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New members elected to University Council

Ten new representatives selected for four-year terms through online vote by Queen's alumni.

Queen’s alumni have elected 10 new representatives to University Council.

The successful candidates are:

  • John Armitage 
  • Heather Black 
  • Lindsay Board
  • Stephanie Garraway 
  • Katrina Samson 
  • Denise Shortt 
  • Amrita V. Singh 
  • Susan Smith 
  • Sarah Virani 
  • Elaine Wu 

An online vote for the 10 four-year term positions was held May 28-June 11. The term begins Sept. 1, 2018.

Established by statute in 1874, University Council serves as an advisory body to the university. Members provide advice on issues relating to the prosperity and well-being of Queen’s. The council’s responsibilities include the appointment of the chancellor and the election of six members to the Board of Trustees.

For more information visit the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website.

Questions can be directed to the University Secretariat at 613-533-6095 or email.


Finding equity

A new mobile application launched by the Queen’s Equity and Human Rights Office will help visitors to campus find equity resources.

[Equity App screenshot]
Users of the Equity Locator app can search for specific resources, check buildings they intend to visit, or have the application follow them and show them what is nearby. (Supplied Photo) 

A new Queen’s mobile application seeks to make campus more welcoming to a wider array of visitors.

The Queen’s Equity Locator offers maps of the Queens University main and west campuses, as well as The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. These maps contain equity-related points of interest across the three locations.

These resources range from safety basics like phones, emergency exits, and security lamps, to accessibility essentials like elevators, accessible washrooms, and accessible entrances, to amenities such as gender-neutral washrooms, breastfeeding stations, and resources.

“This new application will be an important resource for students, staff, faculty, and visitors to campus so we can provide a more welcoming and inclusive experience for them,” says Stephanie Simpson, University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights and Executive Director of the Equity and Human Rights Office. “Many equity-seeking members of our community may not be aware of the resources available to them, and this is one more channel through which we can highlight our available supports.”

In addition to being able to scan the campus for the necessary resources, users can also see which supports are close to their current location through optional global positioning system (GPS) tracking. Users can also look up specific buildings to find out what accommodations are available before visiting campus. They can also submit resources they find on campus which are not listed.

“This began as an effort to map gender-neutral washrooms on campus, and we are pleased with the end result which will serve many within our community,” says Jill Christie, Manager, Data and Administration with the Equity and Human Rights Office. “We view this app as an ongoing effort, and we welcome feedback and submissions from the community.”

The application is a free download for iPhone and iPad, and is available through the App Store.

Fresh funds for fresh water

Water purification technology which started in a Queen’s laboratory is one step closer to commercial reality.

Phil Jessop in his lab in Chernoff Hall. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
Phil Jessop in his lab in Chernoff Hall. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Canadians are the second largest users of water in the world, behind only Americans. Statistics Canada says Canadian households used 3.2 billion cubic metres of water in 2013 (or about 249 litres per person per day), and the majority of that water is simply flushed down the drain.

To help address this problem, Queen’s Professor Philip Jessop has been researching a process called forward osmosis – aiming to return wastewater to a drinkable state. This process could have major implications in both protecting our drinking supply and reducing the cost of purifying or disposing of wastewater.

His intellectual property was licensed from Queen’s by GreenCentre Canada (GCC), a Kingston-based technology and business accelerator focused on green chemistry and materials-science innovations. In addition to being a professor at Queen’s, Dr. Jessop is the Technical Director of GCC.

With GCC’s aid, Dr. Jessop’s technology was shown to be highly effective at remove clean water from waste streams and water containing massive amounts of contaminating salts. This was achieved through a process called forward osmosis.

The forward osmosis technology formed the basis for the GCC spin-off company, Forward Water Technologies (FWT), in October 2012.

[FWT prototype forward osmosis device]
Forward Water Technologies operates an engineering scale pilot forward osmosis device in Mississauga. (Supplied Photo)

GCC has made significant investments in the development of Dr. Jessop’s technology. This includes funding the construction of an engineering scale pilot unit by FWT in Mississauga capable of treating over 1000 litres of wastewater per day.

The success of that pilot resulted in a recently announced joint investment by the not-for-profit Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) and other private investors to help bring the technology to full commercial readiness.

“We are on the brink of a critical phase in the long path to commercialization, and to garner both financial support and commercial expertise from organizations such as BIC is extremely critical,” said C. Howie Honeyman, Chief Executive Officer of FWT.

This proprietary forward osmosis system is a highly energy efficient process that has successfully removed many pollutants and impurities from wastewater streams. At the end of the process, the fresh water is available for re-use or discharge to either sewer or surface water systems. The technology could be of interest to municipalities, factories, the energy sector, and the chemical industry to name a few.

