Letter: UBC Will Rule

To the editor:

While the announcements of the UBC take-over of OUC sound wonderful for the students and faculty of the interior, there are certain aspects of the actions of the government and UBC which reveal a long standing problem in this province.

The exclusion of the B.C. Interior's stakeholders from all consultations and debate smacks of the usual colonial attitude of the government and the power structure of the lower mainland towards the "unwashed" who reside in other areas of the province.

Indeed the comments made by the President of UBC gave the impression that UBC will now show their poor country cousins how it is done and therefore will improve the quality of education and culture at OUC.
Unfortunately, university academia is probably one of most closed, egotistical, parochial and with tenure, least accountable groups in our society.

The Premier's promises seem to answer most of the areas of concern. However, one must remember his record in this regard and also that we are now in the pre-election period when grand visions are laid out, wondrous promises are made and large amounts of funding are announced in the hope of swaying the electorate.

These statements and promises need to be viewed in context with the statements from the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Finance that the government has absolutely no money available.
I will believe the announcements and the wonderful promises when I see the related legislation, the regulations, the funding and that the Interior's students really do have increased access to advanced education, at reasonable cost.

Unfortunately, none of this is scheduled to occur until after the next election and promised funding tends to disappear in the budgets of newly elected government and required legislation somehow never gets tabled.
Having obtained a degree and education (not necessarily the same thing) from a good Canadian University and having served, as a business volunteer, on a number of University committees and board's, experience tells me that the UBC academia will move quickly to establish the dominance of their views in regard to funding, access, curriculum, staffing, and overall significance of the Okanagan, "satellite," campus.

One should always remember the golden rule, "whoever controls the gold gets to set the rules." UBC will control the gold!

I sincerely hope I am wrong -- but some how I doubt it.

-D. Goodman

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