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Alberta Politics

ChazYEG

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There is a reason why even some of his advisors and political strategists are distancing themselves from Kenney...
 

IanO

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A little from column A
A little from column B

As he is a prof (NAIT) and accountant I can respect a lot of what he is saying and similar to health care, we do have a spending problem. Per capita expenditures in this province are out of whack but not entirely tied to waste... but rather a competitive market highly impacted by unions; one that was fuelled by oil and as they say 'smokem' if you gottem', a fringe of the world city with a climate that is more difficult to attract spouses/partners/kids. We have to overpay, over induce, over entice and over sell in many cases.
 

ChazYEG

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A little from column A
A little from column B

As he is a prof (NAIT) and accountant I can respect a lot of what he is saying and similar to health care, we do have a spending problem. Per capita expenditures in this province are out of whack but not entirely tied to waste... but rather a competitive market highly impacted by unions; one that was fuelled by oil and as they say 'smokem' if you gottem', a fringe of the world city with a climate that is more difficult to attract spouses/partners/kids. We have to overpay, over induce, over entice and over sell in many cases.
Well, we might have a spending problem, but I frankly doubt it that the universities are the place where we want to be cutting from (or Healthcare, for that matter). The provincial government BURNT billions of dollars in tax cuts for Oil companies, not to mention the Keystone XL fiasco (and massive waste of taxpayer money, on a gamble from Kenney that his buddy, The Donald, would win in the US).
That accounts for MUCH more than the increased expenditures on post-secondary education.
His arguments also don't justify why the U of A, despite contributing less to this increase and more to the GDP, got the bulk of the cuts (it actually shows the opposite... The U of C should be taking a bigger hit... But the United Calgary Party, well...)
 

jason403

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Thoughts on these comments about UofA funding?

Of course there are high salaries when you're a leading institution in Canada employing phDs as employees. Do you honestly expect to hire these people for less than $100k/year?

Same goes for president and vice-presidents. The is a huge institution, and you are not going to find qualified administrators at lower cost.

The question should be does the UofA need to be a jack of all trades, or does it need to be more focused in the programs it chooses to offer.
 

thommyjo

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So im not against some highly paid staff. I understand the competitive nature of post secondary to attract researchers and leaders.

I do find the average cost per student fascinating. The fact that we are 30-40% more when our cost of living is significantly less (meaning we can pay less than vancouver/toronto). To me that feels like its coming back to bite us.

And not to say I support increased oil production, but its ironic to me that many of the people most active environmentally and who want the oilsands shut down are also the direct benefactors of our governments wealth from oil. Want oil production cut? No problem. Take a 30% pay cut or you're being a hypocrite.

Same concern for nurses (my wife is one btw...so its personal). They have historically been paid much higher here than other provinces. But we can't continue that now that we don't have the oil revenues of the late 2000s.

Everyone's in favour of cutting oil production until it means actual sacrifice for them (i.e. making 10-20k less a year,). Nurses and profs should be paid the same in alberta as places like BC and ON now that our revenues are way down for peaks. And if we're worried about being competitive, that is. Making 180k in edmonton is cushy. 180 in Vancouver still won't get you a house.
 

ChazYEG

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Of course there are high salaries when you're a leading institution in Canada employing phDs as employees. Do you honestly expect to hire these people for less than $100k/year?

Same goes for president and vice-presidents. The is a huge institution, and you are not going to find qualified administrators at lower cost.

The question should be does the UofA need to be a jack of all trades, or does it need to be more focused in the programs it chooses to offer.
The answer is yes, it needs to be a Jack-of-all-trades, that's the hallmark of any major university. There's not a single major university on Earth that is "focused" to the point of reducing the number of programs, even institutions created specifically with this intent (such as Caltech or MIT) have expanded, not contracted the number of programs offered.
And I'll circle back to my previous comment: how many years of increased university expenditure did the Keystone XL pipeline fiasco cost? 10 years, at their current pace...? How much money does the Government of Alberta give in tax breaks to some of the most lucrative companies on this planet?

Why does Alberta have the most expensive MLAs, when some of them (including the Premier) haven't even completed their post-secondary education properly? Why does someone who earns at least $120,000 a year needs an extra $24,000 for rent, if they don't live in Edmonton? Why does an MLA in AB need to earn this much money, to be honest?
Cutting their salaries to the national average and their "extras" would save the province up to 5 million dollars/year.

My point is that we need to stop finding excuses for the abysmal cuts in education and start looking at where we really should.be cutting, what really hurts the province's finances, especially in the long term.
 

ChazYEG

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So im not against some highly paid staff. I understand the competitive nature of post secondary to attract researchers and leaders.

I do find the average cost per student fascinating. The fact that we are 30-40% more when our cost of living is significantly less (meaning we can pay less than vancouver/toronto). To me that feels like its coming back to bite us.

