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Ready for winter weather

In preparation for the full arrival of winter weather Queen’s University has created a new webpage detailing the decision-making process for responding to weather events as well as providing related information, links, and resources for Queen’s community members.

The webpage also features sections with information specifically for students, employees, and department heads and supervisors.

Queen’s has a procedure to assess the impact inclement weather might have on the operations of the university and to determine whether it is necessary to reduce the level of operations.

“We look at a range of factors that could impact the safety of students, faculty, and staff,” says Dan Langham, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, who along with David Patterson, Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services, plays a key role in the university’s inclement weather response procedure. “Deciding to reduce the operation levels at the university and cancel classes is a major decision so it’s vital we provide as much information as possible to the senior administration.”

"Grant Hall in Winter"
Queen's Univeristy has launched a new winter weather webpage with related information, links, and resources. (Queen's Communications)

Factors in the decision-making process include:

  • weather reports from Environment Canada
  • reports of road conditions in Kingston and surrounding areas
  • accessibility of campus roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots
  • status of public transportation
  • status of other local institutions, services, and businesses

When a weather event occurs overnight a decision on operation status is made by 6 am. The same process is followed when the storm develops during the day, with a decision about the status of the university coming no later than 3 pm.

The university communicates its operational status during inclement weather in a number of ways. An updated message is available via the Queen’s status phone line (613-533-3333), and a weather alert notice is posted at the top of the Queen’s homepage. For social media users, a tweet is sent from the Queen’s Twitter account.

When there is a change of status during the day, additional steps are taken including departments communicating the information in their work areas and a list-serv email distributed to all computer users on campus.

Inclement weather may make it difficult for employees to get to work even though the university is maintaining normal operations. Employees are expected to notify their department head if they are going to be late or absent because of the weather conditions. Further information on the Inclement Weather Policy is available on the Human Resources webpage.

Queen’s United Way campaign reaches 93 per cent of goal

Queen's United WayThe Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee has set a fundraising goal of $320,000 for this year’s campaign in support of United Way of Kingston, Frontenac Lennox and Addington.

To date, the campaign has reached $ 297,488 or 93 per cent of its goal.

While the United Way KFLA has wrapped up its campaign, the Queen’s United Way continues to collects funds. The final total will be announced in January.

Queen’s community members can back the United Way through payroll deduction, a one-time gift, credit card, cheque or cash. To make a donation online through the United Way’s ePledge system, simply go to queensu.ca/unitedway. Please note that if you donated last year and selected the auto-renewal action, no further action is required unless you would like to change your donation. 

More information on the campaign and the role of the Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee is available in this Gazette article.

Quarterly newsletter Vitality published by Employee and Family Assistance Program

Vitality Newsletter
Read Vitality online.

As the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider for Queen’s University, Homewood Health publishes a number of regular newsletters, including Vitality.

The quarterly newsletter is intended to support key personnel with a wide range of information and resources on the topic presented. The December edition, entitled Tips for creating a healthy workplace, provides tools to support employees growth and strategies to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

For more information on the Queen’s EFAP, visit the Human Resources website.

For 24-hour EFAP services call 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (French). 

Creating a sense of belonging

Students' project seeks to broaden the discussion around diversity and inclusivity at Queen’s.

"Student Diversity Project"
Queen's first-year students Sara Drimmer and Nicole Osayande present the Student Diversity Project at a Fall Preview event in November. (Supplied Photo)

First-year computing student Nicole Osayande (Artsci’21) has only been on campus a few months, but she has already launched a diversity project with her peers, and created a video speaking to inclusivity at Queen’s that is now being shared online with prospective and current students.

“There is literally something for everyone at Queen’s, but some future students may not have that mindset. I can relate, as I, too, came to Queen’s thinking I was going to be outcast as 'the only black girl,’ she says. "I will admit that it’s an easy assumption to make, but that has been far from my personal experience. I wanted to start an initiative to tell prospective students why they should come to Queen’s. I’m all about conversations that allow people to share ideas, because, well, Queen’s can only become more inclusive and diverse, as our spectra of students becomes more varied.”

Ms. Osayande, who attended high school in Toronto, mobilized some of her friends to form the Student Diversity Project. One the group’s first creations is a video that reflects the strength and breadth of the campus community.

“Diversity is about people of colour, it’s about LGBTQ, it’s about introverts and extroverts, it’s about students without families and different upbringings, it’s not a linear construct,” she says. “We need to stop putting our school in a box.”

She approached Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney at an event for major admission award recipients to talk about the project. Ms. Tierney watched the video, and invited Ms. Osayande and her peers to set up a booth at Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment’s November Fall Preview events on campus to show the video, and talk to prospective students and families.

