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Strong words exchanged at University of Regina council meeting

Reported by Amanda Purcell
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"The University of Regina has lost its way".

Strong words were spoken by a member of faculty at the University of Regina council meeting Wednesday.  The council met for the first time in 20 years to discuss a number of pressing issues.

As the group gathered, people made claims that the school's budget for administrative staff was bloated, and that only a small percentage of the budget was being spent on academic salaries.

Vianne Timmons, president and vice chancellor of the university, says that's not the case, and that they've actually been trying to push as much of their resources towards teaching as possible.

"Any administrative positions that come open, we look at very, very carefully whether we will fill it, and we have been doing that for the past three years," she said.  She admits staff are concerned about the "speed" the university is going, and want to have more input on budgetary decisions

Students want more input too. Tyler Gray, student member on the Executive of Council, says he feels they've had a very small voice in decision making in the past.

"The six members who sit on an over-100 member senate is student representation and the reality is that we make up the biggest populous at the university," he said.

The meeting's agenda was not actually completed at the 5 p.m. deadline, however seven of the eight motions were passed. The one  voted down was for Executive Council to not meet again until the University Council says it can.

Other motions, such as a hiring freeze on all administrative staff members, an external review of all finances, a budget book which will include the salaries of every single person employed at the U of R, and the creation of a "think-tank" that will look at fiscal management ideas, were passed.

Timmons said she will take all the recommendations seriously, look at which of these motions would work, and implement what she can.

Another University Council meeting will be scheduled before the end of the term in order to finish the rest of the agenda.

Edited by CJME's Courtney Mintenko.