Mount Royal University’s provost leaves school amid budget dispute

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MRU to hold emergency town hall
WATCH: Mount Royal University provost Kathy Shailer has abruptly left, and many speculate an ongoing budget spat may be to blame. Stefan Keyes has details – Mar 29, 2016

Calgary – One of Mount Royal University’s top staff has abruptly left the school amid an ongoing budget dispute.

Kathy Shailer was the university’s provost and vice-president of academic since 2013, but no longer holds the position.

Her departure was revealed to faculty in an email from university president David Docherty on Easter Monday. At this time, it’s unclear if Shailer left on her own or if she was asked to leave.

Duane Bratt, chair of the Department of Policy Studies, said the email didn’t explain the circumstances surrounding Shailer’s departure.

“It did not explain whether she resigned or was fired,” Bratt said. “But given all the events of the last two weeks at Mount Royal, it would have to be linked to the budget email that she delivered last Tuesday evening, and that is linked to the defeat of her academic plan about two weeks ago.”

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Shailer’s five-year academic plan was rejected by the faculty association.

In response, Shailer reportedly sent an email asking for $4.3 million in cuts to academic budgets despite the provincial government’s planned increase in funding.

“I think it is clear if you look at the timeline, that the provost – Kathy Shailer’s – departure is clearly linked to that budget email,” Bratt said. “On Wednesday, for example, the [Mount Royal Faculty Association] had scheduled a vote of non-confidence in Kathy due to that budget decision and I think her departure is clearly linked to that.”

In a statement sent to Global News from the university’s communications officer, university president David Docherty said Shailer’s departure “is an entirely separate matter, unrelated to our annual budget planning.” Docherty declined to comment further on “confidential personnel matters.”

A budget town hall will be held at the university campus at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

– With files from Stefan Keyes

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