“I have been so impressed by Nicole’s initiative and committment, and we are thrilled to collaborate with the Student Diversity Project as part of our ongoing outreach to all prospective students,” says Ms. Tierney. “We recognize the importance of student voices in promoting an inclusive campus environment with a sense of belonging.”

The video is now posted to Queen’s Undergraduate Admission website. At Fall Preview, the group also gave out information about campus support services, including Student Academic Success Services, peer tutoring, and study groups, and the group created a poster showcasing many of the clubs at Queen’s that reflect diverse interests and experiences.

The Student Diversity Project’s next steps are to set up a Facebook page, and work with current students to help them articulate their experiences and perspectives about diversity and inclusivity at Queen’s.

“We want to ask them: ‘On a broad level: what to say, and how to say it? What bugs you about things people say about the Queen’s community? Is it the approach, is it the question? How do we help you moving forward?’,” says Ms. Osayande. “We want to help more people start conversations and encourage positive change.”

Watch the Student Diversity Project video.

 

Queen’s buys St. Mary’s of the Lake hospital

Queen’s University purchased the St. Mary’s of the Lake property, formerly a hospital owned by Providence Care, on Nov. 30, 2017. The property will help Queen’s address the current space and parking challenges felt on campus.

The St. Mary's of the Lake hospital from Union Street.
The St. Mary's of the Lake hospital from Union Street.

“The purchase of the property positions Queen’s to adapt and respond to changes in the University environment by alleviating pressures, such as parking, on main campus and providing options for the University with respect to locating both academic and administrative units at this optimal location,” said Donna Janiec, VP (Finance and Administration).

St. Mary’s of the Lakes is adjacent to the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, is in close proximity to the Donald Gordon Centre, and bridges main and west campus.

The university is exploring options for relocation of main campus units to the property, and will make use of the available parking.

Engineering students, faculty, and staff mark École Polytechnique shooting anniversary

Students, faculty, and staff gathered to remember the 1989 school shooting, which primarily targeted female students in engineering programs.

If the victims of the École Polytechnique massacre were alive today, they would be old enough to have children graduating university.

Despite the time that has passed, Engineering student Emily Nunn (Sci’18) says remembering the event and what it represented continues to be important.

“The women killed, if they were still alive today, would have careers and families of their own, but tragically those lives were taken from this Earth before their time for no reason other than they were women,” says Ms. Nunn, one of the organizers of the memorial ceremony at Queen’s. “The event personally means to me that we remember this happened, and fight to make sure it doesn't again.”

  • Students, faculty, and staff gathered in Beamish-Munro Hall for the memorial event. (Supplied Photo)
    Students, faculty, and staff gathered in Beamish-Munro Hall for the memorial event. (Supplied Photo)
  • The EngChoir sings as part of ceremonies remembering each of the 14 women killed on Dec. 6, 1989. (Supplied Photo)
    The EngChoir sings as part of ceremonies remembering each of the 14 women killed on Dec. 6, 1989. (Supplied Photo)
  • Biographies of each victim were read, and a candle was lit for each of the victims during the somber ceremony. (Supplied Photo)
    Biographies of each victim were read, and a candle was lit for each of the victims during the somber ceremony. (Supplied Photo)
  • Roses have been a symbol of the anniversary, and one was laid for each woman killed in the shooting. (Supplied Photo)
    Roses have been a symbol of the anniversary, and one was laid for each woman killed in the shooting. (Supplied Photo)

Dozens of students, faculty, and staff gathered in Beamish-Munro Hall on Wednesday to mark 28 years since the massacre, on a day that was declared Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in the wake of the shooting. The Engineering Society at Queen’s University annually hosts a memorial event marking the date. Participants hold red roses, light white candles, and read brief biographies of each of the women killed on Dec. 6, 1989.

“As a woman in engineering, I am lucky that I don't feel out of place. I am lucky that I personally have not been a victim of violence, and no one has doubted my ability to be an engineer just because of my gender,” Ms. Nunn adds. “In order to ensure that nothing like this happens again, we must first remember and mourn the loss of those 14 beautiful lives. Then we must fight for change and equality for all in the future.”

To learn more about Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, visit the Department of the Status of Women’s website.

Inclusive hiring at Queen’s

  • Heidi Penning of the Equity Office opened the day's agenda, and spoke about inclusive hiring at Queen's. (University Communications)
    Heidi Penning of the Equity Office opened the day's agenda, and spoke about inclusive hiring at Queen's. (University Communications)
  • Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) brought a traditional greeting and recognized the original inhabitants of the land. (University Communications)
    Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) brought a traditional greeting and recognized the original inhabitants of the land. (University Communications)
  • A full room listens in on Deputy Provost Teri Shearer's remarks, which centre on why diversity and inclusivity is important to Queen's and to any organization. (University Communications)
    A full room listens in on Deputy Provost Teri Shearer's remarks, which centre on why diversity and inclusivity is important to Queen's and to any organization. (University Communications)
  • Dr. Shearer also shares about some of the work underway at Queen's, including the incorporation of more equity best practices into Queen's hiring policies. (University Communications)
    Dr. Shearer also shares about some of the work underway at Queen's, including the incorporation of more equity best practices into Queen's hiring policies. (University Communications)
  • For lunch, attendees of the event were treated to an Indigenous fusion lunch prepared by Chef Carol Maracle. (University Communications)
    For lunch, attendees of the event were treated to an Indigenous fusion lunch prepared by Chef Carol Maracle. (University Communications)

Queen’s is committed to fostering inclusivity and diversity in its workforce. To help achieve this goal, Queen’s Human Resources has partnered with a national job broadcast service called Equitek.

