Campus Digest, April 26

Budget gets BOG backing

Seen as a modest step forward, Western’s Board of Governors gave their full support to the university’s 2012-13 Operating and Capital Budget at its April 18 meeting.

Treading carefully into the second of its four-year budget cycle, Western’s total operating revenue for 2012-13 is projected to be $630.2 million, a 3.6 per cent increase over last year, while expenditures are expected to amount to $636.4 million, an increase of 6.6 per cent over the past year. Modest enrollment will grow additional revenue, with plans to expand the number of international undergraduate students as well as its first-year intake by 1,500, composed of roughly half graduate and half undergraduate students.

In other action, the board served up another five years to the University Tennis Club with the approval of an extension of the current lease of the tennis bubble.

In 2000, the university entered into an agreement with the tennis club to lease the tennis court facilities on Lambton Drive. Its operators have since approached the university about replacing, at their own expense, the two existing domes in order to insulate them and make the facility more energy efficient.

The University Tennis Club could make an investment of this nature ($50,000) provided the university would agree to extend the lease for a five-year period, allowing recovery of replacement costs through the operations of the facility.

The lease provides for an annual rental payment of $15,000 for the first year, and an additional 3 per cent cost-of-living increase each year thereafter. In addition, 3 per cent of any gross revenue in excess of $330,000 in any given year is given to the university.

– Paul Mayne

Western professor charged with Internet luring

An assistant professor in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, who is a London neurologist and former board member of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) was charged, two weeks ago, with Internet luring and communicating for the purpose of paying for sexual services with a person under the age of 18.

Dr. Harvey Christopher Hyson, 41, was arrested April 12 after an investigation began in earlier this month. The LHSC issued a release stating it is “taking the necessary steps to ensure (Hyson) is not practicing at the LHSC pending further information.” He has been formally suspended from all academic activities and responsibilities at Western until legal matters before him are resolved.

Student Volunteer Program launching

Western’s Volunteer Program helps students find positions that support faculty and staff at the university. Each year, more than 150 students dedicate their time to volunteer participation on campus.

Students gain valuable experience while supporting the campus community. They have provided volunteer assistance developing newsletters, conducting research, working in labs, updating departmental websites and communications, performing committee work, providing library assistance and helping other students.

Volunteer Program summer placements will start in May. If you are interested in having student(s) volunteer with you, please contact Dave Cano, community engagement coordinator at The Student Success Centre, at dcanotin@uwo.ca or Ext. 80945.

For more information, please visit the Student Success Centre website, success.uwo.ca.

Essex named Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Fortunately, Chris Essex checks his mail closely.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” said the Applied Mathematics Department professor, who did a double-take when informed he would be the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars for the Fall 2012. “In fact, when I got the initial letter on their letterhead done in the old-fashioned style, I thought at first that it was some kind of junk mail. I had to look at it twice before I realized what they were doing.”

Started in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic honor society in the United States. Only 10 per cent of the college/university campuses in the United States shelter chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, where only the top 10 per cent of students are invited to join.

In 1956, the Visiting Scholar Program was born. In 2012-13, the scholars will visit 80 campuses, spending two days at each one and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They will meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the entire academic community.

A total of 4,845 visits have been made by 586 Visiting Scholars during the past 55 years.

Out of that number, only two have been Canadian. Essex is the first Canadian science professor ever to be involved with the program. In 1974-75, Jean S. Boggs served as a Visiting Scholar on art history and museums while she was National Gallery of Canada director.

From September-December 2012, Essex expects to visit close to a half dozen of the institutions.

“I think that it is a really nice honor. That‘s a really big thing for me and I‘m really looking forward to that,” Essex said. “It’s pretty prestigious. I think it’s great; I feel very honoured  to be representing Canada.”

– Mitch Zimmer