‘Rural Alberta being penalized’ says Northern Lakes College president

Joe McWilliams
For South Peace News

Northern Lakes College president Glenn Mitchell spoke to M.D. of Lesser Slave River council last week about challenges the college is having in recruiting senior people.
Aggravating the difficulty, Mitchell said, is provincial legislation that limits what the college can offer senior management candidates.
Although the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions Act [RABBCA] was apparently intended to rein in “out of hand” salaries for senior executives in public institutions, it has had unintended consequences. In the case of NLC, Mitchell said he’s trying to recruit a vice president. But thanks to RABBCA [which has been extended to apply to VPs and deans], it means NLC can’t compete with what those people are being offered by colleges in other provinces.
Add that to the already difficult job of enticing people to rural and northern areas, and you’ve got a big problem.
“Rural Alberta is being penalized for being rural,” is how Mitchell put it, calling it “unnecessary red tape.”
Put that way, councillors had no trouble relating to the dilemma the college is facing.
“I would have no problem seconding a motion at the RMA [Rural Municipalities of Alberta conference],” said Reeve Murray Kerik.
Kerik’s comment followed Mitchell advising council that a municipal leader in Mountain View County is preparing a resolution for the RMA’s spring conference, having to do with RABBCA.
Councillor Brad Pearson’s idea: “They should place that on [Alberta Health Services] and leave the education system alone.”
If anything, said Councillor Nancy Sand, the system should give an advantage to rural Alberta, not the other way around, since the cost of doing so many things is higher.
Council resolved to send a letter to various government minsters, supporting the college’s contention that RABBCA is unfairly making recruitment difficult.

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