Volume 94, Issue 64

Wednesday, January 17, 2001


Threat of gun violence rocks King's

Quebec attacks brain drain - New tax cuts target high-tech profs

USC motion could change VP voting

Smart cards on hold - Privacy issue raises questions

RRU gets a military discharge - BC university goes from military to civilian


Planet Me

RRU gets a military discharge - BC university goes from military to civilian

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Last week marked a transition for both a university and a country as Royal Roads University made its final change from a military college into a civilian school.

Gerry Kelly, president of the Victoria, B.C. school, said the transition actually began five years ago when the military aspect of the college started to wane, making room for the new public institution.

"The challenge was creating a whole new model for the university having been military-based for so long. The university is starting on an absolute clean slate," he said.

Royal Roads was granted $10.8 million in transitional funding over the next three years, as well as a 50-year lease for the next institution, Kelly said. "The money will be used to build a new residence and provide more classroom space. Projects like that soak up funds really fast."

Kelly added he hopes the new Royal Roads has a mandate to be a self-funding establishment and is already on pace to meet those expectations.

Jean-Paul Roy, manager of communications of the Western Economic Diversification of Canada, the government agency responsible for administering the Royal Roads grant, said the grant would allow the university to perform some much needed upgrades to campus facilities.

"This infusion will allow Royal Roads to perform repairs needed on buildings, as well as keeping up the grounds as the university is a heritage site on the island of Victoria," he said.

Roy said in Victoria, the people have said the university is a source of pride for the island and its re-opening as a public university is a great success story.

With the military college closing, Canada is left with a only one post-secondary institution with a military focus – Kingston, Ontario's Royal Military College.

"Royal Military college is the bright spot of the Canadian forces. We currently supply 30 per cent of the officers for Canada," said RMC president John Scott Cowan. "We're the last of its kind in Canada."

Cowan said although the closing of Royal Roads was tragic, due to the quality of the military educations the school produced, he said it has allowed RMC to become even stronger as a reliable source for military officers.

"The government has made it clear that there is not the slightest chance of Royal Military College ever closing. In fact, RMC is being built up and expanding slowly with a new dorm and a new sports complex," he said, adding RMC enrollment has increased to 1,000 full-time undergraduate officer cadets.

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