Maclean’s has a story today about the University of Toronto Faculty Association filing a grievance over the closure of the Centre for Comparative Literature. A primary issue for UTFA is that money is being siphoned from Arts and Science to professional faculties.
“All I can say is that structural changes of the kind that have been recommended are always going to be complicated,” Gertler said. “There will be winners and losers, and we have been very careful to assess what we think are the benefits and the costs associated with these proposals.”
Messenger doesn’t buy that argument, and points to a January UTFA report that suggests undergraduate programs are subsidizing professional programs. According to the review, in 2006-2007 approximately $50 million was transferred from arts and science, engineering, and the U of T’s Mississauga and Scarborough campuses to faculties like medicine, management and law. In 2009-2010, the subsidy was $47 million.
“Some of the University’s professional faculties [receive] transfer funds from Arts and Science. Are those faculties therefore unsustainable”?, Messenger asked.
Gertler says cross-subsidization is simply a reality of operating a large institution like the U of T. “We have long abandoned the idea that every unit, department and faculty in the university has to pay its own way,” he said.
Gertler is now naming the scholars at the Northrop Frye Centre for Comparative Literature “losers”. This is clearly a demonstration of one putting their foot in their mouth. Once again Gertler needs to choose his words more carefully.