LANGLEY, BC, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Trinity Western University, having
built and maintained its well-established position as a highly-ranked,
nationally-respected member of the Canadian higher education community
for more than 50 years, is very concerned about the known inaccuracies
in yesterday's article by Kent Spencer in the Province. The article
relied on misleading statements, and out of context quotes, to claim
that a parcel of land purchased by the Township of Langley in April
2012 was acquired at a price higher than market value.
The University provided a statement to the Province that outlined the
facts of a land deal, which occurred more than 12 months ago. In
addition, TWU made available the summary of the three independent
appraisal documents that determined market price of the land.
Despite the facts, the article characterized last year's charitable
donation by former TWU Board of Governors member Hugh Little as a
suspicious transaction, with unanswered questions and potential
under-the-table-cronyism. While the Province may believe TWU's affairs
are as provocative as Spencer insinuates, the reality could not be
further from the truth.
Mr. Little has had a decades-long relationship with TWU, and gifted the
land as a charitable donation. The land donation was years in the
making; it was not a 24-hour process, as Spencer purports.
The purchase price of the land was the average price ($2.7 million) of
three separate appraisals, which was confirmed to be the market price,
and the Township invested in the property as part of a development
plan. The nature of this collaboration and investment is similar to
UBC's Endowment Lands, SFU's UniverCity, or the U District surrounding
UFV in Abbotsford.
TWU is the second-largest employer and a significant landowner in the
community, with a strong record of collaboration and planning with the Township of Langley. Spencer attempts to make the
point, as he did unsuccessfully in his previous article on August 9,
2013, that a relationship such as the one the University has with the
Township is out of the ordinary—an odd assertion, given that any large
institution and its local governments should work together on land use,
planning, and projects that are of mutual benefit. Recently, TWU
partnered with the Township, and the Blaauw family, on a land agreement
that saw 25-acres of forested land in Glen Valley preserved for public use, education, and research.
Canadian society is stronger when news outlets report the news, however,
it seems the Province has abandoned the basic journalistic principles
of accuracy and impartiality. We are disappointed that the Province
would not be more careful to fairly report the facts.
Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts,
sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the
public. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the
top two universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the
National Survey of Student Engagement; holds three Canada Research
Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes
experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU
offers 42 bachelor's degrees, 16 graduate degrees, and adult
degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating
the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and
competence for 50 years.
SOURCE: Trinity Western University
For further information:
Media contact: Jennifer Watton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: 604-513-2121 ext. 3341