Current News In BC PSE


Weekly News Roundup



Message from the Editor: There will be no newsletter for the next two weeks to accommodate office work travel. It’s the annual cycle of conferences and meetings, and they’re all back in person. Take care, we will see you in June!

Week of May 9 – May 13, 2022

SFU Faculty Association: Bargaining committee update

SFU Faculty Association bargaining committee provided an update on collective bargaining preparations, discussing the effect of inflation on faculty salaries and by making comparisons with other sectors and provinces. Bargaining outreach and member engagement is ongoing. A bargaining survey will be circulated soon to the membership.



UBC Faculty Association: Bargaining with inflation

UBC Faculty Associations discusses the reality of inflation and its consequences on this bargaining round. When inflation outpaces general wage increases members suffer a loss in real income. We have already suffered a cut in real salary and it will only get worse unless we get meaningful inflation protection in this round of bargaining. It is important to understand that when inflation returns to fluctuating narrowly around the 2% target things will not return to “normal”. The higher prices that we now see, and will continue to see, during this higher than normal inflationary period, will not return to the levels they were before. They will be permanently higher and any loss in real income suffered during this inflationary period will be permanent. It is all the more important, then, to address the problem in this round.



SFU Faculty Association releases newest report on SFU labour group audits

SFU Faculty Association shares the most recent report in a series comparing the growth of labour groups at SFU. All employee and labour groups on campus except for faculty have seen growth in hiring. 



From the boardroom: UBC Board of Governors approve provincial letter calling for full return of on-campus activities

The Board of Governors approved the province’s mandate letter for post-secondary institutions for the 2022/23 fiscal year at its meeting this morning. On April 19, the Board received a letter from the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training — Anne Kang — outlining principles and expectations for the governing body to follow in the coming year. In his opening remarks to the Board, President Santa Ono said that many of the principles in the Minister’s letter overlapped with priorities in UBC’s Strategic Plan. He also noted that UBC is an autonomous institution.

BC | Ubyssey | Mandate Letter


Opinion: New report contains 54 recommendations aimed at addressing racism and promoting inclusive excellence at UBC

As part of UBC’s commitment to combatting racism, the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force was created, bringing together a group of 34 faculty members, students, and staff to examine systemic racism at UBC. This month, the task force released a 296-page report containing 54 recommendations aimed at addressing institutional and other forms of racism against Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC) and promoting inclusive excellence at UBC. The task force report paves the path forward for UBC, but it is an invitation for everyone to read and find what resonates for them. After all, tackling inequality is everyone’s responsibility.

BC | Vancouver Sun | Report


SFU’s welcome back convocation ceremony F

SFU’s Welcome Back Convocation in May 2022 will be hosted by Chancellor Tamara Vrooman and President Joy Johnson. Ceremony F is for the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Science. The student speaker is Aidan Anthony Wright.

BC | SFU YouTube


BCcampus annual review: A year of self-care and co-creation

The annual review for BCcampus is a way for us to track our progress year over year, letting us see what we’ve done to support the 25 post-secondary institutions of B.C. and documenting the wide range of projects we take on every day. The 2021–2022 annual review is now available online, with PDF versions of previous reviews available in the annual report archive. We’ve broken our activities into four categories to represent the various projects we were a part of over the past year: Inclusion — Creating, sharing, and promoting ways to improve access to learning; Learning — Activities we participated in to support educators seeking ways to improve their practice; Doing — Programs and activities we delivered or led through in-person or virtual sessions; and Leading — Actions and strategies we shared to bring our learnings to the various institutions throughout the province

BC | BCcampus | Annual Report


UBC Okanagan student residence receives Passive House certification

While climate change is seeing global temperatures trending up, UBC’s Okanagan campus is committed to trending greenhouse gas emissions down and its newest and most efficient student residence building is playing no small part in those ambitious plans. This week, UBCO’s Skeena Residence officially received Passive House certification—a stringent set of efficient design and construction standards—making it the first student residence in Canada to receive that status.



Indigenous-led plan for community centre moves forward at NVIT

A concept plan for a new Indigenous centre is moving forward on the territories of the Coast Salish peoples in Vancouver. The new centre will include a youth centre, a post-secondary education and skills training campus, affordable homes, a child care centre and cultural and support services. The new centre will be a permanent purpose-built home for UNYA and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) Vancouver campus.

