Capilano University has prompted protests with its plan to cut two contemporary-art programs as it seeks to eliminate a $1.3-million budget shortfall.
An online petition has been launched calling on university administration to reconsider the proposal to halt the studio art and textile arts diploma programs.
“The Studio Art students at Capilano University are deeply upset and angered by the decision to cut the program without consultation, option or discussion,” reads the petition.
“Studio Art and Textiles offer a unique hands-on experience that is difficult to find at any other institution in Vancouver.”
“They also have specialized facilities including the bronze foundry and the digital loom that are incredibly rare in Canadian post-secondary institutions.”
The online petition had more than 1,100 supporters as of midday Friday (April 26).
The studio arts and textile art programs are included in a series of programs and courses the university said will be “suspended.”
Under the plan, admission would no longer be offered for new students into the two-year diploma programs.
However, students in the second year of a two-year program will be able to finish their studies.
The university is required under provincial legislation to deliver a balanced budget.
“Rather than do across-the-board cuts, which affect quality for every student, we are suspending intakes in some programs and reducing classes in some areas,” reads a statement on the university’s website.
“There will also be no increase to services, staffing, and equipment and some capital projects will be suspended.”
“These actions were required to eliminate the projected $1.3 million shortfall and to prepare for the current fiscal challenges facing the entire post-secondary sector.”
The university’s board of governors is expected to make a decision on the cuts on May 14.