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Partnerships strengthened through Europe trip

  • [Daniel Woolf in Europe]
    Principal Daniel Woolf, right, and Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), met with officials from Institut d’Études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). (Photo by Thomas Arrivé)
  • [Daniel Woolf in Europe]
    Principal Daniel Woolf, right, and Frédéric Mion, President of Institut d’Études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), sign an undergraduate exchange agreement in Paris. (Photo by Thomas Arrivé)
  • During his recent trip to France and Germany, Principal Daniel Woolf met with Queen’s alumni and students currently on exchange at a special gathering in Paris. (Supplied photo)
    During his recent trip to France and Germany, Principal Daniel Woolf met with Queen’s alumni and students currently on exchange at a special gathering in Paris. (Supplied photo)

Principal Daniel Woolf has concluded a successful international trip to France and Germany aimed at strengthening relationships with partner institutions and building connections with alumni.

[Queen's in the World]
Queen's in the World

During the trip he met with representatives from universities in both countries, hosted a special reception for alumni and Queen’s students on exchange, and signed a renewed exchange agreement with Institut d’Études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

“Building partnerships with universities around the world helps to support Queen’s academic mission and the objectives of the Comprehensive International Plan,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “I was especially pleased to renew our exchange agreement with Sciences Po during this trip, as it is an institution with a strong international reputation and an important strategic partner for Queen’s in France.”

Principal Woolf and Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, signed the renewed undergraduate exchange agreement in Paris. The two institutions have partnered since 2007 with more than 150 students having participated in exchanges during that time.

While in Paris Principal Woolf also met with the ambassador of Canada for UNESCO, representatives, including Queen’s alumni, from the Institut européen d'administration des affaires (INSEAD), hosted a special reception for Queen’s alumni and students on exchange in France, and delivered two academic papers at the Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations and the Université Paris-Sorbonne.

In Germany, Principal Woolf met with alumni as well as the consular officials in Stuttgart. He visited the University of Tübingen, one of Queen’s partners in the Matariki Network of Universities, as well as the University of Stuttgart, a growing research and academic partner for Queen’s, where a double degree program in chemistry is under discussions.

“International visits are vitally important for advancing the university’s internationalization priorities and raising Queen’s global profile,” says Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), who accompanied Principal Woolf on this trip. “The relationships that are developed and strengthened with our international partners support the Comprehensive International Plan by enhancing Queen’s student learning experience and research activities through deeper international engagement.”

Queen’s launched its Comprehensive International Plan in August 2015 to support its internationalization efforts. Among the plan’s goals are strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through programs like academic exchange programs. The plan also aims to attract high quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on the Queen’s campus.

Pita Pit creates new bursary at Queen’s

Pita Pit’s connection with Queen’s University goes back to its very foundation and the international fresh food chain recently honoured that link by creating a new bursary to support students.

Participants in the international conference for restaurant chain Pita Pit, held at Queen’s University in July, take a group photo.

In 1995, Pita Pit founder Nelson Lang opened his very first location just off the Queen’s campus, knowing that students would be the key to growing the brand.

Since then, the relationship between the two has continued to grow with two Pita Pit locations on campus, while the brand supports Queen’s Athletics and Recreation through various sponsorship opportunities.

Earlier this year, to celebrate the continued partnership – including two Pita Pit locations on campus – and to mark the brand’s 20th anniversary, nearly 500 Pita Pit franchise owners, staff and vendors gathered at Queen’s for an international conference in July.

During the conference, Pita Pit franchisees, employees and vendors surprised Mr. Lang by unveiling a new way for Pita Pit to say thank you for two decades of support from Queen’s students, faculty, and staff, raising $104,000 to establish the Pita Pit Bursary in Honour of Nelson Lang.

“Pita Pit was founded on fresh thinking, and we are so lucky to have the opportunity to make positive impacts in the communities we serve,” Mr. Lang says. “Our connection with Kingston and Queen’s University has remained strong, even as the Pita Pit brand has expanded across the globe. Together, our Pita Pit family wanted to find a way to give back, and help the students and communities where Pita Pit locations operate.”

