RDC readies for tough provincial budget: Ward

Red Deer College will continue with ambitious plans over the next year despite some concerns about the provincial government’s upcoming budget, president Joel Ward said on Friday.

Red Deer College will continue with ambitious plans over the next year despite some concerns about the provincial government’s upcoming budget, president Joel Ward said on Friday.

Ward, who presented the board’s 2011-12 annual college report in front of a luncheon crowd of about 200 people, said the college will not sit back just because the ruling Progressive Conservatives are expected to unveil a tough budget on March 7.

“I would be lying to you if I didn’t say we’re a little worried about the budget and what the impacts that might have, but we’re a very entrepreneurial institution,” Ward told news reporters later. “We look at ways for generating revenue and pushing our agenda forward.”

Ward watched Premier Alison Redford’s televised address on Thursday night, during which she said that depressed prices for Alberta’s bitumen had taken a $1-billion bite out of this year’s budget, and $6 billion next year’s budget.

“We have contingency plans, we’re ready for whatever happens,” said Ward. “We’d love to have our grant increase of two per cent, which we had planned for and the government had talked to us about two years ago, but if we have to play a role in the budget and balancing the budget, we’ll do our part.”

The college will mark its 50th anniversary next year and over the next five decades the board has set its sights on increasing its growth. To achieve this, it will develop new partnerships and initiatives.

As part of its ambitious plans over the next year, the college will keep abreast of a Red Deer community bid to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The college has given initial backing.

“We think our participation in the bid will speed up our multi-plex and residences (projects),” said Ward.

He expects the bid, if successful, could help the college get the multi-plex done five years earlier.

The college aims to make the Donald School of Business downtown campus a premiere business school, connecting learners to businesses in the region through applied learning experiences.

The college’s recent acquisition of City Centre Stage will result in more community theatre, art shows, conferences, and smaller film festivals, while giving students great applied learning experiences.

“We will be announcing a full plan to our community soon,” said Ward.

The college wants to become known for attracting talent, not sending it away, he added.

It banks on having a third of its programs in trades and technologies, a third in diplomas and a third in degrees.

Although the strategic plan up to 2017 doesn’t specifically address turning the college into a university by having degree-granting status, Ward said they have presented a “very powerful model” to provincial government officials.

“The focus we’ve had with the government is: let’s grant our own degrees and take better control of that third of our business,” said Ward. “The board presented a very powerful argument and now we await the province’s response. But we believe there will be some opportunities for this institution in the very near future.”

Board vice-chair Dale Russell said they’re not looking to grant all the degrees.

“But we know there’s still more that we can do and that’s what we’re pushing for,” said Russell. “It’s to keep the people here, so they don’t have to go away.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris, right, celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with left wing Brady Tkachuk Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot from Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

United States goalie Alex Cavallini (33) deflects Canada's Marie Philip Poulin (29) shot during the first period in the women's 3-on-3 game, part of the NHL hockey All-Star weekend, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in St. Louis. Hockey Canada's roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women's hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Most Read