e-COMMUNICATOR November 2005

Maclean's Rankings 2005

The Maclean’s University Rankings ’05 hit the newsstands on November 7th. Bishop’s University ranked a respectable 5th out of 21 universities in the “Primarily Undergraduate Ranking,” down one place from last year when we placed 4th.

Some scores worth noting. Of the 22 categories used to determine the ranking, Bishop’s ranked 1st in the following categories:

  • Percentage of out of province students in our first year class
  • Student Services budget as a percentage of our operating budget
Bishop’s ranked 2nd in the following categories:
  • Proportion of entering students with averages of 75% or higher
  • Library expenses per student
And finally, Bishop’s ranked 3rd in the following categories:
  • Class sizes (1st and 2nd year)
  • Class sizes (3rd and 4th year)
In some areas Bishop’s is improving but the improvement may not be reflected by movement in the rankings. For instance, we are pleased to see in the category of Student Retention (from 1st to 2nd year) we have improved from 82.2% in 2003 to 87.7% in 2005. In the Social Sciences and Humanities research grant category the average grant (per eligible faculty member) has gone from $407 (2003) to $1,323 this year. In the Medical/Science Grant research category our average grant has gone from $3,768 (2003) to $5,131.

At the same time, we dropped in some areas. In the category of First Year Classes Taught by Tenured (or Tenured Track) Faculty we fell to 42.40% from 47.90% last year. Our Operating Budget per Student has fallen from $9,511 (2003) to $9,210 this year – largely due to the chronic underfunding of Quebec universities. Alumni Support (% of alumni who have made a gift over a five-year period) has dropped from 22.7% (2003) to 20.1% this year.

The most humbling category continues to be Reputation. This year Bishop’s ranked 16th (out of 21), compared to 10th in 2003. Last spring’s survey (conducted by the Alumni & Development Office) clearly showed alumni believe the area most in need of improvement at Bishop’s is reputation and visibility. Maclean’s proved them right! Bishop’s, like many universities, takes issue with this category, its extremely high value in the survey (worth 16% of overall), and how the “data” is collected. Nonetheless we need to look at ways to sharpen our profile and better tell the Bishop’s story.

The Maclean’s University Rankings certainly fuels the dialogue about universities and ways in which to measure quality. It is important to remember this is not the definitive guide as to which university is best; Canada is blessed with fine universities from coast to coast. The Maclean’s University Rankings can and are used as a research tool for prospective students and their parents as they investigate post-secondary options, and perhaps by universities to compare against one another using quantitative data. In truth these rankings do not indicate a first (or fifth) best university; the university experience is a personal one and is different for each student or faculty member. Let’s keep that in mind, and use the findings to improve the Bishop’s Experience for our students – not for Maclean’s.

Robert Poupart

News from the Research Office

Building the world’s biggest telescope…
Dr. Lorne Nelson of the Physics Department is involved in a team project for the construction of the largest optic telescope in the world. The huge lens will be built close to Vancouver, BC and then installed either in Hawaii, Mexico or Chile. This TMT or Thirty-Metre Telescope, (its mirror will be approximately 30 metres in diameter), will hopefully enable astronomers to penetrate the mysteries of the grey matter covering 95% of the known universe. Construction should begin in 2008 so that the telescope can be completed by 2015. Fifteen Canadian universities have participated in designing this telescope.

Andrew MacDonald in the spotlight!
October 23, 2005, Dr. MacDonald’s Symphony No.1: The Red Guru, performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Carlos Prieto, was broadcast in a world premiere on CBC Radio 2 programme "Two New Hours". On November 9 and 10, 2005, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Peter Oundjian, performed the world premiere of War Machine Blues, in two special Remembrance Day concerts "Music of Remembrance" at Roy Thomsom Hall in Toronto. Commissioned by the TSO with the generous assistance of the Canada Council, this 10-minute piece is a protest against war and is suitably inspired by the works of Jimi Hendrix and Blind Willie Johnson.
A new CD of Dr. MacDonald’s music has just been released. The CD is titled "From There and Then" and features his harp concerto, The Eleusinian Mysteries, performed by harpist Erica Goodman and the Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble. It is on the Artifact Music label (catalogue # ART 034), and is available through the Canadian Music Centre (www.musiccentre.ca) and commercial record stores.

