Guy Pelletier, chair of Red Deer College’s board of governors, said the latest program cuts have nothing to do with the delay in RDC becoming a university. (Advocate file photo.)

Guy Pelletier, chair of Red Deer College’s board of governors, said the latest program cuts have nothing to do with the delay in RDC becoming a university. (Advocate file photo.)

RDC’s university transition is delayed, not halted, says official

Latest program cuts based on low enrolment, less government funding

Red Deer College will continue on the path toward becoming a university — despite a delay and the partial suspension of a new applied-degree program, says an official.

Guy Pelletier, chair of the college’s board of governors, doesn’t believe RDC’s university transition will be halted — especially as he maintains it won’t cost the government any more money, while improving learning opportunities in central Alberta.

But Pelletier was told RDC’s change in status will be delayed until after a “systems-wide review” is done this fall on post-secondary institutions in Alberta.

It was announced before measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 created government delays.

“They don’t want to make any major decisions on us, as a university, until sometime in the fall, when the results of the review are known,” he added.

This week, RDC officials announced the performance stream of a new bachelor of applied arts degree program in film, theatre and live entertainment will be “suspended,” even though it only opened to students last fall.

Pelletier said low enrolment is the main reason for this cut — which also included the production side of live entertainment, as part of five program shutdowns announced at RDC. The film production stream is continuing.

Students, alumni express concern over program cut

He noted tough decisions were needed since the college has faced two years of government funding reductions, and anticipates several more decreased grant years to come.

While the latest course suspensions were not linked to the delay in RDC becoming a university, Pelletier said the start dates for new bachelor of education, bachelor of science and bachelor of management programs will likely be affected.

The curriculums for these programs have already been submitted to a provincial review board. Pelletier said the earliest start dates were anticipated to be the fall of 2021 and 2022, but he believes these could be postponed, depending on when the review is completed.

Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda said he understands impacted students “are feeling a deep sense of personal loss and frustration.”

But he added the decision to suspend the two majors in this program was made “to support the long-term, sustainable operations of the college.”

While believing in students’ right to petition, he stated it will not lead to the reinstatement of the program.

Nunoda maintains RDC’s marketing team used diverse approaches to try to recruit students.

While preliminary research indicated reasonable demand for a combined theatre/film and live entertainment program, “many factors influence enrolment,” he said, “including economy, demographics and evolving industry needs.

“It is among these myriad reasons that RDC is seeing lower enrolment than what we expected.”

He feels the college will continue to make various contributions toward arts in the community.

Many other arts opportunities exist for students, including visual arts, animation and visual effects, and film, he added, noting RDC also offers music and dance programming through the school of continuing education and summer camps.

“We anticipate that the resources available within the Arts Centre, such as the costumes…will remain in place for use for these diverse activities, as needed.”

As to the future of the RDC Arts Centre, Nunoda did not commit to lowering the rent to make it more affordable for community groups.

But he said, “RDC will continue to use it for our programming, and it will also continue to be utilized for a diverse range of community performances, events and activities.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer College

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda. (Photo by contributed)

Red Deer College president Peter Nunoda. (Photo by contributed)

Just Posted

A restricted gun licence holder holds a AR-15 at his home in Langley, B.C. on May 1, 2020. Advocates of stricter gun control are urging the Trudeau government to get on with promised reforms, saying they are months overdue. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has pledged new measures including a buyback of recently outlawed firearms, stricter storage provisions and steps to control handguns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Get on with promised gun-control measures, advocates urge Trudeau government

OTTAWA — Advocates of stricter gun control are urging the Trudeau government… Continue reading

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Mandatory indoor mask wearing starts Monday in Red Deer

A municipal bylaw requiring masking in public indoor places takes effect Monday… Continue reading

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, photo taken through a camera lens the word "pandemic" in seen in a dictionary in Washington. Dictionary.com declared “pandemic” its 2020 word of the year. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Dictionary.com picks ‘pandemic’ as its 2020 word of the year

NEW YORK — On Dec. 31, China reported a cluster of pneumonia… Continue reading

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on November 24, 2020. The territory plans to start lifting a two-week lockdown due to COVID-19 spread on Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
Nunavut to start lifting its two-week lockdown as COVID-19 cases recover

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is to start lifting a two-week lockdown on… Continue reading

Minister of International Trade Mary Ng participates in a news conference on the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement in Ottawa, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Ng says she is unable to provide a guarantee to MPs that they will see a bill to ratify the new provisional Canada-Britain trade agreement before Parliament adjourns on Dec. 11.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
No text of Canada-U.K. trade deal, minister says as Dec. 31 tariff deadline looms

OTTAWA — Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng says she can’t guarantee… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to reporters during a news conference on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. An association of Quebec booksellers says it acted in haste when it removed social media posts outlining Premier Francois Legault’s book recommendations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec booksellers’ group apologizes, republishes post outlining premier’s top reads

MONTREAL — An association of Quebec booksellers says it acted in haste… Continue reading

Regine Laurent, president of the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection, arrives at a news conference to deliver a preliminary report in Montreal on Monday, November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Quebec urged to create national director of youth protection to oversee system

MONTREAL — A provincial commission looking into the protection of vulnerable children… Continue reading

Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts his mask back on during the daily briefing at Humber River Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday November 24, 2020. Ford says he wants a clear delivery date for the province’s share of COVID-19 vaccines, stressing that “the clock is ticking” when it comes to fighting the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario premier pushes for clear delivery date for COVID-19 vaccines

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he wants a clear delivery date for… Continue reading

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

The Alberta government passed new, stricter COVID-19 measures across the province on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Here’s a list of Alberta’s new COVID rules

The Alberta government has provided a list of new COVID-19 measures to… Continue reading

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2019 file photo, George Clooney participates in the "Catch-22" panel during the Hulu presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. In a Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Clooney said he's been cutting his own hair for more than two decades with a Flowbee device. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
George Clooney’s secret to cutting his hair, as seen on TV

LOS ANGELES — George Clooney is just like us, maybe. The star… Continue reading

Most Read