Relocation dispute between Athabasca University and Alberta government facing twists and turns

There’s been a couple of twists and counter-twists to a five-month dispute between Athabasca University and the Alberta government.

relocation dispute between athabasca university and alberta government facing twists and turns

“There was a difference in tone and then they retracted that difference in tone,” Mount Royal University Political Scientist Duane Bratt said.

Last week in an effort to bolster rural economies, the province demanded 500 university staff move to Athabasca or the university would lose its $3.4-million monthly provincial grant.

The university has said that represents a quarter of total funding and without it, the school will likely fail.

Alberta’s advanced education minister said his department previously asked the university for a concrete plan by June 30 to expand the physical presence of the school in the town of 2,800, located about 130 kilometres north of Edmonton.

The two sides have been debating the role and mission of Athabasca University for months. It is Canada’s largest online university, hosting 40,000 students linked up virtually across Canada and beyond with instructors.

relocation dispute between athabasca university and alberta government facing twists and turns
2:04 Athabasca University president calls on-site staffing demand to the small Alberta town backward, ruinous

Athabasca University president calls on-site staffing demand to the small Alberta town backward, ruinous

It was moved from Edmonton to Athabasca almost 40 years ago to provide distance learning and help rural economic growth.

Therein lies the rub.

Over time, the school’s on-site staff has dwindled as more began working remotely. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that shift and now only a quarter of the 1,200 staff work on-site.

Local residents formed a lobby group a year ago seeking to reverse that trend, and in March, Premier Jason Kenney promised to find a way to bring more staff back.

Minister Demetrios Nicolaides was quoted in a Globe and Mail article on Thursday as saying the demands are actually flexible and were a suggestion.

But in a statement to Global News asking for clarification, the minister said:

“The original proposal has not changed and it’s still on the table but I’m more than happy to hear alternatives. This is common practice when negotiating the terms of an investment management agreement. It is important to note, we originally deferred to the university to create a plan to strengthen their presence within the town. But they failed to answer questions posed by government and did not have a clear timeline or plan to have senior administrative functions based in the town. There were no clear dates, costs, or plans for strengthening their physical presence in the town.

“In the absence of a plan we have been forced to develop our on roadmap.

Tweet This Click to share quote on Twitter: “In the absence of a plan we have been forced to develop our on roadmap.

“Alberta’s government looks forward to collaborating with and supporting the university in any ways necessary, to achieve the goals we have set out for them, as we await their new plan to be submitted by Sept. 30.”

Bratt said it sounds like no change has been made.

“They are simply saying, ‘No, this is part of the negotiations and we’re waiting for an action plan but our demands haven’t shifted,” Bratt said.

Bratt said it seems there is an internal debate within the ministry on what to do, which is confusing to the university.

“In their mind nothing has changed. The government is softening their stance, but then the government’s response is, ‘No we are not,’” Bratt said.

Kristine Williamson, vice-president of university relations, said in statement, “Athabasca University would be thrilled to return to the consultative relationship it has had with government for years.

“We look forward to the opportunity to pick up discussions with the minister and working with the government to find a mutually agreeable path forward that best serves AU, our learners and the community of Athabasca.”

The university has argued demanding employees work in the town of fewer than 3,000 people does not further the mandate of quality education — but in fact, detracts from it by making it harder to recruit top-quality candidates.

For those affected, community is at the heart of the debate.

“Well the hope moving forward is that we come to amicable solution where it’s a win-win for the university a win-win for the community and province,” Athabasca Mayor Robert Balay said.

Wins which could require at least a few more twists and turns.

relocation dispute between athabasca university and alberta government facing twists and turns
2:04 Athabasca University goes head-to-head with province over staffing location

Athabasca University goes head-to-head with province over staffing location – Aug 3, 2022

— With files from Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

News Related


Column: Sean McVay’s once-formidable offense has transformed into a predictable mess

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —  The second-quarter play call was about as telling as any statistic, a quarterback keeper on second and three. Matthew Stafford moves about as swiftly as Bay Area ... Read more »

UK ‘no better prepared for the next pandemic’ with ‘dangerous gaps’ in its health security

A Covid-19 patient at the Royal Brompton Hospital AICU (Adult Intensive Care Unit) is carefully moved through the corridors to have a CT scan to check lung function – Simon ... Read more »

Antonio Pappano: ‘I happily embrace diversity – just don’t blame us for having been bad people’

