No jobs cuts as a re­sult of Col­lege of the North At­lantic plan, says Gerry Byrne

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY FRANK GALE

Gerry Byrne, Min­is­ter of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour said there will be no job cuts as­so­ci­ated with a new Col­lege of the North At­lantic mod­ern­iza­tion plan he an­nounced on Fri­day in Stephenville.

“Col­lege of the North At­lantic is here to stay,.” he said dur­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of a re­view and plan for mod­ern­iza­tion en­ti­tled CNA Mod­ern­iza­tion Plan 2019.

He said this plan is ba­si­cally an in­ter­nal au­dit that is the equiv­a­lent of an au­di­tor gen­eral’s re­port but done from within.

Byrne said there are some disturbing find­ings that seem to jump out from ev­ery page of the re­view and one of those find­ings is that the col­lege was spend­ing down cash re­serves.

He said this is in essence fund­ing out­side the or­di­nary bud­get process and if it con­tin­ued it would have left the col­lege in an ab­so­lutely un­sus­tain­able and in­sta­ble fi­nan­cial op­er­at­ing po­si­tion.

“It was the equiv­a­lent of us­ing the Visa card to pay for ba­sic op­er­a­tions,” he said.

Byrne said the great news is that it has now been cor­rected and spe­cific mea­sures have al­ready be­gun to solve hu­man re­source, ad­min­is­tra­tive, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and a host of other key is­sues iden­ti­fied within the re­port.

When asked if there would be any job losses, he said there would be none and in fact as the plan evolves there will be in­creased job op­por­tu­ni­ties in new pro­grams, re­search ini­tia­tives and other com­mu­ni­ty­based ser­vices. He said the col­lege has al­ways been dy­namic and this re­port will help it adapt to the re­al­i­ties of en­rol­ment num­bers, job prospects for grad­u­ates and the need to have pro­grams to bal­ance the two.

Byrne said if this eval­u­a­tion hadn’t been com­pleted, espe- cially in light with the rate that the col­lege was burn­ing cash re­serves that would not have been pos­si­ble.

“Through re­build­ing the col­lege from the ground up sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings was found,” he said.

Elizabeth Kidd, in­terim pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Col­lege of the North At­lantic, said this re­view gives the col­lege an out­line for the fu­ture and presents it with an op­por­tu­nity.

“It takes a crit­i­cal look at the in­sti­tu­tion and pro­vides a re­port card of what we are do­ing well and where we need to im­prove and strengthen,” she said.

The CNA Mod­ern­iza­tion Plan 2019 presents the find­ings of a re­view, out­lines ac­tions al­ready taken to re­spond im­me­di­ately to some of the find­ings and presents next steps to achieve longer-term re­sults to­wards a mod­ern­ized col­lege sys­tem by 2019.

Byrne said the ex­ec­u­tive team of Kidd, Wil­liam Rad­ford, se­nior vice- pres­i­dent (aca­demic) and chief learn­ing of­fi­cer, Bob Gard­ner, for­mer in­terim pres­i­dent and Robin Wal­ters, vice pres­i­dent, in­dus­try and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment along with many fac­ulty and staff mem­bers should take great pride and sat­is­fac­tion in what they have ac­com­plished to put the col­lege on a steady foot­ing.

FRANK GALE/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Elizabeth Kidd, left, in­terim act­ing pres­i­dent of Col­lege of the North At­lantic and Gerry Byrne, Min­is­ter of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour, lis­ten in dur­ing in­tro­duc­tions at a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day at the col­lege head­quar­ters in Stephenville.

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