by SUSAN MANN
The eastern Ontario municipality of North Grenville is prepared to operate the University of Guelph’s Kemptville campus until a permanent organization can be found to run the institution, says municipality CAO Brian Carré.
In March, the University of Guelph said it would be closing both of its Kemptville and Alfred campuses in eastern Ontario by 2015. In July, the Ontario government appointed two facilitators, one for each campus, to “lead discussions on the academic and skills training required to meet the needs of rural and francophone communities in eastern Ontario,” the July 11 government press release says. Lyle Vanclief is the Kemptville facilitator, while Marc Godbout is the one for Alfred.
Vanclief is working to develop options to keep Kemptville operating, while Godbout “will focus on the future of the Alfred campus,” the release says.
The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force has asked the North Grenville municipality “to lead an exercise in preparing a development plan for Kemptville College,” says Carré. He resigned as chair of the task force “because of the conflict” of the municipality agreeing to temporarily run the college.
Carré says the municipality isn’t actually preparing the plan but is acting as the project’s leader. “We’ve issued a request for proposals for interested consulting firms that would have the experience and accreditation to prepare such a document.” The deadline for submissions is Friday.
The municipality “hopes to have a document to hand over to Lyle Vanclief, which will basically provide a solution that we believe is a valid one for him to consider and to submit that to the province for their consideration,” Carré says.
Marty Derks, task force chair, says in addition to that report being organized by North Grenville the task force’s members will be asking community members to “fill out a survey showing the importance of an agricultural education in eastern Ontario. We will hand that in to the facilitator for his report.”
The facilitators’ reports are due to be delivered to the province this fall. Bryan Bossin, press secretary and communications assistant to Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal says by email both reports will be made public and Leal will be visiting both campuses. No dates have been set for either the reports’ release or Leal’s campus visits.
About the facilitators’ reports, Bossin says “we are working with the facilitators and local communities and want to ensure there is an appropriate amount of time for public and stakeholder input.” As for the campus visits, Leal intends to go see the campuses as soon as possible, Bossin says. BF