2014-15 Deans' Council Bulletins

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Consultations continue on academic advising model

The University's new strategic plan peyak aski kikawinaw sets out ambitious goals for student success and retention. These include improved supports to new students coming into the University; better linkages with local school districts to help students prepare for success here; increased student retention, with a particular focus on Year 1 and the transition to Year 2; and increased completion rates for Indigenous and international students.

To achieve those goals, the University is examining its student supports, including academic advising. A planning document prepared by Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs) John D Smith outlines the concept of a Centre for Academic Advising based on the shared advising model. Comments on the concept paper are most welcome. Please send them to Robyn Lekien (robyn.lekien@uregina.ca) no later than noon Friday 8 May.



Dr McMartin wins McCannel Award from APEGS

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan has given Dr Dena McMartin, Associate Vice-President (Academic and Research) the 2015 McCannel award. The award
was established in 1983 to honour services to the profession. Dr McMartin's national profile includes serving on the Women in Engineering Committee of Engineers Canada, and the executive of the Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades, and Technology. In 2013 Dr McMartin was named a Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC) in recognition of her contributions to the profession of Engineering. She has been recognized by the YWCA's Women of Distinction Award, and in 2005 received the University's Inspiring Teaching Award.

Congratulations, Dena! This latest honour from your professional peers is well deserved.



Faculty of Fine Arts votes to rename

On 22 April members of the Faculty of Fine Arts voted unanimously to move forward in renaming the Faculty.

With the approval of collegial bodies, the Faculty of Fine Arts will soon be known as the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (M.A.P). The new name came to fruition after extensive meetings and consultations over the last few months. It garnered unanimous support in a 15 April Faculty-only forum, which led to the successful Faculty Council vote.

The change of name reflects a trend in fine arts faculties across the country and beyond, most recently at York University and the University of Calgary. Fine Arts colleagues concurred that a rebrand of the Faculty’s identity will be critical to its future success, aiding in recruitment and bolstering enrolment at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It will help the Faculty to be more competitive and it identifies niche strengths that make it a study destination. The name change reflects the dynamic range of interdisciplinary research and creation produced in the Faculty, and signals a positive shift that is both contemporary and responsive to the changing demography of students and parents. M.A.P. lends itself to innovative marketing campaigns, and is rich with visual and textual possibilities.

The proposed name change will shortly move through collegial approval processes at CCAM, Executive of Council, and Senate.


Faculty of Science receives positive coverage on plant health and mobile apps initiatives

The Plant Health Initiative led by Dr Tanya Dahms (Biochemistry) and colleagues in the Faculty of Science received excellent media coverage last week on CTV
. Working with students from both the University and a local high school, Dr Dahms is studying the effects of pesticides. Her research will expand this year to involve the Academic Green as a living laboratory to determine the best way to enhance the beauty of our campus while reducing the use of chemicals. As the clip makes clear, the research has a particular appeal for high school students who, we hope, will be studying here in a few years.

Dr Orland Hoeber (Computer Science) and his graduate students received similar coverage in the Leader-Post for their work to develop mobile applications. ISM Canada supported the initiative with a $3000 scholarship, and partnered with the University to present students' ideas to a panel of industry professionals and media.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Print optimization 2.0

Our campus has seen much growth and positive change since the development and release of our 2009-2014 Strategic Plan mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities.  One of the key projects that the University introduced in support of the Strategic Plan was the Print Optimization project. Here are a few facts and figures regarding the original Print Optimization 1.0 project:

  • Number of print devices on campus reduced from 1196 to 675.
  • Estimated cost savings over the life of the contract have been approximately $1.4 million.
  • It is estimated that the University’s kwH consumption of electricity associated with printers and copiers on campus was reduced by approximately 9.6%.
  • It is estimated that the University’s output of CO2 (greenhouse emissions) related to printers (manufacture, operation and disposal of) was reduced by 396,000 kgs or approximately 27.7%.
  • In 2009, it was estimated that the campus was printing 13,000,000 pages per year (on departmental printers, not including Printing Services). By the end of 2013, we printed 9,393,140 pages per year on devices managed under the Print Optimization Program.
  • In addition, we estimate that pages of print which previously had been sent to Printing Services for production were moved to the departmental printing devices, resulting in a further reduction of 22.6% in print being done in Printing Services (from 7,015,300 pages in 2009 to 5,430,535 in 2013). 
  • From 2011 to 2013 alone, paper consumption declined over 21% across campus (or approximately 360 trees’ worth), and saved approximately 281,250 gallons of freshwater used in the manufacture of that paper.

Following the recent approval of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan peyak aski kikawinaw: Together we are Stronger, the University is launching Print Optimization 2.0.

Print Optimization 2.0 promises to reduce printing expenditures and further lessen our impact on the environment. 

With the implementation and full acceptance of Print Optimization 2.0, the potential for additional cost savings is another $1.3 million, plus further reductions in CO2 emissions of 114,000 kgs and electrical consumption of 24,000 kwh over the next 5 years.

The Print Optimization team will start to meet with each faculty and department from 4 May onward to review the data we have collected over the past 5 years and further optimize our environment where feasible. Print Optimization 2.0 will operate in a similar fashion to the Evergreen Program allowing faculties and departments to replace their existing devices with newer, more efficient, more capable Lexmark devices and more options for units to consider. A list of current printer counts by Faculty and operating unit is available here.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Former Dean appointed President of Algoma University

Craig Chamberlin, Dean of Kinesiology and Health Studies for more than a decade and Acting Dean of Social Work for a two-year period, has been appointed President and Vice-Chancellor of Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Algoma’s announcement of Craig’s appointment can be viewed here.

Brian Kelly of the Sault Star recently interviewed Craig; that interview can be read here.


Alberta students consider moving to US for university education

The Leader-Post recently carried an article by Evan Ferguson of the Calgary Herald examining the increasing number of Alberta students who face “challenging high tuition rates, overcrowding, and rigorous academic requirements at Alberta universities” and who are looking south of the border to American postsecondary institutions. Ferguson’s article can be found here.

The University of Regina is actively recruiting Alberta students, and has seen considerable growth in registrations from that province. In 2012, 40 Alberta students registered at the University of Regina; by 2014 that number had more than tripled to 142.  As of 13 April this year, we have admitted 190 qualified students from Alberta, with registration for the Fall 2015 term now in progress. These students are registering largely in the Faculties of Engineering, Science, Business, and Arts.


Whyte argues that universities are losing their commitment to the liberal arts

John D. Whyte, a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Arts and a policy fellow in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, argues that “the weakening of liberal arts education is a serious impediment to the development of national capacity and society’s long-term well-being.”

His article appeared yesterday in the Leader-Post and is available here.


Coates’ arguments questioned

Last month Ken Coates, a professor at the Saskatoon campus of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, issued a report arguing that university enrolments should be cut by 30% and more young people be encouraged to pursue their studies at colleges and polytechnics. The report was commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

Coates’ paper elicited a strong response yesterday from higher education commentator Alex Usher, who describes it as “a hot mess of unfounded assertions and questionable logic.”

Tuesday 31 March 2015

EAS in the news

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science received positive media coverage for its Project Day on the weekend. The
Leader-Post ran a story with video, while Global ran a video report and CJME included a report on its website.  Additionally, Dean Hussein noted that news of Project Day was picked up in the national Engineers Canada daily news report.

Senior Engineer in Residence Doug Wagner writes: “I am extremely proud of all our students – their professionalism was very much on display both inside and outside the presentation rooms, and I cannot count all of the positive comments from our professional industry advisors.”

Congratulations to the Dean, his team, and the many individuals in Engineering who made this day a success.


Innovating Life: Quarterly Research Update from the University of Regina

The latest edition of
Innovating Life: Quarterly Research Update from the University of Regina is now available for viewing.  Past editions of the Research Quarterly Innovating Life can be found on the VPR webpage.


Alberta budget and the province’s postsecondaries

In her 27 March weekly Bulletin,
University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera notes that government funding to her institution will be reduced by 1.4%  ($8M) in 2015-16, and a further 2.7% in 2016-17. Echoing university leaders and observers of the postsecondary sector across the continent, she writes that “the overall funding model for post-secondary education will be changing,” and that universities “need to tap new sources of revenue” outside the traditional sources of government grants and tuition/fee revenue.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Budget update and institutional budget letters

Video of yesterday’s Budget Forum in the Shu-Box Theatre is available for viewing from the Budget Update webpage.

As noted in the presentation, the University is faced with the challenge of reducing its operating expenditures by approximately $4 million. Our budget letter from the Ministry may be found, together with the letters for other postsecondary institutions, on the Government of Saskatchewan's website.
Your comments and suggestions about budget continue to be welcome at budget@uregina.ca. The budget will go to the Board of Governors for approval in early May, and a further Budget Forum is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 6 May.


Long service awards to two members of Deans’ Council

Last week’s long service awards included recognition of two members of Deans’ Council. Dr Jennifer Tupper (ED) was recognized for 10 years of service, while Dr Harold Riemer (KHS) was recognized for 15 years of service. Congratulations to both colleagues for achieving these milestones.


Update: The Education of Augie Merasty

The 24 February issue of this Bulletin included a reference to The Education of Augie Merasty, published by the University of Regina Press. On the weekend, this small book was featured in a lengthy article on the cover of the Saturday Arts section of the Globe and Mail. The article may be found here.

The Education of Augie Merasty tells a part of the history of our country, and our province, that needs to be heard.


KHS in the news

Recent days have seen positive media attention to research and teaching in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. The Leader-Post featured an extensive story and video clip on Dr Darren Candow’s research into the effects of exercise and creatine on bone density in older women – and the possible savings to the health care system that additional exercise may allow.

And in a light-hearted takeoff on several popular TV series, KHS has featured its researchers and the work they are doing to improve health outcomes. Click here to see the visuals.


North corridor of old CKHS building closed until further notice

Yesterday the University received a structural engineer's recommendation to close the north corridor of the older portion of CKHS (the old "Phys Ed" Building) until further notice. Soil settlement under that area has potentially affected its stability.

Closing this area will mean relocating a number of people from KHS, Engineering and Applied Science, and ESL. These units are now working on relocation plans.  


‘Tis the season: roof leaks and renovations

As warm weather returns, we expect our customary challenges with roof leaks as aging roofs around campus show the signs of a long, cold winter. The University is addressing these leaks with the limited funds available, sometimes installing temporary patches when a full roof replacement is beyond our resources.

An example of the latter is the temporary patch installed on the podium roof where the eastern end of the Library Building meets the western end of the Administration-Humanities Building.  A full roof replacement would cost several million dollars. The temporary patch cost $90,000. For the Classroom Building, a two-phase (upper roof and podium level) roof replacement is estimated at $1.6 million.