And not to say I support increased oil production, but its ironic to me that many of the people most active environmentally and who want the oilsands shut down are also the direct benefactors of our governments wealth from oil. Want oil production cut? No problem. Take a 30% pay cut or you're being a hypocrite.

Same concern for nurses (my wife is one btw...so its personal). They have historically been paid much higher here than other provinces. But we can't continue that now that we don't have the oil revenues of the late 2000s.

Everyone's in favour of cutting oil production until it means actual sacrifice for them (i.e. making 10-20k less a year,). Nurses and profs should be paid the same in alberta as places like BC and ON now that our revenues are way down for peaks. And if we're worried about being competitive, that is. Making 180k in edmonton is cushy. 180 in Vancouver still won't get you a house.
Thing with this comparison, especially regarding salaries in other places, is that when PhDs go looking for tenure tracks, if you don't offer the salary of an institution of the same caliber, you won't attract people with the same quality, regardless of cost of life in Edmonton being lower, and that will lower the University's standards and hurt it's reputation.
The U of A cuts their salaries to a level that is much below the UBC or U of T, we'll have our vacancies filled with second and third tier PhDs. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE goes to Harvard, MIT, or any top tier University for a PhD and will accept a much smaller salary simply because coat of living is lower there. Not to mention that this is also a matter of them not wanting to leave bigger centers for peripheral cities without a financial incentive, as well. Hell, someone who gets their PhDs at the U of A won't be willing to go teach in smaller towns in Canada or the US, if the salary is not at least the same as here (it's the small town premium, in the academia... The difference between the cost of living is your "bonus" for accepting moving from a bigger, better university for a small town, somewhat irrelevant one).
We start cutting our salaries and we'll start losing professors (and ranking positions, that have a lot of influence in outside investment) to secondary universities in Toronto and Vancouver (Simon Fraser, York, etc...).
 

thommyjo

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Thing with this comparison, especially regarding salaries in other places, is that when PhDs go looking for tenure tracks, if you don't offer the salary of an institution of the same caliber, you won't attract people with the same quality, regardless of cost of life in Edmonton being lower, and that will lower the University's standards and hurt it's reputation.
The U of A cuts their salaries to a level that is much below the UBC or U of T, we'll have our vacancies filled with second and third tier PhDs. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE goes to Harvard, MIT, or any top tier University for a PhD and will accept a much smaller salary simply because coat of living is lower there. Not to mention that this is also a matter of them not wanting to leave bigger centers for peripheral cities without a financial incentive, as well. Hell, someone who gets their PhDs at the U of A won't be willing to go teach in smaller towns in Canada or the US, if the salary is not at least the same as here (it's the small town premium, in the academia... The difference between the cost of living is your "bonus" for accepting moving from a bigger, better university for a small town, somewhat irrelevant one).
We start cutting our salaries and we'll start losing professors (and ranking positions, that have a lot of influence in outside investment) to secondary universities in Toronto and Vancouver (Simon Fraser, York, etc...).
I agree for top positions. Thats why as frustrating as it is, overpaying senior leaders/C suite is often forced.

But for the thousands and thousands of employees at the UofA, and for nurses while we are on the subject, I dont belive they are as mobile as we think long term. The multitude of influences, like schools, friends, family, groups/religion, cost of living, etc are all factored in as well. I dont think pay is what keeps people here or attracts them for the majority of employees. 110k in edmonton vs 90k in Vancouver cant be bringing over hundreds of nurses...
 

ChazYEG

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I agree for top positions. Thats why as frustrating as it is, overpaying senior leaders/C suite is often forced.

But for the thousands and thousands of employees at the UofA, and for nurses while we are on the subject, I dont belive they are as mobile as we think long term. The multitude of influences, like schools, friends, family, groups/religion, cost of living, etc are all factored in as well. I dont think pay is what keeps people here or attracts them for the majority of employees. 110k in edmonton vs 90k in Vancouver cant be bringing over hundreds of nurses...
I don't know about the nurses, but for the university professors, I can assure you that's the case. Both me and my wife are in the academia (hell, I grew up in it, both of my parents and two of my grandparents are/were University professors), and the line of thought I gave you is the dominant amongst all of our friends, colleagues, teachers, etc... I'd say our sample is large enough, and diverse enough, that it's more than just anecdotal.

And it's not just the current employees that we need to worry about. If we're not able to keep attracting people from the best universities to the U of A (and the U of C, for that matter), we'll fall behind and, instead of rise to a top tier global university (a path that the U of A has been trailing), it'll become a second, maybe third tier, local and irrelevant university, and the impacts of this, for the city and the province, long term, are terrible.

