Alberta Mirror

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Athabasca University’s ‘near virtual’ reality has city leaders concerned about the future of campus

Key takeaways: 

  • AUMA anticipated a hearing resolution targeted at keeping the bricks-and-mortar campus open. 
  • Athabasca University plans to shift to what it calls ‘near virtual,’ functioning. 

Athabasca’s ‘near virtual’ operations: 

Though there’s never been a conclusive declaration of its death, the battle to keep the Athabasca University’s campus functioning in the city for which it’s titled is anticipated to be heard at a current venue the coming week. 

The city of Athabasca, located 145 kilometres north of Edmonton, has relented a decision to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) agreement asking that the region create a clear business case and ask with the group when regarding the shutdown, privatization or move of a publicly funded corporation. 

The City Of Lacombe has accorded to second the motion when it comes up at the time of the three-day convention which starts Nov 17 in Edmonton. 

The AUMA resolution is the newest salvo in a campaign to avert an anticipated shutdown of the campus. The previous year, in a move that alerted staff, politicians and business leaders in the city of almost 3000, the Athabasca University’s (AU) board of governors voted to change into ‘near virtual’ functionings. 

Also read: Ottawa, Alberta reach an agreement for ‘cheap, quality child care,’ region states.

“I feel within 10 years … there’ll be barely any people working at AU that live in our community,” said Rob Balay, a former councillor who was appointed mayor the previous month. “And that’s a huge worry for us.” Source – cbc.ca

The city’s economy endangered

Balay stated the ‘near virtual’ scheme could remove the requirement for the latest hires and present employees alike to live in Athabasca, as they could work anywhere with an internet connection. 

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