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NEWS RELEASE · 16th January 2012
NWCC Student's Union
Last Thursday the President of NWCC released an open letter to students and the community.
Read it below.
Regardless of the fact that; this letter was not sent to students, the Students’ Union, and that there has been no consultation by the college as of yet with students and/or the Students’ Union, NWCCSU is keen to respond-to much of the letter and clear-up what could be described as a cover-up.

Last year, the NWCC Budget Task Force noted that the Ministry of Advanced Education had allowed the college to work through their deficit that was at that time, and as written in the budget that was adopted by the NWCC Board of Governors last spring, 1.1 Million dollars. It was noted by the interim president and VP finance that the Ministry was giving the college 3 years to work out their budget deficit. President Henning is disregarding this message from the Ministry and is prepping the college community for massive cuts that would most likely involve layoffs of faculty and staff this spring.

“The latest message from the President of NWCC is claiming that she had inherited a $2 million dollar deficit, and this is simply not true,” said Mikael Jensen, NWCCSU Organizer and student representative on the 2011-12 budget task force. “If the 2 million dollar deficit figure is now correct this would mean the new president has added about $100,000 of debt for the college each month since she started working for the NWCC Board of Governors,” added Jensen.

“The numbers don’t add up, ether the college was covering up a bigger deficit in 2011-12 or President Henning is attempting to mislead the public today, any cuts or layoffs that will come down in the future should be placed solely on the lap of the new President,” said Jensen. He added, “it is completely unacceptable for this President to continue making cuts to programs, courses, services to students while hiring new administrators and creating new positions in administration.

“All the while, priority planning sessions were underway, the NWCC President has been out-to-lunch; by not prioritising students and programming but rather hiring more administration who have little to no effect on the quality of the learning environment and what goes on in the classroom.”

The President is now looking for ways to save money. “We are suggesting that the President knows what she is doing and has purposefully drove the college into this massive deficit situation,” said Jensen. He added, “new managers and positions who earn around $100,000 each and the budget line for the presidents compensation adding to just under $300,000 would be a good place to start saving.”

Northwest Community College Students’ Union represents all Trades, University Credit and Career and College Prep students at NWCC in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, the Hazeltons, Smithers and Houston.


Letter from President Henning to students and communities

January 12, 2012

Dear students and community members,

NWCC is currently operating in a deficit situation which at this time is estimated to be $1.7 million dollars. We were allowed to run a deficit last year so that we could carry out the important work of Priority Planning, but our grace period is up. According to the College and Institute Act, we must eliminate this deficit and turn in a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year. Our Board of Governors understands and recognizes the need to balance our budget, and both management and union leadership are collaboratively working together through every step of the process to minimize the impact to our students and employees.

These are challenging times for all of us and NWCC's administration and union leadership will have to make some difficult decisions over the next 8-10 weeks. We will do our best to be open, transparent and supportive during this process, and keep you informed as much as possible over the coming months.

To that end, we will be launching a website at that will serve as a central repository for updates to our students, employees and communities. In addition, we will be creating an email account at budget,,, so people can make inquiries, voice their concerns and make suggestions on how NWCC can save money. I will be holding town hall meetings and will share those dates as soon as they have been confirmed.

Despite our current economic challenges, we will continue to provide our students with high-quality educational experiences. We are proud of everything we have accomplished for our students, alumni and communities and will continue to demonstrate NWCC's importance to Northwest BC.

Thank you,

Denise K. Henning
President & CEO
Northwest Community College
Comment by James Ippel on 20th January 2012
Why in the hell should the Board of NWCC consult with the students or staff when it comes to thel hiring of the new president???

Do these people pay, or partially pay for the salary of the president? I think not, and until you financially assist in the compensation of the salary of the people in charge, methinks you should BUTT OUT.

Oh, and by the way, don't try the bit about my taxes pay a portion of their salaries. It won't wash.
run like a corporation
Comment by Imp on 17th January 2012
might as well take 'community" out of the name. Last year spent 70,000+ $$ of public money on private firm - geldert gropp to hire new president all in secret. met with no students, staff etc. blame BC Lib stacked bored of governors for all of it!
Who would've guessed!?
Comment by jj on 16th January 2012
CC is totally right. We have a great big useless longhouse on campus, and it is used for very little, what a waste. NWCC could've used that money for other things such as wifi in the library. NWCC is a hub of the north/northwest in terms of education and what has happened to it is a disgrace
College covers real guilty party; BC Government
Comment by Mikael Jensen on 16th January 2012
Its not yet clear if the ministry of advanced education has changed it mind with regard to giving the college 3 years to overcome its budget deficit and the NWCC president is just not saying that, regardless, at the end of the day the Government of BC is responsible for this mess.

Government has created a the massive funding gap, lets just hope they wake up and realize that the buck can no-longer be passed onto the provinces students. While tuition fees have doubled and tripled across the province, government funding has decreases by nearly $4,000 per student on average in BC. Add in that the BC government is charging the highest rate of interest in the province on the loans it provides and its no wonder why students are concerned and upset that they are being charged more while being offered less.
Everyone Knows
Comment by CC on 16th January 2012
Everyone knows where the deficit came from. It wasn't from the new president, but from the old presidents longhouse dream. She took every penny from every department that she could rob. The maintenance department has really been robbed. The new president has a mess on her hands. Read the Winnipeg Free Press and type in Stephanie Forsyth. She isn't getting away with all of her bully tactics there.

Name with-held