NORTHWEST Community College finds itself dealing with the most basic tenet of life – you cannot spend more than you earn.
But that’s what’s been happening now for several years and, it seems, despite already substantial payroll and travel cost cuts, for example, the figure in red ink is getting larger, not smaller.
That explains why, in the black and white world of financial accountability, there will be job cuts coming at the end of the month to balance expenditures.
But it doesn’t quite explain how the college got to this position in the first place.
Is it because, as has been suggested, the college is handcuffed to a set of accounting principles that makes deficits look larger than they actually are in dollars and cents?
Or is it because the provincial government demands so much information from the college it is drowning in costly paperwork?
In a surprising move, people all the way from Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin to Cindy Oliver, president of the Post Secondary Educators Federation of BC (which represents college instructors), to provincial advanced education minister Naomi Yamamoto have, independently, asked the ‘how’ question as well.
Ms. Yamamoto has also asked her officials to ask the ‘how’ question. The sooner she can get an answer the better for the future of post-secondary education in the northwest.