News from the provincial government continues to present challenges for McGill as the University looks for ways to absorb new cuts.
Although next year's grant cut of $100 million for the whole post-secondary education network is not as high as anticipated, the government has also scheduled cuts for the following two years totalling $205 million.
Under the current funding formula, this means a cut of $14 million to McGill next year and a further reduction of $15 million in the following two years. But the funding formula itself is under review and changes, if any, won't be known until later this month.
With Bill 104, the government has also called on universities to reduce salaries by 6%. McGill has already reduced its salary mass by almost the same amount with last year's early retirement program. The University is lobbying Quebec City to recognize that effort as compliance with the new bill. Avoiding new salary reductions is a priority for the administration. (Please see the Principal's Column)
The Conférence des recteurs et principaux universitaires du Québec (CREPUQ) is also lobbying the provincial government to exclude TAs and sessional lecturers from the scope of Bill 104.
Last month, McGill had presented a budget model for next year to Senate and the Board of Governors.
"We now have to rethink our budget," said Principal Bernard Shapiro. A revised budget is still scheduled for submission to the Board of Governors by late May. Although the administration will be asking for approval on the budget only for the 1997-98 academic year, the foreseeable context of the following two years will need to be taken into consideration.