Several people have asked what is being done to the Archer Library main entrance, where renovations are under way. This project was undertaken due to the requirement to install fire sprinklers throughout the Archer Library vestibule area. Installing sprinklers, in turn, required the replacement of the plaster ceilings in the area.

While this work is underway, the investment of an additional $15,000 will lead to increased study space for students and library patrons. At peak periods, the Archer Library is now full, and additional study space – like the space reconfigured several years ago in the north hallway of the Education Building – is needed. See the 10 February Deans’ Council Bulletin below for information on the increase in Library usage.


Another Library milestone

On 20 March, Barbara Nelke of the University Library advised that the 2,000,000th bibliographic record was added to the Voyager system.

For the curious, it is a digitized version of English writer John Heywood’s Balet touching the takynge of Scarborow Castell. The original book was “imprinted in London in Fleetestrete” by Thomas Powell in the mid-16th century.


Open textbooks

BCcampus Open Textbook Faculty Fellow Dr Rajiv Jhangiani was recently interviewed by CBC Radio trend reporter, Jason Osler, discussing financial benefits of open textbooks, digital learning formats, and immediate, permanent access to high-quality educational materials. To hear the interview with Dr Jhangiana, click here.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Budget Day, budgets elsewhere, and next University of Regina budget forum

The provincial budget will be brought down in the Legislature on Wednesday afternoon. We have requested an increase of 3.6% to the operating grant, and will learn on Wednesday what the government has allocated to us in response to this request.

A second campus forum on the 2015-16 budget has been scheduled for Monday 23 March from 10 to 11 am in the ShuBox Theatre, Riddell Centre. Please plan to attend.

For all budget-related information, please consult the Budget Webpage. This webpage contains links to our Operations Forecast, previous budget updates to campus, and further information on the University’s budget.

Those who are interested in seeing how other Canadian universities are responding to budget challenges similar to those we face are invited to consult the following links:

As always, your questions and comments on budget are welcome. Please send them to budget@uregina.ca.


Saskatchewan postsecondaries’ performance questioned in new HEQCO report

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has published a province-by-province report on the performance of Canadian postsecondary institutions.

In brief, the report is not kind to Saskatchewan, which it characterizes as a province in which “overall university system performance is relatively low and is delivered at a high cost per student” (p. 27). An area in which the Saskatchewan postsecondary sector as a whole compares favourably to those of other provinces is a relatively low student-to-faculty ratio. Areas in which we perform poorly relative to other provinces include low student engagement scores, low participation rates, and “poor performance on university international rankings” (p. 28).

34 indicators of Canadian postsecondary institutions’ performance were analyzed for this report, and may be explored individually here.


Graduate student registration issues on 10 March: background

Several factors contributed to issues experienced by some graduate students when they tried to register online between midnight and 9 a.m. on Tuesday 10 March. Here is a brief outline of what happened.

To ensure that full technical support is available from the Registrar’s Office and Information Services in the event of technical problems, the online registration system traditionally opens at 9 a.m. on the first day of registration.

To provide better service for graduate students with fulltime employment, the Registrar’s Office agreed to open up the online system for graduate registrations 9 hours earlier, in the middle of the night, so that graduate students in faculties such as Education who are working fulltime outside the University could secure seats in high-demand courses.

How was this accomplished? In the past, a Registrar’s Office technical staff member volunteered to open the online system at 11:59 p.m. and then monitor system activity in the very early hours of the morning in case technical problems arose. This staff member retired in December.

Unaware that the system would not be opening at midnight on 10 March, some Faculty advisors sent emails to their students reminding them to be sure to log in at midnight and secure their seats in high-demand courses. When that proved to be impossible, some students took to social media to express their frustration.

The Registrar’s Office will be working with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and Information Services to find a solution that does not require a staff member to turn the system on at 11:59 p.m. and monitor registration activity in the middle of the night. The solution will consider the availability of staff and the need for access outside normal working hours for some graduate students. The solution will be communicated to all faculty and staff prior to the opening of the Winter 2016 registration period, which is scheduled for early November.


University of Regina Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program

In partnership with Community Foundations of Canada and the Rideau Hall Foundation, AUCC has created a new program to provide Canadian graduate students and students from other Commonwealth countries with the opportunity to further their academic experience through international exchange.

Under the auspices of the newly created Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships the University of Regina has successfully bid to create a new program of scholarships for graduate students.

The scholarship program will be implemented over four years, and will provide Canadian graduate students at the U of R with full scholarships to undertake research or course-based exchanges at partner universities in other Commonwealth countries. It will also create fully-funded scholarship opportunities for exceptional students from Commonwealth-country partners to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Regina. Community engagement and global leadership are key cross-cutting themes in the U of R proposal.

From 2015-2018, the University of Regina’s QEII Diamond Jubilee Scholarship will provide scholarships to 40 outgoing Canadian students and 12 incoming international graduate students. This program will be the University of Regina’s first graduate-level international scholarship, open to students at the master’s or doctoral level in any discipline.

The University of Regina QEII Scholarship program is directly aligned with the new strategic plan priorities of supporting student success and commitment to our communities. Further, the program is also aligned with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Post-Secondary International Education Strategy.

Further information on the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships can be found here.

The Provost’s Office would like to thank administrators Rebecca Berthiaume, Martha Maturin, and Karen Wiome for many hours of work preparing this successful application. More than 50 graduate students will directly benefit from their dedication and hard work.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Faculty of Education dramatically reduces review time for graduate applications

Under the leadership of Associate Dean Ken Montgomery and his team, the Faculty of Education has shortened, by nearly half, the amount of time required to review an application for admission to their graduate program.

Dr Montgomery provides the following account:

“We got quite intentional about the process.  We booked a separate room for our program coordinator to use, so that she could prepare the applications (e.g., calculate grade point averages, length of relevant experience, assess possibilities for transfer credit, etc.) as soon as they were received from FGSR.  Once she completed this work, we advertised repeatedly to faculty and subject/program areas that the files were ready for review and gave deadlines by which recommendations were to be sent to my office.  I then booked off time to go through the recommendations/applications, seek out supervisors where necessary, and make my own recommendation to FGSR.  This year, we anticipate even faster turn-around time because we are no longer using hard copies of the applications.  Faculty members and subject/program areas have been given secure access to the applications in electronic form.  Thus far, it seems to be working very smoothly.“

Congratulations to Dr Montgomery and all involved in this initiative.


Robyn Lekien joins Provost’s Office

The Provost’s Office welcomes Robyn Lekien (luh-KEEN) as the Executive Assistant to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).  Robyn joins us from the Ministry of Advanced Education, where she has worked for almost 7 years. During Robyn’s tenure with the Government of Saskatchewan, she worked exclusively in the Deputy Minister’s Office reporting to the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Post-Secondary Education.


Task force on student advising

At the most recent Deans’ Council meeting, student advisors and several associate deans met with the Deans to discuss modes of student advising in the context of the new Strategic Plan. A Task Force on Student Advising has been formed under the leadership of the Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs). It includes:

  • Jennifer Love Green, KHS Coordinator
  • Kevin O'Brien, Arts Coordinator
  • Luanne Drake, URSU VP Student Affairs
  • Joe Piwowar, Associate Dean of Arts
  • Nader Mobed, Associate Dean of Science
  • James D'Arcy, Registrar
  • John D. Smith, Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs)

The group’s tasks are to produce 4 or 5 "quick wins" on student advising, and a broad recommendation on advising strategy/configuration/model for the consideration of Deans' Council at its Wednesday 25 March meeting.  The Task Force has met and identified the current strengths and challenges and they plan to discuss some quick wins and a possible student survey on academic advising across campus at their next meeting.

The initial focus will be on the undergraduate population, and in particular (but not exclusively) students in Years 1 and 2. Both the quick wins and the broad recommendation will flow from the new Strategic Plan's indicators of success and supporting actions:

  • Increased retention and success rates of first-year students.
  • Increased completion rates of Aboriginal students.
  • Increased completion rates of international students.
  • Increased proportion of graduate students completing programs in a timely manner.
  • Increased research and scholarly dissemination by graduate students.
  • Increased retention rate of all students.


Making open textbooks accessible to all, including those with print disabilities

A further key development in the move toward Open Education Resources (OER) being led by BCcampus and other groups in Canada and abroad is to make open textbooks accessible to all learners, including those with print disabilities. The article Can everyone actually use it? Testing open textbooks for accessibility, includes news of a recently developed accessibility toolkit available for open use.

The current inventory of BCcampus open textbooks can be found here.


CCE’s 2013-2014 Annual Report

The Centre for Continuing Education now has its 2013-14 Annual Report available for viewing on its web page.


Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications Released

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are pleased to announce the release of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. The policy is modeled after CIHR’s Open Access Policy, which has been in effect since 2008. It also reflects the feedback we received from over 200 respondents through our online consultation in fall 2013. While CIHR-funded researchers will now refer to the new harmonized policy, compliance requirements will not change. NSERC and SSHRC researchers will be required to comply with the new policy for all grants awarded from May 1, 2015 onward.

We encourage you to visit the Tri-Agency Open Access page on Science.gc.ca to review the policy, Frequently Asked Questions and Open Access Toolbox with useful resources to assist researchers with open access.

In the coming months, we will be hosting webinars with tri-agency representatives to elaborate on the policy and answer any questions that may arise. More details will be available on the Tri-Agency Open Access page in the coming weeks.

We believe making research results as widely available and accessible as possible is an essential part of advancing knowledge and maximizing the impact of publicly-funded research for Canadians. The granting agencies will continue to work closely with stakeholders to support and facilitate the transition to open access. Your collaboration and support are greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed feedback to the online consultation and helped shape this new policy.

For any questions or comments, please contact:
CIHR: access@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
NSERC: openaccess@nserc-crsng.gc.ca
SSHRC: openaccess@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

Staff at the Archer Library and UofR digital repository, oURspace, support open access by enabling authors to submit copies of peer-reviewed articles and data sets. An institutional working group on Open Access and Open Publishing has been established to identify strategies for implementation of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy and the associated costs, structures, and supports required.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Change of time -- tomorrow’s meeting of Deans’ Council with advisors and URSU executive

To accommodate the discussion of advising models with the academic advisors’ group and the Students’ Union Executive, tomorrow morning’s meeting of Deans’ Council begins at 8:15 am and will conclude at 10:30 a.m. URSU members and the advisors will join the meeting at 9:45.

As noted in an earlier edition of this Bulletin, peyak aski kikawinaw lists the following supporting actions for increasing student success:

  • Improve supports offered to new students transitioning into university.
  • Develop and implement retention strategies that reflect current student needs.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of student support services.
  • Expand linkages with Saskatchewan school boards to better facilitate student preparedness for success at university.
  • Enhance services and academic supports for Aboriginal students.
  • Enhance services and academic supports to assist international and new Canadian students transitioning to Canada, with particular emphasis on English Language proficiency, Canadian culture, and university expectations.

