Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Open Letter to my Alma Mater, University of Northern British Columbia

To whom this may concern:

I've put up with a lot of fundraising requests from you over the years. I did so with grace because you were kind enough to grant me two degrees, one of them a graduate one.

However, I think I need say very little more than what a member of your board of governors said shortly after appointing, as the university's next chancellor, a former member of the Harper Cabinet:
"[He was] twice nominated as UNBC alumni of the year, he represents a lot of what UNBC can give, not only to British Columbia but also Canada."
I sure hope that isn't true.

I would like to think that the university I studied at could offer Canada more than anti-"barbarism" snitch lines, muzzling of government scientists, and serious cutbacks to research resources used by people in the humanities, in which I happened to study when I was at UNBC. Incidentally, James Moore was the heritage minister when Library and Archives Canada, due to budget cuts, eliminated the interlibrary program that used to make microfilmed historical material available to researchers across the country.

So, that is what UNBC wants to give Canada, is it? UNBC wants to offer Canada more opportunities to muzzle public-sector scientific research? UNBC wants to offer Canada fewer resources for humanities research? UNBC wants to offer Canada more opportunities to snoop and snitch on our neighbours?

Well that's just ducky, isn't it.

Kindly stop sending me your fundraising requests. If your institution opposes its own reason for existence, than I see no reason to let my precious dollars stand in the way of your own self-immolation. You want to be seen as an institution that stands for the reduction of resources for researchers. Fine. But don't have the hypocrisy to ask for handouts as you do so.

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