“Queen’s has a long history of supporting the technology transfer of novel technologies arising from research at Queen’s,” says Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal (Partnerships and Innovation). “Queen’s researchers are providing new insights into, and innovative solutions for, humanity’s impact on our environment, and Dr. Jessop’s research is a perfect example of this. We congratulate GCC and the Forward Water Technologies teams on this financing.”

This investment is significant to FWT for two reasons. First, it unlocks a substantial government funding opportunity which was conditional on private financing.

Second, it positions Forward Water Technologies for its ultimate goal of commercial success. With commercial success could come a healthier future for everyone who drinks water, and a reduced environmental impact and financial cost of water purification.

“Commercializing this kind of research is much more expensive and time-consuming than products like a new pen or phone application, but the potential benefit to humanity and our environment is also much greater,” says Dr. Jessop. “I am delighted that the forward osmosis technology has taken one major step closer to becoming a commercial reality through these investments, and look forward to continuing to make the technology greener and more efficient.”

To learn more about the company, visit forwardwater.com

Budget 2018-19 approved by Board

The new budget allocates new funding for research, accessibility, and faculty hires.

The Queen’s Board of Trustees recently approved the 2018-19 operating budget. This year’s plan will see the university deliver another balanced budget, while also investing in a range of strategic priorities.

“This budget once again affords us the ability to invest in major institutional priorities, such as faculty renewal, research excellence, and diversity and inclusivity,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “While we continue to face some pressures around our pension and facilities maintenance, the hard work of the last several years has provided stability and a promising future for Queen’s.”

After contributions to the pension reserve there is a budgeted deficit of $7.7 million, which is then offset by the drawdown of operating carryforward reserves resulting in a balanced budget.

While the majority of the budget allocations cover ongoing expenses including salaries, utilities, and building maintenance, the university has allocated some discretionary funds towards key institutional priorities.

Growing Our Community

In 2018-19, the university will continue recruiting new faculty as part of the Principal’s faculty renewal initiative. This plan calls for the hiring of 200 tenured or tenure-track faculty members over five years.
“The Principal’s faculty renewal plan represents an extraordinary opportunity to recruit faculty to Queen’s with diverse backgrounds, experiences and research areas,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “We have already been very successful in attracting talented and accomplished faculty members, allowing us to build on our research strengths, and foster diversity, inclusivity, and reconciliation.”

In response to a recent accessibility audit, this year’s budget also includes some funding dedicated to making campus more accessible. In addition to the annual funding dedicated to deferred maintenance, the university is allocating $250,000 to make accessibility improvements across campus.

This accessibility funding will also complement the three years of diversity and inclusivity funding that was announced as part of last year’s budget. The 2017-18 budget pledged $3 million over three years to foster inclusivity at Queen’s.

Research and Innovation

Recognizing the importance of Queen’s research, the 2018-19 budget makes a few specific and deliberate investments in Queen’s research strengths.

“Queen’s has a long history of pioneering discoveries and innovations that have shaped our knowledge and helped address some of the world’s deepest mysteries and most pressing questions,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Importantly, these new funds will help us build on our research strengths and continue to strengthen our research culture.”

Among the new investments is a Research Catalyst fund within the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio. This $600,000 annual fund will be used to support emerging and strategic research opportunities.

The budget also allocates $7 million to create a new Research Intensity fund. This annual fund is designed to support the indirect costs of conducting research, and addresses a recommendation stemming from the review of the budget model.

Financial Sustainability

There are many ongoing challenges which the university is addressing through targeted investments.

Queen’s continues to contribute to a pension reserve, while it remains in negotiations to create a new jointly sponsored pension plan for the Ontario university sector, along with partners at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph.

Additionally, the institution has earmarked an additional $750,000 for facility repairs and upgrades. Queen’s will spend a total of $11.9 million on deferred maintenance in 2018-19.

Risks to the budget include the dependence on government grants and regulated tuition and market volatility affecting university investments. In addition, future investments will be required to support information technology and infrastructure renewal. These risks are being closely managed and mitigated, and incremental investments in infrastructure are being made to ensure sustainability.

Learn More

To see this year’s budget, visit queensu.ca/financialservices/publications

Preferred Supplier Trade Show set for June 21

Queen’s Strategic Procurement Services is hosting the 2018 Preferred Supplier Trade Show on Thursday, June 21, in the Biosciences Complex Atrium at 116 Barrie St. from 10 am to 2 pm.  
Visitors can browse through the show and welcome the many businesses and individuals who support the university on a daily basis.

