An Opportunity to Help a VIU Student


Recently a Rutgers philosopher published a piece on Episyllogism as a tribute to my years of working at Malaspina (now VIU). Published here and also on Facebook the post had over 650 views!

Above all it celebrates the importance of post-secondary education and the challenges young people have in accessing a good university. I am hoping that you will join with Karen and me in contributing some help for those students. To that end VIU has provided the following information.

Bob and Karen Lane invite you to join them in supporting a bursary for students in financial need. Gifts can be made online here, or contact William Litchfield, Executive Director of the VIU Foundation ( or 250.740.6602) to make a difference in the life of a student.

It is easy and safe to donate online and I hope you will join us in helping a student at Vancouver island University!

The You in VIU

VIU Announces Support for Syrian Refugee Students

As we celebrate World VIU Days this week, Vancouver Island University faculty, staff and students are joining people across Canada and around the world in a commitment to do everything we can to assist hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled civil war in their country.

Among refugees are young people with great promise who have left behind not only a beloved home but the opportunity to pursue their dreams through academic studies and the rewarding careers and lives that follow.

We think of those young people, along with our colleagues at universities whose work as scholars and professors has been cut short as they flee a dangerous and volatile situation and the threat of persecution.

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, VIU faculty, staff and students have come together to initiate the creation of the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund.

With an initial contribution of $10,000 from the Vancouver Island University Faculty Association, and with all donations matched at 50 cents on the dollar by Vancouver Island University, this fund has been established to accomplish the following initiatives:

  • Fund and support a Syrian student refugee through VIU’s local World University Service of Canada (WUSC) committee and its Student Refugee Program.
  • Fund scholarships for university-aged children of sponsored refugee families arriving in Nanaimo in the coming months.

In addition, VIU will be joining and supporting the Scholars at Risk program, which assists academics who must flee violence or persecution in their home country, and provides them with opportunities to study and teach at universities abroad.

VIU deeply values the diversity represented by our students who come from more than 80 countries to study at our campuses and live in our communities. International students comprise 17 per cent of our enrolment, a fact that we celebrate as we welcome the diversity of perspectives they bring to enrich us all.

We welcome the support and contributions from organizations and individuals in the communities we serve, in order to achieve the goals we have set out for the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund. And we anticipate the day when we shall welcome Syrian student refugees to our campus, and their families into our communities.

This message is on behalf of Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor, and students, faculty and staff who have formed a committee to respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.


Here’s how you can help:

Get involved! Contact to see how you can contribute to the VIU Syria Refugee Response Committee, which is coordinating the VIU community response.

Support VIU-WUSC! Invite members of VIU-WUSC into your classroom to talk about the Student Refugee Programme and how your students can get involved. Building the capacity of VIU-WUSC is a key part of making a Syrian refugee sponsorship possible.

Donate to the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund. The goal is to raise $40,000 by the end of the school year. As part of VIU’s “Giving Tuesday” initiatives, the VIU Foundation will match your donation dollar-for-dollar to the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund. This is a limited time opportunity. Please go to the special online donor page before December 1:, and select the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund as the designated fund. You may also donate in person at Advancement and Alumni Relations, or by calling 250.740.6214.


IPP Report

Balance Scales (Ethics)

Balance Scales (Ethics) (Photo credit: The Open University (OU))

Institute of Practical Philosophy
Director: Dr. Robert Pepper-Smith
Researchers: Dr. Robert Pepper-Smith, Dr. Carolyn Swanson
Associated Research Scholars: Dr. Janice Porteous
Honorary Research Associate: Bob Lane – Blog; Reviews

Student Researcher: Syed Raza

Founded by Bob Lane, the Institute promotes innovative ways of exploring contemporary social and political problems. The Institute has, for example, hosted a conference on B.C.’ s new health care consent and representation agreement legislation, offered an upper level course in health care ethics at NRGH, developed a clinical case consultation workshop and hosted several symposia on such topics as genetically modified foods, environmental ethics and social and political issues in Latin America. The Institute also publishes a chapbook series on a number of topics including health care ethics and effective social responses to crime.
In 2013-14 the Institute developed its website tracking the growing social demand that pension plans invest ethically. The Institute also continued to publish its newsletter entitled Canada Pension Alert: What Are Your Pension Funds Up To? [I urge you, dear readers, to take a few moments to investigate the information presented on this site. Money in pension funds talks. Be sure you know what it is saying!]

In March 2014, the Institute hosted a talk by Dr. Gary Bauslaugh entitled Justice and the Law: a talk on Jury Nullification. Also in March, the Institute along with community partners helped to organize two reconciliation dialogue workshops whose purpose was to share awareness of the many aspects of residential school experiences, to foster an environment that supports survivors, their families and our community in a journey of healing. Because of the overwhelming success of the first two workshops (one for high school students, the second for adults) a third workshop is to be offered at the end of May.

The Institute has also continued its publishing programme and will issue a 4th edition of its Cases in Health Care Ethics in the Fall of 2014.


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Get thee to university


Do something out of the ordinary this summer – take your grandkids to university!

Join us at VIU for GrandKids University on July 3 & 4, 2013!

GrandKids (ages 7-13) & grandparents come together to learn in a dynamic atmosphere.

Earn a “degree” in one of the offered majors. Share hands-on learning activities. Attend a BBQ and take part in evening recreation.

Stay together in the Student Residences on campus. Enjoy time together and create lasting memories!

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