Offered as an annual subscription, Equitek has over two decades of experience in assisting Canadian organizations to generate a qualified applicant pool of diverse candidates, who have been historically underrepresented, through a proactive recruitment network of job counsellors, job coaches, and mentors located in community Employment Resource Centres. Dozens of Canadian private and public sector organizations use Equitek, including the University of Ottawa, Centennial College, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

On Nov. 23, Equitek visited Queen’s to further explain their services as part of a half-day program focused on “Inclusive Hiring at Queen’s”.

“Becoming a more diverse and inclusive institution is not only the right thing to do, it is also essential to our success as we aim to recruit the top emerging talent and grow our international reputation,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), who provided opening remarks at the event. “Through the Equitek program, our job postings receive added exposure with a diverse group of job seekers, making them aware that their talents and knowledge are valued and in demand at Queen’s University.”

To maximize this service within our local community, and to ensure that Queen’s is attracting diverse job seekers, organizations within the Belleville to Brockville corridor who provide services to equity-seeking groups were invited to attend. Over 50 people gathered at Goodes Hall, including representatives of 16 local organizations.

The goal of the event was to encourage these organizations to sign up with Equitek, which costs the organizations nothing and which ensures that they will automatically receive every job opening that Queen’s posts.

“Our efforts help share Queen’s employment opportunities through a proactive recruitment network across Canada,” says William Stewart, Director of Canadian Operations for Equitek. “Through community employment resources across the country, we can expand the reach of Queen’s and help to generate an applicant flow of diverse candidates back to Queen’s to apply for available positions.”

Building a more diverse employee base was a key theme in the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report. Queen’s also maintains an Employment Equity Framework, which was drafted in 2015.

The formation of the Equitek partnership is one step the university is taking to further increase employment equity within Queen’s. In addition, the Equity Office and Human Resources are launching diversity and inclusivity professional development for all new hires. As new staff and faculty join the Queen’s community, they will participate in a 45-minute discussion about equity at Queen’s and are encouraged to make a personal commitment – recognizing that we all have a role to play in creating an inclusive Queen’s.

In the new year, the Equity Office and Human Resources will also roll out an employment equity process to several additional groups across campus. This process, a legislative requirement under the Federal Contractors Program, will support the university in meeting its objectives and creating a more diverse environment. Eight departments at Queen’s helped pilot the new process in 2017.

To learn more about Equitek, visit www.equitek.ca.

A seasonal celebration

The contributions of staff members throughout Queen’s University will be celebrated during Staff Appreciation Day on Thursday Dec. 7.

A highlight of Staff Appreciation Day, the Principal's Holiday Reception will be held Thursday, Dec. 7. (University Communications)

The day is highlighted by the Principal’s Holiday Reception with delectable food and drinks on offer from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre.

Also at the event, the Staff Recognition Awards will be handed out to staff members who were nominated by colleagues for “consistently providing outstanding contributions to the learning and working environment at Queen’s at a level significantly beyond what is usually expected.”

 This year’s recipients are: Barbra Lalonde Brousseau, Global Development Studies; Wendy Cumpson, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences; Fiona Froats, School of Policy Studies; Selina Idlas, Centre for Teaching and Learning; Pamela Livingston, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences; Joan Sharpe and Emily Smith, Surveillance Studies Centre (Team), Sociology; Colette Steer, School of Graduate Studies;  Sandra Turcotte, School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

Donations of non-perishable food items are being accepted in support of the AMS Food Bank. Donors will be entered into a draw to win a handcrafted gingerbread house courtesy of Queen’s Hospitality Services Sodexo.

And there’s more.

Getting the day off to a good start, Queen’s employees can pick up a free medium hot beverage at all Sodexo outlets until 11:30.

Also, special tours, workshops and wellness activities are being held throughout the day, giving staff members an opportunity to look after themselves and to see some of the extraordinary work being done by members of the Queen’s community.

