April 18, 2012
The Presidents of the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Royal Roads University, and Thompson Rivers University joined UNBC President George Iwama during a visit to Prince George on April 18 that included a forum on northern development and the increasing needs around the region for skilled employees.
The presidents, including David Turpin of the University of Victoria who was unable to attend, are all members of the Research Universities Council of British Columbia (RUCBC). Its mandate is to identify issues facing the universities, provide system-wide leadership in the development of relevant public policy, and communicate on behalf of the university system. RUCBC also acts as a provincial focal point for relations with governments and other provincial and national bodies associated with universities. UNBC President Iwama currently chairs RUCBC.
The lunchtime forum also featured a keynote presentation by Janine North, CEO of Northern Development Initiative Trust. Her presentation, titled The Northern Decade: A Call to Action for BC's Universities, led into a discussion moderated by President Iwama. Much of the conversation involved strategies for taking the learning of BC’s university students beyond the classroom in order to provide them with all of the experiences and opportunities the province offers.
Attendees included representatives of local and regional businesses, Northern Health, UNBC founders, and other local educational institutions.