Each of these actions impacts, or should impact, the way we advise and counsel students, especially those who are experiencing difficulty with the transition to university life and work. Tomorrow’s discussion will allow an exchange of views – students’, advisors', and Deans' – on how we can best advise students now and into the future.


Tackling high drop-out rates: one professor’s approach

In response to high drop-out rates among first-year students, UNB English professor David Creelman and his colleagues designed a course called “Everything I Need to Know in First Year,” which helps students with various academic requirements while participating in extracurricular activities and meeting a variety of people on campus. Maclean’s carried a brief article on the initiative that can be found here.


Witness Blanket exhibit extended; U of R Press publishes The Education of Augie Merasty

The Witness Blanket exhibit has been on display at the University since early January and was slated to depart for Montréal this week.  However, the departure date has been postponed, and the University of Regina has access to this historic monument to residential school survivors for an additional two months. If you have not already visited this powerful exhibit, please make your way to the Research and Innovation Centre to see this beautiful piece of art. For more information on the Witness Blanket, visit www.witnessblanket.ca.  A specific date of departure, together with details of the closing ceremony, will be announced later.

The University of Regina Press has published the residential school memoir of Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty. Called “heartbreaking and important” by Clearing the Plains author Jim Daschuk, the small volume has been chosen by the CBC as one of its “CanLit 15,” and is attracting widespread attention. Information about The Education of Augie Merasty can be found here.


Meeting on international education

Yesterday the Ministry of Advanced Education hosted a round table on Saskatchewan postsecondary international education. The University of Regina was represented by Livia Castellanos, Director, UR International, and the Provost. Andres Weichert, Director of the International Education Division at Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, spoke on Canada’s international education strategy.

The strategy was developed under the leadership of an advisory panel including Amit Chakma (President of Western University and former Dean of Engineering at the University of Regina); André Bisson (Chancellor Emeritus of the Université de Montréal); Jacynthe Côté (Rio Tinto Alcan); Colin Dodds (President, St Mary’s University); Lorna Smith (Director of International Education at Mount Royal University); and Don Wright (former president of BCIT). Among other things, the strategy calls for a doubling of Canada’s international student population from 239,000 in 2011 to more than 450,000 by 2022, with a particular focus on Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Vietnam, and North Africa and the Middle East.


University Bookstore to reorganize textbooks

To become more efficient and stay current with best practices, during the 2015 Spring/Summer session the Bookstore will launch a new way of organizing textbooks. The Bookstore will be organizing textbooks alphabetically by author instead of by department/course. This is quickly becoming a best practice within the industry.

Benefits of the reorganization include:

  1. Reduced time in handling books:  The process of preparing the text area for each term will be much easier and faster.  Once the books are shelved they will stay in place; as books are received they can be put into place immediately.  There will be some adjustments required but essentially the process of 'setup' (which is placing shelf tags and organizing shelves by course/section) will be cut from 5 weeks to 1 week.
  2. Improved student experience: Textbooks offered by multiple disciplines will be placed in one location.
  3. Improved efficiency: The Bookstore will be able to save time with reduced set-up and assistance required for students having difficulty finding their texts. 
  4. Space allocation: The new method will require less shelf space, allowing the Bookstore to look at better ways to utilize space and offer additional services.
  5. Better regulate traffic flow:  The new method will ease the aisle congestion that results from first-year courses being adjacent to one another. 

The Bookstore will make the necessary adjustments after the March textbook return. Based on student and staff input, further adjustments may follow after the 2015 Spring/Summer term.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Yesterday’s briefing on the 2015-16 operating budget

A video of yesterday’s briefing to campus on the 2015-16 operating budget will soon be available for viewing from the Budget Update page. Also available from that page are downloads of budget preparation documents and PowerPoint files.

As we prepare for an unusually challenging fiscal year in 2015-16, we will endeavour to keep the campus community well informed of budget developments and decisions. Suggestions, comments, and questions on budget are always welcome at budget@uregina.ca.


Senate meeting of Saturday 7 February

The University Senate met on Saturday 7 February. Senate approved the exciting new combined major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics in the Faculty of Arts (for details, see page 8 of Appendix III of the Senate Agenda), and engaged in discussion of patterns of enrolment as set out in the Registrar’s report on pages 1 to 5, Appendix I. Further discussion touched on the need to broaden our student recruitment strategies in places such as Calgary and Edmonton (see below), and to respond quickly to areas of demand in which the University of Regina can fill a specialized niche, such as the Master’s of Health Administration degree now offered by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy under the supervision of experts in the field.


Reminder: elections and nominations for Executive of Council and Council committees

The call for nominations, eligibility lists, and nomination forms for the election of Council representatives to Executive of Council have been posted to the Executive of Council Elections web page.

The deadline for receipt of nominations is 20 February 2015 by 4:00 pm to the University Secretariat, Ad-Hum 514.

The annual call for volunteers to fill vacancies on Council Committees requiring Council membership has been made. Deadline is 27 February 2015. More information on Council Committees (including terms of reference and meeting dates) can be found on the Council Committees web page. The Council Nominating Committee will be meeting in March to consider the volunteer submissions for the vacancies on the committees requiring Council representation.


Advertising the University of Regina in Alberta

Recent reports from Alberta indicate that several thousand qualified students may be unable to find seats at Alberta universities this fall because of budget constraints in that province. As we have done in recent years, we will be advertising in several Alberta markets prior to the 15 March priority application deadline. In addition, Director of Enrolment Services John Kincaid indicates that “we will be visiting both Calgary and Edmonton in March to help convert inquiries and applicants into committed students.”


Library use almost triples from 2014 to 2015

Significantly more students are coming into the Archer Library. The gate count from 15 January to 1 February 2015 was 31,615 – almost three times more than the 11,845 counted in the same period a year ago in 2014. This is another sign of major shifts in student needs on our campus.

Student feedback received during the recent It’s yoUR Library! Campaign, a partnership between the Library and URSU, underscores the need for more study space, and has already begun to influence Library space planning. Many academic libraries across North America are seeing this trend, which signals a change in how library spaces are configured. The challenge for the University Library is to balance the space needed for library and archival collections, including University records, and the space needed for student-centred activities and services.


Library Instruction Program

The numbers are in – 2014 was a very successful year for the library’s instruction program. Librarians and reference assistants prepared and delivered 183 sessions to 4073 participants including undergraduate and graduate students, student athletes, university staff, faculty, community members, non-profit organizations, and visiting faculty from around the world.  The instruction program reached every Faculty on campus and, thanks to our bilingual librarians, some sessions were offered in French. Instruction was provided in the library, in other campus labs/classrooms, televised to remote sites, on-site at locations around the province, and online to those across Canada and around the world.

The primary aim of the library instruction program is to help students navigate today’s complex information environment, both during their studies and in their post-university lives. Topics covered in 2014 sessions included orientation to the Library, searching Summon, using subject-specific databases and other search tools, the information ecosystem, evaluating information, ethical and legal use of information, APA/MLA/Chicago styles, RefWorks, advanced Google, conducting a literature review, publishing and promoting your academic work, NVivo, and more.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that information literacy competencies are most effectively developed when this instruction is embedded in the curriculum, making the inclusion of three library sessions (the information ecosystem, key tools for academic success, and ethical and legal use of information) in the mandatory new Fine Arts 001 course a particularly exciting development. First year Fine Arts students now have a common level of understanding upon which higher level competencies can be developed as they progress through their studies.

Learn more on the library instruction program web site, and use the contact information on this page to connect with a librarian about developing information literacy competencies in your students.


Interlibrary Loans (ILL) Desktop Delivery Service

The Library has launched a new Desktop Delivery Service for journal articles. When you order an article through Interlibrary Loans, you will “pick it up” online using your University of Regina e-mail account.  For more information on this new service visit the Desktop Delivery for Interlibrary Loan articles web page.


Quest University President David Helfland on the value of the liberal arts

David Helfland, president of the private Quest University in BC (first-year tuition, room, and board approximately $43,000), has provided a robust defence of the liberal arts in the Globe and Mail. Helfland asks: “What do Pulitzer Prize winners, the wealthiest Fortune 500 CEOs, and PhDs elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have in common? They attended liberal arts programs. Graduates of these programs are over-represented by 300 per cent to 800 per cent among those at the pinnacle of their respective fields.”

Helfland continues by noting that “Canada is first in the OECD in postsecondary participation rate, but near the bottom in employer investment in worker training. The assumption that universities should provide these services is deeply misguided. If we turn our universities into job-training centres, while the rest of the world is opening the minds of their best students and cultivating their creativity with a liberal arts and sciences education, our ratio of GDP to population is headed for a steep decline.”

The full article is available here.

Tuesday 3 February 2015 

Travel expenses charged to operating budgets

The following information reflects the University’s position on out-of-province travel. It is taken from the President’s 23 January 2015 memo to the University Leadership Team.

Scope:   The out-of-province travel freeze covers all University faculty and staff who travel using University Operating funds. Travel covered entirely by research funds or APEA funds is not frozen.

Approval:  Any request for an exemption to the travel constraint must be reviewed and approved by the Dean, Director, or AVP.  

Student travel, including faculty/staff support travel, associated with out-of-province class activities is not subject to this constraint. Athletic travel associated with regularly scheduled varsity team competition is not subject to this constraint.

Travel that is funded 100% from a research account or external agency is not subject to this constraint. Travel funded 100% by an APEA account is not subject to this constraint.

Travel directly related to revenue generation activities, fund-raising or student recruiting is permitted, but must be reviewed by the Vice-President in advance of travel to confirm the long-term revenue benefits versus the need for short-term constraint.

Commitments to travel beyond the constraint period (i.e. after 1 May 2015) can be made, but only in full consideration of operating budget constraints that are anticipated to be significant and will be known only once the provincial budget is announced in March, and the Board approval of the University 2015/2016 Budget in May.

Transition:  Travel that has already been authorized and a non-reimbursable ticket purchased can continue.  Any travel that falls under the Travel Freeze guidelines above and which has not already been ticketed, even if a commitment has been made to attend, will be subject to the constraint program.

Questions and answers

Q1  Will any out-of-province travel be allowed until the 30 April 2015 (end of the University’s fiscal year)?

A1  Only travel that is duly authorized by AVPS, Deans, and Directors is permitted.  The new filter of constrained budgets must be applied and decisions made by the unit budget manager.  Exceptions for consistency across the University are noted below:

Not subject to the new constraints:

    • Travel already ticketed and non-reimbursable
    • Student travel including faculty/staff support, associated with class work out-of-province
    • Athletic travel associated with regularly scheduled varsity team competition
    • Travel that is funded from a research account or external organization
    • Travel that is funded 100% by an individual’s APEA
    • Travel directly related to revenue generation activities, fundraising or student recruiting.  Note that this must be specifically reviewed by the Dean/AVP or Director in consideration of the new budget constraints and affordability.

