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Director General address budget compressions in CEGEP network

An opportunity for real change in the CEGEP network?

It is likely that the months that lie ahead will be difficult.

First, recent decisions by the current Quebec government regarding funding will restrain our financial "marge de manoeuvre". The situation for Dawson is not desperate, but will require prudent management and delicate decision-making, both for expected revenues and expenses.

Second, Bill 14 was tabled last December by Ministre Diane de Courcy, who is responsible for the "Charte de la langue française". The law includes two articles directed at English-language colleges that may have an impact on us. A wide consultation is scheduled for this winter and will give us the opportunity to voice our concerns. I will call soon a "meeting of the minds" to share thoughts and substantiate our position.

Third, the "Sommet sur l'enseignement supérieur" called in the wake of the recent social turmoil will likely be held around the end of February (no dates have been yet confirmed). There is currently widespread discussion going on, through "preparatory meetings" and "forum citoyen" and social networking.

Although the Minister of Education Pierre Duchesne said at the beginning of this process "tout est sur la table", it is hard to see what might come out of this Sommet at this point. Will there be a real opportunity to rethink the way higher education in Quebec is delivered or will the question of university funding universities take all the attention? Cela reste à voir.

Despite all this, I trust that we at Dawson will not be distracted and will keep focused on our educational mission, as stated in our Student Success Plan  -- educating the student as a whole person.

As the saying goes: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

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