I know for a fact that, as much as I love Edmonton, if after I finish my PhD someone offers me 90k here or at UBC or U of T, I'll be packing for Toronto or Vancouver, as the chances of getting funding for better research, having access to more resources and more visibility there will make my career all that much more fulfilling and prosperous. That and the prospect of higher wages in the future, etc...

To be 100% honest, a competitive tenure track position, anywhere, has to be paying. AT LEAST 120k Canadian (roughly 100k US) for it to attract new PhDs graduating from a top university, otherwise, you can expect the candidate pool to have lower quality. It essentially has to account for the 10 to 14 years of studying, student loans, working long hours (sometimes more than a full time job) with a pay that is barely minimum wage, staying out of the job market for about a decade more than those who went straight to work after undegrad... It you're starting your professional life with a PhD, at 30, after sacrificing what usually are the most productive years of your career, all to get the required formation, you can't expect to be paid less than a guy that dropped off of high school to work on the oil rigs (and who has the wages indirectly subsidized by government tax breaks to some of the most lucrative companies ever).

I frankly wouldn't sell myself so cheap after all of the hardwork and sacrifices that getting a PhD involves and I assure you I am not the only one.
I would LOVE to teach at the U of A, grow roots in Edmonton and all, but there's absolutely no way I'll do it if wages go down.
 

thommyjo

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I don't know about the nurses, but for the university professors, I can assure you that's the case. Both me and my wife are in the academia (hell, I grew up in it, both of my parents and two of my grandparents are/were University professors), and the line of thought I gave you is the dominant amongst all of our friends, colleagues, teachers, etc... I'd say our sample is large enough, and diverse enough, that it's more than just anecdotal.

And it's not just the current employees that we need to worry about. If we're not able to keep attracting people from the best universities to the U of A (and the U of C, for that matter), we'll fall behind and, instead of rise to a top tier global university (a path that the U of A has been trailing), it'll become a second, maybe third tier, local and irrelevant university, and the impacts of this, for the city and the province, long term, are terrible.

I know for a fact that, as much as I love Edmonton, if after I finish my PhD someone offers me 90k here or at UBC or U of T, I'll be packing for Toronto or Vancouver, as the chances of getting funding for better research, having access to more resources and more visibility there will make my career all that much more fulfilling and prosperous. That and the prospect of higher wages in the future, etc...

To be 100% honest, a competitive tenure track position, anywhere, has to be paying. AT LEAST 120k Canadian (roughly 100k US) for it to attract new PhDs graduating from a top university, otherwise, you can expect the candidate pool to have lower quality. It essentially has to account for the 10 to 14 years of studying, student loans, working long hours (sometimes more than a full time job) with a pay that is barely minimum wage, staying out of the job market for about a decade more than those who went straight to work after undegrad... It you're starting your professional life with a PhD, at 30, after sacrificing what usually are the most productive years of your career, all to get the required formation, you can't expect to be paid less than a guy that dropped off of high school to work on the oil rigs (and who has the wages indirectly subsidized by government tax breaks to some of the most lucrative companies ever).

I frankly wouldn't sell myself so cheap after all of the hardwork and sacrifices that getting a PhD involves and I assure you I am not the only one.
I would LOVE to teach at the U of A, grow roots in Edmonton and all, but there's absolutely no way I'll do it if wages go down.
There are also thousands of jobs that are not competitive prof jobs though. All the admins and regular employees. There's still no justification that our per student cost be 30-50% more than other top schools...

Many of my friends are already choosing macewan over UofA because the tuition is basically half. I almost died when I found out accounting and nursing at macewan, which still get you great jobs, is like 6-7k a year vs 11-12k at the UofA.

So there's both sides. Need to attract profs, but also need to attract students. So where are the expenses being cut or revenues raised? I think efficiencies can be found in a notoriously bloated org like the U.
 

Edmonchuk

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There are also thousands of jobs that are not competitive prof jobs though. All the admins and regular employees. There's still no justification that our per student cost be 30-50% more than other top schools...

Many of my friends are already choosing macewan over UofA because the tuition is basically half. I almost died when I found out accounting and nursing at macewan, which still get you great jobs, is like 6-7k a year vs 11-12k at the UofA.

So there's both sides. Need to attract profs, but also need to attract students. So where are the expenses being cut or revenues raised? I think efficiencies can be found in a notoriously bloated org like the U.

U of A is in top 5 best universities in Canada and in 101-150 best universities in the world! It is absolutely logical that the tuition is much higher than in MacEwan. You actually can't compare them. U of A is much more than just a bachelor nursing program.
 

thommyjo

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U of A is in top 5 best universities in Canada and in 101-150 best universities in the world! It is absolutely logical that the tuition is much higher than in MacEwan. You actually can't compare them. U of A is much more than just a bachelor nursing program.
242217088_10158472881432076_1438306372266855696_n.jpeg

Is it logical to be higher than provinces with multiple higher ranked unis?
 

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