Financial assistance from the bursary will be awarded each year to a Queen’s student on the basis of demonstrated financial need. The recipient may be in any year, of any faculty or school at Queen's. Preference will be given to students who are current or past employees of a Pita Pit restaurant.

“Through its generosity, the Pita Pit bursary will assist in easing the financial burden for students who need this critical support to achieve their academic and personal goals,” says Queen’s Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney.  “This funding can help make the difference for some students between accessing post-secondary education and not being able to afford it.”

Under current parameters set by the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, Pita Pit’s initial bursary establishment of $104,000 will generate approximately $3,500 in annual student support.

Students can apply for the bursary online through the Queen’s student portal. The deadline for applications is Saturday, Oct. 31. The first award bursary will be given out in January 2016.

To learn more about the Nelson Lang Bursary, or to donate, visit www.givetoqueens.ca/pitapitbursary.

University updates research administration policy

An updated policy governing all research administration activity at Queen’s recently came into effect. Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer, sat down with Karina McInnis, Executive Director, University Research Services, and Heather Woermke, University Controller, to discuss the updated policy and its impact on the research community.

MK: What is the purpose of this updated policy?

KM: At Queen’s, many people contribute to the university’s drive for research excellence.  The updated policy clearly outlines their roles and responsibilities and removes any ambiguity that may have existed in the past. As a result, researchers, faculties and service units will have clear direction on resolving any issues or matters that might arise.

[Karina Mcinnis and Heather Woermke]
Karina McInnis (left), Executive Director, University Research Services, explains that the updated research administration policy clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities related to all research activity conducted at Queen's.

MK: What is the scope of the updated policy?

KM: The policy is quite broad, as the name would suggest. It covers all research activity conducted, or proposed to be conducted, under the auspices of the university while using Queen’s personnel, students, premises, resources, facilities or equipment. The updated policy also outlines the responsibilities of staff or faculty responsible for managing or administering research activity.

MK: Why was it necessary to update the policy?

KM: Following the implementation of the new budget model in 2013, Queen’s created a separate policy for the indirect costs of sponsored research, which recognizes that indirect costs of research revenue now flow to the faculties. All of the remaining policy statements from the original 1995 policy, and other modifications, have been grouped into this updated policy, which is closely aligned to the requirements of our external research funders, such as the federal Tri-Agencies.

MK: Are there any significant changes as a result of the update?

HW: Included as part of the launch of the policy are procedures that enable Financial Services to support departments and faculties in managing over-spending on research projects, while providing tools to principal investigators (PIs) to ensure research is not disrupted.  These procedures were approved by the Vice-Principals’ Operational Committee after being endorsed by the deans, associate deans of research and business officers. Financial Services has been working closely with faculties on their implementation. 

In summary, any research project that is in deficit for three consecutive months will be deactivated, and any expenditures after the date of deactivation will be charged to the departmental operating account.

[Karina McInnis and Heather Woermke]
Heather Woermke (right), University Controller, explains that the updated policy includes procedures that enable Financial Services to support departments and faculties in managing over-spending on research projects.

MK: What happens if PIs anticipate temporary over-spending on a research project?

HW: Should PIs anticipate temporary over-spending on a research project, the best approach would be to request approval from their department or faculty for overdraft protection using the form on the Financial Services website. Approved forms will be forwarded to Financial Services (Research Accounting). Receipt of an approved form will result in a temporary increase in the project budget, and alleviates any need to temporarily recode expenses.

MK: Where can people find out more information about the policy, and who can they contact if they have questions?

KM: The Research Administration Policy is posted on the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website. If you have any questions, you can contact me by email or by phone at ext. 33108, or Ms. Woermke by email or by phone, ext. 33375. Research Accounting is also able to assist, and can be contacted at research.accounting@queensu.ca.

Grant will make Inuit art exhibition a reality

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre has received a substantial grant of $261,937 from the Museum Assistance Program (MAP) of the Department of Canadian Heritage, it was announced Friday.

[Norman Vorano]
Norman Vorano is the Queen’s National Scholar and Curator of Indigenous Art.

The grant, the largest received by the gallery from this source, will be allocated over a three-year period. It supports an extraordinary exhibition of graphite drawings under the title Drawing from the Past: Picturing Inuit Modernity in the North Baffin Region, 1964. The show will be featured at the Agnes in 2017, with a national tour to follow.

