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U of L staffing levels increase by 3 persons a year over the last decade

During the same 10-year period, the University of Lethbridge saw enrolment increase by 747 students, a 9.1% increase, but only 30 new employees, a 2.6% increase.

This past May marked 10 years since the University of Lethbridge laid me off—well, half of my department actually—as a result of funding cuts forced on them by Ed Stalmach’s PC government.

Given that the U of L is still experiencing funding cuts, I was curious about staffing levels at the university over the last decade.

After some searching, I found the following chart in the university’s 2009–10 Annual Report:

University of Lethbridge 2009–10 Annual Report, p. 14

It’s a breakdown of employees by group. If we add them all up, we get 1,155 employees at the University of Lethbridge during the 2009–2010 fiscal year.

In a Community Budget Message posted to their website on 8 June 2020, we find the following;

Since November 2019, the U of L has reduced its workforce by 83 positions (7% of our total workforce) through layoffs, retirements and attrition.

If we multiply 83 by 100 then divide by 7, we’re left with 1,185.71. That means their most current workforce total was around 1,185.

Over the last decade, the University of Lethbridge has had a net employment increase of only 30 positions. Certainly, there have been more than that, but there’ve been layoffs, retirements, departures, and so on, which is how we’re left with such a low number.

That’s only 3 new positions every year.

In the fall semester of 2009, the U of L saw enrolment of 8,209 students. In the fall semester of 2019, the U of L increased that to 8,956 students.

During the same 10-year period, the University of Lethbridge saw enrolment increase by 747 students, a 9.1% increase, but only 30 new employees, a 2.6% increase.

In 2009, there was 1 employee for every 7.1 students at the university. Ten years later, that number has changed to 1 employee for every 7.6 students. If staffing levels had kept pace with student enrolment, the U of L would’ve had 1,261 employees for the 2019–2020 school year, 76 more than they actually had. But instead, the university eliminated 89 positions.

That left the U of L with a 165-job deficit by the end of this past school year, leaving 1 staff member for every 8.2 students.

And if the university sees a 2.2% increase in enrolment this year, as it did last year, the student population could be 9,153 this semester, increasing to 8.4 the number of students per employee.

Of course, that assumes that the U of L sees no additional staffing cuts over this new school year.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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