View the products and services of the university’s business partners and speak directly with Queen’s preferred suppliers. (Remember to bring along business cards to establish contacts and enter in the many draws donated by our generous suppliers).

Be sure to enter the draw at the show for a chance to win an iPad Mini courtesy of Queen’s Strategic Procurement Services.

Enjoy a buffet lunch provided by Scotiabank, Trico Evolution, Workspace Interiors/Grand & Toy, VWR, Holmes & Brakel, Maritime Travel and Fisher Scientific.

View the Event Poster and see who is attending.

For more information contact Steve Young, Strategic Procurement Services, Ext. 32912.

Choose your own adventure

If you have an idea for a new experiential learning opportunity, you can apply for up to $2,000 in one-time funding to make it a reality.

[Two of the WIIS-Queen's leaders]
Andrea Vovk, Vice President of WIIS-Queen's, (Artsci’18), and Lindsay Coombs, President and Founder of WIIS-Queen's. Ms. Coombs is a PhD candidate in Political Studies. (Photo by Carling Bennet, Artsci’18)

Students, faculty, and staff looking to introduce a new hands-on learning opportunity can apply for funding support through Queen’s Experiential Learning Hub.

Applications are now open to the Experiential Learning Projects Fund – a one-time funding opportunity designed to integrate experiential learning opportunities into courses or co-curricular projects, enabling students to apply workplace-linked skills on-campus, across the country or around the world.

“By bridging theory and practice, experiential learning activities provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom, enhancing their understanding and knowledge of themselves and their field of study,” says Cathy Keates, Director of Career Services which oversees the Experiential Learning Hub. “In Winter 2018 this program supported 19 projects resulting in 247 Queen’s students accessing new experiential learning opportunities. We hope to continue to build on these strong results in 2018-19.”

This fund was created through support from Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development’s Career Ready Fund. The Career Ready initiative aims to support universities in increasing the number of students who complete an experiential learning experience before graduation. Queen’s received a total of $1.16 million from the Ministry through this program, with a portion of that being allocated to the Experiential Learning Projects Fund.

Types of projects that are eligible for funding:


Organizing a conference
Organizing a competition (i.e. Hackathon)
Community service project
Artistic performance
Workplace related field experience directly related to students' field of study
Industry-related boot camp
Industry-related innovation project
Public awareness campaign

Grants will be awarded in the range of $1,000 to $2,000 per project, typically creating five to ten new student experiential roles per project. Special consideration will be given to initiatives that support underrepresented student populations and communities, and requests exceeding $2,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lindsay Coombs received funding last year to build a Queen’s-based affiliate to the Women In International Security (WIIS) Canadian and global network, an organization dedicated to promote women’s leadership in international security.

“The Experiential Learning Projects Fund program was central to the success of the initiatives undertaken by WIIS Queen’s in the winter 2018 academic term,” Ms. Coombs says. “I believe that the type of impactful community engagement that this program promotes is important for the development of knowledgeable and compassionate leaders – the type of leaders whose perspectives will be critical in shaping Canada’s future.”

Other projects receiving funding last year include the Queen’s Native Students Association’s annual Indigenous Awareness Week, a food cupboard for families known as the Queen’s Community Cupboard, and a QYourFuture event for graduating international students as they transition to the workforce.

Those looking to apply for funding must include a description of the project; the specific skills or learning outcomes for students; the number of student experiential learning opportunities created and their specific roles; a description of the self-assessment and reflection mechanisms that will be used throughout the project; and a detailed budget.

The application deadline for the Spring 2018 round is Friday June 29, and there will be a final round in Fall 2018. For more information and to apply for funding, visit the Experiential Learning Hub website.

Statement from Principal Woolf on University District Safety Initiative

​Queen’s partners with the City of Kingston on new University District Safety Initiative.

Today, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson and I announced a joint initiative between the City, Kingston Police, and Queen’s to help address ongoing safety concerns in the University District. We have been frustrated and disappointed with the unsanctioned and unsafe street parties that take over parts of the University District on certain weekends throughout the year. In the past, we have seen thousands of people spilling into the streets attending these kinds of parties around Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day, in particular.

I recognize not all of those participating in these events are from our Queen’s community, and the majority of our students do not engage in the types of risky behaviours that are of the greatest concern. Yet even by their sheer size these large parties are a very serious issue that we have worked hard to confront over the years, and they happen on the university’s doorstep. That is why we are now working in close partnership with the City of Kingston and Kingston Police to address this problem.