Created in partnership with the Canadian Museum of History and the Piqqusilirivvik Inuit Cultural Learning Facility in Clyde River, Nunavut, Drawing from the Past will examine a tumultuous era in the history of Canada’s Arctic through the display and interpretation of a unique collection of Inuit drawings made in 1964. The drawings, created by Inuit men and women from the North Baffin communities of Clyde River, Pond Inlet, and Arctic Bay, document the thoughts, apprehensions, memories and observations of Nunavummiut during a time of social upheaval. The pieces entered the collection of the Canadian Museum of History in 2014.

Norman Vorano, Queen’s National Scholar and Curator of Indigenous Art, will lead the project. The exhibition is the first effort to bring this collection to the public in 30 years. Dr. Vorano says the project represents a special opportunity.

“The partnership with Piqqusilirivvik will ensure an informed, culturally rich interpretive framework for presenting these drawings, and opens a new channel of engagement with Canada’s Aboriginal population,” he says. “Reflecting contemporary discussions in curatorial practice, the exhibition seeks a realignment of the relationship between Indigenous and settler perspectives on non‐Western art through an emphasis upon the intangible elements of visual arts — the stories, memories and voices associated with the drawings.”

Agnes Director Jan Allen points out that the cultural exchange embedded in Drawing from the Past takes the work of the gallery in a new direction.

“With the support of MAP and the help of our partners, these drawings — tangible traces of cross‐cultural encounter from half a century ago — will come to life through reflective interviews with the people of their community of origin,” she says. “In conceiving this project, Norman Vorano has cultivated a fresh collaborative approach that promises to be revelatory for all involved.”

In addition to his role at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Dr. Vorano is an assistant professor in the Department of Art at Queen’s University.

For more information, contact Diana Gore, administrative coordinator, at (613) 533.2190 or diana.gore@queensu.ca.



Queen’s releases 2014-15 financial statements

Queen’s financial statements for 2014-15 have now been posted online after being approved by the university’s Board of Trustees earlier this month.

The statements, which outline the university’s consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2015, report a surplus of revenues over expenses of $61.9 million even as the university continues to face a number of financial challenges.

“The majority of the surplus is the result of strong investment returns in the university’s investment and endowment funds,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “There is a degree of volatility in the financial statements because of investment returns.  The markets performed very well over the fiscal year, but the university cannot count on such strong returns over the long term.”

The university’s pooled endowment fund returned 12 per cent during the fiscal year. A portion of the endowment fund, use of which is largely restricted by the wishes of donors, is paid out to fund operations while the remainder is reinvested to protect the long-term value of the portfolio.

“There is a degree of volatility in the financial statements because of investment returns.  The markets performed very well over the fiscal year, but the university cannot count on such strong returns over the long term.”

- Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

The smaller pooled investment fund, which includes a range of research funds, trust accounts, and operating carry-forwards, returned 10 per cent for the year. Those returns provide important flexibility for the university to address strategic priorities.

Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), is responsible for the university’s budget process and says that apart from one-time items like investment returns, the 2014-15 fiscal year ended as expected.

“Through the annual budget process, the university is focused on managing its resources carefully in the face of financial challenges,” says Harrison. “Despite the positive result in 2014-15, the university continues to face an unsustainable pension plan with a $285 million solvency deficit, a $253-million deferred maintenance backlog, static or declining government grants and uncertainty around the outcome of the government’s review of the university funding formula.”

The university’s financial statements are available on the Financial Services website, while more information about the university’s budget process is available on the provost’s website.

ITS dials up cellphone reception

Cellphone reception inside campus buildings is improving as a result of a project led by Information Technology Services (ITS).

Working with ITS, Bell Mobility is installing new in-building antenna systems at several locations. While the technology is provided by Bell, customers of other carriers – Telus, Virgin and Koodo – will benefit from the upgrades. Queen’s is actively encouraging Rogers Wireless and Wind Mobile to provide their customers with this enhanced service, and both continue to investigate the option to connect to the system.