BC | BC News


Okanagan College welcomes new Associate Vice President College Relations

Okanagan College will welcome a new member to its executive team as Jenn Goodwin assumes the role of Associate Vice President College Relations. A seasoned communications professional, Goodwin most recently worked as Vice President, Communications and Culture at Interior Health.

BC | Okanagan College


KPU prepares for pending increase in nursing students

Sharmen Lee, dean of the Faculty of Health at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), has some busy months ahead, as the Langley campus prepares to expand its nursing program. Lee describes the provincial government decision to increase the number of nursing by more than 100 as “a wonderful challenge.” As part of that expansion, KPU, which currently offers 249 seats annually across four nursing programs, will add another 115 by 2023; 40 bachelor of science in nursing advanced entry seats, 40 bachelor of psychiatric nursing seats, and 35 graduate nurse internationally educated re-entry seats.

BC | Alder Grove Star


Provincial budgets 2022: BC in a nutshell

Higher Education Strategy Associates’ Alex Usher discusses the provincial budget and post-secondary education in BC. This blog is part of a series comparing and contrasting national and provincial trends in budget allocations for post-secondary spending. Historically, British Columbia has tended to have fewer post-secondary seats, relative to population, than other provinces. BC has long been home to large numbers of international students. At the university level, international students make up 25% of the student body, while at the college level just over 30% of students are from abroad. In both cases, the proportion of international students in the student body in British Columbia are about 50% higher than in the rest of the country. With respect to institutional funding, government funding only accounts for 44% of total institutional income, and income from student tuition – specifically international student tuition–is making up an ever-increasing proportion of income. Student aid for loans and grants have grown more slowly in BC than elsewhere, which has to do with the high cost of living in BC.

National | HESA on BC Budgets | HESA on Provincial Budgets


New report from CUPE shows universities and colleges impoverishing vulnerable workers

Contracting out of services in the post-secondary sector in Canada is hurting disadvantaged workers with poverty-level wages and low benefits, a new report from the Canadian Union of Public Employees revealed today. “Who pays? The cost of contracting out at Canadian post-secondary institutions” looks at the data on wages and benefits for food and custodial service workers in the post-secondary sector and finds that contracting out takes more than $1,000 a month out of workers’ pockets, in addition to costing them pensions, sick days, and other benefits.

National | CUPE | Report


Congress 2022

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is Canada’s largest gathering of academics, and one of the largest in the world. It’s a place to hold critical conversations of our time, hear from a diverse set of voices, share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships to help shape the Canada of tomorrow. CUFA BC President Dr. Dan Laitsch and Executive Director Annabree Fairweather will be presenting on a panel on “Leading provincial labour associations during the pandemic: Transitions in pursuit of safe and healthy campuses.”

National | Congress | Final Program


CAUBO annual conference

The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) is hosting its annual conference virtually from June 13-15. The conference is CAUBO’s flagship professional development event, and takes place in mid-June of each year. It brings together university administrators from across Canada working in a variety of functional areas such as finance, human resources, treasury, procurement, facilities, internal audit, and IT. Conference sessions focus on trends and hot topics in higher education administration, with the aim of sending delegates home with best practices and information they can put to use right away at their jobs.

National | CAUBO


U of T sues Easy EDU tutoring company

The University of Toronto and three of its professors have launched a lawsuit against a tutoring business alleging it routinely copies, without authorization, lecture slides, course syllabuses, tests and exams and sells them in “coursepacks” to post-secondary students on its website in violation of Canada’s Copyright Act. The website states that Easy EDU offers its services to students at all three U of T campuses, as well as at the University of Waterloo, York University, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta and other higher education institutions across Canada. 

ON | U of T News


Immigrant professors say they need to ‘act white’ in Canadian academia

Racialized faculty members not only carry the emotional labour in an academic institution, but they also find themselves constantly needing to “transform themselves” in order to be accepted by their colleagues and students, according to a Black professor at Edmonton’s MacEwan University. Speaking at the recent 24th Metropolis Canada Conference in Vancouver, Hellen Gateri, an associate professor at the university’s school of social work, was one of three immigrants working in academia who shared stories about the racism and discrimination faced while working at a Canadian university.

National | The Star


Health Canada provides $2M to support mental health project for post-secondary students

Post-secondary students are among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, with social isolation, virtual learning challenges, job insecurity, and financial hardship having a profound impact on their mental health and well-being. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than half of Canadians aged 18-24 (61%) say their mental health has declined. To support post-secondary students during this challenging time, today, Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, announced on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, an investment of $2 million for a three-year Campus Peer Support pilot project led by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

National | Health Canada