The Ring

Around the ring

Chancellor Murray Farmer's last convocation ceremony

Chancellor Murray Farmer will preside over a final set of four ceremonies during UVic's Fall Convocation on Nov. 10 and 12. During his six years as chancellor, he has presided over 79 convocation ceremonies, and congratulated and "tapped" more than 16,000 graduating students who crossed the stage in front of him. Over 26,000 students have graduated during his tenure. His second and final term as chancellor concludes Dec. 31.

President Jamie Cassels expressed his appreciation for the chancellor's contributions to the university, “I want to thank the Chancellor for his years of service to this university. Murray is one of our university’s earliest graduates, went on to a wonderful career, and has given back much to his community and our university through his volunteer service, his energy and support.”

More information about the chancellor is available on the University Secretary website.

Food for Fines: It counts for hunger

Nearly 850,000 Canadians turn to food banks every month, according to the 2014 HungerCount survey. Here in Victoria, in time for a holiday season of giving, two initiatives on the UVic campus will help fill local food-bank shelves. The annual Food for Fines program offers relief from library fines and parking tickets in exchange for non-perishable food items, which are then donated to the Mustard Seed Food Bank and the UVic Student Society’s Food Bank.

The Campus Security Services campaign will reduce a parking citation by $5 with the donation of one non-perishable food item. (It is one discount per citation.) The UVic Libraries campaign will discount fines by $2 for each non-perishable food item, to a maximum of $20. (Library users may also pay for their fines by diverting up to $20 of the money to Mustard Seed as a donation.)

What: Food for Fines – UVic Campus Security Services
When: From Nov. 17 through Dec. 12, 2014
Where: The security building is open during regular office hours from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays. Location:

What: Food for Fines – UVic Libraries
When: From Nov. 17 through Dec. 12, 2014
Where: Donations can be brought to three libraries on campus: the McPherson Library (Mearns Centre for Learning), the Curriculum Library (MacLaurin Building) and the Diana M. Priestly Law Library (Fraser Building). Hours and locations:

Celebrate extraordinary service with a PDSA nomination

It's time to nominate an individual or team for a President's Distinguished Service Award. The purpose of these annual awards is to celebrate the outstanding contributions of university employees to the betterment of the campus and its community. Nomination forms are due by Nov. 21.

(Also: nominations for the Provost's Advocacy and Activism Award are due by Nov. 1)

Full PDSA nomination info and forms

Help Desk expands services and locations

The Computer Help Desk has expanded its operations to provide more knowledgeable staff, extended hours and twice the number of locations. Faculty, staff and students can now contact the Help Desk by telephone and email from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on stat holidays; and visit any one of eight physical locations.

Read the blog entry about the expansion.

Beyond the ring

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

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.