“The Queen’s community has come to rely on cellphones and smartphones on a daily basis to support their educational, business and personal needs. However, reliable service inside Queen’s buildings has been hit and miss because outdoor antenna systems have struggled to keep up with the density of devices in the downtown area and on main campus,” says Hugh Flemington, Project Lead. “We anticipate this project will reduce the number of times users experience dropped calls or can’t find a signal.”

ITS set the initial priorities for the multi-year project based on buildings that typically house or host a large number of people, as well as areas known to have poor cellphone reception. The new antenna system is operating in Goodes Hall, Stauffer Library, Queen’s Centre and Victoria Hall. Systems in Brant House, David C. Smith House and Watts Hall will be in service by the end of September.

In addition to main campus improvements, west campus will soon benefit from a new Bell antenna on John Orr Tower to relieve capacity issues in the neighbourhood on event and high-traffic days.

ITS will continue to consult with its advisory boards and get feedback from student groups and Residences as it determines sites for future installations.

University appoints new deputy provost

Teri Shearer, an associate professor at Smith School of Business, has been appointed deputy provost, effective Jan. 1, 2016. 

[Teri Shearer]
Teri Shearer, an associate professor at Smith School of Business, has been appointed deputy provost.

Dr. Shearer, currently the associate dean of faculty at Smith School of Business, replaces Laeeque Daneshmend, who is returning to his faculty position as a professor in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Dr. Shearer brings extensive academic and administrative experience to this role,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “I would also like to thank Dr. Daneshmend for his dedication and commitment to the position over the past three years.”

As the deputy provost, Dr. Shearer will work closely with Queen’s senior management team to advance the academic, operational, and budgetary goals of the university. Among her responsibilities, Dr. Shearer will play a leadership role, on behalf of the provost, in overseeing academic appointments.

Throughout her time at Queen’s, Dr. Shearer has been actively involved in the administration at the school of business, most recently as associate dean. She also served as chair of the school’s faculty board and chair of the academic appeals committee from 2008-2012, and she has been active on numerous other committees. Additionally, she has represented the school of business on Senate, and is a past chair of both the Senate Budget Review Committee and the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures.

Dr. Shearer joined Queen’s in 1996 after completing her PhD at the University of Iowa. Her research interests centre on the social and behavioural consequences of accounting practices, and she has published in some of the top journals in her field.

Getting a jump on retirement

Queen’s employees looking to prepare for life after work can now access a suite of services offered by Human Resources (HR).

“We want to assist Queen’s employees as they look ahead to the challenges and opportunities offered by retirement,” says Corey Scott, Human Resources Training Co-ordinator. “We believe that the workshops will smooth the process of transitioning from paid employment to retirement.”

The pre-retirement suite of services will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Financial planning
  • Queen’s Pension Plan
  • The emotional effects of retirement
Queen's Human Resources aims to encourage a dialogue about the challenges and opportunities offered by retirement.

HR will offer the pre-retirement suite of services through a variety of means including workshops led by external experts as well as Queen’s facilitators, lunch and learn sessions, and online courses offered through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).

Mr. Scott says the pre-retirement suite is not restricted to employees who are quickly closing in on retirement.

“Statistics show that Canadians are living longer and that traditional sources of retirement income are changing, so it’s important that employees start planning earlier for their retirement to ensure they are as financially and emotionally prepared as possible when the time comes,” he says.      

Visit the HR learning catalogue to sign-up for the pre-retirement offerings. The learning catalogue also contains a listing of all the certificate programs, workshops and wellness programs Queen’s HR offers to help employees achieve their professional and personal goals. A few upcoming highlights from October and November include:

Oct. 13 Delivering Business Presentations with Style and Confidence (three-part workshop)
Oct.14 Lunch & Learn: The Fundamentals of Change and Transition
Oct. 27 Personality Dimensions
Oct. 28 New Staff Orientation
Nov. 3 MS Excel – Introduction
Nov. 19 Positive Space
Nov. 19 MS Outlook – More than Email
Nov. 19 Meetings that Matter
Nov. 24 How to Plan an Event on Campus
Nov. 24 MS Excel – Intermediate
















If you have questions, please contact Corey Scott, Training Coordinator, at ext. 78418, or Shannon Hill, Learning and Development Specialist, at ext. 74175. Alternately, you can reach the Organizational Development and Learning team by email.