Conductor, pianist and music director of the Royal Opera House Antonio Pappano pictured at Metropolis Studios – Rii Schroer Antonio Pappano, the Royal Opera’s music director for the past 20 ... Read more »

Talanoa Hufanga provides nightmare fuel for Rams with game-changing pick-six

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —  Yet another Hollywood remake — the San Francisco 49ers won again — but this time it was a different leading man who took down the Rams. Second-year ... Read more »

Darvin Ham and Lakers taking a more serious approach to preseason

No butterflies. No pregame photos on the court. No extra moments of reflection on the drive to the arena. Just work. “It’s game day,” Darvin Ham said before his first ... Read more »

Big Giveaways for Big Tex's Birthday at the State Fair of Texas

Link video: NBCUniversal, Inc. Big Tex is celebrating his 70th year at Fair Park this year and the State Fair of Texas is throwing him a birthday bash. They’re ... Read more »

Birthday boy slammed by neighbor in ruthless letter

The neighbor typed the letter out in red ink, calling the host of the party a “dismissive and disrespectful” person. The host of an apparently rowdy 21st birthday party has ... Read more »

NewsAlert: Blue Jays clinch top AL wild-card berth

The Toronto Blue Jays will play host to a best-of-three, wild-card playoff series starting on Friday at the Rogers Centre. The Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 in a rain-shortened ... Read more »

Blue Jays clinch home field in first round

The Toronto Blue Jays have clinched the top wild-card seed in the American League and will play their first-round series at Rogers Centre starting Friday. The Blue Jays locked up ... Read more »

Dylan Holloway shines in Edmonton Oilers win over Canucks

Dylan Holloway continued to impress for the Edmonton Oilers, netting a hat trick and picking up an assist in a 7-2 pre-season win over the Vancouver Canucks Monday night at ... Read more »

Miguel Castro returns to provide relief for decimated Yankees bullpen

ARLINGTON, Texas — With three games remaining in the regular season, the Yankees still have plenty of issues to work out in their bullpen. Miguel Castro came off the injured ... Read more »

European Markets Head for Higher Open as Global Markets Rally

This is CNBC’s live blog covering European markets. European stocks are heading for a higher open on Tuesday, building on gains seen in yesterday’s trading session. The U.K.’s FTSE index ... Read more »

Audi Malaysia launches #ReadyToDrive initiative – 20% off parts & labour

PHS Automotive Malaysia (PHSAM), the official distributor of Audi in Malaysia, has launched its new #ReadyToDrive customer care initiative. It is the first aftersales initiative by PHSAM since representing the ... Read more »

Herschel Walker's Son Lashes Out at Dad After News Report the Senate GOP Nominee Paid for an Abortion in 2009

The Georgia Republican vehemently denied a report by The Daily Beast saying he conceived a child with a woman he was dating and paid for her to get an abortion. NBC News has not yet verified the woman’s allegations or independently reviewed the documents Read more »

Starling Marte remains Mets playoff question mark after drill doesn’t go well

Starling Marte attempted to hit short soft toss with two hands, but the drill didn’t go well for the outfielder, according to manager Buck Showalter. Marte, who has missed the ... Read more »

'We're not done': Confident Philadelphia Phillies win, secure first postseason berth in 11 years

'We're not done': Confident Philadelphia Phillies win, secure first postseason berth in 11 years HOUSTON — Aaron Nola took a perfect game into the seventh inning and Kyle Schwarber homered ... Read more »

Why Lisa From Last Seen Alive Looks So Familiar

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Among one of the more popular movies in 2022 is the mystery thriller “Last Seen Alive.” Directed by Brian Goodman and written by Marc Frydman, who previously ... Read more »

The Onion and the Supreme Court. Not a parody

The Onion and the Supreme Court. Not a parody The satirical site The Onion has some serious things to say in defense of parody FILE – The U.S. Supreme Court ... Read more »

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson dons cheesehead after losing Packers bet

It was an uncomfortable look for Jaylon Johnson. The Bears cornerback joined 670 The Score’s “Parkins & Spiegel Show” and made good on a bet he made with Canadian soccer ... Read more »

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios to fight assault charge on mental health grounds

Nick Kyrgios will appear in court on Feb. 3 for the first time since he was charged in July. AP Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios will apply to have an assault ... Read more »

High School Basketball Players Learn Lessons Beyond the Court at the State Fair

Link video: NBCUniversal, Inc. The head men’s Basketball coach at James Madison High School wanted his student-athletes to learn logistics, management, and entrepreneurship. He figured what better place to ... Read more »

