The Ring

Around the ring

Be part of the 100 UVic Women Who Care

100 UVic Women Who Care is an opportunity for current UVic faculty and staff to come together to raise funds for UVic community-based projects. Interested women 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 women who care, $100 each, 4 times/year = $40,000/year supporting important community-based projects.

Date and location

On Dec. 18 at noon in the Human & Social Development building, room A240, faculty and staff (men are also welcome) are invited to bring your lunch and hear about wonderful community-based projects at UVic and to celebrate these works with colleagues.

UVic-based community projects

Hosted by HSD Dean Mary Ellen Purkis, this inaugural session will present three amazing UVic-based community projects as candidates for funding:

  • University 101: A chance for community members to experience a university setting and learn valuable skills to support their plans for attending a post- secondary institution in the future. University 101 supports community members who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, addictions and loss of family support.
  • Feet First: A nursing project that provides foot-care for the homeless community in association with Our Place downtown. In 4 days, 8 nursing students wash over 750 pairs of feet, provide clean socks and hands-on care and attention to the most vulnerable in our community.
  • CanAssist: The Inclusive Technology Project supports disabled students to build and design supportive technologies for disabled citizens. This project provides employment for the disabled and enables other disabled citizens to become more mobile.

The 100 Women Who Care idea is a grass-roots movement that has been growing across North America and around the world. It's geared toward women who want to make a profound and practical impact on their communities but may not have the time in their busy lives to commit to a larger number of volunteer hours.

ICYMI: Dec. 4 Campus Update focuses on research and campus planning

If you weren’t among the several hundred faculty, staff and students who packed the BEC auditorium for the Dec. 4 Campus Update session, there are still good opportunities to be involved in the two major initiatives discussed that day.  

The Dec. 4 event, hosted by Vice-President Academic and Provost Valerie Kuehne, was the most recent in the regular series of updates bringing university leaders to the podium to brief the campus community on major initiatives and opportunities. The Campus Update sessions, Kuehne stressed, “are also an opportunity for us to hear from you,” acknowledging the need to keep communications open and support a respectful and collegial environment.

Vice-President Research David Castle introduced the plans to develop UVic’s Strategic Research Plan against the timely backdrop of the federal government’s $1.5-billion Canada First Research Excellence Fund, announced barely more than an hour before the event. Recognizing that federal funding priorities are one element “of a changing yardstick in how research universities are measured,” Castle also saw that some of those changes—including greater expectations of partnerships in research—had the potential to ensure that research would more quickly or more effectively benefit society.

Practical plans for developing the Strategic Research Plan as outlined by Castle included constituency consultation, a town hall, a review of written feedback from interested researchers, and a survey, with all pieces coming together for a final draft in fall 2015.

Following Castle at the lectern, Vice-President Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill introduced the renewal of the Campus Plan with similar attentiveness to engagement and consultation, encouraging the UVic community to become part of the inclusive process. Gorrill outlined a series of engagement opportunities including social media engagement, an online survey and a Feb. 4 ideas forum to help focus on priorities and possibilities for the campus.

With a list of foundation principles from the 2003 plan projected on the wall above her, Gorrill suggested that many or most of those priorities would likely be renewed—starting with the promise that facilities planning will support the university’s academic priorities—while others may require clarification in order to address unexpected challenges arising from the success of the prior plan (e.g. rising pressure on mixed-use pathways as a result of increased bicycle traffic on campus).

Gorrill’s invitation to participate in the 2015 Campus Plan process is, she explained, and opportunity to build on the history, legacy, vision and principles that have shaped campus development over the last 50 years. It’s the kind of opportunity that, in the end, can only be truly successful with full engagement from the campus and external community.   

After the presentations, members of the audience asked Gorrill clarifying questions about the relationship of specific properties to academic planning, and Castle expanded on how areas of research strength, curiosity-based research, and partnership agreements might all be balanced (and supported) through the forthcoming research plan.

Working towards a well-informed campus

Every university aspires to be a natural home for knowledge, and an easy place for sharing information. And along with the remarkable diversity, scale and specialization of operations that help shape UVic’s extraordinary academic environment also comes the challenge of keeping faculty and staff well-informed about initiatives, events, opportunities and achievements across our busy campus.

A few months ago, shortly after UVic President Jamie Cassels identified the improvement of internal communications as a priority in his Campus Conversations report, University Communications and Marketing (UC+M) began working with partners across campus to refine the tools and practices that help UVic faculty and staff keep our colleagues informed and engaged.

With input from an advisory committee of staff, faculty and students, a few initial steps in the Campus Communications Project have already been taken, including establishing the Campus Checklist electronic newsletter and expanding the Digicaster digital signage network. 

During December, UVic will also conduct a survey of faculty and staff to better understand the habits and preferences of our community, with the aim of improving the value and relevance of information in different venues, and better support university-wide efforts to enhance participation and engagement. 

UVic day of action on violence against women

On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, we will remember and honour the victims of many forms of violence, learn about resources and research in our community, and affirm our commitment to resist and bring about an end to gender-based violence.

In earlier years the focus was on the massacre in Montreal. More recently the lens has been widening to look at the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, violence against people who openly challenge the gender binary, against sex trade workers, violence that occurs on campus, and violence in the forms of racism and poverty.

This year's event will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Michèle Pujol Room (SUB), with opportunities to participate in facilitated discussion groups to identify the ways systemic violence occurs in various aspects of life at UVic (for example the classroom, social life, employment, etc.). The discussion will also look at how this violence is currently being addressed and further steps that could be taken.

Free chili (vegan and gluten-free) will be available. There will be bus tickets and a fund to offset childcare costs available at the event, as well as a sign language interpreter.

Classes and exams have been cancelled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to allow students, staff and faculty to attend. The broader community is also welcome.

Beyond the ring

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

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