The Ring

Around the ring

Transit hub expansion

Construction has begun on 10 new bus bays on the north side of the Student Union Building. The project, a partnership between UVic, BC Transit, government and the transit commission, aims to improve bus capacity issues at peak times and support future service expansions.  It is a key component of the university’s sustainable transportation efforts to decrease vehicle traffic and encourage alternative methods to get to campus. Metered parking spaces beside the SUB will be removed; alternate parking spaces are available close by.

“UVic is pleased to be able to work cooperatively with BC Transit and its partners in adding new bus bays that will benefit the entire campus and the surrounding community,” Gayle Gorrill, UVic vice-president finance and operations said. A number of trees must be removed, but will be replaced three-fold as part of the extensive landscaping plan for the project. The Halpern Centre, Cinecenta and all the SUB facilities will be accessible and operational during construction, which is expected to be complete by September.

Percentage grading arrives at UVic

Starting Summer session 2014, instructors will submit grades in percentages rather than letter grades. This change will move UVic in line with other Canadian post-secondary institutions, and will improve the interpretation of grades at UVic, across Canada and internationally. The first percentage grades were submitted on May 15, for an undergraduate course of 24 students. More information about the transition and its changes to grading, academic history, transcripts, degree audit, reporting and procedures can be found online at


Getting smart, in the water

The BC coast is about to become the “smartest” on the planet. UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is partnering with Western Economic Diversification Canada and IBM Canada on a three-year multimillion dollar project known as Smart Oceans BC. The project builds on the know-how and technologies of VENUS and NEPTUNE—the world’s most advanced ocean observatories—to develop and install a series of mini-observatories, high-frequency radars, and automated vessel information systems at key points along the BC coast. ONC has already pioneered Smart Ocean Systems on VENUS and NEPTUNE, and on a mini-observatory in Nunavut. “Smart Oceans takes these proven technologies to a whole new level,” says Dr. Kate Moran, ONC president and CEO.


More information about Smart Oceans BC: PDF document.

New recruitment system coming this summer

Posting and applying for UVic jobs will soon be quicker and easier. A new online recruitment system will be available for staff job postings beginning this summer. Job seekers will be able to apply for jobs, save resumés and track the status of their applications anywhere, anytime and from any device.

“This online system is going to streamline the recruiting, hiring and application processes,” says AVP Human Resources Kane Kilbey. “Hiring managers and search committee members will be able to manage information about their competitions anywhere, anytime. They will also be able to ‘onboard’ employees with orientation information even before their first day of work.”

In Phase 1 of the project, the system will be available for CUPE 917, CUPE 951, Exempt Support Staff, Management Excluded and PEA positions. In Phase 2, it will be expanded to include other employee groups, such as faculty and librarians.

In order to ensure a successful transition to the new system, resumé and job posting information will remain accessible from the uHire database for a limited period of time. Staff and faculty are encouraged to save any resumé or job posting information stored in uHire as soon as possible. Visit log in.

Training sessions on the new recruitment system will be offered for hiring managers and job seekers over the summer– watch for details.

Beyond the ring

Co-op and Career helps local small business hire students

UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services will help eight to 10 Vancouver Island businesses hire post-secondary students to grow their e-commerce strategies, thanks to a new partnership with Industry Canada’s Small Business Internship Program (SBIP). Through the agreement, UVic Co-op and Career will allocate $80,000 in SBIP funding to small- or medium-sized businesses wishing to hire students for a 12-week internship. Project details can be found at

University presidents say province should lower student loan interest

UVic President David Turpin has joined with his counterparts at BC's three other research-intensive universities in recommending that the BC government make changes in student financial assistance. BC has the nation's highest interest rate on student loans at 2.5 per cent above prime. The presidents point out that changes in student aid programs are necessary in order to reach out to groups of potential student that have traditionally been under-represented in post-secondary education. Vancouver Sun article

Academic burnout on the rise

Post-secondary teaching staff suffer burnout at levels approximating that of health professionals, according to an international literature review published in the journal Educational Research and reported in THE (Times Higher Education). Based on 12 peer-reviewed studies in the United States, Britain, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, the authors found that those suffering from greater emotional exhaustion included younger staff and women.

Strike at Vancouver Island University settled

The month-long strike by the faculty association at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo ended April 11 and classes will resume Tues, April 12. Key issues involving the handling of possible program cuts and layoffs have not been settled and are being referred to a government-appointed mediator. CBC coverage. Nanaimo Daily News article.