TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 13, 2014) - On March 12, University of Guelph President Alastair Summerlee confirmed that the university is consolidating programs and closing two satellite campuses it operates in Kemptville and Alfred.
The Kemptville campus where 41 Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) members are employed and the French language campus in Alfred, where 18 OSSTF/FEESO members are employed, will cease delivery of all academic programs by May 2015. While currently registered students at both campuses will be able to complete their programs, no new students will be accepted for September 2014.
Paul Elliott, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation stated, "The loss of the Kemptville Campus, a 97 year institution in the community and the loss of the only French language agricultural training facility in Ontario at Alfred, will have dramatic impacts on the small rural communities they serve. This unfortunate decision limits the availability of programs for students in rural communities and results in the potential overall loss of at least 112 full-time jobs."
Elliott continued saying that, "We understand that fixed funding from the government, along with inflationary costs and limited revenue streams are putting pressure on universities to consolidate programs and look at their delivery. However, employees and small rural communities are the casualties of this decision and every option to maintain these programs and the valuable role they play in their communities must be considered."
"OSSTF/FEESO will continue to advocate for and provide support to our members who are reeling from this news. We will also work to reverse this decision and ensure that the services offered at these two campuses continue in some manner," concluded President Elliott.
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.