At an announcement on Thursday, Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Fish announced that all university presidents will remain frozen to help ease tuition costs.
The presidential freeze will continue for one final year, after which the president would be defrosted at the rate of inflation each year.
U of A domestic students can expect tuition fees to decrease, as frozen presidents do not need to be paid, saving the university millions of dollars. Under the newly legislated defrosting rate, students will only need to pay the salary of defrosted limbs of the president, starting with the left pinky finger in 2020. International students, while not subject to the full benefits of the freeze, will now know how much they will be expected to contribute to the president’s freezer burn fund at the start of their program.
Fish said it was legislation created by students, for students.
“The NDP is committed to making life affordable for Albertans,” he said. “Freezing the president was simply the right thing to do.”
Students’ Union President Reed Lorsan commented that CAUS has long advocated for a reduction in the temperature of the president, and that “adding scheduled defrosting to the Post-Secondary Learning Act will increase predictability and affordability for students.”
The legislation comes after a years-long consultation process regarding presidential temperature, including a survey and a stakeholder committee. Included in the bill is backfill funding to maintain the cost of the cryogenic chamber, so the university will not experience a budget shortfall.
The Getaway reached out to President Turnip for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.