Current News In BC PSE


Weekly News Roundup


Join CUFA BC each week for a roundup of news in BC’s post-secondary sector

Disclaimer: This circulation is an aggregation of current news. The information provided is from original news sources and doesn’t reflect the views of CUFA BC or its member associations.
Week of September 20 – September 23, 2022

UBC Faculty Association announces general meetings

The UBC Faculty Association announced a continuation of the Annual General Meeting from June 16th to conclude the agenda. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 29th, from 1 to 3pm and is restricted to bargaining unit members.



UVic Faculty Association hosts new member social

The University of Victoria Faculty Association will host a new member social on October 28 at 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm at the University Club.

BC |  UVicFA


Province allocates funding for post-secondary infrastructure and innovation projects

The province is giving out $30 million through the BC Knowledge Development Fund to eight universities, including Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, the University of Northern British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara College, Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria. Funding will be divided across 120 projects, including genomic and metabolic solutions for B.C. agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and studies on healthy brain development in pre-term infants at UBC.

BC |  BC Gov News | SFU | UBC | UNBC | UVictoria


Public School Employers’ Association reaches provincial tentative framework agreement with CUPE K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions

A provincial tentative framework agreement under the Shared Recovery Mandate has been reached between the BC Public School Employers’ Association and the K-12 Presidents’ Council representing support staff throughout the province’s 60 school districts. The tentative agreement covers approximately 40,000 unionized support staff working in a variety of positions, including education assistants, custodians, trades and maintenance workers, and Indigenous support workers, and those working in clerical, accounting and information technology positions. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is the largest union representing support staff in the K-12 sector and on the Presidents’ Council.

BC | BC Gov News | CUPE


Dr. Rumee Ahmed appointed Vice-Provost, International pro tem at UBC-Okanagan

Dr. Rehan Sadiq, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, pro tem at UBC Okanagan announced that Dr. Rumee Ahmed has been appointed Vice-Provost, International pro tem in the Offices of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, effective September 15, 2022. The Vice-Provost, International provides leadership for the achievement of UBC’s goals and objectives related to international engagement, global partnerships and initiatives and advancing UBC’s strategic international priorities.



Multiple Indigenous-focused initiatives receive UBC funding to help advance rights of Indigenous peoples

A diverse range of Indigenous-focused projects will receive a significant funding boost this month to help transform innovative and impactful ideas into reality. Through the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives Fund (ISI Fund), UBC has committed a total of $4 million this academic year to helping advance the rights of Indigenous peoples as well as the crucial journey towards meaningful reconciliation. The ISI Fund is a cross-campus initiative at the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses that directly supports the implementation of the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP). The announcement of successfully funded initiatives coincides with the two-year anniversary of UBC’s ISP launch.



VIU welcomes new Director of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights

After an extensive recruitment process that focused on equity and inclusion, Vancouver Island University (VIU) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Monique McKay as the Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights. McKay will be responsible for providing the direction and oversight required to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights as essential elements of VIU’s mission. Through her engagement with university leaders, employees and students, she will lead the promotion and implementation of policies, programs and initiatives that aim to effect systemic change and enhance a university community that is equitable, diverse and inclusive.



Why women’s studies programs in Canada are more important than ever

Although Canada has committed to gender equality, there is still an ongoing struggle for women to realize their fullest human potential. This struggle includes barriers to education, access to financial resources and living free from gender-based and sexual violence, systemic racism and all forms of discrimination affecting women’s lives. We need to ensure there is not a reversal in these victories by supporting women’s studies programs in Canada. Anchoring, protecting and ensuring these rights for future generations should be key considerations for all. Women’s studies programs must be given space to intensify the work of preparing learners to take action in communities and embolden leaders to reject the violent erasures created by the growing wave of misogyny.

National | The Conversation


Fun with university enrolment data

Higher Education Strategy Associate’s Alex Usher explores undergraduate enrolment trends in Canada. In sum: i) enrolments universities are shifting towards engineering and health programs (which are more expensive to deliver) even though provinces are providing no financial assistance to do so; ii) the big growth phase in both business and health seems to be over, iii) the narrative humanities (history and literature) have had a torrid time in past decade but appear to have halted their decline and iv) Philosophy somehow managed to avoid the declines hitting the rest of the humanities.

National | HESA


Governments must take action to prevent a repeat of Laurentian U crisis

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)—the national voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—says the vote in favour of a new plan of arrangement for Laurentian University is a step forward in what has been a long and dark chapter in the history of post-secondary education in Canada. “The hard lesson we can take away from the failures at Laurentian is that universities need to be more open, transparent and accountable to the academic community,” says CAUT’s Executive Director, David Robinson. “At the federal level, we need the government to amend the insolvency legislation to prevent a repeat in the future. And provincial governments need to ensure that institutions follow collegial and cooperative processes that already exist to deal with financial crises.” 

National | CAUT


Queen Elizabeth Scholars program receives $20 million in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Government of Canada announced it will donate $20 million to the Queen Elizabeth Scholars (QES) program as a legacy to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The QES program is led by the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) in collaboration with Universities Canada and with founding support from Community Foundations of Canada (CFC).

National | Universities Canada


Anxiety problems are up by nearly a third among postsecondary students since 2018

Anxiety, academic difficulties related to online learning, concentration problems and pandemic fatigue have been named in a national report as leading reasons why students have been seeking help for their mental health and wellness on campus. Titled Campus Mental Health Across Canada: The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19, the report, published by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS), is based on responses to an online survey received from student affairs and mental health professionals at 69 Canadian postsecondary campuses.

National | University Affairs


Universities are monitoring the monkeypox threat as the fall session gets underway

A new global health threat came to public attention this past May, when researchers and public health officials issued warnings about the spread of monkeypox. Unlike SARS-CoV-2, the monkeypox virus isn’t new. What had experts concerned were clusters of the disease in countries like Canada, where monkeypox outbreaks hadn’t been seen before. According to virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen, the monkeypox virus isn’t as contagious or lethal as many of the other types of animal-to-human infectious viruses. But its continuing spread is still a serious public health hazard, and a reminder of how quickly transmissible diseases can become global pandemics. To stop the spread of monkeypox in its tracks, Dr. Rasmussen says large institutions – including Canadian universities – have an important role to play.

National | University Affairs


Meet the CUFA BC
Executive Committee 2022-2024

  Dr. Sean Maurice

Past President: Dr. Daniel Laitsch

Dr. Dan Laitsch is Past President Extraordinaire of CUFA BC. Following a banner two years as the [Pandemic] President, he returns to his regularly scheduled program an associate professor with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, and a Director on the SFU Faculty Association Executive Committee. He is a researcher with the SFU Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy and his primary teaching area is Educational Leadership. He co-edits the open access peer reviewed International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership and is active in the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Research Use. Dr. Laitsch’s research examines the use and misuse of research in teaching, policy-making, and issue advocacy; the impact of neoliberal policies on educational systems; and school health approaches to systemic education reform. Dr. Laitsch is also an accomplished disc golf player, or as he likes to call it “just golf, there is no other kind sufficiently worthy to be called golf.” He plays professionally at national and international levels.