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October 28, 2017 5:11 am

Suspension of CNC Dental Programs “Disturbing” says Instructor

Monday, March 23, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Disturbing.

That’s how Carole Whitmer, long-time faculty member in CNC’s Dental Studies Department, describes the college’s decision to suspend intakes into the dental assistant and hygiene programs this September.

“Well we were totally shocked by the college’s proposal and I guess our big concern is that there was no consultation with us,” says Whitmer. “So it was a total surprise and when we had talked to Henry (Henry Reiser, CNC president) he has not been able to give us a definitive date or year when they would start the programs again.”

(Reiser says the lack of consultation was due to a very confidential matter).

Whitmer also claims the college is basing their decisions on what she calls “some misinformation” when it comes to what the college says are the school’s lower than average tuition fees.

“They are not looking at total costs of the programs (when calculating tuition). So for example, if you just take the tuition fee from CNC and you compare it to Camosun College, CNC’s tuition is $9,914 and Camosun’s is $13,950,” she says.

“But the total cost of the program at Camosun, because there’s other fees (like glove fees, supplies etc) is $20,450 and our total cost is $18,000. But if our students purchase loupes, then our student costs are about $20,000.”

Reiser however, isn’t buying it.

“Well that’s not the finding of our dean. Our understanding is that when all is in, the difference (with comparable institutions) is $7,000.”

He says the difference is crippling to the college.

“Oh yes, absolutely. That’s one element, but the biggest component is our cost delivery. The length of the program is longer than anyone in the province and in addition to that, our ratios of working with the students in the clinics is one of the lowest in the province.”

And while both parties agree enrollment isn’t an issue, Whitmer says CNC could find other ways to deal with its $2.8 million deficit.

“If they are suspending two programs and no longer operating a clinic, why are they hiring an associate dean of health. Layers of management have also increased again.”

She says losing the clinic is a major blow considering it’s served over 13,000 patients since 1992 (including preventative services for retired people, services for children & single moms).

“Well we have to remember what is our core business,” replies Reiser. “I fully appreciate that outreach to the community because we are a community college but our primary business is education and not social support.”

CNC’s Board of Governor’s will be making its final decision on the future of the programs at its meeting on April 24.


Thank you CNC, for the past 25 plus years of having this program available to young people, an excellent opportunities for young ladies and men to get into a fruitful career.

The world never stays the same. All things that were once good, will evolve to become better or obsolete. even look around your house, the landlines are becoming fewer because of cell phones. The cable vision service will become rarer because of pressure from the internet. The local newspaper subscription is falling, the blog sites like this is growing.

Yes, the college is there to educate first, not a social program.

What are you talking about? How is dentistry a “social program”? Looks more like incompetence among the administrators at the college.

what bootin students out, closing down viable programs, getting rid of instructors and all the while increasing top heavy suits way to go REISER. HOW long have you been at the college helm 22 minutes?ITS THE students who pay your inflated wage and instructors who actually do all the work so you can buy your prime rib. HENRY why don’t you man up call the feds. and liebrals and tell them what they don’t want to hear, but already know that to run post secondary you need an increase in funding. BRITISH COLUMBIA education is headed down the toilet and with all the animosity created by the lyin libs these last 5 years I believe this is exactly what they want. HEY I WONDER HOW LITTLE HAMISH IS DOING IN PRIVATE SCHOOL HAS HE LEARNED HUMILITY YET. WHO KNOWS GO ASK HIS MOM.

The question of what the total cost of a program is one that it should be possible to resolve. It shouldn’t be a matter of: “he said, she said”. The College should publish the details of its calculation.

Krusty, it’s a social program in as much as low income people, seniors, etc., get their teeth cleaned at CNC by students for a nominal amount. With the program now ending, those people will have to pay the going rate at the dentists office. So, the program was subsidized dental care. It’s interesting to note the dentists in town are strangely quiet about this, almost as if, it’s a good thing for them. Obviously they aren’t worried about recruiting staff once the college is no longer training. Must be a lot easier to get a dental hygienist to move to Prince George than you’d think.

Went to the dentist last Thursday and signed a petition at the receptionist’s desk regarding the closure of dental assistant program at CNC. I am sure that the dentist was aware of the petition.

This is just another typically poor decision made by College administration once again. They always seem to have lots of money when it comes to needless renovations, relocations of the Facilities Division again and again, even to the tune of $400K for some ugly portables we have to look at every time we drive by the College. What’s it costing annual to heat the abandoned Trades building that should be demolished by now. Here’s an idea, move Facilities into them at no cost. Maybe it’s time the College administration started looking at making CNC a better place for students and not just for themselves. I’d call for a new President and Board, but history shows us they keep getting worse with each new face they bring in.

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