TRUFA President’s Report to the Membership – December 2017
December 19, 2017
TRU Faculty Association calls for “fair funding” for Thompson Rivers University
January 11, 2018
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Email the Minister of Advanced Education about Fair Funding for TRU

Dear Minister Mark,

Since becoming a university in 2005, Thompson Rivers University has struggled to meet its legislated mandate due to chronic underfunding caused by an outdated funding formula that does not recognize TRU as a full, comprehensive research university with a strong regional mandate.

The TRU Act, the legislative document that created Thompson Rivers University more than a decade ago, clearly outlines TRU’s mandate and responsibilities. The TRU Act is clear—Thompson Rivers University must provide the British Columbia interior region with high-quality post-secondary education. The region TRU is mandated to serve is vast and includes:

Thompson Nicola Regional District:

Kamloops, Cache Creek, Barriere, Little Fort, Clearwater, Blue River, Logan Lake, Ashcroft, Savona, Chu Chua, Vavenby, Spences Bridge, Sun Peaks, Chase, Pritchard

The Southern portion of the Cariboo Regional District and the Chilcotin District:

Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House, Lac La Hache, Clinton, Alexis Creek, Alkali Lake, Tatla Lake, Soda Creek, Tsi Del Del (Redstone), Anaham, Anaham Lake, Toosey, Canoe/Dog Creek, Alexandria, Canim Lake, Xeni Gwetin, and Stone Band

Northern portion of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District:

Lillooet, Lytton, Seton Portage, Fountain Valley

Since TRU has a mandate to serve the needs of this vast territory, the university requires appropriate and adequate provincial funding. Unfortunately, chronic underfunding has meant that TRU is unable to meet its mandated obligations in the BC interior. Many of the students in the communities listed above are not receiving the education and the training that the university is required, by law, to provide for them. Therefore, we are asking the Ministry of Advanced Education to revise the outdated funding formula in order to allow TRU to meet its regional mandate of providing post-secondary education in the BC interior.


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TRU Mandated Area Map

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TRU is Chronically Underfunded

Did you know?

  • Ever since the University College of the Cariboo officially became Thompson Rivers University in 2005, the Ministry of Advanced Education funding formula governing the provincial grant to TRU has remained stagnant. The result? 12 years of running a research and graduate university on community college funding.
  • In 2015-2016 TRU placed 20th out of 25 universities in British Columbia in actual per-student funding and received $1500 less in per-student funding than the BC average. Across the more than 8000 full-time students at TRU, this reality translates as over $80 million of underfunding in the last 5 years alone. (source:
  • Thompson Rivers University contributes $355 million per year to the regional economy and $650 million per year for the province of British Columbia. Clearly, this university is a tremendous economic driver for the region. However, that economic engine could be far greater—with adequate and sustainable provincial funding. (source:
  • Dollar for dollar, public investment in post-secondary education is one of the most beneficial investments. Government investment boosts our local and provincial economies, trains our future leaders and workers, and provides educational access for rural communities. It’s a win-win situation.


The result of chronic underfunding?

Underfunding has resulted in:

  • larger class sizes,
  • fewer course offerings,
  • hefty tuition increases,
  • pressure on student support services
  • over-reliance on contract faculty.

Even worse, TRU has not been able to fulfill its legislated mandate in the TRU Act to serve the educational needs of our entire region.

For example, TRU’s Williams Lake campus (along with programs in smaller centres such as Lillooet, Lytton, Barriere, Clearwater), has experienced course cancellations and program cuts as a direct result of this underfunding.  A lack of resources has resulted in TRU finding it impossible to meet its mandate of providing regional educational opportunities.

A revision of the funding formula is long overdue.

The TRU Faculty Association (TRUFA) Communications Committee ‘Fair Funding for TRU’ campaign has focussed on raising awareness among TRU students, staff, faculty and community members regarding the chronic underfunding of our institution. To this end, we developed a petition that members of the TRU and the broader regional community have signed at our many events on campus and within the community. To date, we have gathered over 1,000 signatures from those concerned about our university. These constituents have spoken clearly: TRU needs sustainable, appropriate and reliable provincial funding.

We need your help!