Q2  What if the registration has been paid on out-of-province conferences or meetings, but no other travel and hotel arrangements have been made and expenses committed?

A2  Normally registration should be canceled and funding returned.  If loss of registration will occur and an analysis suggests that it is most cost effective to continue with the travel, the Dean, Director or AVP can approve as appropriate.

Q3  Can I use my APEA for out-of-province travel?

A3  Yes. APEA is not part of the constraint program if 100% of the travel and registration is funded by APEA. All usual protocols regarding receipts and accountability vis-à-vis University travel policies remain in place.

Q4  Can I travel out-of-province with research funding?

A4  Yes. Travel that is 100% funded from a funded research account is permitted. All usual protocols regarding receipts and accountability vis-à-vis University travel policies remain in place.

Q5  Can I travel out-of-province in support of national and international associations that I officially represent?

A5  Travel funded by agencies external to the University of Regina is not subject to the constraint program.

Essential association work not externally covered but that represents a clear University commitment to a University-related association can continue, subject to the approval of the Dean, Director or AVP.

Q6  This announcement will be a surprise to many. I am not sure if I can get the word to all my units in the next few hours/days to curtail all travel.  Further, I am not sure if they will be able to adjust quickly.  Will there be a reasonable phase-in period to accommodate some of the shock?

A6  The introduction of the constraint will allow for a reasonable adjustment for all.  If travel can be reasonably curtailed in short order, it needs to be curtailed.  As noted in the program memo, if tickets are purchased and cannot be reimbursed, travel can continue.


Elections and nominations for Executive of Council and Council committees

The call for nominations, eligibility lists, and nomination forms for the election of Council representatives to Executive of Council have been posted at http://www.uregina.ca/president/governance/council/elections.html .

The deadline for receipt of nominations is on 20 February 2015 by 4:00 pm to the University Secretariat, Ad-Hum 514.

The annual call for volunteers to fill vacancies on Council Committees requiring Council membership has been made. Deadline is 27 February 2015. More information on Council Committees (including terms of reference and meeting dates) can be found at http://www.uregina.ca/president/governance/council/committees.html. The Council Nominating Committee will be meeting in March to consider the volunteer submissions for the vacancies on the committees requiring Council representation. 


2015-16 budget information sessions

Information sessions on the parameters of the 2015-16 operating budget have been provided to the University Leadership Team (13 January), the Council Committee on Budget (27 January), and Faculty and academic unit administrators (today, 3 February).

Faculty, staff and students are invited to an Open Forum to discuss development of the University of Regina's 2015-2016 budget and some of the challenges the University is likely to face due to anticipated provincial budget constraints. The Open Forum will take place from 10:15 to 11:15 am on Monday 9 February in Classroom Building 127.

This and subsequent budget information sessions will be videorecorded and made available, together with supporting documents, via a 2015-16 Budget update webpage now in preparation.  


BC aligns operating grants with in-demand career fields (from Academica’s Top Ten)

A further sign of the times in Canadian higher education – the government of British Columbia has announced that operating grants provided to the province's PSE institutions will be aligned with high-demand jobs.

In the past, BC targeted approximately 10% of its provincial operating grants to in-demand fields; this percentage will increase to 25% by 2017–18. The targeted operating funds focus on the top 60 high-demand occupations identified in BC's 2022 Labour Market Outlook, priority health occupations, regional labour priorities, Aboriginal people, and people with disabilities. "BC is shifting education and training to better align with in-demand occupations. Aligning postsecondary funding to jobs in demand will help students get the education and training needed for our economy," said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. BC News Release 

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Dr Pete honoured with global citizenship award

Executive Lead for Indigenization Dr Shauneen Pete has been selected to receive the Saskatchewan Council on International Cooperation Global Citizen Award. Dr Pete is being recognized for her dedication and leadership in global and Indigenous education. The awards gala will take place at the Regina Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday 3 February at 7 pm. The event is free and open to all. 


3 February meeting with Faculty and academic unit administrators

The Provost is hosting a meeting for all Faculty and Academic Unit Administrators to discuss the parameters of the 2015-16 budget. It will take place in the University Club at 7:30 am on Tuesday 3 February, and will end no later than 9 am.

Those coming are asked to review our new Strategic Plan, peyak aski kikawinaw,
and to review the recent "Classroom Economics" series running from 19 to 23 January in Alex Usher's blog.  Usher's series provides a quick overview of the basic structure of budget -- revenues and expenditures -- for a publicly-funded institution such as ours.


Talking about student advising (2): upcoming meeting of Deans' Council, student advisors, and URSU executive members

Student advisors from across campus, together with the URSU executive, have been invited to meet with Deans' Council on Wednesday 25 February at 9:45 am in AH 527 to discuss student advising.

peyak aski kikawinaw lists the following supporting actions for increasing student success:

  • Improve supports offered to new students transitioning into university.
  • Develop and implement retention strategies that reflect current student needs.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of student support services.
  • Expand linkages with Saskatchewan school boards to better facilitate student preparedness for success at university.
  • Enhance services and academic supports for Aboriginal students.
  • Enhance services and academic supports to assist international and new Canadian students transitioning to Canada, with particular emphasis on English Language proficiency, Canadian culture, and university expectations.

Each of these actions impacts, or should impact, the way we advise and counsel students, especially those who are experiencing difficulty with the transition to university life and work. The discussion on the 25th will allow an exchange of views -- students', advisors', and Deans' -- on how we can best advise our students now and into the future.

John Smith, Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs), has prepared a paper setting out some thoughts on a "shared" advising model that is available here for your perusal.


Updated list of open textbooks available from BC Campus

The 4 and 10 November editions of this Bulletin (see below) mention the BC Open Textbook Initiative, whereby high-quality, peer-reviewed educational resources are available at no charge to students and instructors. These books, available in a variety of formats including PDF, are available as supplements to conventional paper-based texts, or as replacements for them. At a time when a single textbook can increase the cost of taking a class by several hundred dollars, high-quality free textbooks that meet the needs of instructors and students are worth serious consideration.

Instructors considering the adoption of one or more Open Textbooks are invited to examine the range of 80 titles available from BC Campus's website
. These titles include introductions to financial accounting, sociology, biology, microeconomics, digital foundations, media and culture, literature and the humanities, and many more.


30 years of academic partnerships between Canada and China

The 23 January 2015 edition of University World News carries an article by Grace Karram Stephenson of OISE in Toronto entitled "Canada and China's Legacy of Cooperation." In it she provides a brief historical account of academic partnerships between the two countries, partnerships that she says present "a very different story of how universities can join together and work towards progress when politics are in turmoil." She concludes by arguing that it is now time "to re-affirm our commitment to international research partnerships and forge trusting relationships that will last well into the next century."


Tuesday 20 January 2015

Happy New Year

A very happy New Year to readers of the Bulletin. We've taken a bit of a hiatus over the holidays and in the busy days of early January, but are now resuming regular publication.

Last week saw two important campus events -- the launch of peyak aski kikawinaw, our strategic plan for 2015-2020, and the announcement that the University of Regina and its federated college partners will host Congress 2018 on our campus. Implementing the goals of the strategic plan will now be a priority for campus, and a particular responsibility of those who read this Bulletin. Preparations for Congress will begin this year, accelerate in 2016, and occupy us throughout 2017 and the first half of 2018. The work involved in both -- and the achievements that flow from that work -- mark a turning point in our institution's history as the University of Regina enters its second 40 years and assumes its place as one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities.


Searches and reviews

Just prior to the holiday season, readers would have seen the announcements that Dr Harold Riemer has been appointed, following review, to a five-year term as Dean of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and Dr Kathy McNutt has been appointed, following a national search, to a five-year term as Executive Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, with responsibility for both the Regina and Saskatoon campuses of JSGSPP. Both terms are effective on 1 July 2015. Congratulations to both of these senior academic leaders on their appointments.

A national search is currently under way for the Dean of Education and the Vice-President (Research), and reviews of the Dean of Nursing and the Provost for second-five year terms are also under way. Details of searches, reviews, and recent appointments can be found here.


Hill School students perform well at JDC West 2015 in Victoria and at ICBC in Kingston

The Hill School ranked high among the twelve premier Western Canadian business schools with a third place finish as "School of the Year." The Hill team also placed third as "Academic School of the Year” based on academic performance through the weekend. This year the Asper School at University of Manitoba placed first in both categories, followed by the University of Alberta. In addition, the Hill School placed in three out of eleven academic competitions:

1st place: Business Strategy – Jon Maierhoffer, Suzanne Barber, Victoria Johnson
1st place: Debate – Aaron Fritzler, Ahsan Amjad, Eric Holloway, Gulraiz Tariq
2nd place: Finance – April Pyne, Levi Lawrence, Brock Forbes

The Hill JDC West team also came first in participation for its high calibre of sporting behaviour and positive character throughout the event.

Hill students logged more hours of volunteer work for their local community than any other school, as well as collecting the most donations for their designated local charity, Hopes Home. This generosity earned the Hill School JDC West team the awards for Most Volunteer Hours and Most Monetary Donations competition.

On the same weekend the Hill School also competed in the final round of the Queen’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) in Kingston, Ontario. Thirty-one business schools from around the world entered 145 teams to compete in eight categories. In late fall the Hill School was notified that it ranked as one of the top six competing schools and advanced three teams to the finals, along with teams from thirteen other schools around the world. This is the third time in four years that the Hill school has placed in the top six in the preliminary round. Two of the Hill teams that advanced to the final round placed:

1st place: Marketing – Brett Kitchen, Tiffany Lougheed
3rd place: Debate – Kevin Chow, Robert Vancise

These competition successes are extraordinary. Students are presented with business case situations where they must prepare solutions under pressure of time and present to a jury of academic and professional experts in specialized areas. The competition is intense, and the adjudication is ruthless. Hill students' success draws on an academic program rich in experiential learning, and on staff and faculty dedicated to their success.

Congratulations to the Hill students, faculty and staff on these superb results.


Senate report on registrations

The In-progress Report (pdf 159KB) to be presented to Senate in February on registrations includes a number of statistics that will give readers a good view of patterns of registration across campus. Readers' attention is particularly drawn to page 3, where 5-year trends are reported by Faculty and federated college. Over the five year period, the campus growth we have experienced is centered in Nursing (up 235%), Engineering (up 61%), Kinesiology (up 38%), and Science (up 34%). Other notable growth can be seen in registrations of self-declared Aboriginal students (up 37% over 4 years) and, of course, international student registrations.


Talking about student advising ...

