Outgoing Northern Lights President says funding changes "erode" community-mindedness in BC PSE

September 8, 2014

Northern Lights College President Laurie Rancourt has accepted a position as Vice-President at Humber College to be closer to her family, but said she is concerned about cuts at Northern Lights to programs like Visual Arts. That program was eliminated after BC asked institutions to trim $50 M from their budgets over 2 fiscal years, even as colleges were asked to invest in training workers for a forecastedboom in the liquefied natural gas industry. “There’s a real risk of eroding programs that are critical to the health of the community,” Rancourt told the Alaska Highway News. “I wouldn’t go to the extreme that [Northern Lights] becomes a training camp for industry, but the capacity to be community-minded definitely erodes.” Rancourt admits that Visual Arts was not meeting its enrolment targets, but said that she feels linking PSE funding to expected labour market needs is shortsighted. “We need a funding mechanism that gives you a multi-year indication of what your budget is going to be, so you can plan, you can be strategic,” she said. Alaska Highway NewsNorthern Lights News Release