News Briefs

Today's top news stories for March 5, 2009.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Faculty pensions take a hit
While students stress about entering the workforce, professors are sweating about retirement.

According to the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association, professors have been forced to delay their retirement to recuperate pension investments lost in the ongoing financial crisis. This has occurred despite the university’s attempt to introduce early retirement incentives.

“Because of the economic turmoil, the value of faculty pension funds has eroded considerably,” UWOFA President Mike Carroll said.

“My sense is that most plans have lost 25 to 35 per cent of their value. In light of this, many faculty " who might otherwise have retired " have now postponed their retirement.”

In order to meet the necessary budget cuts, Western’s Board of Governors has proposed to offer early retirement incentive plans to eligible faculty.

However, Carroll noted with the drop in pension funds, he believes few faculty members will take up the offer.

“Generally, the Board’s response to the current crisis, and the lack of imagination they’ve shown in dealing with this crisis, calls into question their ability to provide the leadership that the university needs at this critical juncture,” Carroll said.
" Jaclyn Haggarty

Western welcomes in new research centres
Last Friday the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration and the Canadian Lunar Research Network celebrated their respective grand openings on campus.

The day’s events included interactive displays and lectures from many distinguished individuals, including a NASA lunar scientist.

“The CPSX and CLRN benefit the Canadian space community because they both help bring more research of this kind to Canada,” Melissa Battler, CPSX outreach co-ordinator, said.

According to its website, the objective of CSPX is to make Western the focus for planetary science and exploration research in Canada, as well as the forerunner in space systems design.

CPSX is the main connection and host of CLRN. CLRN aims to promote collaboration between Canadian researchers and international partners.
"Alyson Wyers

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