in a pandemic environment, the adult basic education program has been suspended. Term staff positions at this location will not be renewed as a result.
- SunDogs athletics programming – challenges in offering an athletic season that ensures the health and safety of student athletes, combined with the need for fiscal restraint, has led to the suspension of the SunDogs athletics program for the 2020-21 academic year.
- Swift Current Campus – as a further measure in achieving financial savings, operational downsizing will occur at this location, resulting in staffing workload reductions in some areas.
Overall, across all campuses, the equivalent of roughly 6 full-time positions will be affected for the 2020-21 academic year.
“Our team was faced with some challenging scenarios as we head into the 2020-21 year which resulted in some difficult choices and decisions,” said David Keast, president and CEO of Great Plains College. “Although some downsizing was necessary to control the operational budget under the current conditions of fiscal restraint, the college moves forward with cautious optimism in meeting the education and training needs of our communities.”
The college continues to work with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Health towards the release of detailed fall 2020 program plans and operational formats.
Additional information is anticipated to be released prior to the end of July.
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