Research for workers’ health and safety
Dr. Paul Gallina has been awarded a grant of $28,500 from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to study return to work and best practices in unionized workplaces and the role of joint committees in addressing the worker health and safety needs. This research project is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Michel Lacerte, University of Western Ontario, and Dr. Sara Slinn, Queen’s University. Dr. Gallina also completed this fall a report for the Federal Labour Standards Review entitled New compliance strategies:‘Hard law’ approach.

Joint Health and Safety Committee

The Joint Health and Safety Committee was approved by the Executive Committee of Corporation April 2005.

The Joint Health and Safety Committee held its first meeting on September 12th, 2005 at which the members of the Committee were nominated and approved. The members are:
Dr. Dale Wood, Faculty representative
Ms. Willa Montague, Staff representative
Ms. Solange Cloutier, Champlain College representative
Mr. Guy Bertrand, Bishop’s University representative
Mr. Mark McLaughlin, Bishop’s University representative
Mr. Kit Skelton, Bishop’s University representative
Student representative to be named

Kit Skelton was nominated as chairman and Dale Wood was nominated as secretary.

There are four subcommittees that will report to the JHSC:

Workplace Safety Subcommittee responsible for Laboratory safety and hazardous materials on campus.

Accident Prevention Subcommittee responsible for incident and/or accident investigation, Health and Safety training, and accident prevention.

Campus Safety Subcommittee responsible for Emergency Procedures, Campus/student safety and liaison with the City of Sherbrooke.

Wellness Subcommittee responsible for employee programs and awareness of health issues.

The Subcommittees are currently being formed and the names of the members will be given at a later date.

The second meeting of the JHSC was held on November 3rd and the next meeting is scheduled to be held on December 8th.

Harassment Policy

Guy Bertrand, Director of Human Resources, and Dr. Cheryl Gosselin, Chair of Women’s Studies, worked together over the summer examining University harassment policies and drafting a new version for Bishop's. Mr. Bertrand and Dr. Gosselin consulted numerous members of the Bishop’s community including the former Chairperson of the Harassment Committee, the Ombudsman, the Director of Health Services, the Director of Counseling Services and the APBU.

Their consultation is almost complete and a draft document will be presented shortly to the Executive Committee for approval. The proposal reiterates the need for a Harassment Officer. The Officer will have a mandate to educate and assist any member of the University community in resolving problems of sexual harassment, psychological harassment or any other form of harassment.

Robert Poupart

Revised Mission Statment

The Senate Committee on "Defining and Promoting Bishop's University" met twice during the summer and has met regularly this semester to draft two draft documents which are now being circulated on campus for comments. The first document is an updated version of our mission statement, which was adopted in 1992. The second is a document which the committee believes better defines the Bishop’s experience and what a “sound and liberal” education means. It is envisioned that this document will be used on campus as a set of values, and that the document can be used with external audiences to better explain the characteristics of a Bishop’s education.

The committee is eager for comments/suggestions from all Bishop’s constituents. Please read our draft mission statement and Bishop’s defines a sound and liberal education. Comments are welcome until December 16th and may be sent to Dave McBride, committee secretary.


Governance Presentation

Wednesday, December 7, 2pm

The Principal invites faculty and staff to Bandeen Hall for a discussion about the University Governance Proposal recently circulated on campus by the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance.

Faculty Christmas Reception

Friday, December 9, 4 - 6pm

Please join the Principal at his residence (5 Harrold Dr.) for some holiday cheer.

University Holiday Celebration

Friday, December 16, 7 pm

The annual University-wide Holiday Celebration will take place at Dewhurst this year with a sit-down turkey dinner, live band & dancing, as well as the presentation of staff awards.

© 2007 Bishop's University. All rights reserved.