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BC Supreme Court 'adjourns' application for injunction against Cap U board

The B.C. Supreme Court yesterday adjourned an application by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators seeking an injunction to force the Capilano University Board of Governors to postpone its vote on a budget that would eliminate several departments and programs.

The university has been rocked this past month by the release of a proposed budget that would cover a $1.3 million shortfall through ending or "suspending" several programs and departments -- among them Studio Arts, Textiles, Interactive Design, Kinesiology, and the Adult Basic Education program on the Squamish campus. The budget emerged as an election issue after NDP leader Adrian Dix suggested that the decision should wait until the next government has a chance to find additional funding for the university.

Last week the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE), the union representing faculty in many B.C. colleges and universities, went to the Supreme Court to seek an injunction that would delay the Board's vote on the budget until June, after the May 14 provincial election.

Yesterday the court "adjourned" the application, which FPSE officials took as a partial success. President Cindy Oliver told The Tyee:

"The injunction application has been adjourned because the university has given a commitment to address the concerns of the Adult Basic Education students in Squamish.

"FPSE still maintains the proposed budget moves Capilano University in the wrong direction. We believe there are better outcomes than what the administration is proposing. However, it's an issue that FPSE will have to raise with the next minister of advanced education after tomorrow's provincial election."

A note on the Capilano University website says the Board of Governors meeting has been moved to the lower cafeteria in the Birch building to accommodate an audience expected to be larger than usual. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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