Major accomplishments

  • Major Admissions Awards
    Emily Heffernan, a third-year electrical engineering student, speaks with Chancellor Jim Leech at the major admissions awards reception.
  • Major Admissions Awards
    Kyle MacNeil, a fourth-year student at the School of Computing, delivers a speech at the major admissions awards reception in Wallace Hall.
  • Major Admissions Awards
    Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, speaks to the major admissions award recipients Wednesday, Sept. 30.
  • Major Admissions Awards
    Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), speaks at an event for major admissions awards recipients at Wallace Hall.

Queen’s University recognized a special group of students on Wednesday as it hosted the annual reception for major admission award recipients.

At the event in Wallace Hall, a pair of upper-year students offered their advice and personal insights for life at Queen’s and beyond.

Kyle MacNeil, a fourth-year student at the School of Computing, from Upper Rawdon, NS, says that if it wasn’t for the Chancellor’s Scholarship, he wouldn’t be at Queen’s. However, he added that the benefits of the award were more than financial. He also found a community. 

“All the other people who received Chancellor’s Scholarships – we created a group on Facebook – that helped when I first came to Queen’s because I automatically connected with this group of people,” he says. “One of them is my best friend now and the fellow recipients have helped each other over the years.” 

Emily Heffernan is a third-year electrical engineering student from Alliston, Ont., and a recipient of the Chernoff Family Award. She spoke about the challenges of university life – expected and unexpected – and urged her fellow recipients to remain flexible and resilient.

“My biggest advice is to find something that you are really interested in,” she says. “Don’t worry if you think it’s the ‘right’ thing to do or what you are ‘supposed’ to do be doing, but just find something you are passionate about and I find that everything falls into place.”

Currently, there are 245 entering and in-course award recipients at Queen’s from across the country, and across all faculties and departments.  

The selection process at Queen’s is rigorous, with more than 200 faculty, including members of the Retirees Association at Queen’s, volunteering to evaluate the nearly 1,200 submissions.  

“Major Admission Award recipients are engaged in their communities, and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities, creativity, initiative, and academic excellence,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who emceed the event. “They continue a high level of engagement and academic success throughout their time here at Queen’s, and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments.”

The awards are generously supported by numerous donors. Many donors want to give back this way because they, too, received some form of support, recognition and encouragement when they were students. Their generosity has a significant impact within the Queen's community and the recipients of their awards. 

The 2016-17 Major Admission Award application is now open for students applying to Queen's for the 2016-17 academic year. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2015. Visit the Student Awards website for further information about Queen’s Admission Awards.

Principal Woolf meets with local election candidates

Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf held a series of meetings with local federal election candidates over the past few weeks, with the goal of learning more about the platforms of each party, articulating Queen’s priorities, and strengthening relationships with local community leaders and the university.

[Election Poster]“With the election close on the horizon, it was important for me to take the opportunity to discuss Queen’s agenda and current initiatives with the candidates,” Principal Woolf says. “We want to keep the communication lines open within the community and learn more about the policies and debates that will affect students and postsecondary education in the years to come.”

On separate occasions, Principal Woolf met with NDP candidate Daniel Beals, Conservative candidate Andy Brooke, Liberal candidate Mark Gerretsen and Green Party candidate Nathan Townend.

Principal Woolf – along with other executive heads of Ontario universities – will strive to work with student groups and electoral officials from all orders of government to promote youth participation in the electoral process. “I encourage all of our voting-eligible students to familiarize themselves with the candidates and party platforms and to get out and vote on Oct. 19 or in the advance polls. Make your voice heard,” he says.

On Queen’s campus, students can visit an information/registration booth in the Queen’s Centre (near the pharmacy) to ask questions and register to vote. The booth, hosted by local Elections Canada representatives, is open every weekday, 10 am–2 pm until Oct. 8.

Elections Canada also has a special section on its website for students and first-time voters. Included on the website is information on registering (whether in a student’s home riding or school riding), the four different ways to vote (on election day, in advance polls, at one of 400 Elections Canada offices across Canada, or by mail), and outreach on campus.


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