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U weekly

Monday, March 18, 2013

Message from President Mahon: Budget Update II

On March 7, 2013, the Alberta government released the 2013/2014 budget for the Province of Alberta.

As indicated in my initial message, the Campus Alberta Operating Grant for the University of Lethbridge will be reduced by 7.3% in 2013/2014.

Since that time, Senior Administration has had the opportunity to have additional conversations with the Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education and have learned the following additional details, which are outlined here.

I will continue to provide regular updates to the University community as more information becomes available regarding the Letters of Expectation, the impact of the provincial budget on our own operating budget and most importantly on the process we will follow to address these budget reductions.

As well, I will schedule a series of open meetings to ensure that everyone at the University has access to the information I have just shared with you.

I have no doubt that utilizing the experience, intelligence and the breadth of talent of the people we have at the University of Lethbridge we can find innovative solutions to this current challenge.

As a community we cannot understate the significance of these reductions and the negative impact they may have on our students, faculty and staff.

As one of the largest employers and contributors to the economies in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta, these reductions will also be felt well beyond our campuses.

We also cannot understate the fact that the University of Lethbridge has faced significant challenges in the past and from those challenges we, along with those who have come before us, have built one of the top ranked universities in Canada recognized for the quality of its academic programs and research, and for the outstanding experience provided to our students. Learn more here

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Pension and Benefits News now available online

Pension & Benefits March 2013 Newsletter is available for viewing on the Human Resources website. This issue contains some time-sensitive information regarding Buying PSPP Leave deadlines.

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U of L researcher receives Canada Research Chair in Experimental Astrophysics

The University of Lethbridge’s first graduate in the Earth, Space and Physical Science PhD program is coming back to the U of L through the Canada Research Chairs program.

Astrophysicist Dr. Locke Spencer, who has been working at Cardiff University in Wales, is receiving $500,000 in funding over the next five years as a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Experimental Astrophysics.

The funding will support the development of instruments that will provide new insights and improved understanding of our universe.

The focus of Spencer’s research program will include the development of instrumentation unique within Canada, as well as the creation of new observation and data processing techniques that will be used for future large-scale international projects.

“I am very excited to continue research in this field and to start a new chapter of it at the University of Lethbridge,” says Spencer, a former Calgarian who attended the U of L for his masters and doctoral studies. Learn more here. 

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Dr. Harley Hotchkiss leaves legacy gift to University of Lethbridge to support brain research

Just as his life left an everlasting, positive impact on Calgarians, Albertans and beyond, the late Dr. Harley Hotchkiss’s (LLD ’07) $1 million gift to support brain research will leave a permanent legacy at the University of Lethbridge.

The gift will move forward important research at the U of L’s Canadian Centre for Behavioral Neuroscience (CCBN). A permanent endowment that will carry Dr. Hotchkiss’s name will support research conducted by the CCBN’s world-leading researchers.

“My father was proud of his association with the University of Lethbridge, through the Canadian Centre for Behavioral Neuroscience, for several reasons,” says Brenda Mackie, Hotchkiss’s daughter. Read more here.

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Hunting and gathering in the casino

Humans, for survival reasons, are designed to react and make decisions within the context of their surroundings.

In the real world this serves people well. In artificial, random environments, like those associated with gambling, a person’s inherent desire to react to past experiences is a fruitless exercise.

In a recent study published by Frontiers in Psychology, researchers from McMaster University, the University of Lethbridge and Liverpool John Moores University suggest that betting decisions made by gamblers may be linked to the basic attention inhibitory processes used by early humans for their search activities (i.e. food).

Dr. Dan Weeks, a psychology researcher at the University of Lethbridge, says humans tend to inhibit their responses to targets which they have already responded to. In other words, humans have evolved to modify their behaviour based on what they experience in certain locations. Read more here. 

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Library opens Faculty Publications display

Next time you are in the U of L Library, be sure and check out the  new Faculty Publications display.

This permanent display was created to highlight books authored by University of Lethbridge faculty members. The University of Lethbridge Library purchases and circulates publications by University faculty and is proud to have a collection that reflects the scholarship of faculty members.

Located on the wall beside the Reference Collection (level 10 East), the selection of faculty-authored publications will rotate as books are checked out and replaced.  Get the details here. 

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Lethbridge International Film Festival, March 18 - 23

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The Lethbridge International Film Festival kicks off Monday, March 18 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Theatre Gallery of the Lethbridge Public Library.

Admission is free but donations are accepted. These thought-provoking films are presented with a discussion following.  For a complete list, please visit this website.

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New Event Connects Researchers and Community Members, March 22

It’s not quite speed dating, but the idea is similar.

On Friday, March 22, the Office of Research & Innovation Services (ORIS) team will host its first Community/University Research Exchange (CURE) event where they are looking to do some relationship building between community groups and University of Lethbridge researchers.

Researchers often experience barriers when trying to involve external partners in their research programs.

The CURE event aims to reduce those barriers by bringing community partners and U of L researchers together to talk with, and learn from, each other at a one-day open house.

A broad cross-section of external community groups and partners are going to be invited to participate and attend the event, which will take place in Markin Hall.

The event will feature keynote speakers with extensive expertise in the transfer of research outcomes to the public domain, displays and posters that highlight research outcomes of U of L faculty and graduate students, a series of short talks from researchers and community group representatives, plus a networking reception where those who attended CURE can interact face-to-face. Learn more here. 

