The Ring

Around the ring

University flag to be lowered in honour of Erma Richardson

The university flag will be lowered on Thursday, May 14, 2015 in honour of Erma Richardson who passed away last September at age 95. Erma worked at UVic from 1966 to 1984. After retiring from the Registrar’s office, Erma volunteered for several years at the Learning Disabilities Association. A private memorial for family will be held on campus on Thursday.

2015 QS Subject Rankings demonstrate global impact of UVic programs

UVic’s global leadership in six key academic fields, along with its comprehensive span of world-class programs across the university, were highlighted with the release of the 2015 QS World University Rankings by Subject on April 29. 

The six fields where UVic is ranked in the world’s top 200 are:

  • Earth and marine sciences
  • English language and literature 
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Philosophy  
  • Psychology

In addition, UVic programs in electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics and astronomy placed in the next band (201-250) for global subject leadership.

The QS rankings use a field-specific weighted mix of citations, a joint impact and productivity indicator (h-index), and academic and employer reputation surveys to measure leadership in each field.

UVic’s performance across the disciplines continues to be very strong. QS scored the university for world-class performance in 29 of 36 fields it considers. (Most of the rest—including agriculture, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary sciences—are fields in which UVic doesn’t have established programs.)

Rankings are regularly used by undergraduate and postgraduate students to help select degree courses, by academics to inform career decisions, by research teams to identify new collaborative partners and by university managers to benchmark their performance and set strategic priorities. 

Are you ready for an emergency?

Have you checked your emergency kit lately? May 3-9 is Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) across Canada, a perfect time to review what to do in the event of a crisis on campus or at home.

“Every member of the campus community needs to be personally prepared, and EP Week is a great time to take a few more steps toward being ready for any kind of crisis—just in case,” says Daphne Donaldson, UVic’s manager of emergency planning.

Communicating in an emergency

In an emergency on campus, do you know where to get information? If the local phones are down, how will you communicate with your family?

We all have a role to play by being personally prepared for an emergency. This week, find out more about communicating in an emergency, check out some useful tips & tricks, and be prepared!

Have you registered for the UVic Emergency Alerts notification system? Visit to register your mobile phone for text messaging—and follow @uvicemerg on Twitter.

Emergency testing on May 7

During EP Week, we will be testing our Emergency Alerts notification system and posting a test emergency slide on the digital signage system. We will also be posting a test advisory on the UVic home page. Please do not be alarmed if you see a test UVic home page or test emergency digital sign briefly on the morning of Thursday, May 7.

Additional resources

To view and download the university’s campus evacuation map and emergency procedures poster, visit the Emergency Planning website at For more resources, check the Emergency Management BC website at

100 UVic People Who Care: upcoming dates

100 UVic People Who Care is an opportunity for current UVic faculty and staff to come together to raise funds for UVic community-based projects. Those interested will be asked to commit $100 (and receive a tax receipt) to support these worthwhile programs.

The idea is to encourage a spirit of philanthropy and community where there have been few opportunities in the past. One hundred people who care, $100 each, 4 times/year = $40,000/year supporting important community-based projects.

Date and location

On March 31 at 12:30 p.m. in the Bob Wright Centre, room A104, faculty and staff are invited to hear about wonderful community-based projects at UVic and to celebrate these works with colleagues. The event will be hosted by Dr. Leslie Brown, Director of the Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community-University Engagement.

Send projects for consideration to Lynne Milnes, Development & External Relations Officer, at

Read about the inaugural session on Dec. 14, 2014.

Beyond the ring

Academics object to Bill C-51

More than 100 Canadian academics, including five UVic law and political science professors, have signed an open letter to Members of Parliament objecting to the draft government anti-terrorism act known as Bill C-51. Key objections include the open-ended nature of proposed CSIS powers, lack of oversight to balance enhanced powers, and the potential criminalization of legitimate expressions of dissent. 

Strikes at York, University of Toronto

The Toronto Star is estimating that more than 100,000 students in Toronto have had classes disrupted by strikes at York University and the University of Toronto. York facilities will remain open but nearly all classes, exams and academic activities were cancelled after teaching assistants and contract professors rejected the most recent university offer on March 2. 

CUPE 3903 Chair Faiz Ahmed told the Star that contract faculty teach 64 per cent of York’s undergraduate courses, and called for his members to “be assigned to courses for up to three years at a time, not just be slotted in on short notice which can hurt the quality of education.”

Meanwhile, at UofT, contract faculty reached a tentative deal, but 6,000 striking teaching and lab assistants walked off the job on Feb. 27. Media reports suggest that the majority of undergraduate marking at UofT is now done by graduate students, and that the central impasse was a failure to raise a $15,000 income floor for the TAs.

Finals disrupted at UNBC?

Concern is mounting that final exams could be disrupted at Prince George and other UNBC campuses (including some courses at Langara College). UNBC’s Faculty Association issued a 72-hour strike notice on Monday, March 2. Negotiations have been ongoing since November, focusing on issues of tenure, promotion and salary.

ONC data now spans all three Canadian coasts

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has expanded its footprint across Canada with the launch of a new collaboration with the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy on the Atlantic coast, in addition to established observatories on the Pacific coast and in the Arctic. ONC was also prominently featured in a Globe and Mail article last Saturday on innovation leaders in BC.