It’s a historic day here at Living in interesting times:
For the first time in its two years, this blog unreservedly endorses a position of the provincial government. Specifically, their decision to limit the co-location of NBCC at the Tucker Park campus to health education, the area where it makes the most sense given the proximity of the hospital:
- “Caucus backs separate campuses,” Roly MacIntyre, Jack Keir, Mary Schryer, Ed Doherty, Stuart Jamieson, and Abel LeBlanc, Telegraph-Journal (June 13/09, A12).
- “Province won’t budge: Co-location: Two local MLAs say it makes perfect sense to put excellence centre at NBCC,” Chris Morris, Telegraph-Journal (June 12/09, C1).
- “Minister won’t bend: Education: Arseneault refuses to get into another battle with Saint John,” Sandra Davis, Telegraph-Journal (June 10/09, C1).
Minister Arsenault and members of the Saint John caucus are to be congratulated for not succumbing to the alluring yet ultimately chimerical images of synergistic and most excellent clusters, dancing just beyond the edge of human vision. They are to be commended for apparently viewing with skepticism the claim that special interest groups represent all Saint Johnners. They are to be encouraged in their apparent desire to proceed with caution in matters that are so central to the well-being of their constituents, constituents who have demonstrated the degree to which they value education. They are to be thanked for not aligning themselves with a transparent attempt to achieve, through the back door, what was rejected through the front door. They are to be admired for not responding to others’ threats that they will take their marbles and go home.
Meanwhile, the campaign continues apace but there is still no explanation as to why research cannot happen between different campuses, still no explanation as to why students need to be on the same campus in order to transfer, and most importantly, still no discussion about start-up funding or ongoing funding to build these synergistic and most excellent clusters. Empty buildings, no matter how spanking new, do not cut it. Neither does the argument, made by Tim Curry, that if we build it they will come (i.e. that we should build it first, and funding will naturally follow as the summer does the spring):
- “Energy Institute now in doubt,” Sandra Davis, Telegraph-Journal (June 13/09, B1).
- See also letters to the editor today.
So, yeah, it must be the end times or something, but I have to say: stay the course, Minister Arsenault. Stand firm, SJ caucus. Maybe wider co-location would be a good thing and maybe it wouldn’t, but to succumb to pressure from vested interests and to fail to respect the collegial governance integral to the academic community would surely be bad.