KAMLOOPS — The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association is calling for "fair funding" from the provincial government.
President Tom Friedman says they want the province to provide TRU with its full legislated mandate as a comprehensive research university with a regional mandate and says the roughly $70 million the school gets annually isn't enough.
"The funding has to first of all recognize the obligations of the university," he says. "The funding has fallen in the last 15 years to covering about 70 per cent of the operating costs of the institution to this current year of about 42 per cent."
He says the funding pressure has forced the school to find other sources of revenue, including student tuition, which he calculates has gone up 400 per cent when one includes not just the cost of courses but also ancillary fees which have also gone up "significantly." Friedman says those include lab fees and other fees which are charged to students.
Friedman says it's also forced TRU to seek money from private donors, which he says the Faculty Association is not in favour of noting "as a public institution we should be funded by the government."
Friedman says they'd like the funding formula changed to allocate funding based on the mandate of each BC college and university.
And though he says TRU had a "respectful" meeting with B.C.'s Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark in November he says she made no commitment to a change in the funding formula.
An online petition has also been launched which will be sent to Mark and the MLAs in Kamloops and Williams Lake. You can access the petition by clicking here.
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