LETTER – Final decision on TRU’s Fine Arts program hasn’t been made yet

(Image: Mel Rothenburger.)


I want to provide an update regarding news about the future of TRU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program and similar programs at TRU.

Recent stories in our local media have given the perception that decisions about the future of these programs have already been made. That is not the case. The fact is, we are about to engage a process fully set out by TRU’s policy regarding program reductions and eliminations, which can be found here.

In the next while, TRU’s senior executive will indicate to the Faculty of Arts, in writing, that fine arts programs are being considered for elimination or reduction. The letter will set out the rationale for this consideration and invite members of the school to comment. Those comments will be reviewed before the issue moves forward.

TRU’s governing bodies will be fully involved in the process. The Board of Governors will make final decisions after seeking the advice of Senate, which will seek input from both internal and external stakeholders.

The initial question of the future of fine arts education at TRU emerged in a way that suggested that decisions have already been made. That should not have happened, and I want to make it clear that TRU’s senior leadership has always intended to follow the process set out by the policy.

I understand it is upsetting for many people that this step is even being considered. The arts are an important part of our culture, both on campus in the broader community. We appreciate the impact our graduates have had — and will continue to have — on arts and culture in Kamloops and elsewhere. We are proud of this legacy.

The fact is, TRU must look hard at the future of the BFA and similar programs to assess if they are sustainable. At the same time, there is growing demand from students for other programs. The provincial government — the primary funder of education in B.C. — has given institutions a strong mandate to offer programs that provide students with immediate employment opportunities.

Weighing the value of fine arts education against economic reality will be neither pleasant nor easy; however, it is necessary. What is most important to know now is that this decision will only be made following consultation with our community and in compliance with TRU’s policy.

Provost and Vice-President Academic

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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