Rationale for the expansion of the call centre

One point of disagreement that continually arises between tutors and Athabasca University administration is the rationale for further implementation of a call centre or student success centre model at AU.

We thought it would be helpful to provide information which in good part led us to the conclusion that the call centre or student success centre model implementation was primarily budget driven, not student services driven.

The 2012 AU Board of Governors Budget Committee report was the first notification we received that such a move to a university wide implementation of the call centre was being considered. At page 11 of the Budget Report, the Committee identified “themes” for cost cutting including “Course delivery – Student learning services centre.”

At page 23 of the Budget Report, the issue is baldly stated: a proposed cost saving of 1 million dollars was proposed through the directive to:

“Implement Student Learning Services Centre”. Since there had been no prior consultation with respect to issues of educational quality of delivery of services, the logical conclusion was that the change in mode of delivery was primarily budget driven. The committee in General Faculties Council that was constituted by the then Vice President Academic to examine delivery modes was formed as a result of the debate that arose following this budget presentation.

We hope that this helps everyone in understanding our position.

Yessy Byl for CUPE 3911