(Kamloops) – January 11, 2018
TRU Faculty Association calls for “fair funding” for Thompson Rivers University
The TRU Faculty Association, which represents 750 instructors, librarians, counsellors and instructional support professionals at the Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses of the university, is calling on the BC provincial government to provide TRU with the resources it needs to fulfill its legislated mandate as a comprehensive research university with a regional mandate.
In 2001, the Ministry of Advanced Education grant given annually to TRU covered about 70% of the university’s operating expenses. Now that grant covers a mere 42% of expenses. That reduction in funding, according to TRUFA President Tom Friedman, means that TRU is struggling to meet the post-secondary educational needs of its region.
“In the early 2000s, previous administrators said to the government of the day: ‘Give us the name university, and we won’t ask for more financial support,’” said Friedman.
“The funding formula that may have worked for University College of the Cariboo no longer works for Thompson Rivers University. The Faculty Association is calling on the Ministry of Advanced Education to revise the funding formula—which has not been changed for two decades—and allocate funding based on the mandate of each BC college and university,” explained Friedman.
When TRU was established as a university in 2005, new legislated obligations were imposed on the institution: research in support of academic programs, delivery of graduate programs, and the need to meet the educational needs of a vast region, explained Friedman. TRU’s region includes communities in the Thompson-Nicola, Cariboo and Squamish-Lillooet regional districts. “Underfunding has meant that Adult Basic Education and other foundational courses that used to be offered in smaller communities, such as Clearwater, Lillooet, 100 Mile House, have been severely cut back,” said Friedman.
The ”Fair Funding for TRU” campaign encourages those concerned about the underfunding of TRU to sign an online petition to be sent to the Minister of Advanced Education and local MLAs in Kamloops and Williams Lake. The petition is available at http://trufa.ca/funding-petition
Media Contact: Tom Friedman (250) 319-6404