Even those keen on petty collegiate rivalries will surely agree with the campaign to protest underfunding at Simon Fraser. Without rivals, rivalries are no fun.
A 2.63% cut in the provincial grant has led to the university facing a $6.3 million shortfall, and an immediate hiring freeze.
There seems to be no doubt that education will suffer as the global financial crisis deepens, and the world slips into its economic depression.
There are of course some chickens coming home to roost here: over the past couple of decades, universities have increasingly commercialized and tried to refashion themselves as just one more part of the corporate service sector. This was in a misguided belief in market efficiency. Now that the markets are tanking, so is the university.
The state is belatedly bailing out Wall Street and subsidizing high-profile firms that are allegedly too big to fail. Does the newly neoliberal university have any arguments left to persuade its political masters that it deserves similar treatment?
Anyhow, the rally for SFU will be held at SFU Burnaby in Convocation Mall, Feb 4th at 12:30pm.
(Image: “The changing logo of higher education.” Courtesy of beatified waterfowl on Flickr.)