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CEO of Polytechnique Montréal discusses the cuts announced by the Government of Québec

December 10, 2012 - Source : NEWS

To the entire community

Dear members of the Polytechnique community,

As you know, the Government of Québec has imposed a major cut of $124.3 million on university operating budgets for the 2012–13 school year. This cutback will recur in subsequent years even though some indexing of the operating budget is planned for 2013–14 and reinvestment for 2018–19.

To this, for 2013–14, must be added other major cuts to the Fonds de recherche du Québec (29.7% for FRQ - Nature & Technologies) and to support for research and innovation, which will also have a significant impact on Polytechnique, its professors, our faculty and our students.

According to the information provided by the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology on December 6, 2012, Polytechnique is being required to trim $3,799,000 from its budget by April 30, 2013. While a total operating grant of $83,168,000 from Québec was budgeted in April 2012 for 12 months, the required cut in fact amounts to 12.2%, since 4.5 months remain before the end of the school year.

Clearly, the government is putting universities in an untenable position. While we were counting on public reinvestment and additional revenues from tuition fees when the 2012–13 budget was adopted by our boards of directors last spring, today universities are facing massive disengagement by the government. These cutbacks will seriously hinder our development at a time when Polytechnique has adopted an ambitious strategic plan in order to fulfil its mission of excellence in teaching and research. They will affect our human, physical and technological resources for teaching, research, support and administration, and consequently, they will impact our students.

Polytechnique and other Québec universities are not unaware of the government's financial concerns at a time of high public debt and a return to balanced budgeting. However, it is students—future graduates—and the innovations of Québec university researchers that will contribute to the Québec's economic development. Depriving Québec universities of their resources today makes no sense for the future of Québec.

We are currently analyzing possible ways to face these considerable financial reductions. The Assemblée de direction and the Board of Directors will discuss them this week. We will keep you informed of the situation as it develops. 

Christophe Guy, Eng, PhD, FCAE, OQ
Chief Executive Officer and Full Professor

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