EDMONTON, JULY 30, 2020 – It is with dismay that the ACFA learned from Radio-Canada that scenarios proposing the disappearance of Campus Saint-Jean are currently being considered by the University of Alberta, within the U of A for Tomorrow restructuring initiative.
« During the University’s recent town halls about this initiative, we were extremely concerned that university models with as few as five faculties were discussed -we worried then about what that might mean for Campus Saint-Jean. When we met with the new president of the University of Alberta, Bill Flanagan, we expressed our concerns about this restructuring. » says ACFA President, Sheila Risbud. « What we are learning today is a surprise and is completely unacceptable for our community. »
Yesterday morning, at the invitation of Mr. Flanagan, the ACFA tabled a memo to the two committees responsible for studying restructuring at the University of Alberta, the University of Alberta Academic Restructuring Working Group (ARWG) and the Service Excellence Transformation (SET) Steering Committee. Given the challenges faced by Campus Saint-Jean over the past twenty years and the lack of solutions, the ACFA recommends a federated model for the Campus Saint-Jean. This model would maintain a strong link with the University of Alberta while providing Campus Saint-Jean with more administrative and academic autonomy. The ACFA will release its memo to the public, in both French and English, next Tuesday and will invite the community’s feedback.
« The province of Alberta and the University of Alberta have made very serious commitments to our community: to operate, maintain, improve and expand the program and the installations of our only French-language postsecondary institution, on its current site. As I have already mentioned, the ACFA is currently examining all of its options, including legal options related to the 1976 Agreement and section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Our patience has limits. » concludes Sheila Risbud.
Since 1926, the ACFA has been the voice of the French-speaking community in Alberta. Its role is to promote the interests of the latter and ensure its overall development.
Isabelle Laurin, Executive Director