Thursday, February 18, 2010
Dr. Gerald Krispin
EDMONTON — A post-secondary institution established by Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) is taking some decisive measures as it faces a mounting deficit and debt load.
Dr. Gerald Krispin, president of Concordia University College of Alberta (CUCA), says in an open letter to LCC that the institution has frozen new hiring, non-essential travel and is looking at other creative measures to control costs.
“It’s like an illness in a family,” said Krispin. “It puts the most important things in perspective. We know what’s important, and we’re making the best decisions we can to remain healthy in the long‐term.”
In addition to facing $495,000 in funding cuts from the provincial government, mounting infrastructure maintenance and debt-servicing costs, CUCA was required to contribute an additional and unanticipated $750,000 to LCC Worker Benefit Plans this year.
Krispin also noted that overall enrolment in the post-secondary sector is down due to a decline in the student-aged population.
He said the university is already a lean operation and has cut expenditures to the bone.
CUCA will continue to focus on its students’ success, though.
“It means tough choices, but we’re a university at which our students come first,” said Krispin.
Rev. Robert Bugbee, LCC president, said the church shares Krispin’s concerns and appreciates his optimism and vision for solutions.
“Concordia has served our church body well for almost 90 years now and the Lord has blessed our church with pastors, deacons and lay people whom the institution has prepared for service,” said Bugbee. “I believe as we work together as synod, the Lord will continue guiding our way through this current situation.”
Founded in 1921 by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), CUCA was established to prepare men for teaching and preaching ministries. Degree-granting since 1987, it now offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as church work, pre-ministerial, certificate and career-development programs.
The full text of Dr. Krispin’s letter is at http://www.lutheranchurch.ca/canluth/krispin-lcc%20open%20letter.pdf