The University of Alberta is just one of many universities that has gone through (or will go through) deep cuts in recent years. The U of A's recent cost-cutting exercise has resulted in 121 voluntary severance packages, including: 83 Faculty, Faculty Service Officers, and Librarians, and 38 Administrative Professional Officers.
Meanwhile the scholarly publishing industry which benefits from the free work of scholars as authors and peer reviewers are so enjoying an inelastic market (one that does not respond to market conditions like your customers facing such deep cuts) that they are acting like things are business as usual. For the scholarly publishing business, this means price increases year after year - in this case serials subscriptions agent EBSCO is reporting that libraries should expect increases in the range of 6 - 8%. Not only that, but cheerfully double-dipping: pocketing cash for open access article processing fees which are meant to cover the cost of publishing articles so that they can be made open access.
It is time for scholars, university administrators and research funders to wake up and realize that creation of new knowledge is done by researchers, not publishers. Don't give up your job or or let your colleagues give up theirs without demanding that the large commercial scholarly publishers give up their 30-40% profit margins.
The economics of scholarly publishing is a topic covered in my dissertation.
This post is the first in a new scholars jobs not publisher profits series.