GPRC finalizes challenging budget that sets a path forward to future growth
Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
GRANDE PRAIRIE – Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) addressed a 13 per cent reduction in its Campus Alberta Grant and costs related to the global COVID-19 pandemic in its budget unanimously approved by its Board of Governors yesterday.
“GPRC was challenged to look at all areas of its operations to find efficiencies and opportunities to modernize to meet the budget targets,” said Dr. Robert Murray, President and CEO of GPRC. “We faced difficult decisions and our choices were guided by minimizing the impact on students while remaining focused on our goal of becoming the centre of excellence for post-secondary education in northern Alberta.”
GPRC reduced its 2020-21 budgeted expenditures to $65 million from the 2019-20 budgeted expenditures of $73 million.
A total of 85 positions were eliminated in the budget. Retirements, voluntary severance, concluding contracts with term-certain employees, and eliminating vacant positions accounted for 39 of the 85 positions. The remaining positions reductions were the result of program and service adjustments along with finding internal efficiencies.
“Each of the staff directly affected by these changes positively contributed to the success of our students and will always be part of our GPRC community. We thank them for their valuable contributions and know they will be missed,” said Dr. Murray.
Two low-enrolled programs were suspended, the Perioperative Nursing program and the University Transfer Engineering program.
Significant changes to programming and services include:
- moving delivery of service in West Yellowhead online and the closure of the physical locations in those communities,
- launching a new operating model for the fitness centre on the Fairview Campus; and
- closure of the Educational Technologies Centre.
The budget also prepared GPRC for its future as the College will launch a Centre for Teaching and Learning to increase supports for faculty to continually improve students’ educational experiences at GPRC and invest in planning to further the College’s work on Indigenization. This, along with the College’s recently announced partnership with Athabasca University to provide GPRC students an inclusive and accessible online learning management system, will enable new and innovative learning experiences for GPRC students.
Recently, GPRC announced its involvement with Alberta’s 11 Comprehensive Community College’s (CCCs) COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce to support local, provincial and federals initiatives to meet the immediate, short and long-term growth needs of the communities we serve.
“This was an incredibly difficult budget for all of us at GPRC. I’m proud we proved we are up to the challenge of responding to this current fiscal reality while we make the necessary changes to secure GPRC’s viability and important success for future generations of students,” said Dr. Murray.
GPRC is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. Established in 1966 in Grande Prairie, GPRC now includes campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and learning centres in Edson, Grande Cache, Hinton and Jasper. GPRC offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities. For more information, visit gprc.ab.ca.
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