Landing : Athabascau University

Why I opted out of the Athabasca University Graduate Student Association...

  2019 AU Course form payment section

Actual details of course form payment for 2019-07-03:

2019 Course Registration and Fees section > Comments >

I do not belong to the AUGSA, and wish to have the AUGSA fee of $13 per credit directed to reduction in my tuition fee.

Thank you.”

No followup indication that my comments were acknowledged, but the course fee was immediately processed from credit card.

In addition to opting out, to reduce tuition which is a singularly excellent reason, there are many other reasons worth considering, such as:

  • Money grab by AUGSA executive with salaries to help themselves ??? (note salaries are not listed on the site nor detailed in the audits)
  • AU students have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to wages and salaries since inception of the AUGSA - in essence you are paying for the existence of elite students based on a popularity contest (i.e., certain students have found a legal way to cannibalize your tuition fee).
  • AU Students have spent more than $1 million on AUGSA since their inception (see financial audits)
  • the disenfranchisement of students at a distance is unacceptable in any educational domain (e.g. timezone insensitive meeting times)
  • inequality in payouts to select students at AUGSA conferences
  • ineffective communication from emails to AUGSA president or AU president

The Solution

- provide an unchecked opt in checkbox to redirect $13/credit to the AUGSA on the AU course payment gateway and forms


What AUGSA means to me

Loss of client service and personal control, unnecessary higher cost of tuition, disintegration of integrity and credibility of AU administration and board members to ignore the student while endorsing AUGSA actions. Generally questionable leadership to support students. As a consultant, if I behaved the same way as the AUGSA executive and AU administration, I would be out of business.


What Athabasca University students could have for $1 Million, in the long-term:


1. Development and support for existing academic support systems (e.g. The Landing, AU Press)

2. An online e-publishing system for dissertations/thesis, and e-texts

3. An OER repository

4. An e-Portfolio server


In the spirit of the late U.S. President J.F.Kennedy,

ask not what academic organizations can do for you - ask what you can do for students.


Currently, the antiquated service model employed by the AUGSA is a cash flow of wages for a select few students. It is extremely shocking to witness how much finances were taken from student tuition over the years, and yet very little service and equality for all students at Athabasca University. The absence of open platforms for e-portfolios, e-publishing, e-repositories, and support to existing student online academic systems, is a sad irony in consideration that when there was no AUGSA all the tuition went directly to the intended purpose.



AU student and alumnus