Little Women, UP

Little Women by University Players

Today in a press release, the University of Windsor has revealed that University Players, the production unit within the School of Dramatic Art, will cease operations as part of campus-wide budget cuts. Additionally, the Entrepreneurship, Practice, and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) will be re-imagined to “integrate and enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

In a news release, the University stated, “The University of Windsor, like many post-secondary institutions in Ontario, is grappling with significant external pressures on budgets from ongoing domestic tuition freezes, provincial policy and funding impacts, competitive forces, and fluctuating enrolment.”


To maintain a balanced budget, the University requires faculties and departments to work together to achieve budget savings exceeding $5.6 million. The institution plans to identify revenue opportunities, implement operational efficiencies, and make staffing adjustments to ensure it continues to fulfill its academic mission and safeguard its financial sustainability.

The ten bargaining unit employees affected by these decisions, represented by CUPE Local 1393, were notified today.

CUPE 1393 president Paul Fraser expressed his concerns, stating, “At a time when the University’s strategic plan emphasizes its role as an engine of economic diversification, urban vitality, and civic engagement in the Windsor-Essex region, these cuts appear short-sighted and self-defeating.”

The union emphasizes the importance of University Players in the local theatre scene, as its productions attract audiences to the campus and provide professional-level training to drama students. The graduates, current students, and support staff of University Players are integral to every other theatre troupe in the region. Fraser warned, “Just as Windsor is working to develop its cultural industries, the elimination of University Players threatens to undermine the arts community.”

Fraser also highlighted the significance of EPICentre’s business incubator programs for entrepreneurs and founders establishing start-ups in Windsor-Essex. “If there’s one thing we know Windsor needs, it is support for new businesses as they launch,” said Fraser. “Bringing the expertise of our faculty and students to bear has been of great benefit to our local economic ecosystem, and it will be a shame if we cut these ties at such a crucial time in our regional development.”

The budget cuts at the University of Windsor are expected to have a profound impact on the local arts and entrepreneurship communities, as well as the affected employees and students.

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