University questions accuracy of newspaper story

Trinity Western University takes aim at story in The Province on university district.

TWU entrance sign.

Trinity Western University is “in a stable financial position with a healthy outlook for the future” contrary to a report in The Province newspaper, the university says.

A written statement by the Langley-based university was issued in response to an article by reporter Kent Spencer that appeared in the Vancouver-based daily on Friday, Aug. 9.

TWU is “very concerned about the known inaccuracies in today’s article in The Province (Kent Spencer) and is currently reviewing its options,” the statement said.

“The article ignored up-to-date information provided by the university to Mr. Spencer and instead relied on out of context quotes that are more than four years out of date.”

The university is not “financially troubled,” the TWU statement said.

While the university did face “some short-term fiscal challenges” in late 2008 and early 2009, it said that was dealt with through a restructuring in 2009 and 2010.

“The university has a strong asset base and more than adequate cash reserves,” the statement said.

In the last three years, TWU said it has invested millions in capital assets and infrastructure improvements,

Enrolment is steady, TWU said, and its annual income is more than $55 million.

“Mr. Spencer was given written assurances by Trinity Western that at no time had the university been in default regarding payment of any of its bills, including those to the Township of Langley,” the statement added.

“Given the information provided by the university to Mr. Spencer, we are surprised and disappointed that The Province newspaper would not be more careful to accurately and fairly report the verified facts provided to it.”

The Trinity statement describes the institution as “a Christian university of the arts, sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the public” that “has been developing leaders of character and competence for 50 years.”

The story is one of a series involving Trinity in recent months. The university has been in the news as a result of a Township council decision to approve a university district for lands near the campus.

One area of the district is west of the campus across Glover Road. The second area is on a portion of the Wall farm on 72 Avenue. It is geographically separated from the university by the Salmon River and the Canadian Pacific Railway line.

Metro Vancouver is taking the Township to court over its approval of the university district.

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