Last week Deans' Council had a preliminary discussion about student advising in the context of the new strategic plan's focus on student success. On page 10 of the plan, we find the following goals: increased retention and success rates of first-year students; increased completion rates of Aboriginal students and of international students; increased proportion of graduate students completing programs in a timely manner; improvement of supports for new students transitioning into university."

In one way or another, effective, timely student advising underlies each of these goals. The Deans have decided to invite all student advisors to meet with them on Wednesday 25 February at 9:45 am to discuss how we can make our student advising as effective and as timely as it can be. Members of the URSU executive will also be invited to this meeting. More details will follow.


Purdue president talks about a shift in thinking

Earlier this month Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University in Indiana, sent a lengthy open letter to his campus. In it, he touches on many things -- challenges such as declining enrolments, financial problems, and cuts in government support, as well as successes in areas such as research and campus safety. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the open letter, however, is the section entitled "What Kind of University?" Here is an excerpt:

"There is no question that Purdue’s leaders and trustees chose thoughtfully a few years ago when they directed that our admissions policy should become more restrictive, aiming at higher-quality freshmen.  Progress and graduation rates were unacceptably low, and limiting enrollment to better prepared entrants definitely was the major contributor to the improvements of recent years.

"But, at a time when our state and nation need more well-educated — the latter adjective is essential — college graduates, one must ask whether a school like ours must accede to the tradeoff that higher selectivity implies.  We believe we have learned a lot, and are now in some ways leaders in the assortment of interventions that contribute to student success.  We have exchanged, or we hope we have, any cultural notion that our role is to “weed out” weaker students for an ethic that embraces the responsibility to help every possible student we admit to succeed and graduate.

"We can do better...

"With the profile of entering students so much higher than just a few years back, and the arts of student success allegedly so much better developed, it seems more consistent with our duty as a land-grant institution to seek a larger student body while remaining totally committed to our exceptional standards of rigor and to ever-higher graduation rates."

Given the emphasis in peyak aski kikawinaw on student success and student retention, this is a discussion we need to have on our campus. With Nursing and Engineering now effectively full, and the number of high-school leavers in the Regina area contracting for the next few years, we need to think in new and creative ways about how we assist and support students -- whatever their background or program of study -- who are struggling. A discussion on student advising (see above) is one part of that conversation.


Alex Usher on the basics of University budgeting

Readers who seek a very quick introduction to university budgeting might wish to read Alex Usher's "One Thought to Start Your Day" column for 19 January.

"Let's start," Usher writes, "by stating what should be -- but too often isn't -- the obvious: universities are paid to teach. They are paid specific amounts to do specific pieces of research through granting councils and other kinds of research funding arrangements, but the core operating budget ... relates nearly entirely to teaching."  Usher's column is available at http://higheredstrategy.com/blog/ , and will be continued tomorrow. As we enter into budget preparations for 2015-16, it is a useful primer on the basics of university budgeting.


Approval template for academic program agreements

In case you missed reading it in the December Bulletin, please see the our newly developed Program Agreements' Checklist (pdf 82KB) and the University of Regina Program Agreement Template (Word Document 64KB).


Deans' Council 2015-16 meeting dates

In an attempt to avoid overloading calendars, the 2015-16 Deans' Council meeting dates have been scheduled so that they do not fall on the same dates as ULT and Executive of Council.  If you have any concerns with the dates below please contact Stacey Pronych by end of day Wednesday 21 January

Deans' Council Meeting Schedule September 2015 - June 2016

2 & 30 September 2015 10 February 2016
21 October 2015 2 & 30 March 2016
4 November 2015 27 April 2016
2 & 16 December 2015 11 May 2016
20 January 2016 8 & 29 Jun 2016

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Update on senior searches and reviews

Upon completion of the recent review in the Faculty of Social Work, Dr Judy White, whose term as Acting Dean concludes on 30 June 2015, has accepted a full-term appointment as Dean of the Faculty for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2020. And following consultations in the Faculty of Arts, Dr Thomas Bredohl has been appointed Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, during which Dr Kleer is on leave prior to serving a second term as Dean of Arts. More information can be found at http://www.uregina.ca/president/searches-reviews/appointments-renewals.html.

The review in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies is nearing completion, and national searches are underway in the Faculty of Education and the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, as well as for the position of Vice-President (Research). More information, including descriptions of these positions, can be found at http://www.uregina.ca/president/searches-reviews/searches.html.


Program agreements - new checklist

Recent reviews of several program agreements with other institutions have led to the development of a new checklist (PDF Document 82KB) for such agreements prior to finalization and institutional signatures. Essentially, the checklist ensures that all necessary elements have been considered so that the interests of students and the institution are protected. The checklist includes:

--  using the University of Regina template (Word Document 64KB), initial draft of program agreement is prepared by the Faculty entering into the partnership with another institution
--  review of draft by Financial Services to confirm that financial arrangements are satisfactory, and appropriate insurance coverage and indemnification are in place
--  review of draft by Human Resources to ensure compliance with relevant Collective Agreements and employment law
--  final review of draft, as necessary, by legal counsel
--  final agreement sent to Provost's Office for signature on behalf of the University


Credit hours by Faculty/federated college, 2000-1 to the present

Keith Fortowsky of the Office of Resource Planning has taken time to put those data together into the two attached documents. One is raw numbers (pdf 140KB); the other is the graphic representation (pdf 164KB).

A few things that stand out:

-- the effect of the new Faculty of Nursing as the major generator, together with Engineering and Applied Science, and Science, of new enrolments at the University in the last four years.
-- a 46% increase in spring/summer registrations since 09/10, suggesting a sustained change in student demand. We see an even steeper increase in demand for online courses, which are not separated out in these data.
-- The Faculty of Science has returned to the credit hour levels it last saw a decade and a half ago in 2000-01.


Exams, invigilation, and cheating

Dean Hussein recently provided his Faculty with a reminder of protocols for handling cheating during final exams, a topic that will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of Deans' Council.

With his permission, parts of Dean Hussein's reminder are reproduced below:

As you invigilate final exams, you may find the information below useful. Please share it with the TAs helping you with the invigilation process.

Examinations (from http://www.uregina.ca/gencal/ugcal/attendanceEvaluation/ugcal_59.shtml):


Examiners are authorized to require candidates to show photo identification for admission to examinations.


Violations of any of the following examination regulations are punishable by expulsion from the examination room and such additional penalties as the dean of the faculty offering the course may consider appropriate (see §5.13.5).

1.  Food or beverages are not allowed in the examination room.
2.  Candidates shall not bring into the examination room any books, papers, electronic devices or other materials except on the written permission of the examiner in the subject concerned or as indicated on the examination paper.
3.  No candidate shall be permitted to enter the examination room later than thirty minutes after the beginning of the examination or allowed to leave within thirty minutes after the examination has commenced.
4.  Candidates shall hold no communication of any kind with other candidates within the examination room.
5.  Unless permission has been granted by the supervisor, candidates may leave their seats only to turn in their answer books.

Cheating (from http://www.uregina.ca/gencal/ugcal/attendanceEvaluation/ugcal_77.shtml):

Cheating constitutes academic misconduct. Cheating is dishonest behaviour (or the attempt to behave dishonestly), usually in tests or examinations. It includes:

      • unless explicitly authorized by the course instructor or examiner, using books, notes, diagrams, electronic devices, or any other aids during an examination, either in the examination room itself or when permitted to leave temporarily;
      • copying from the work of other students;
      • communicating with others during an examination to give or receive information, either in the examination room or outside it;
      • consulting others on a take-home examination (unless authorized by the course instructor);
      • commissioning or allowing another person to write an examination on one’s behalf;
      • not following the rules of an examination;
      • using for personal advantage, or communicating to other students, advance knowledge of the content of an examination (for example, if permitted to write an examination early);
      • altering answers on an assignment or examination that has been returned;
      • taking an examination out of the examination room if this has been forbidden.


Standing Committee on Public Accounts this afternoon

As part of the review of the 2012 and 2013 Provincial Auditor's reports, this afternoon the University will appear at the Provincial Legislature's Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Each year, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts reviews specific chapters contained in the most recent Provincial Auditor's reports. Last year, to ensure the effectiveness of our research procedures and protocols, and to get independent advice on them, the University requested that the Auditor review those procedures and protocols. Their audit produced 26 recommendations that have either already been implemented or are now being addressed.

The Committee will also review the 2012 report that produced a clean audit of the University's overall financial statements, as well as our pension plans and Master Trust.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Launch of provincial international education strategy

Thanks to UR International Director Livia Castellanos and her team, together with Kim McKechney and his team from External Relations, for hosting a well-attended launch of Saskatchewan’s new international education strategy yesterday in the Global Learning Centre.


Launch of the new collaborative master’s degree in Nursing

The Faculty of Nursing, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research will host the launch of the Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program (CNPP) on Wednesday 26 November from 10 to 11 am in the RIC Atrium.

The first intake of nursing students will be welcomed into this new and innovative online graduate program.  Dr david Gregory (Dean of Nursing, University of Regina) and Dr Netha Dyck (Dean of Nursing, Sask Polytechnic) will jointly serve as masters of ceremonies. 

Special guests include CNPP students and the Honorable Kevin Doherty, Minister of Advanced Education.

There will be a short program at 10 am, followed by a brief reception.  This event is open to all staff, the media and the public.


Coming up this week and next …

Tuesday 25th at 4:30 pm – Alumnus Kyle Jeworski, CEO of Viterra, speaks in ED 193
Wednesday 26th at 10 am – Collaborative Nurse Practitioners (Master’s in Nursing) program launch
Wednesday 26th at 2:30 pm – Executive of Council
Wednesday 26th at 5 pm – Celebrate event
Thursday 27th at 3 pm – Reception for Glenda Good and Bev Liski
Tuesday 2nd at 4 pm – Reception for University Photographer Don Hall

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Breakfast with regional college presidents and CEOs

Thanks to all members of Deans’ Council who attended yesterday morning’s breakfast with regional college presidents and CEOs. Your presence demonstrated that the University of Regina values our longstanding partnership with the regional colleges, and may open doors to further collaborations in several areas such as mid-career master’s options in partnership with the regionals, new cohort structures, and various laddering options for students including 2-plus-2s (not just with the regionals, but also with SaskPolytech).


Early mornings in the Library

Several years ago we agreed to experiment with early opening of the Archer Library, to echo the launch of UR Early class offerings. We were curious about how students and other Library patrons would respond to earlier opening. Susan Wilkinson of the Library notes, via Bill Sgrazzutti, that during the month of October 573 students came into the Archer Library before 8:00 am, and characterizes early opening as “a very worthwhile change.” Bill and his team continue to evaluate usage at various points in the day, and to explore possibilities for providing the best possible service to Library clients at a time when patterns of demand are shifting.


