Making a case in Victoria
Last week, I headed to Victoria with an SFU contingent to meet with MLAs, cabinet ministers and key government officials.
During the visit, we shared our new vision of SFU as The Engaged University which, I am pleased to say, was enthusiastically received by all.
We also made the case for increased investments in post-secondary education, pushing in particular for expansion of SFU’s Surrey campus and for funding to upgrade aging infrastructure on Burnaby Mountain.
The infrastructure issue is particularly timely as the recent provincial budget contains increased funding for such improvements.
I was encouraged that the officials who met with us recognized SFU’s infrastructure needs, which were persuasively reinforced by the students in attendance.
With respect to Surrey, the recent provincial budget was discouraging in that it sets out a plan to reduce support for post-secondary education in 2013 and 2014.
On the positive side, however, MLAs from both major parties, cabinet ministers and officials all seemed receptive to our message that that there is a serious and growing need for more post-secondary spaces in the South Fraser region.
Our hope, therefore, must be that by virtue of demand and/or an improving fiscal outlook, funds will soon be found to address this pressing priority.