January 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As I bring this first report to you for the new year, I am truly amazed at how quickly we collectively move into action after the holiday period to welcome students for the winter term. I had the pleasure of welcoming our new international students during orientation the first week of January, 300-plus students representing 55 countries! Their excitement and nervousness was clear and I know we will do well as a community, at TRU, and beyond to support them during their stay.

The following week also saw some excitement as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took time on his cross-country tour to visit our new Industrial Training and Technology Centre (ITTC) facility, as well as hold his Kamloops town hall at the TRU Gym. Students within our millwright and refrigeration classes at the ITTC had the opportunity to meet the prime minister and showcase the benefit of federal investment in trades and technology.

As I have mentioned to many of you, I am concentrating for my first few months on listening, and I want to meet and hear from as many members of the TRU community as possible. I had my first two opportunities to listen at the university’s annual town halls in December and January, and began attending faculty councils and other gatherings with a visit to the Trades and Technology council meeting. Please look for my “I’m listening” and “Let’s talk” buttons, and come up to say hi and tell me what’s on your mind!

I'm pleased to share these stories and other news in this month's report, along with the TRU community's publications and accomplishments, and a reminder of upcoming campus events. If you would like to share a publication, presentation, external award or other recognition from within the past six months, please send the details to president@tru.ca. This report covers up to Jan. 15; the deadline for submissions to the next report is Feb. 6.


Brett Fairbairn
President and Vice-Chancellor


Prime Minister visits TRU

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited TRU on Jan. 10 to tour the new Industrial Training and Technology Centre (ITTC) building, meet trades and technology students and answer questions from local media. President Brett Fairbairn thanked the federal government for its contribution of more than $13 million toward the ITTC, noting it was the most significant capital investment in trades and technology at TRU in 20 years. Read more

Winter orientation

TRU World held a grand opening ceremony for new international students on Jan. 3, including presentations and a tour of Kamloops, and hosted a welcome party on Jan. 4. The following week, all new-to-TRU students arriving for the winter semester were invited to orientation on Jan. 11 to learn more about campus resources and services, and meet faculty members and current students.

First Interior university research funding opportunity opens

First tri-university partnership grants target disaster response

A call for applications in December marked the first funding opportunity from the Interior University Research Coalition's Tri-University Partnership Research Fund. The Disaster PR3 Collaboration Grant, valued at $40,000, will support research to analyze and consider the complete picture of wildfires, floods, and drought. Read more

New year began with Budget Town Hall

At the annual Budget Town Hall on Jan. 8, Provost and VP Academic Christine Bovis-Cnossen and VP Administration and Finance Matt Milovick gave a presentation on TRU’s financial situation for the next year, followed by a question period.

December Town Hall well-attended

The third annual town hall on Dec. 11 was an opportunity for open dialogue with TRU leadership about the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead. There was a strong turnout with about 230 participants in attendance or joining virtually via the live-streamed broadcast.

Research in English as a second language

The English as a Second Language department's fourth annual ESL Research and Professional Development Colloquium on Dec. 12 was well-attended by faculty and students. Twenty-one presentations from faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students included research, project and book publication reports; workshops; teaching-tip sessions; and a panel discussion. Shown are research presenters (left to right) ESL faculty member Jason Brown and MEd students Martin Schulte-Albert, Anna Zlaman and Manjeet Gupta.


Andrew G. Cooper, Theatre alum, is a finalist in the Black Cat 10 Minute Play Competition—twice—with Phobia, a comedy about a support group for people with strange fears, and Dispatch, a fictionalized retelling of the real-life experiences of a 9-1-1 phone operator. George Johnson, English and Modern Languages, is a finalist for his one-act play, Search Me!, in which a high-risk passenger at an airport security check exposes more than security bargained for. The plays will be performed by New Vintage Theatre's Black Cat Cabaret at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna on Feb. 8 and 9, for audiences to vote on the winner of the Black Cat Cup. Read more

Brad Morse, Law, was elected director and vice-president (British Columbia) of the International Commission of Jurists Canada. He was also appointed to the assessment modernization committee of the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in 2018. Brad represents the Canadian Council of Law Deans on the NCA.


Congratulations to faculty and staff who received their master's or doctoral degrees in the past six months. If you know someone who has achieved theirs, please email the name of the recipient, title of degree and institution to president@tru.ca.

