NEWS RELEASE · 16th January 2012
NWCC Student's Union
Last Thursday the President of NWCC released an open letter to students and the community.
Read it below.
Regardless of the fact that; this letter was not sent to students, the Students’ Union, and that there has been no consultation by the college as of yet with students and/or the Students’ Union, NWCCSU is keen to respond-to much of the letter and clear-up what could be described as a cover-up.
Last year, the NWCC Budget Task Force noted that the Ministry of Advanced Education had allowed the college to work through their deficit that was at that time, and as written in the budget that was adopted by the NWCC Board of Governors last spring, 1.1 Million dollars. It was noted by the interim president and VP finance that the Ministry was giving the college 3 years to work out their budget deficit. President Henning is disregarding this message from the Ministry and is prepping the college community for massive cuts that would most likely involve layoffs of faculty and staff this spring.
“The latest message from the President of NWCC is claiming that she had inherited a $2 million dollar deficit, and this is simply not true,” said Mikael Jensen, NWCCSU Organizer and student representative on the 2011-12 budget task force. “If the 2 million dollar deficit figure is now correct this would mean the new president has added about $100,000 of debt for the college each month since she started working for the NWCC Board of Governors,” added Jensen.
“The numbers don’t add up, ether the college was covering up a bigger deficit in 2011-12 or President Henning is attempting to mislead the public today, any cuts or layoffs that will come down in the future should be placed solely on the lap of the new President,” said Jensen. He added, “it is completely unacceptable for this President to continue making cuts to programs, courses, services to students while hiring new administrators and creating new positions in administration.
“All the while, priority planning sessions were underway, the NWCC President has been out-to-lunch; by not prioritising students and programming but rather hiring more administration who have little to no effect on the quality of the learning environment and what goes on in the classroom.”
The President is now looking for ways to save money. “We are suggesting that the President knows what she is doing and has purposefully drove the college into this massive deficit situation,” said Jensen. He added, “new managers and positions who earn around $100,000 each and the budget line for the presidents compensation adding to just under $300,000 would be a good place to start saving.”
Northwest Community College Students’ Union represents all Trades, University Credit and Career and College Prep students at NWCC in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, the Hazeltons, Smithers and Houston.
NWCC NEWS RELEASE
Letter from President Henning to students and communities
January 12, 2012
Dear students and community members,
NWCC is currently operating in a deficit situation which at this time is estimated to be $1.7 million dollars. We were allowed to run a deficit last year so that we could carry out the important work of Priority Planning, but our grace period is up. According to the College and Institute Act, we must eliminate this deficit and turn in a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year. Our Board of Governors understands and recognizes the need to balance our budget, and both management and union leadership are collaboratively working together through every step of the process to minimize the impact to our students and employees.
These are challenging times for all of us and NWCC's administration and union leadership will have to make some difficult decisions over the next 8-10 weeks. We will do our best to be open, transparent and supportive during this process, and keep you informed as much as possible over the coming months.
To that end, we will be launching a website at budget.nwcc.bc.ca that will serve as a central repository for updates to our students, employees and communities. In addition, we will be creating an email account at budget,,,nwcc.bc.ca so people can make inquiries, voice their concerns and make suggestions on how NWCC can save money. I will be holding town hall meetings and will share those dates as soon as they have been confirmed.
Despite our current economic challenges, we will continue to provide our students with high-quality educational experiences. We are proud of everything we have accomplished for our students, alumni and communities and will continue to demonstrate NWCC's importance to Northwest BC.
Denise K. Henning
President & CEO
Northwest Community College