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Changes to Operating Hours

Bookstore Inventory / Easter hours 

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Living Well at the U of L

Upcoming Wellness sessions:

March 28 –  Asthma and Allergies – lunch and learn – Dianne Sullivan from the Asthma and Allergy Clinic will be presenting symptoms and signs of allergies and asthma, what you can do, and how to access the clinic. AH100, 12 noon to  1 p.m.

Ongoing -- Mini Massages!  Book soon!

For additional information, please visit the Wellness Website.


Pure North S'nergy Foundation sessions confirmed until December 

Please email universityoflethbridge@purenorth.ca or call Ryan at 1-403-984-5214 to register or for more info.  Here is the last notice about Pure North if you would like more information. Please note as of Jan 2013, there is a registration fee for ‘non-vulnerable’ participants.

May 1 -- 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Markin Hall

June 19  -- 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Markin Hall

Sept. 25  -- 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Markin Hall

Dec. 4 -- 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Markin Hall


Health Check for U Vascular Screening Program --  The last appointment date is April 4!

Get a jumpstart on your health for the new year by registering for the screening soon. 

Health Check for U is a program designed to inform you about your overall and cardiovascular health. We will work with you to set goals about your general health and provide you with the necessary resources to meet those goals.

The screening is confidential and is FREE to U of L employees. Contact wellness@uleth.ca to register or for more information.

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News Roundup

CBC Radio --  Dr. Dan johnson talks about St. Uhro's Day, a celebration of a Finnish Saint who drove grasshoppers from Finland.

iPOLITICS.com -- Dr. Jim Byrne on Canada's Carbon Economy

St. Albert Gazette -- Researcher digs into near-extinct Métis language. Dr BNicole rosen on Michif, a near-extinct Metis language

R&D News -- Intense terahertz pulses cause both DNA damage and repair. Dr Olga Kovalchuk's lab contributes to tests of terahertz radiation

Scientific American --  Fish Cannot Smell in Polluted Waters: Dr Greg Pyle  researches how fish sense of smell is affected by pollution. 

Lethbridge Herald --  Firth says cancer can be 'kilt': Student Steve Firth wears a hilt -- all year -- to draw attention to Cancer research

Calgary Herald -- Gambling instincts linked to ancient habits: Dr Dan Weeks tests 'hunting and gathering' heritage on gamblers

SHAW TV Lethbridge -- Several features on SHAW's "Go! Southern Alberta" program

CJOC Radio News -- U of L Announces Canada Research Chair in Experimental Astrophysics

Lethbridge Herald -- Lack of STEP will trip up students

If you know anyone who has been featured or mentioned in the media, and has a U of L connection, please send a note to robert.cooney@uleth.ca

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Students Homeless for Five Days, March 10 - 15

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The 2013 5 Days for the Homeless team was orange, they were cold, and in the end raised approximately $9,000  for the Wood’s Homes Emergency Youth Shelter, a local organization that supports youth at risk in the community. 

This amount brings the total U of L  student groups have raised to nearly $60,000. Donations are still being accepted until the end of March, so the group can still achieve its stated goal of $10,000 with a bit more support. 

In addition to a rather memorable ukelele-supported sing-a-long in the SU Food Court (scroll to the bottom of the  webiste and watch it here if you dare) the students sacrificed technology, routine meals, a warm bed, and their own personal hygiene to contribute to the cause. An online donation website is available, here.

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Registrations for DELF testing

Registration  is now open for people to take any one of five DELF-DALF tests to confirm their French language proficiency. Register online until April 5. Testing begins April 22.  For more information, please visit this website. 

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Students: Free Tax Return Preparation

Trained Faculty of Management students (volunteering with the Canada Revenue Agency) will be offering a free ‘drop-in’ tax service to students and others who qualify for the program. Learn more here. 

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Request for Input: Draft Policy Review

The University is in the process of updating some of its administrative policies and wishes to seek input on the following draft policies:

• Access Device Control Policy (new policy, replacing the Key Control Policy and the Keys Held By Terminating University Employees Policy)

• Animals on Campus Policy (update of an existing policy)
• Impartiality and University Facility Utilisation Policy (update of an existing policy)

• Managing Unacceptable Behaviour by External Users of University Facilities Policy (update of an existing policy)

• Surveillance of Public Areas Policy (update of an existing policy)

Please visit this website to learn more 

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Phone Book Recycling

It is that time of the year! Please recycle your old phone books while new phone books are being distributed. Do not put the old phone books in the paper recycling containers; leave your old phone books beside the paper recycling containers.

The University of Lethbridge Caretaking Department recycled over 1300kg of phone books last year. You can even bring them from home. Let's beat our last year's record! Learn more here 

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ULSU Teaching Excellence awards program seeks nominees

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union would like to formally recognize and honour teaching excellence at the University of Lethbridge.  

The nomination deadline is March 29, 2013. 

The winners will be formally recognized as part of the 'ULSU Last Lecture' event on April 17, 2013.

Students can nominate a professor, sessional staff or lab instructor who has shown outstanding efforts to increase the learning experience of their students.

The Teaching Excellence Award is based solely on teaching excellence and will be presented up to three instructors who meet the award criteria.

All undergraduate students are eligible to nominate an instructor for the award. Get the details here. 

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Suicide Prevention Week begins March 25 -- Photo and Art Contest

The Public Health Students' Association and Counselling Services are hosting events on Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week beginning March 25th.

In preparation for this event, they are inviting all members of the campus community to enter a photo  and painting  contest by submitting a photographic  or painted interpretation of: Hope for the Future: Together we find Courage.

Please email phsa.club@uleth.ca for more information or to submit your image.

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Next Uweekly -- Monday, March 25

If you have a notice or information to submit for the week of March 25 and beyond, please contact robert.cooney@uleth.ca


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