Is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology overflowing with oil money?

Is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology overflowing with oil money? by Séamus Smyth October 4, 2012, The Weal (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)
Has the oil and energy money being pumped into the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) begun to determine which programs prosper and or flounder on campus? Keith MacPhail, CEO of Bonavista Energy Trust, donated $10 million in 2006. Enerflex Systems Ltd. founder John Aldred, along with Cheryl Aldred donated $15 million in April 2010. Not to be outdone Cenovus, an energy company based in Calgary, donated $3 million in 2012. The number of donations that SAIT has received over the past few years is nothing short of astonishing. But is this oil money, no matter how impressive the sums, beginning to dictate what programs prosper and what programs fall under the SAIT radar?

In terms of concerns over the abundance of oil-company influence on SAIT grounds, Bowman explained that there are protocols and advisory boards in place to discuss these potential scenarios. However, he said that SAIT, potentially more than any other school in the city, is, “very much in concert with industry.”

Paul Oliver, a recent SAIT graduate, had moved to Calgary three years ago from Ireland where he had never heard of the oil sands. Upon graduation, he was required to take on a practicum. Not surprisingly, the majority of the options were oil companies, but he opted for a position with WestJet. “Everyone thinks money, money, money. I was thinking of the detriment to the environment. Working with oil and gas is like working for a cigarette company,” said Oliver. [Emphasis added]

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