Volume 13, Number 9 January 6, 2006

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Substance abuse researcher sought

The U of S will search for a researcher to fill a new substance abuse chair that is made possible with provincial government funding through the Premier’s Project Hope, a three-year plan to prevent and treat substance abuse.

Healthy Living Services Minister Graham Addley and U of S President Peter MacKinnon signed a grant agreement Dec. 16 for the chair that will generate knowledge about substance abuse issues, said a government news release. The researcher will also support public policy development, and provide outreach and teaching functions.

Grizzlies studied for health effects

High-tech veterinary diagnostics, satellite-generated maps, and computer modelling are all part of a collaborative project to assess and predict the effects of landscape change on the health of resident grizzly bears.

The project, which recently received $2 million from the Alberta government’s Innovation Program as well as from industry partners, includes Steven Franklin, geography professor and vice-president research. He leads the remote sensing portion that will develop maps to monitor changes in landscape. The maps will then allow form the management of key habitat areas.

The animal health specialists on the project include David Janz, a stress physiologist from the Toxicology Centre. The group will develop health profiles of individual bears to measure the effects of long-term stress on longevity, growth, reproduction and immune function.

Dubés give STM $1-million gift

The largest donation ever made to St. Thomas More College will be used to develop a program to provide students with practical learning experiences of service and justice.

The Les and Irene Dubé Service Learning Program, funded by $1 million from the couple, who live in Calgary but maintain the head office of their Concorde Group of Companies in Saskatoon, will provide a system of bursaries for students to offset the cost of attending university. The bursaries will go to upper-year students who will “take academic skills and credentials and integrate them in a practical way in helping others, and then reflect on that experience in light of all they are learning at our Catholic college,” said STM President George Smith.

The donation will also see STM rename 18 existing $2,000 Christian Service Scholarships as Les and Irene Dubé Christian Service Scholarships. They will continue to be awarded based on academic standing, Christian service and leadership in the college and the community.

Book presented to Legislature

REGINA – The University of Regina’s Canadian Plains Research Centre Press has presented to the Saskatchewan Legislature a numbered, leather-bound, limited edition of its Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, a massive reference work on the province and its history.

In a news release, David Gauthier, publisher and general manager of the encyclopedia project said the work is “truly a made-in-Saskatchewan product. Conceived and developed in Saskatchewan for this centennial year, it is our hope that the encyclopedia, by reaching out to all people, will stand as a permanent legacy celebrating Saskatchewan’s rich history.”

CRC program flawed: CAUT

OTTAWA – An independent review of the federal government’s Canada Research Chairs program has uncovered serious flaws in its design and implementation.

The review, conducted by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), points to three major problems:

• inequities in the number of chairs awarded to women and other equity-seeking groups;

• concerns with shifting university priorities away from subject areas preferred by faculty and students; and

• uncertainties over the long-term stability of the program.

A CAUT news release said its findings show just 20 per cent of chairs are currently held by women, and only nine per cent by visible minorities.

The group is recommending the government create an additional 500 chairs to be awarded to women and other designated groups. It is also calling for a change in the allocation formula that currently requires 45 per cent of chairs to be awarded in the natural sciences, 35 per cent in the medical sciences, and 20 per cent in the social sciences and humanities.

Another recommendation is that the decision about which discipline should be awarded chairs be left to the senior academic body of each university, not the federal government.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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