editor's note title

U of S News

More Than Just a Facelift

If you thought it was strange to see the College Building vacated and its doors shut indefinitely in November of 1997, it was an even stranger sight to see this designated heritage site standing for most of the summer without a roof.

This was just part of the long-awaited, $20.7-million renovation to the College Building that began late last November. After interior demolition and reconstruction was completed during the winter, work on restoring the exterior of the building began this spring.

The refurbished College Building will not only house University administration and governance, but will also be home to Student and Enrollment Services Division, which will occupy the first floor and provide students with easy access to services that will enhance their experience on campus.

The renovations are expected to be completed in May 2005.

College Building

Heather Magotiaux

New V-P, University Advancement

On September 13, the University of Saskatchewan announced the appointment of Heather Magotiaux as Vice-President of University Advancement, a newly created position. Magotiaux, formerly Executive Director and Chief Advancement Officer at the U of S, will be responsible for leading major fundraising campaigns and fostering commitment and support for University activities through alumni, development, and communications functions.

A former director of communications at the U of S, Magotiaux spent two years as Vice-President of Advancement at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, during which time St. FX was ranked first in alumni support and fifth in reputation in Maclean's annual assessment of Canadian universities.

'Butting Out' on Campus

When Saskatoon's Smoking Control Bylaw 2004 came into effect July 1, there were few noticeable changes on campus except at two popular eating and drinking establishments.

According to the bylaw, among the areas that must be non-smoking are licensed premises, outdoor seating areas, and private clubs (i.e. Louis' and the Faculty Club). However, both were ready for the change. Faculty Club manager Donna Cram said the club's board made the decision to go smoke-free even before the new bylaw was approved.

At Louis' in the Memorial Union Building, site manager George Foufas said Louis' was "the only place on campus where you can come and smoke," and he expects it will take some time for patrons to adjust to the new rule.

non-smoking sign


Integrated Plan and New Budget Unveiled

On May 7, the U of S took a major step towards putting its financial and academic houses in order when the Board of Governors approved the University's first-ever integrated plan and multi-year operating budget framework.

The two measures, developed by the office of Provost and Vice-President Academic Michael Atkinson, prescribe a mix of tough budget cuts for some areas and program initiatives in others. They are an effort to position academic and budget planning in support of the U of S strategic directions.

The integrated plan, approved earlier by University Council, sets out a range of initiatives that will be given University-level support in 2003-07 in fields like health, environment, entrepreneurship, public policy, Aboriginal initiatives, and student support. It also emphasizes the need for some reorganization in areas like extension programming and teaching support, as well as for increased efficiencies in administrative and support units.

At its meeting, the Board approved a $263.8-million budget for 2004-05 and a multi-year operating budget framework for 2003-07. The budget framework aims to tackle the University's growing structural deficit problem, detailing levies on colleges and administrative units, other selective budget cuts, and tuition hikes to make up a portion of what would be a $6.2-million single-year deficit in 2004-05 without these measures. Even with the cuts, the U of S will run a $2.5-million operating deficit in 2004-05, but will return to a balanced budget by the 2006-07 fiscal year.

CIBC's Million Dollar Boost to Agricultural Entrepreneurship

Thanks to a $1-million donation to the U of S from CIBC, the College of Agriculture will be the first in Canada to offer an undergraduate degree with a minor in agricultural entrepreneurship.

At a campus ceremony June 21, CIBC Senior Vice-President for Small Business Banking Rob Paterson pledged the funding toward a new program in agricultural entrepreneurship. Since 2001, CIBC's gifts for agricultural entrepreneurship totalled $1.8 million.

The new funding will support the work of a teaching scholar in ag. entrepreneurship, and will create five new bursaries of $2,000 each for Aboriginal students entering the College of Agriculture. Also, for each of the next 10 years, $10,000 will go to outreach activities which encourage First Nations economic and business development.

Agriculture Dean Ernie Barber told the news media and invited guests the entrepreneurship initiative will boost young people's ability to develop and market new products in the agri-food industry.

