The Ring

Around the ring

Kuehne appointed Vice-President Academic and Provost

The University of Victoria's Board of Governors announced today that Dr. Valerie Kuehne, an exceptional academic and institutional leader and a dedicated member of the UVic community for 25 years, is the university's new Vice-President Academic and Provost, effective July 1, 2015 for a five-year term. She is currently acting in that capacity.

Valerie Kuehne profile photo

"In an international search with a pool of strong candidates, Valerie emerged as the selection committee's clear choice," says UVic President Jamie Cassels, who chaired the committee. "She has proven administrative acumen, a passion for students and our university, a strategic focus and a track record of success in getting things done. She has the confidence of our university community and we are all looking forward to her leadership and working together in the years to come."

Before being appointed as acting provost in July 2014, Kuehne served as UVic's vice-president external relations from 2005 to 2012. Under her leadership, the division of external relations was aligned more fully with the university's academic mission and working relationships with academic units were put on a more systematic and strategic footing.

The selection committee, a 17-member body comprising faculty, staff, students and academic leaders, cited Kuehne's "great integrity, energy and commitment to UVic . . . clear, dynamic vision for our university, rooted in consultation, collaboration and deep appreciation for us and our place in the community, the region and the world. . . . Valerie is described by those who know her as open-minded, thoughtful and respectful—as an excellent listener and a problem-solver."

An accomplished teacher and researcher, Kuehne as a leader has a record at UVic of cultivating collaboration, promoting principled decision-making and facilitating collective success. She came to UVic in 1990 as a faculty member in the School of Child and Youth Care where she remains a full professor and, while vice-president external relations, continued to publish and present her research in peer-reviewed journals and at academic conferences. She has served as director of child and youth care and as associate vice-president academic planning, playing a critical leadership role in the establishment of the Island Medical Program at UVic.

For the past nine years, she has been an instructor at the annual Senior University Administrators Course—Canada's foremost professional development program for senior university leaders.

"I feel both honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to be provost of such a great university, one which I both know so well and care about so deeply," says Kuehne. "I'm excited about working with faculty, students, and staff to realize our shared goals for UVic leadership in teaching, learning, research and community impact around the world."

Kuehne's fields of study include intergenerational relations in family and community contexts; human development and health; social supports and social policy for children and families; and leadership in academic settings.

She has a BScN in Nursing from the University of Alberta, an MEd in Child Development from Loyola University of Chicago, and an MA and PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Kuehne has also participated in various community initiatives and served on numerous boards in the Victoria area.

Her appointment was endorsed by 81 per cent of faculty who voted in the ratification ballot that followed from the recommendation of the selection committee.

Send a singing Valentine

Show your heart is filled with song this Valentine's Day by sending your significant other a singing Valentine! There’s no better way to impress your lover than with a romantic barbershop medley sung by UVic School of Music students in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. They’ll also deliver a handcrafted card along with the song, anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14—anywhere in Victoria! It’s only $30 and all proceeds help support the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Book at or text 587-284-2259. 

Climate and energy forum

On Jan. 26, UVic and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions will host a forum that will explore climate change from different perspectives including today’s energy sector, sustainable investments and society’s choices. The event, “A dialogue: climate change, divestment and society,” will be moderated by PICS Executive Director Tom Pedersen, and include panelists Malkolm Boothroyd (DivestUVic), Steve Douglas (Suncor Energy), Stephen Hume (Vancouver Sun), Cary Krosinsky (Carbon Tracker Initiative, Yale University) and Crystal Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree Nation). The event is free, and will begin at 7 p.m. in Flury Hall (B150), Bob Wright Building.

February starts with Alumni Week

Alumni Week 2015—the eighth annual spotlight on the positive impact of more than 100,000 UVic grads—runs from Feb. 1-7. This year’s series of events includes a featured evening with newly-appointed Chancellor Shelagh Rogers, Distinguished Alumni Awards, and a grand prize draw for a $1,500-travel voucher. Over a dozen other events include lectures, workshops and reunions. Complete details and online registration forms are available at

Beyond the ring

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.

Global experience a key asset for students and employers alike

A new study commissioned by the Association of Universites and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) is highlighting the importance of a global perspective for Canadian employers—and the value of international experiences as part of a university education in preparing Canadian students for successful careers.

The study was released in Calgary where university leaders and senior representatives from government, business and student groups gathered to focus on strategies that will enable more students to become globally and interprovincially mobile by 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

UVic President Jamie Cassels participated in the presidents' panel on experiential learning and student mobility on the opening day of the workshop. 

Each year, only three per cent of Canadian university students engage in international learning. The AUCC credits university study-abroad programs with helping young Canadians develop the international competencies that allow them to navigate new and larger worlds, build the soft skills that help them transition to rewarding careers and equip them for success in today’s dynamic global knowledge economy.

AUCC media release 

Universities make cases for provincial and federal funding

On Sept. 19, the Research Universities' Council of BC (RUCBC) presented its submission to the BC legislature's Finance Committee (pdf), making the case for short term reinvestment and long term strategic funding for post-secondary education. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) also recently released its recommendations for the 2015 federal budget, focusing on enhanced funding for research and innovation, advocating for an opportunities strategy for young Canadians and new initiatives to support Indigenous post-secondary education.

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