Current News In BC PSE


Weekly News Roundup


Week of November 23 – November 27, 2020

100 Years with UBCFA

The Faculty Association reached its 100th Anniversary in 2020 and in lieu of some of the celebratory events that had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, we’ve put together a brief presentation highlighting some of the major issues we’ve faced in the last century. Our archives are rich with information; hundreds of documents exist as a testament to the work of members over decades. Not surprisingly, the issues we’re dealing with now would not be unfamiliar to our predecessors – academic freedom, equity, salaries and fairness, among many others. 



UVicFA Ordinary General Meeting

The University of Victoria Faculty Association will be having a general meeting on November 27 from 2:30pm – 4:30pm.



2020 Annual General Meeting

The SFU Faculty Association is a member-driven professional association and collective bargaining agent for faculty, librarians and other academic staff at the three campuses of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver B.C. Updates on FA activities and collective bargaining expected at the AGM. 



UBCFA Contract Faculty Info & Events

Winter Term 2021 Schedule for Community of Practice. The UBCFA Contract Faculty Committee organizes a number of events throughout the academic year for sessionals and lecturers. As a result of the COVID crisis, we find ourselves adapting to new circumstances in our teaching lives. We hope that the offerings listed below will continue to allow us, the Contract Faculty community, to work towards practical teaching solutions and best practices. 



Without investment, universities and colleges heading for a crisis

Universities and colleges employ hundreds of thousands of people, educate and train over two million students annually and drive research that improves the lives of all Canadians. In cities and communities across the country, they are regional economic drivers and social and cultural centres. Our world-class post-secondary education system is critical to our prosperity, underpins our democracy and finds solutions to key challenges, be it COVID or climate change.

National | The Star


COVID-19: updates for Canada’s universities

University Affairs publishes regular updates on the situation facing Canada’s universities with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National | University Affairs


Assessment and Accountability In The Network Era

Just a brief thought today on how the increasing interconnectedness of research efforts is making evaluation of institutional outputs harder.

National | HESA


Enrolment up at Canadian universities, mostly because of part-timers

Despite fears that students would balk at courses held primarily online, enrolment at Canadian universities rose slightly in the fall term driven mainly by an increase in part-time students.

National | The Globe and Mail


Okanagan College launches Applied Bachelor of Arts degree

Okanagan College has received provincial approval for its first new degree program in more than 15 years – and its focus couldn’t be timelier. The Applied Bachelor of Arts: Community Research and Evaluation is a four-year baccalaureate degree based out of the College’s Kelowna campus with some courses offered in Salmon Arm, Vernon and Penticton.

BC | Okanagan College


UBC investigating allegations of widespread cheating in first-year math exam

More than 100 cases of possible cheating are under investigation at the University of British Columbia, all linked to one Math 100 midterm exam. The allegations came to light over the weekend after someone shared a screenshot of a message from a UBC instructor on Reddit.



Researchers investigate how racialized groups are faring during the pandemic

For Canada to succeed in curbing COVID-19, all communities need to succeed, says Brock University president and co-investigator Gervan Fearon.

National | University Affairs


Spiked. BC Profs Protest after Publisher Drops Book on Canadian Mining

Two British Columbia university professors are accusing a major academic publisher of blocking scrutiny of Canadian mining companies by cancelling publication of their book.

BC | The Tyee


OCUFA 2020 Study: COVID-19 and the Impact on University Life and Education

A large majority of Ontario university students and faculty agree that the adjustments to course delivery and campus life compelled by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have had an overall negative impact on the both quality of education and students’ general educational experience. Specifically, 62% of students and 76% of faculty members feel that online learning has negatively impacted the quality of university education in Ontario.



Okanagan College, Thompson Rivers University tightening COVID-19 policies

Thompson Okanagan colleges and universities are tightening their COVID-19 policies following the provincial health officer’s latest order.

Thompson Rivers University is requiring students, employees and visitors to wear masks indoors per Dr. Bonnie Henry’s mandate that masks must be worn in all indoor public and retail spaces.

BC | News


OPINION: What’s the value of an education during the pandemic?

The pandemic has forced universities and their students into a new normal. In September, according to CourseCompare, 53 per cent of Canadian postsecondary schools planned to deliver programs mainly online, with 40 per cent prepared to operate in a hybrid model in the fall semester. Gone are the defining experiences of making friends on campus or learning to live away from home. And while there’s no doubt that professors are trying their best – they too did not sign up for this, and for the most part students recognize the difficulties of teaching online – the education we’re receiving this school year just isn’t what we expected when we enrolled. 

National | The Globe and Mail


Free UNBC anthropology lecture to focus on oil sands and healing

UNBC’s Anthropology in Our Backyard Speaker Series is back and now online so everyone with internet access can tune into the free lecture. The first focus of the free series is oil sands reclamation.

BC | Prince George Matters


Indigenous leaders fight for bigger role in new N.W.T. university

Indigenous leaders in the N.W.T. are asking for a bigger role in Aurora College’s transition into a polytechnic university. Hotıì ts’eeda, a research unit for the Tłı̨chǫ government, released a discussion paper earlier this month arguing for a new governance structure at the university.

NWT | CBC North


Faculty Smackdown Debate

SFU students nominate faculty members to participate in a fun, light-hearted debate to raise money for the charity. The professors must be known for their sense of humour, ability to talk about anything, and for their spirit of volunteerism or the act of giving. With the help of a moderator, twelve professors debate topics of a nonsensical nature to vie for the Gnome-It-All Award. Please join the fun online at the 9th annual Faculty Smackdown Debate on Thursday, November 26, 2020, on Zoom from 11:30am to 12:30pm.