TRU law school hires faculty, sets tuition rates
Thompson Rivers University is one step closer to opening the country’s first new law school in more than three decades.
TRU announced this week the bulk of the inaugural faculty for the law school, which will open its doors to students in September.
Anne Pappas, the law school’s founding administrator, said the faculty will offer a great educational experience to students.
“Our faculty are coming from all over, internationally as well as nationally,” she said.
“But, all our Canadian educated.”
The faculty includes Ken Cooper-Stephenson, an internationally recognized expert on tort, and Janna Promislow, an expert in First Nations Law.
Cooper-Stephenson is Cambridge-educated and most recently taught at the University of Saskatchewan and a pair of law schools in Australia.
Promislow received her law degree from the University of Victoria and has taught at York University, the University of Alberta and University of Victoria.
Tuition for the law school is $16,800 per year, but students in the first intake will receive a $3,700 grant for each of their three years — working out to $13,100 per year.
Pappas admitted the costs are higher than B.C.’s two other law schools, but said rates at UVic and UBC are under a tuition freeze — and both receive provincial funds, which TRU does not.
Tuition for the 2011-2012 school year is $8,507.92 at UVic and $10,338.17 at UBC.
Pappas said the biggest hurdle to date in setting up TRU’s law school has been negotiations with the faculty association about law-faculty salaries.
A tentative deal was reached in April and ratified in May.
Terms haven’t been made public, but, Pappas said, some law-faculty members will be paid more than instructors in other faculties.
“It’s what the market dictates,” she said.
“If it wasn’t in line, we wouldn’t have been able to secure these people who are coming from other institutions or are experts in their areas.
“You’ve got leading-edge academics and people who are groundbreaking in the areas they’re researching, which is exciting.”
In the coming weeks, Pappas said, the law school will hire its two remaining faculty — for a total of eight — and a chief law librarian.
The eight faculty members will be enough to manage the 65 first-year students who will begin law studies in September.
Pappas expects six more to be hired before next fall and more again before the 2013-2014 school year begins.
Members of the law-school faculty will begin work on July 1.
Classes are slated to begin on Sept. 6.
TRU’s law school is the first since the University of Moncton’s school of law opened its doors in 1978.
The school of law at Thompson Rivers University will be housed in the new Brown Family House of Learning for the time being, but will move into a revitalized Old Main building when renovations are complete.