Fleming College suspends 29 programs, citing ‘adverse effect’ of ‘significant external events’

Affected faculty and staff told province-imposed cap on international students a factor in increased budgetary pressures

Fleming College has campuses in Peterborough (pictured), Lindsay, Haliburton, and Cobourg. (Photo: Fleming College)
Fleming College has campuses in Peterborough (pictured), Lindsay, Haliburton, and Cobourg. (Photo: Fleming College)

Less than a year after Fleming College suspended 13 of its programs, college faculty and staff have been informed that another 29 programs won’t return this September.

In a letter issued Wednesday (April 24) and provided to kawarthaNOW, college president Maureen Adamson confirmed a decision made the previous day by Fleming’s board of governors to suspend the additional programs.

In her letter, addressed to all staff, Adamson pointed to “significant external events that have had an adverse effect on our college.” She specifically noted the federal cap on international students coming to Ontario and the elimination of educational private partnerships.

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“The related significant reduction to our budget has had a profound impact on college operations,” wrote Adamson, adding “We are moving quickly to stabilize our institution and prepare for future years.”

“As a result, we have accelerated our program evaluation and review process, and we have made decisions about those programs we can no longer offer, those that we need to consolidate, and those that will grow.”

Adamson added provincial government direction has been part of that process in terms of programs “they will support.”

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According to Adamson, other factors that have come into play in making program decisions include labour market demand, regional needs, and demographics.

The list of newly suspended programs is long and varied, ranging from Business – Accounting and Business – HR, to Environmental Technology and Fish and Wildlife Technology, to Law Clerk and Marketing Management, to Therapeutic Recreation and Urban Forestry. The complete list of suspended programs is available on Fleming College’s website.

Affected faculty and staff were informed of the programs’ suspension on Tuesday via a series of meetings held in person and virtually via Zoom.

“We appreciate this is very difficult news and realize that you may have many questions,” they were told according to a document shared with kawarthaNOW.

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While there’s no definitive word at this point on what the programs’ suspension will mean in terms of lost faculty and staff jobs, those affected were told that Fleming College “will work closely with our union locals to meet our Employment Stability standards.”

In addition, affected faculty and staff were reminded that support is available through the college’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.

While the college is saying nothing about the impact of the programs’ suspension in terms of job loss, a source has told kawarthaNOW there will be “lots of layoffs” as a result of the programs’ suspension.

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There is, however, some good news regarding affected students.

Adamson wrote in her letter that “the priority will be to enable the program completion of any student that is currently enrolled in any of the suspended programs.”

During Tuesday’s faculty and staff meetings, assurance was given that a “teach out” plan will be created to ensure affected students “will have the ability to complete their program in the normal amount of time.”

That plan will also provide details on how those students not following the usual time for program completion will be supported.

Watch kawarthaNOW for updates to this story as they become available.

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Paul Rellinger
Paul Rellinger a.k.a Relly is an award-winning journalist and longtime former newspaper editor still searching for the perfect lead. When he's not putting pen to paper, Paul is on a sincere but woefully futile quest to own every postage stamp ever issued. A rabid reader of history, Paul claims to know who killed JFK but can't say out of fear for the safety of his oh so supportive wife Mary, his three wonderful kids and his three spirited grandchildren. Paul counts among his passions Peterborough's rich live music scene, the Toronto Maple Leafs, slopitch and retrieving golf balls from the woods. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @rellywrites.