New master’s in health administration (MHA) degree goes from strength to strength in JSGSPP

Since its September 2013 launch, the online master’s in health administration (MHA) degree offered by the Regina campus of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has greatly exceeded initial projections of demand. Within its first year, the program has attracted 72 students representing every province and territory in Canada. By June 2015, the School expects to register over 100 students in the MHA. Congratulations to Director Kathy McNutt, Professor Amy Zarzecny, and the team at JSGS for this notable success.


Coming up this week and next …

Wednesday 19th at 8:30 am – Deans’ Council meeting
Wednesday 19th at 2 pm – ULT meeting
Wednesday 26th at 10 am – Collaborative Nurse Practitioners’ (Master’s in Nursing) program launch
Wednesday 26th at 2:30 pm – Executive of Council
Wednesday 26th at 5 pm – Celebrate event

Monday 10 November 2014

2015-16 operating budget preparations soon to begin

Deans and directors have been asked to comment on a draft of the call for 2015-16 budget submissions prior to the next meeting of ULT on 19 November. The Council Committee on Budget is also being invited to review the draft. Taking all comments into consideration, we’ll prepare a final version of the call for submissions, and get it out to Deans and directors by the end of the month. Budget submissions are likely to be due in early February. 

Until the provincial budget is brought down in the Legislature next spring, we will not know what our 2015-16 operating grant is. We are unlikely to see more than the 2% increase of each of the last three fiscal years. Depending on a number of factors including commodity prices for oil, gas, and potash, it may be less than that. We are also challenged to:

  • Limit increases in the tuition and fees charged to students
  • Grow enrolments now that Nursing and Engineering are effectively full
  • Increase base funding to units in which enrolments have grown significantly in recent years
  • Increase support for research activities, and for graduate student financial assistance
  • Address difficulties units are facing in providing for consumable and equipment expenses
  • Respond to emerging needs such as improved mental health services for students.

In short, we expect another challenging round of budget preparations similar to those facing most Canadian universities. For a snapshot of what another institution is facing, see Karen Seidman’s recent Montreal Gazette report about McGill (with brief mentions of Concordia and UQAM) at http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/mcgill-struggles-to-cope-with-more-budget-cuts.

During our 2015-16 budget preparations input will be sought not only from Deans and directors, but also from the Council Committee on Budget and indeed the campus community generally. We anticipate holding several budget town halls during preparations, and another once the Board of Governors approves the final 2015-16 operating budget.


The university rankings season – one view

Today’s edition of the National Post carries an op-ed essay on university rankings and their flaws by Paul Axelrod, former Dean of Education at York. An excerpt: “I am not arguing that universities should escape close assessment by external observers – it is legitimate for students and families to know which institutions provide the most scholarships and bursaries, how large classes are, or how many women are in the professorial ranks. But to assign an arbitrary value to these variables, total a university’s score, and then declare its comparative ranking is a defective exercise.”

Axelrod’s essay is available at http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/11/10/paul-axelrod-ignore-university-rankings/#__federated=1


Faculty peer reviewers sought for open textbook review

BCcampus has extended its textbook review program to faculty members in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A $250 honorarium is available to faculty members who review open textbooks. Those who are interested in this initiative are invited to consult the BCcampus website at http://open.bccampus.ca/call-for-proposals/call-for-reviewers-2/


Friday 14 November at 1 pm: Centre for Teaching and Learning workshop on copyright

As it affects universities, teaching, and scholarship, the issue of copyright has grown more complicated in recent years. The University’s copyright officer, Christina Winter of the University Library, will present and facilitate a discussion on current and emerging issues in copyright and higher education. To RSVP, click here.


Monday 17 November: Breakfast with regional college leaders

Deans' Council members are reminded of the breakfast with regional college presidents and CEOs scheduled for 7:15 a.m. on Monday 17 November. It will take place in AH 527.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

“Smart classroom” upgrades planned

The following is a list of classrooms planned for conversion to “smart classroom” status in coming months. The list was developed in consultation with the Registrar’s Office and IS, and involves rooms in high demand or for which frequent smart-cart requests are made by instructors. The rooms are listed in descending order of seating capacity, as shown in parentheses:

CL 431 (50)
ED 230 (48)
CL 407 (42)
AH 348 (32)
LB 235 (30)
RC 286 (47)
ED 312 (42)
ED 311 (36)
ED 209 (36)
ED 612 (20, requested frequently)


What classes are running, and where?

The recent simulation exercise with several Faculties including Business, Education, and Engineering, highlighted the need for Deans’ Offices to have accurate, up-to-date information on the location of all classes and labs running in a given term. That way, should we experience a major incident – flooding or fire, for example – which would necessitate the closure of most or all of a building on very short notice, Deans’ Offices can work effectively with central offices to plan the relocation of classes to other sites on- and off-campus.

If you have any questions about this matter, please don’t hesitate to call.


What are the rules about students recording lectures and classroom discussions?

The following policy was approved at the May 2014 Executive of Council meeting, and will be included in the next printed version of the Undergraduate Calendar, section 5:

  • Students may audio-record or video-record classes only if they have received authorization from the instructor. Such authorization may come about as a result of a request made to the Centre for Student Accessibility. In the case of classes that involve participation by students, consent of the other students in the class is also required.
  • If students receive authorization, the following conditions apply: 
    1. The materials remain the intellectual property of the instructor. 
    2. The materials may only be used for the purposes of private study, and may not be used by any other persons other than the student receiving the authorization. 
    3. Unless there is a different agreement between the student and the instructor, the materials must be destroyed immediately after the end of the semester in which the class has taken place.
  • Any violation of this policy will be considered an act of misconduct and will be dealt with through that process.


BCcampus appoints three Faculty Fellows, advances open textbook initiative

Textbooks are increasingly expensive, and add substantially to the challenges students face in completing their postsecondary education. While costs vary by class and subject, some (see http://www.studentpirgs.org/campaigns/sp/make-textbooks-affordable ) estimate the cost of textbooks now exceeds $1000 a year.

Free, peer-reviewed “open” textbooks can provide one alternative to expensive conventionally-produced textbooks.

As BC advances its open textbook initiative, BCcampus has appointed three Faculty Fellows to highlight the opportunities provided by open text resources. One is a senior instructor in philosophy at UBC, another an instructor in psychology at Kwantlen, and a third a professor of chemistry at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. The BCcampus story is available online at http://bccampus.ca/2014/10/09/improving-adoption-of-open-textbooks-through-faculty-advocates/.

To see an example of a freely available open textbook (Principles of Social Psychology by Jhangini, Tarry, and Stangor), go to http://open.bccampus.ca/find-open-textbooks/?uuid=66c0cf64-c485-442c-8183-de75151f13f5&contributor=&keyword=&subject=. There you will find it in HTML, PDF, and other digital formats.

Deans and department heads are encouraged to draw open textbooks to the attention of faculty members as an option as they consider textbook selections for upcoming terms.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Introducing two new faces -- and a reminder of Brenda's farewell

Later this month it will be a pleasure to welcome two new staff members to the Executive Offices. They are Stacey Pronych, who will start on Wednesday 22 October, and Bryanna Butz, who will start on Monday 27 October.

Stacey will replace Brenda Olson as executive assistant to Tom, while Bryanna will replace Melissa Normandin as executive assistant to Dena.

Stacey comes to us from her current position as senior administrative assistant in the Provincial Comptroller's Office, Ministry of Finance. Between September 2001 and the present she has held a variety of roles in the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Advanced Education, and the Ministry of Education. She is an alumna of our University, with a bachelor's degree in adult education (2014) and certificates in human resource development as well as adult education. She has further training in project management. Stacey will be located in AH 521.

Bryanna comes to us from her current position as executive co-ordinator in the Deputy Minister's Office (Corrections and Policing), Ministry of Justice. Between 2005 and the present she has held a variety of roles in that Ministry, and in the Ministry of Social Services. She holds a certificate from SIAST and has served as United Way representative for Regina employees in the Ministry of Justice. Bryanna will be located in AH 524.1.

Members of Deans' Council and their offices are welcome to stop by and greet Stacey and Bryanna once they have joined us. Both Stacey and Bryanna will be present at the farewell gathering for Brenda Olson, which will take place from 4:00 to 5:30 pm on Thursday the 30th of October. If you would like to contribute to a farewell gift for Brenda, please see Cheryl Sweet or Rozanne Tennent.


Qualtrics software available for University of Regina faculty, staff, and students

Members of Deans' Council and their offices are reminded that the University has institutionally licensed Qualtrics software for surveys, polls, and feedback.

Qualtrics may be accessed via web browser at uregina.qualtrics.com from any computer, either on campus or off, using your assigned uregina.ca username and password. When signed on for the first time you will be asked if you are a new or existing Qualtrics user. If you are a first time user, select the appropriate option and an account will be automatically created in the URegina portal. If you are a previous Qualtrics user and select that option on your fist login the system will ask for your existing account information and will then migrate your account into the URegina portal.

Webinars and FAQs are available here.


Zero tuition? The German experience

The New Statesman contains a fascinating brief historical survey by Barbara Kehm of the German approach to tuition and public funding of the country's 379 institutions of higher education. It is available here, and is worth reading. An excerpt:

"Of course, most higher education institutions continue to feel underfunded. The pressure on academic staff to attract external research funding has increased, as has competition for such grants. Still, compared to other countries in Europe, German higher education institutions continue to be rather generously funded by their states – an estimated 80 per cent of their overall budgetary needs. There are also ample opportunities and considerable amounts of external research funding available."


Events this week include:

Tuesday morning -- University of Regina presentation to Treasury Board for the 2015-16 operating budget grant
Tuesday afternoon -- Council Committee on Academic Mission
Wednesday afternoon -- Monthly meeting with Ministry of Advanced Education officials
Thursday afternoon -- Space Allocation Committee
Friday morning, afternoon, and evening -- Senate meeting, Senate lunch, Convocation, and Convocation dinner

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Update on decanal searches and reviews

Search advisory committees are now in place for searches in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Executive Director, based at the University of Regina), and the Faculty of Education (Dean). In the Faculties of Social Work and Kinesiology & Health Studies, colleagues have indicated a strong preference for thorough reviews of the respective Acting Deans. Details on the review processes are available here and on the searches here.


Open educational resources -- recent developments in BC

The Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) is using "open" textbooks from the BCCampus Open Textbooks Project in first-year English, psychology, and statistics courses. "Open" textbooks are freely accessible digital resources, written and peer-reviewed by university and college faculty, and available at no cost to students. Details of the JIBC initiative can be found here. At least one University of Regina faculty member has adopted an open textbook for a course she is teaching, and several other faculty members have expressed interest in the initiative.


Senate and Fall Convocation on Friday 17 October

The fall meeting of Senate and the Fall Convocation ceremony take place on Friday 17 October. This will be our largest Fall ceremony to date, with 654 people graduating (the previous record was 602 in 2012). It will also mark a milestone -- with our first graduates of the Nursing program receiving their degrees.

