TRU now in big leagues

Thompson Rivers University takes a step up in prestige

By Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week

If it wasn’t before, Thompson Rivers University can now count itself as part of the big leagues when it comes to post-secondary institutions in B.C.  TRU has been accepted into the Research Universities’ Council of B.C. (RUCBC) — a group composed of the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the University of Northern B.C.

Royal Roads University in Victoria was also admitted into the council on Tuesday.

TRU president Alan Shaver said the university’s inclusion on the list of the province’s largest and most prestigious post-secondary institutions marks an important milestone.

“It means that we’re part of that network and it opens the doors to a lot more collaboration,” he said.  “It’s going to contribute to the advancement of our research.”

TRU’s standing on the RUCBC will likely mean easier access to research dollars and, therefore, more money for research, but Shaver wouldn’t speculate on a possible amount.  He said it will also attract better faculty and increase TRU’s profile as a university.

Shaver said inclusion in the RUCBC also brings with it much more potential for existing and future graduate-school options.

“Obviously, it will encourage graduate students to come to us,” he said.

“But, it will also open doors for them to collaborate with researchers at other universities.”

TRU prides itself on its small class sizes and intimate education atmosphere, and Seguin said that won’t change just because the university is now on a list alongside UBC, UVic and SFU.

“Being a part of this lets us be perceived differently,” he said.

“It doesn’t alter the way we teach and learn.

“We’re going to accent our already great faculty list, but our model doesn’t change.”

According to its website, the RUCBC “represents the interests of the six major universities in British Columbia.”

It says it has a mandate to identify challenges faced by universities and provide leadership in finding solutions.