Event

Time

Location

Clinical Simulation Centre Tour

10 am

School of Medicine (15 Arch Street)

Yoga for Managing Stress

10 am

ARC - Studio 4

Mindful Meditation Workshop

11 am

ARC - Studio 4

Phytotron Tour

11 am

Biosciences, 5th Floor

Indoor Cycle

2 pm

ARC Studio 2

Thinking about Diversity: Identifying the Ally Within

2 pm

FSLF Seminar Room, B176 Mackintosh-Corry Hall

Miller Museum of Geology Tour

3 pm

Miller Hall; meet near the front entrance

Queen's Observatory Tour

3 pm

Ellis Hall, Room 432

Visit the Human Resources Learning Catalogue to sign up for one or more of these events (pre-registration is required). 

Executive Compensation Program available for comment

The draft of the program will be open for feedback for 30 days.

After an eight year pay freeze, the Ontario government has recently put in place a new framework for executive compensation that applies to a range of public sector organizations, including universities, colleges, hospitals, school boards, and several other public bodies. It also has in place new requirements for how salary increases are reviewed, approved, and communicated with the public.

At Queen’s University, the new executive compensation framework applies to the Principal, Provost, and four Vice-Principals. Over the past year, the Board of Trustees has been carefully considering the new requirements of the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act (2014) and the subsequent Regulation 400/1 that came into effect in November. The Queen’s draft Executive Compensation Program ensures that the university is compliant with these requirements. As part of the consultation phase, members of the Queen’s community are now being invited to comment on the program.

As an institution, Queen’s mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Both Queen’s and its Board of Trustees are committed to maintaining a competitive, effective and responsible approach to managing executive compensation, with the following core principles in mind – competitive with the talent market, support the university vision and Strategic Framework, accountability and be reflective of the academic compensation model.

To help create a responsible and effective executive compensation program, the province requires universities to compare their top executive compensation packages to those in place at comparable organizations. Queen’s used salary data collected by the Council of Ontario Universities and selected peer universities with medicals schools and high rankings for research that are also members of the U15.  These universities also reflect a cross-section of the Canadian talent market in which Queen’s competes for executive talent:

University of Alberta                           University of British Columbia

University of Calgary                          Dalhousie University

University of Manitoba                        McGill University       

McMaster University                           University of Ottawa

University of Saskatchewan               University of Toronto

University of Waterloo                        University of Western Ontario

These comparative figures were used to establish a salary cap at the 50th percentile for each comparable role. Queen’s executives all have salaries well below these caps, and as indicated in the program, increases are limited to 5% of the pay envelope of the Principal and Vice-Principals, and may be distributed differentially.  

“Queen’s is committed to ensuring that there is a balance between managing compensation costs while allowing the university to attract and retain the talent needed to support the academic mission of the university. The university’s success requires well-rounded and expert leadership. Thoughtful consideration in support of our academic mission has been given to build the most appropriate Executive Compensation Program for Queen’s in order to preserve that success,” said Donald Raymond, Chair of the Board of Trustees, in his letter to the Queen’s community.

This balanced approach will contribute to the financial sustainability of Queen’s and help ensure the university can continue to invest in top strategic priorities such as the faculty renewal initiative, the creation of new buildings and academic spaces on campus, along with expanding research opportunities and internationalization.

Members of the Queen’s community can comment on the Executive Compensation Program document up until Jan. 4, 2018 by emailing exec.comp@queensu.ca. For further information on the Queen’s Program, please visit the Office of the University Secretariat website.

Gaels battle back for OT win in men's hockey

A quick roundup of Queen’s Gaels athletes and teams in action over the weekend:

MEN’S HOCKEY

The Queen's Gaels (9-4-3) earned a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday night over the Ottawa Gee-Gees (8-4-3) at the Memorial Centre.

After Slater Doggett tied the game for Queen's in the third period, Darcy Greenaway ended the game with a beautiful individual effort with less than two minutes remaining in the extra frame.
 
Kevin Bailie had a solid game in net with 30 saves. Alex Row also scored for the Gaels in the second period, the first goals of his U Sports career.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

The Queen's Gaels (7-3) travelled to Guelph to take on the Gryphons (2-8) on Friday night coming away with an 88-86 victory at the Gryphons Athletics Centre on a buzzer-beating shot from Jaz Bains.

The Gaels had big outings from Tanner Graham, who had a double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds while picking up three blocks, while Mike Shoveller added 23 points of his own while hauling in 12 rebounds. Bains finished with 12 points.

Guelph held the lead for most of the game but the Gaels kept hanging around, and Bains scored the final two baskets in the closing seconds to give Queen’s the win.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The Queen's Gaels (9-1) topped the host the Guelph Gryphons (5-5) on Friday night coming away with a 74-56 victory.

Abby Dixon led the way for the Tricolour posting 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals while Andrea Priamo had five points, 10 rebounds a steal and a block in her hometown.

After an even start the Gaels shooters came alive in the second frame going on a 14-3 run to take control. The Gaels closed out the quarter with a 60-36 lead.

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