The honorary degree recipient is Malcolm Lowe, concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and an alumnus of our Conservatory of Music. The Minister of Advanced Education will attend the convocation ceremony.

Deans and directors are welcome to attend the Senate lunch in the University Club on Friday at noon.


URSU invites you to a 10 October fundraiser for breast cancer research

Daniella Zemlack, VP External of URSU, writes:"In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the University of Regina Students' Union, in collaboration with the University of Regina Rams football team, are holding a fundraiser on October 10th, at 8pm in the Owl Bar. Ram-a-Rama is not only a celebration of our football team, but an opportunity to fundraise and raise awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

"Since the beginning of my term started in May, I have wanted to create a sense of campus engagement and I truly believe that starts with celebrating our University athletics programs. With that being said, I reached out to the Landon Buch, one of the senior players on the football team, to plan an event to celebrate the accomplishments and progress of our football program. The idea flourished into an opportunity for community outreach. The Rams have worn pink in October in prior years and Ram-a-Rama is now an extension of this. While this is not only a great opportunity for the Rams to give back to their community, it is a chance for our students, our staff and higher administration to give back as well, while engaging and celebrating with our football team.

"Ram-a-Rama will take place on October 10th in the Owl Bar, beginning with a date auction at 8pm. 4 players will be auctioned off with date packages that are sponsored by local businesses and we are hoping to raise as much money as we can. Along with the date auction, we will have snack and drink specials through out the evening, with all of the proceeds donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. We anticipate the event will go until about 9:30, with a cabaret to follow.
"On behalf of URSU, I extend this invitation to you, your friends and your family. We are hoping to have a full house and raise as much money as we can. I believe that by having members of the University administration and executive attend our events, we are one step closer to our ultimate goal: campus pride and spirit.

"Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I hope to see all of you there. Feel free to pass this along to your friends and colleagues and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am excited for the success of this event and I hope to continue to spark a strong sense of community on our campus."

Tuesday 23 September 2014     

President's Fall 2014 Northern Tour

Together with President Timmons, DC members Harvey King, Jennifer Tupper, and Shauneen Pete are visiting the communities of La Ronge, Buffalo Narrows, Pinehouse, and Stanley Mission to promote the University of Regina and its programs. The group returns to Regina at mid-day on Wednesday.


Information needed from DC members/Faculty Administrators

The Audit & Risk Management Committee of the Board of Governors has recently directed the development of a decision item on the University’s approach to communications and reputation management.             

Part of what is required to develop that item is information on the University’s various resources for marketing and communications across all Faculties and administrative units.   This is needed to determine how we can better share information about our various marketing needs, identify possible synergies, and potentially save money by centrally purchasing more of our marketing.
The initial information needed is as follows:
·      total marketing budget for 2014/15 for each unit;
·      total FTEs devoted to communications/marketing (admittedly zero for many);
·      a breakdown of advertisements placed by your faculty/unit during the 2013/14 fiscal year by medium used (see slide 1 in the attached power point for an example of how this has been broken down into media types like print, radio, tv, etc);    
·      a breakdown of advertisements placed by your faculty/unit during the 2013/14 fiscal year by category (i.e. student recruitment, promoting research, etc. See example in slide 2 HERE (pdf 85.78KB)).
Please provide this information to Kim McKechney (kim.mckechney@uregina.ca) no later than 24 October.
Given the challenge of categorizing advertisements in the latter two requests above, please feel free to simply send a raw spreadsheet of all advertisements booked by your Faculty during the requested time period, with as much information as possible about the nature of the advertisement.  Kim can then work through this information and follow up as needed.


Mexican study experience for APT and OOS managers -- a note to Deans' Council from Livia Castellanos, Director, URI 


Internationalization is not only about having students from various countries come to study with us here on our campus. Internationalization is also learning directly about the richness of our world's many cultures. In an increasingly globalized world, this is not only an advantage; it is quickly becoming a necessity.

Given that fact, I'd like to announce a special program celebrating our 20 years of partnership with Mexican institutions.  

In collaboration with Universidad Panamericana, UR International is pleased to offer an international leadership program for APT and OOS managers of the University of Regina and our three federated colleges.

Through a unique curriculum that combines practical skills with administrative, scientific and human foundations, Universidad Panamericana has been a pioneer in training managers of institutions and people involved in the range of skills and activities characteristic of our APT and OOS managers' group.

The program will be delivered in Mexico City during reading week (February 14-21, 2015). It will focus on intercultural communication strategies, global competencies, leadership at work, history of the Mexican people, Spanish language learning, and Mexican gastronomy.

We invite your APT and OOS managers to join us for an information session on Friday, September 26th, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in our Global Learning Centre, College West 115.

The cost of the program is $3,000.00 inclusive (e.g., accommodation, meals, flights, classes, materials, and cultural experiences).   To offset that cost, UR International will provide a $1,000.00 contribution to each participant (to a maximum of 15 participants, provided on a first-come, first-serve basis). Faculty/department/college heads can be approached for additional financial support, and APEA funds can be used to supplement the URI contribution.  

If you have questions or concerns regarding the participation the of your staff in this great program, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be delighted to assist you in any way I can.

Muchas Gracias!



Watching enrolments -- nervousness in Ontario

Last week the reliably provocative Alex Usher wrote a piece on Ontario demographics, noting that the enrolment boom of recent years appears to be over in that province.

He notes that, though places like Ryerson and Western managed to increase their enrolments, others are facing steep drops this fall -- Waterloo is down 8%, Nipissing and York by about 11%, and Laurier by 14%.

"At York alone," he writes, "you're talking about a $5 million hit in tuition (larger if you factor in what will happen to the operating grant)."  

Read the full blog post at http://higheredstrategy.com/welcome-to-the-crisis/.


Open educational resources at COHERE; free online conference on using technology to support students, faculty, and staff; UBC flexible learning strategy released 

The University of Regina Centre for Teaching and Learning is pleased to host the 2014 conference of the Collaboration for Online Higher Education and Research (COHERE). EARLY BIRD registration is available until 30 September. U of R faculty, staff, and students who are interested in online teaching and learning are strongly encouraged to register for this conference, which features U of R's own Dr Alec Couros as a keynote speaker.  

To register or for more information, see http://cohere.ca/.  We are also hosting, with the U of R Library, a webinar on Helping International Students Properly Cite Sources, Friday 26 September from 11:00-12:30. For more information or to RSVP, see http://www.uregina.ca/ctl/events/2014/09/International-Students-Properly-Cite.html  The call for proposals for the 2014 President's Teaching and Learning Scholars is now open! If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to attend one of our workshops on the application process. To see a schedule of workshops or to RSVP, please see http://www.uregina.ca/ctl/events/index.html. For more information on CTL programming and events, or to request specific workshops, please contact the CTL at ctl@uregina.ca or phone 306.337.2400  

In a separate but related event, Cable Green of the Creative Commons will give a keynote presentation on open educational resources as part of a free online conference to be held 23-24 October. Details, including a full conference agenda, are available at http://www.innovativeeducators.org/2014-Free-Tech-Conference-p/20132.htm .

Finally, UBC has released its flexible learning strategy. The document is available at http://flexible.learning.ubc.ca/showcase/provost-update-2014/.


McGovern and Lockhart present at EAIR in Essen, Germany

Kate McGovern (Senior Research Analyst, ORP) and Wally Lockhart (Faculty of Business Administration) presented a paper on teaching a diverse group of 1st-year Business students. The presentation took place in Essen at the 36th annual forum of the European Association for Institutional Research. Their paper is available at http://eairaww.websites.xs4all.nl/forum/essen/PDF/1473.pdf, and the slide deck is attached HERE (ppt 530.74KB).

Tuesday 16 September 2014

14,000 +

Yesterday morning Registrar Jim D'Arcy reported that the University of Regina had, for the first time in its history, exceeded 14,000 registrations. While precise numbers will continue to move around until the official census day in early October (see the web story at http://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/fs-09052014-3.html), this is a notable achievement. Thanks to all who have worked hard to recruit and register students in our Faculties and programs this fall!


Tuition in the media: caveat lector

Late last week several local media outlets ran reports on the latest StatsCan tuition figures. One web report was headlined "Sask. tuition rates see highest increases in country," and begins with this sentence: "It is getting more costly to get a higher education in the province, and students in Regina are feeling the pressure."See the DC Bulletins of 19 and 26 August (below) for information on how U of R tuition actually compares to that charged by other English-language Canadian universities.


Is a request for civility on campus an attempt to silence people? A report from the US

Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education last week, Peter Schmidt reports on vigorous debates regarding perceived tensions between academic freedom and free speech, on the one hand, and on the other a desire to ensure an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance, and safety for all groups on campus. These debates are taking place on numerous campuses including Penn State, Berkeley, Ohio, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and others. Schmidt's article is available at http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20140911114834685.


Fire drills: a word of thanks from HSE

Fall fire drills have been underway in many University buildings. On 10 September, an evening fire drill was conducted in the Education Building. Despite the absence of the Emergency Fire Wardens who are present during normal working hours, the entire building was evacuated in just 10 minutes. Darren Cherwaty and Wally Hurlbert of our Health, Safety, and Environment unit ask that their thanks be passed on to all faculty and administrators who were involved in this drill. They write: "We were most impressed with a number of faculty who took on leadership roles ... [they] ensured that students left classrooms and evacuated the buildings ... Please pass on a sincere thank you from HSE to Deans' Council for their efforts in ensuring their faculty members understand and actively embrace their role in evening and weekend fire evacuation."

Tuesday 2 September 2014

2014 ULT Retreat -- please complete online survey

Members of Deans' Council are asked to complete a quick online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NSNFML3. Doing so should take only a few moments. Your responses will guide planning for next year's retreat.

Thanks to all members of Deans' Council and ULT who assisted with arrangements for the 2014 ULT Retreat. Particular thanks go to Lori Todd, Brenda Olson, and Melissa Normandin, who did most of the behind-the-scenes work that ensured a smooth Retreat.


Southbound Broad Street construction and traffic delays

Deans' offices are asked to remind faculty and staff of possible traffic delays occasioned by construction on the southbound lanes of Broad Street near the Broad Street Bridge. The City of Regina tells us that these street repairs will continue until late September.

Drivers using this route to campus are likely to experience delays, especially at peak periods in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. Students, especially those new to the city, may find it difficult to get to campus on time for class because of traffic bottlenecks on Broad Street. John Smith's office has contacted all students via email to advise them of possible delays, and to suggest they plan on extra commuting time to campus if they use this route.


Global Showcase 2014

DC members are reminded of this year's Global Showcase presented by UR International. It's on Friday at noon in CKHS Main Gym 3. Details are available at http://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/fs-08272014.html.


