September 8, 2006

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SFU drops out of Maclean's rankings

SFU and 21 other major Canadian universities won't be participating in this year's annual Maclean's magazine's ranking of universities. "We and our peer universities object to Maclean's misuse of data in establishing a spurious ranking table that is, at best, useless and, at worst, misleading to students who wish to make a thorough choice about the university they wish to attend," says a letter to Maclean's signed by the university presidents, including President Michael Stevenson. In the letter, they outlined a number of concerns, including the magazine's aggregation of a variety of data into a single ranking number. To read the letter, visit:

Royal Society honours Nelson

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) has elected Erle Nelson, an SFU archaeologist who discovered a new method of radiocarbon dating in the late 1970s, to its prestigious academies of arts, humanities and sciences. Scholars, artists and writers are elected to the RSC—Canada's oldest scholarly organization—on the merits and impact of their research. A nuclear physicist by training, Nelson discovered a more efficient method for measuring the very small amounts of radioactive substances found in nature. This method revolutionized radiocarbon dating (measuring radioactive carbon to date artifacts) and is now used broadly in the earth sciences and archaeology to date historical events.

Terry Fox event set for Sept. 19

Graduate student Jocelyn Tomkinson will be awarded the Terry Fox gold medal at the annual Terry Fox event on Sept. 21. Tomkinson, a master's student in global health, will receive the medal at a ceremony in convocation mall at 11:40 a.m. The medal is awarded to a person who has demonstrated personal qualities of courage in adversity and dedication to society which have been exemplified by Terry Fox. The ceremony will be followed by a 3.4-kilometre run and 2.2-kilometre walk. Last year the event raised more than $14,000 for the Terry Fox foundation. For more information check:

Board approves Angerilli appointment

The board of governors has approved the appointment of Nello Angerilli as the university's first associate VP-students and international. Angerilli, formerly executive director of SFU international, was named acting associate vice-president in March 2005 by VP-academic John Waterhouse.

Nominations open for staff achievement award

The university is seeking nominations for the staff achievement awards for 2006. The award honours Simon Fraser University staff members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement within the university or the community. This year there are nine awards open to staff members who are fulltime or part-time continuing employees. Nominations should be sent to the human resources department by Oct. 16. For more information contact Alan Black at or 604-291-3580.

Hydro CEO appointed to board

Robert Elton, president and CEO of B.C. Hydro, has been appointed to the SFU board of governors for a three-year term. Elton is also involved in various civic and community activities, including acting as chair for Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and as a director for the Vancouver Board of Trade. He has also worked with the Adult Literacy Contact Centre, Planned Parenthood, and Junior Achievement of B.C.

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