CIBC logo

Video Series Demystifies Canada's Muslim Community

New Life, New Land

the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., some people have reacted to Muslims with fear, hostility, and negative stereotyping. And for many, the religion remains mysterious and misunderstood.

In an attempt to demystify the lives of Muslim Canadians, the U of S Division of Media & Technology and Milo Productions Inc. have created a three-part video series called A New Life in a New Land: The Muslim Experience in Canada. "In general, Canadians are quite welcoming of other people," says Michael Milo, creator of the series. "However, some people have some odd ideas about Muslims because of the message they get from the media. Sometimes you have to break down those barriers with people."

CLS logo

Green Light for the Canadian Light Source

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) began routine operations in October after receiving the green light July 14 from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to begin regular operations for academic and industrial research. The CNSC gave full approval for the facility to open its doors for high-intensity, light-based experiments.

The $173.5-million, U of S-owned synchrotron is now completing construction on its first set of seven beamlines. A U of S beamline, the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy (BMIT) beamline, has received $17,043,440 in funding and will be completed in the next several years along with four more Phase II lines.

Last summer, it was also announced the CLS will receive $19 million in operating funds from NSERC and Western Economic Diversification (WD), bringing the total operating funding over five years to $89.8 million.

A total of 26 other Canadian universities have endorsed the CLS and will be conducting research at the new facility. The Saskatoon CLS has also attracted interest from international researchers interested in travelling to the facility � one of the most advanced synchrotrons in the world � to perform their experiments.

Canadians are invited to take a closer look at the synchrotron this fall, when CLS hosts its grand opening celebrations.

Making Campus a Safer Place

The University has responded quickly to implement some recommendations of a review of personal safety on campus, and will move forward over the next few months on others, but is mindful of the fact "we're a private place with public access."

Tony Whitworth, Vice-President Finance and Resources, said the U of S is committed to implementing most of the 45 recommendations found in the review to ensure the learning and working environment here is "as safe and secure as it can be."

One shortcoming spotted by the review has already been addressed. A new system for alerting the campus community to potential safety threats will now include e-mail notifications within 24 hours of an incident being reported, and written security alerts posted within four hours of an incident on new notice boards in strategic locations across campus.

Safety Resources

Four New Research Chairs

The U of S has received $3.8 million over seven years from the Canada Research Chairs program for four new Research Chairs. Including the new positions, the U of S has now received over $22 million to support 23 Chairs. The new Canada Research Chairs are:

  • Sylvia Abonyi (Aboriginal Health) � Recruited from the University of Regina to conduct research into more effective public health programs for Aboriginal people.

  • Lisa Kalynchuk (Behavioural Neuroscience) � Recruited from Dalhousie University to study the neurobiological mechanisms that produce anxiety, depression and panic.

  • Soledade Pedras (Bioorganic and Agricultural Chemistry) � The U of S chemistry professor will study how disease organisms fight the immune defenses of plants like canola and mustard.

  • Jean-Pierre St-Maurice (Environmental Sciences) � Recruited from the University of Western Ontario to study the earth's ionosphere with high frequency radar equipment. He will also establish a virtual centre for the study of climate change.

new health building

New Building Integrates Health Sciences Education

Although not allocated a single cent in the last provincial budget, the Academic Health Sciences building project is proceeding through a detailed planning process toward a construction date in 2007.

Charles Baker, Academic Program Co-ordinator on the project steering committee, said the group is "slowly chewing through" $1.3 million provided last year by the province to develop what will be a state-of-the-art integrated centre for teaching, research, and patient-centred health sciences in Saskatchewan.

The project allocates $93 million to new construction and $27 million to renovations to existing facilities. The new construction will include a six-storey structure attached to the northwest side of the existing Health Sciences Building and extending in front of the Saskatoon Cancer Centre. With more space than A and B Wings of Health Sciences combined, the building will include links to Royal University Hospital and to the Arts Building via a walkway over Campus Drive.

These news items are drawn from recent editions of On Campus News, the official newspaper of the University of Saskatchewan. For more past and current U of S news, see On Campus News at www.usask.ca/communications/ocn