The Faculty of Business Administration and study tours abroad: a clarification from Dean Gaudes

Dean Andrew Gaudes has issued the following letter regarding his Faculty's exploration of international opportunities.

"Thank you for the opportunity to clear the air regarding our Faculty's activities in Israel.

"There has been an abundance of misinformation cast about regarding the Faculty of Business Administration’s Levene Graduate School of Business’ international pursuits in Israel and it’s time to set the record straight.

"As a Faculty, we continuously explore educational opportunities for our students to study abroad. Discussions of this nature are constant and ongoing. Although there are presently no initiatives involving Israeli universities, our Faculty remains open to possible collaborations. We do not agree with any blanket exclusion of Israeli institutions. Our perspective remains consistent with the position of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the national body representing 97 universities and colleges in Canada, who in July 2013 signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of University Heads, Israel (AUH) aimed at increased collaboration on research and teaching.

"Commencing in late 2012, I had discussions with Hebrew University regarding their providing two courses toward satisfying our proposed MBA in public safety management. I saw this as an excellent opportunity for our graduate school to participate with a world leading university…a university that has associations with Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Oxford, McGill, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia, to name a few. Our program would benefit by providing options to our graduate students that would broaden their understanding and set the breadth of their education above others. As discussions progressed into course content we did not find a fit with our curriculum requirements for the MBA in public safety management. As is normal in explorations of this nature, communications dropped off in early 2014 and we moved on to other considerations.

"In addition to courses delivered at Hebrew University, we were exploring the possibility of adding a new study tour option alongside our others, which are a requirement of all our MBA students and for which they receive credit. The study tour would involve students being in Ramallah for one week and Jerusalem for a second week. We explored the possibility of our students receiving sessions from faculty of a Palestinian university (for example, Al Quds or Birzeit) and an Israeli university (for example, Hebrew University or Haifa), as well as perspective from organizations (private and public) that participate in both regions. Again, I saw this as an excellent opportunity for students in public safety management to receive the perspective from both sides of on issue that has sweeping ramifications to a myriad of stakeholders. Our students would benefit from the experience of having firsthand observation, rather than limited to a distillation from the political or media narrative. As our graduates move into senior roles in public safety, we would all benefit from their understanding of the impact their decisions may have at the ground level on both sides.

"We received positive feedback related to our exploration of this proposed study tour. Ms Hayat Abu-Saleh at the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated further dialogue and collaboration via programs such as what we proposed in the study tour would be good for students and the region. She offered to support a future study tour by providing an office-based humanitarian briefing to students by the OCHA. She stated the briefing would be very informative and excellent for those who do not have a solid background on the current humanitarian situation. Notwithstanding the clear merits of this study tour, the safety of our students must be our first priority. Given the current instability in the region, undertaking a study tour would not be realistic. For this reason, further exploration of this proposed study tour has been suspended until stability returns.

"I appreciate the multitude of perspectives on our campus and the dialogue that has taken place regarding our discussions with Hebrew University and the study tour. I recognize the right of students and faculty members to speak freely and critically about new and existing program offerings. However, I reject the suggestion that the end of discussions with Hebrew University and suspension of the study tour has anything to do with politics. I have repeatedly stated that development of the program has been, and continues to remain, an academic enquiry, looking for educational opportunities that fit with the developmental needs and safety of our students.

"I appreciate the opportunity to clear the air regarding our Faculty’s exploration of opportunities in Israel and Palestine for our students. I believe my response should provide an appropriate end to questions related to this matter." 


Move-In Day, Saturday 30 August

Thank you to members of Deans' Council who were present on Move-In Day and who engaged with students and their families as they arrived on campus.

Despite a brief downpour in the morning, the day went smoothly because of a great deal of careful preparation and hard work on the part of John Smith, Judy Amundson, Donna Braun, Livia Castellanos, Pat Patton, John Kincaid, Jim D'Arcy, Pauline Tessier, and their teams. Here's part of our thanks to them:

"The logistics of getting several hundred students and their belongings into two towers in the space of less than a day -- while ensuring their questions are answered and their parents' jitters are assuaged -- are pretty daunting. But you did it. All U of R staff and student ambassadors worked very well together to provide a smooth move-in experience, and a warm welcome to our campus for new students and their parents/guardians.

"It is a particular pleasure to see more and more Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario plates on the cars moving from the staging areas to the unloading areas. The effective work our fine recruiters are doing across Canada and abroad, together with the growing national reputation of our programs, are generating more out-of-province enrolments each year. This is great -- not just for those out-of-province students, for the local students who will make new friends from across the country and around the world, and indeed for the University and the City of Regina, which together benefit from their presence in our community.

"Members of UET look forward to assisting again with Move-In Day next year, when the opening of our two new residence towers will substantially increase the number of students we welcome into residence that day. It will be another milestone in the University's history, and one in which your teams will continue to play a great role."

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Tuition, part 2:
Why do we charge international students a higher rate of tuition and fees? How do we compare in this regard to other English-language Canadian universities?

In last week's DC Bulletin, we looked at domestic tuition and fees at the University of Regina, and showed that we charge both domestic undergraduate and domestic graduate students less -- sometimes considerably less -- than do the majority of English-language Canadian universities.

What about our international students? What do we charge them? Why is it more than we charge domestic students? The answer is complicated, and requires a partial review of undergraduate tuition and fees.

For international undergraduate students, tuition is 3 times the domestic undergraduate rate. For international graduate students, tuition is identical to that paid by domestic graduate students, but with an additional international graduate student surcharge of $1000 per semester. Why, then, this surcharge on international graduate students?

One reason for the international surcharge is to cover the costs of the greatly increased services, including UR International, that we have put in place to support international students during their studies at the University of Regina.

Another reason is more complex, and requires explanation. Because the funding formula that determines our annual operating grant from the Province of Saskatchewan does not directly fund enrolment growth, the cost of teaching and supporting international students must be funded solely from the tuition and fees they pay.

So at 3 times the domestic undergraduate tuition rate, international undergraduates pay roughly the full cost of their education. Domestic undergraduates pay only about 1/3 of the actual cost of their education, with taxpayers, via the annual operating grant from government, paying the other 2/3 of the cost.

Let's turn now to graduate students, and particularly to international graduate students. When we compare the University of Regina to most Canadian English-language universities, the total amount of tuition and fees we charge to international graduate students -- in other words, the actual "bottom line" -- is low.

Just how low? We are the 6th-lowest of 44 Canadian English-language universities in what we charge MA students, and the 10th-lowest of 38 in what we charge PhD students.

In order to compete with other Canadian universities and attract enough graduate students to reach the University's research and teaching objectives, we monitor tuition levels at those institutions, and adjust ours accordingly every year.

The attached table shows that the "bottom line" for international graduate students (13kbpdf), including tuition (93kbpdf) (which is the same as domestic graduate students' tuition plus the international differential fee) is 1.6 times the rate for a domestic student enrolled in two courses per term for three terms per year.

All University of Regina tuition fee schedules, domestic and international, are available at http://www.uregina.ca/fs/students/fee-schedule.html. Last week's Bulletin, available below, contains links to the domestic undergraduate and graduate tuition comparisons with other English-language Canadian universities. These have been prepared by our Office of Resource Planning.


Resumption of academic unit review cycle

CCAM has been working on a new information template for academic unit reviews. Once the template is approved by Council, it will be used beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, when the regular cycle of academic unit reviews will resume. More details to follow.


Southbound traffic delays on Broad Street will continue well into September -- plan extra commuting time

As the start of the fall semester approaches and students prepare to attend classes, traffic to and from our main and College Avenue campuses will increase dramatically.

The City of Regina has confirmed that street repairs now under way in the Broad Street Bridge area will continue until late September. For students, faculty, and staff coming to our main campus from the north via Broad Street and Wascana Parkway, please note that there will very likely be delays to southbound traffic during peak periods, especially in the morning, at noon, and at the end of the working day.

If you are driving south on Broad Street / Wascana Parkway toward our main campus, please allow additional commuting time until street repairs in the Broad Street Bridge area are complete.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

How does the tuition we charge our students stack up against that charged by other English-speaking universities in Canada?

Each year there is a great deal of confusion (on campus, in the media, and elsewhere) about how our tuition rates stack up against those charged by other English-language universities in Canada.

The confusion stems from a number of factors, particularly the way that some universities report only their tuition charges, and omit the mandatory fees that appear on the bottom line their students have to pay.

In the final analysis, the only figure on which inter-university comparisons are meaningful is the bottom line -- the actual "sticker price" that students actually have to pay, and that includes both tuition and all mandatory fees.

Attached here are two documents prepared by the Office of Resource Planning. Both show where the U of R ranks in what it charges domestic students. One shows graduate tuition and fees,(93.29 KBpdf) the other undergraduate (58.36 pdf).

For a domestic grad student doing an MA, we charge the 6th-lowest tuition and fees in English-language universities in Canada

For a domestic grad student doing a PhD, we charge the 10th-lowest tuition and fees in English-language universities in Canada.

For a domestic undergrad student doing a BA, we are the 18th-lowest (of 59 universities) in English-language universities in Canada.

Bottom line? -- our domestic tuition and fees for both undergrad and grad students compare very favourably with those charged by other Canadian universities.

In the next Bulletin, we'll look briefly at tuition and fees paid by international students.


University policy on moving allowances for new faculty and staff

The last DC Bulletin asked readers to review the policy on moving allowances for new faculty and staff. That policy has been updated with minor changes, and is available at the following link on the new policy site: http://www.uregina.ca/policy/browse-policy/policy-EMP-010-020.html.

Please note that the stipulated moving allowances (one month's salary for those in Canada, a month and a half for non-Canadian residents moving to Canada) may be increased only with prior approval.


ULT Retreat at Government House, 28-29 August

The agenda package for this retreat will be sent to ULT members later this morning.

The retreat begins at 8 am on Thursday 28 August, and concludes at 1:30 pm on Friday 29 August.

Move-In Day, Saturday 30 August 2014

Several members of Deans' Council have already volunteered to assist with Move-In Day on Saturday the 30th. It begins at 8:30 a.m., and concludes at 3 pm.

More help is always needed -- greeting students and parents, answering their questions, staffing tables, helping out with logistics, etc. If you are able to come, even for an hour or two, your assistance will be welcome.

Please contact Donna Braun in Residence Services ( donna.braun@uregina.ca ) if you are available to help out.


Fall meeting of University Council, Wednesday 10 September, 9:30 -- 11:00 am

Deans and members of Council are reminded of the Fall Council meeting on Wednesday 10 September at 9:30 a.m. The Council webpage is at http://www.uregina.ca/president/governance/council/index.html.


New residence featured in industry magazine

Our new residence project is featured in the current issue of Design Develop Construct Journal, available online at http://www.ddcjournal.com/issues/fall2014/. See page 46 for the article.