Ben Simmons makes Brooklyn Nets debut: 'I'm grateful just to be able to step on that floor'

Ben Simmons makes Brooklyn Nets debut: 'I'm grateful just to be able to step on that floor' NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons made his long-awaited debut with ... Read more »

Four alleged looters charged in Florida following Hurricane Ian

As Floridians begin to rebuild their communities, residents around Florida have made it clear they will protect what property they have left following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Getty Images ... Read more »

Herschel Walker denies report he reimbursed girlfriend's abortion

Herschel Walker denies report he reimbursed girlfriend's abortion The U.S. Senate candidate threatened to sue the Daily Beast. Herschel Walker, a Georgia football icon and U.S. Senate hopeful, has denied ... Read more »

Jets set to play against familiar face at QB in Dolphins matchup

The Jets will see an old friend at quarterback Sunday. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel announced Monday that Teddy Bridgewater will start for Miami on Sunday against the Jets with Tua ... Read more »

Man stands trial for rape in Australian Parliament House

Man stands trial for rape in Australian Parliament House A judge reminded potential jurors of the importance of impartiality at the rape trial of a former Australian government staffer Bruce ... Read more »

Examining both ways to look at Mets’ debacle against Braves

We’re going to divide the column in half today, dear reader, so be prepared. Up first: The Glass Half Empty Look, it is useless to sugarcoat the amount of damage ... Read more »

See aerial pictures that show Hurricane Ian's toll

The devastation on Fort Myers Beach is clear in a view south of Matanzas Pass Preserve. Thomas James for WGCU/NPR hide caption toggle caption Thomas James for WGCU/NPR Hurricane Ian ... Read more »

Giancarlo Stanton blasts 30th home run to become third Yankee to pass threshold this season

ARLINGTON — Aaron Judge watched in the background. Giancarlo Stanton blistered his 30th home run of the season Monday night to help the Yankees to a 3-1 win over the ... Read more »

Debbie Collier murder: Who is trucker mentioned in 911 call?

Debbie Collier was involved in an accident with a truck driver that pleaded for her not to involve the cops due to them being out on parole. Facebook/Tammy Doty More ... Read more »

Digi Postpaid Infinite plans are back, free iPad from Postpaid Family Unlimited plan and many more

In another round of Juara Internet Untuk Semua by Digi, this new campaign is available for all new and current Digi customers to enjoy exciting offers. From free devices to ... Read more »

91% of CEOs see tougher recession: KPMG

51% of CEOs are considering workforce reductions over next six months Read more »

Harley Quinn's Sanaa Lathan Weighs In On The X-Rated Scene Cut From The HBO Show

DFree/Shutterstock Fans went berserk when they discovered that Batman is apparently a selfish lover in 2021’s most hilarious controversy. In a 2021 interview with Variety, Justin Halpern, executive producer for ... Read more »

Royce O’Neale shines in Nets preseason opener

Here’s an early takeaway from the Nets’ first preseason game — a 19-point loss to a shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers team with more positives to glean than the score would indicate: ... Read more »

Diver from Huntington Beach is found dead near Catalina

A diver reported missing early Monday near Catalina was found dead after a search by the U.S. Coast Guard, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the L.A. Port Police. The ... Read more »

FOX Business Network announces new season of FBN Prime to mark 15th anniversary

FBN Prime celebrates ‘American business, ingenuity and the enduring entrepreneurial spirit' Read more »

Giancarlo Stanton’s bat showing signs of life in much-needed Yankees boost

ARLINGTON, Texas — After homering on Saturday, Giancarlo Stanton said it would take more than one swing or one game to feel like he was fully back on track offensively. ... Read more »

'Los Espookys' is a very odd and very good show

The cast of Los Espookys in a scene from the second season. Pablo Arellano Spataro/HBO hide caption toggle caption Pablo Arellano Spataro/HBO Los Espookys is very odd and very good ... Read more »

Why Disaster Relief Underserves Those Who Need It Most

Part of a destroyed mobile home park is pictured in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida on September 30, 2022. GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images hide ... Read more »

A cannabis bribe and arson: Former Adelanto councilman sentenced to federal prison

A former Adelanto city councilman convicted of taking a $10,000 bribe to help open a cannabis business and also hiring someone to burn down his restaurant for an insurance payout ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network