Cael Field, Respiratory Therapy: Master of Arts in Leadership, Royal Roads University

Lucille Gnanasihamany, Marketing and Communications: Master of Arts in Leadership, Royal Roads University

Wendy McKenzie, Nursing: Doctor of Education, University of Calgary


Note: These citations follow MLA Handbook (8th edition) format. We respectfully ask that you please format citations for your work in MLA prior to submitting them for inclusion in the President’s Report. Thank you!


Brad Morse, Law

Morse, Bradford. “The Challenge of Respecting Indigenous Customary Law within the Canadian Human Rights Act.” Citizenship, Legal Pluralism and Governance in the Age of Globalization Conference, 22-24 Aug. 2018, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa.


Lyn Baldwin, Biological Sciences

Baldwin, Lyn. The Collecting Basket. Terrain.org, 7 Dec. 2018. 

George Johnson, English & Modern Languages

Johnson, George M. Review of Writing Against War: Literature, Activism and the British Peace Movement, by Charles Andrews. Literature and History, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 228-230.

Chris Hunt, Law and Milad Javdan, Law alum

Hunt, Christopher, and Milad Javdan. Apparitions of Doctrines Past: Fundamental Breach and Exculpatory Clauses in the Post-Tercon Jurisprudence. Canadian Business Law Journal, vol. 60, no. 3, June 2018, pp. 309-342. Read more


Chris Hunt and Micah Rankin, Law

Hunt, Christopher, et. al., “Legislating Statutory Interpretation: The Parliamentary Regulation of Judicial Discretion.” Introduction. Legislating Statutory Interpretation: Perspectives from the Common Law World, edited by Chris Hunt, Lorne Neudorf and Micah Rankin, Thomson Reuters, 2018.

Stalin's Gulag at War by Wilson T. Bell


Wilson Bell, History & Politics

Bell, Wilson T. Stalin’s Gulag at War: Forced Labour, Mass Death, and Soviet Victory in the Second World War. University of Toronto Press, 2019.

Chris Hunt and Micah Rankin, Law

Hunt, Christopher, et. al., editors. Legislating Statutory Interpretation: Perspectives from the Common Law World. Thomson Reuters, 2018.


Privacy & Security Conference 2019

Jan. 31

How tight is your digital privacy and security? TRU's annual Privacy and Security Conference draws attendees from across BC as well as TRU students, faculty and staff.

2019 TRU Spring Festival Gala (Chinese New Year)

Feb. 1

Join the TRUSU Chinese Students and Scholars Association in welcoming the Year of the Pig with traditional dance performances, costume shows, modern dance, singing and interactive games.

Continuing the Journey of Transforming Education in BC

Feb. 5

CELT hosts a presentation about BC's new K–12 curriculum from a BC Ministry of Education representative. A panel of secondary teachers will also present. 

Creativity in the Open

Feb. 7 – 8

CELT hosts a day and a half un-conference on how to add creativity into your teaching, your curriculum and your day-to-day classes.

A Book, a Bowl, and a Bun

Feb. 14, Mar. 21

Discuss the book Small Teaching with other faculty over lunch at ESTR's Market—a Faculty Book Club for Better Teaching and Learning, hosted by CELT. The book discusses small changes that can have big impacts on learning.

Live at TRU!: Duo Fortin-Poirer

Feb. 14

Be captivated by the fiery piano interpretations of Amélie Fortin and Marie-Christine Poirier as both their hands dance across the same piano this Valentine’s Day.

Campus closure for Family Day

Feb. 18

TRU campuses will be closed to observe Family Day, an official BC statutory holiday.

Teaching Practices Colloquium 2019

Feb. 19

This year’s central theme is Adventures in Teaching. Learn more about faculty interests and research through mini presentations, mixers and other events.

Professional Development Day

Feb. 20

An inspirational keynote on Happiness and Success and six breakout sessions will explore TRU Perspectives engagement themes: civility and respect, professional growth, and leadership.

Trades & Tech Thursdays

Feb. 21

From automotive to welding, learn more about foundation programs, Women in Trades and Red Seal apprenticeships.

Common Voices Lecture with Dr. Brian Goldman

Feb. 27

Dr. Brian Goldman, one of North America’s most trusted voices in medicine and host of the popular CBC Radio Show White Coat, Black Art, makes the case that healthcare is ready for a big disruptive shake-up. Hosted by TRUSU.