Three senior positions have at University College of the North (UCN) were eliminated in April and June and four other employees took voluntary buyouts or were not replaced upon resignation over the 2017-18 school year.
The moves were made as the post-secondary institution sought to meet the provincial government's demand to reduce administrative costs by 15 per cent.
The positions of dean of trades and technology and human resources and training co-ordinator were eliminated in April. The latter was vacant at the time while the trades and technology dean position was eliminated after UCN had met all its obligations to the person in the position and their duties were inherited by the associate vice-president of the College of Trades and Technology. When the director of career and workforce development retired in June, their job duties were reassigned to other positions in the College of Trades and Technology.
“UCN fully supports directing resources to delivery of programming and services for students,” said UCN governing council chair Tom Goodman in a July 11 news release announcing the cuts. “I am pleased that UCN achieved this important objective in a manner that respected the outstanding service provided by the former incumbents in these positions.”
UCN says money saved from the seven jobs eliminated is being used to offset budget reductions for the 2018-19 academic year and to support programming and services for students. It also said eliminating positions the way it did spared it from additional costs associated with severance.
“Staffing decisions … are the continuation of UCN’s ongoing efforts to focus resources on the delivery of programming to Aboriginal and Northern Manitobans,” said UCN president and vice-chancellor Doug Lauvstad “UCN is committed to focusing on its education and research mandate, and our ongoing reassessment of our human resources is an important part of ensuring that we continue focusing on that mandate.”
The university college is reviewing its administrative structure and more organizational changes may be forthcoming in the upcoming school year.