Cases that do involve Queen’s students who receive tickets under this initiative will be assessed as part of the university’s student conduct system. We will look at each case individually to determine what actions are most appropriate depending on the situation. Circumstances such as the nature of the violation, behaviour, prior history of misconduct, and other relevant factors will be part of the decision-making process of what actions may be appropriate. This will also allow us to intervene if there is evidence that a student is under stress or is experiencing substance abuse issues or mental illness.

Our students belong to two communities: Queen’s and Kingston; and, need to be accountable and responsible citizens to both. Finding ways to encourage good citizenship, address these large parties, and promote student and public safety and community wellbeing is a high priority for me and the rest of my leadership team.

I encourage all of our students to have fun, but to do so safely, and to be aware of the impact of your behaviour on the Queen’s and Kingston communities. I feel confident that if we all work together and make good choices we can help make Kingston and the University District safer for everyone.

Daniel Woolf
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

A minute in history

Queen’s University professor Steven Maynard consults on first-ever LGBTQ Heritage Minute.

For the first time in the history of Historica Canada’s Heritage Minutes, the newest segment focuses on LGBTQ history in Canada, specifically Jim Egan, Canada’s first gay rights activist. Acting as a historical consultant for the Minute was Queen’s University history professor Steven Maynard.

“Historica Canada is trying to broaden the scope of its Heritage Minutes and make them more inclusive,” says Dr. Maynard, who worked on the project for over a year. “They have a new Minute that focuses on Indigenous people and residential schools, while another examines Viola Desmond and the experience of African Canadians. This is the first time they have explored the LGBTQ community in Canada.”

Mr. Egan was chosen as the subject of the Minute because of his work as an activist in 1949 when he regularly wrote to publications criticizing inaccurate portrayals of lesbian and gay people. He also wrote letters to politicians advocating for fairer treatment of lesbians and gays under the law. This activism took place years before homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, and it is captured in the opening sequence of the Minute.

Prior to that time, gay men were often branded as criminal sexual psychopaths and dangerous sexual offenders. These labels provided for indeterminate prison sentences.

The Minute focuses on what Mr. Egan was best known for – fighting for the legal rights of same-sex couples in Canada. In 1986, he began collecting Canada Pension Plan benefits and applied for spousal benefits for his partner Jack Nesbit the following year. The application was denied. The couple took the challenge all the way to the Supreme Court and despite losing that challenge, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously to include sexual orientation as a prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Queen's University professor Steven Maynard worked as a consultant on the newest Heritage Minute featuring Jim Egan and LGBTQ rights in Canada.

“Heritage Minutes are a familiar part of Canadian culture and I think this one will be well received,” says Dr. Maynard. “With the Prime Minister’s recent apology for historical discrimination against LGBTQ Canadians and with upcoming Pride celebrations across the country, this Minute comes at just the right time.”

In addition to suggesting sources and storylines, Dr. Maynard reviewed the scripts provided by Historica Canada to ensure the accuracy of the Minute.

Experiential learning is one of the key components of Dr. Maynard’s classes at Queen’s. He’s looking forward to using the Egan Minute in his courses but notes, “It’s important to take something like this and move it outside the classroom so it has the greatest impact. All Canadians should understand this moment in our history and that is why it was so important to me to work on it with Historica Canada.”

To view the Jim Egan Heritage Minute visit the Historica Canada website and also watch for the new Minute on CBC Television.

Queen's participating in Doors Open Kingston 2018

If you haven't visited the Queen's Solar Education House, the W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, or the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, you can stop in on Saturday, June 16 as part of Doors Open Kingston.

Doors Open Kingston annually offers members of the public a glimpse inside Kingston's landmark buildings, including a number of Queen's facilities.

This year's theme looks at the Kingston women who have played an important role in the development of the city and the evolution of Canada. Some sites will focus on Kingston women leaders, artists, and visionaries who have made their mark on Canada – and whose legacies have helped shaped Kingston and the nation.

Participating Queen's venues include the Queen's Solar Education Centre, the W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collection, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

To learn more about Doors Open Kingston, visit the Doors Open Ontario website.

Crane working at Macdonald Hall

On Friday, June 8, crews from Hamilton-Smith Limited, working on behalf of Physical Plant Services, will be using a crane lift at the north side of Macdonald Hall to move air conditioning equipment onto the roof.

Portions of the walkway along Union Street may be cordoned off and unavailable for pedestrian use while work is in progress; however, crews will be on site to direct pedestrian traffic where necessary. The main entrance of Macdonald Hall will remain available for use during this work.

For more information, please contact Fixit at ext. 77301 or by email.



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