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Person/organization

3-D Film

  • Corporate body

7th Floor Media

  • Corporate body
  • 1987-

7th Floor Media was formed in 1987 as EXCITE – the Exemplary Centre for Interactive Technologies in Education. The Centre was established by Dr. Gerri Sinclair with a mandate to engage in research of interactive technologies for education, and the prototyping and development of educational applications for interactive technologies. The Centre reported to the Faculty of Education, but its funding came from external sources such as Apple, IBM, and the CRB Foundation. Consequently, from the very beginning, the Centre worked to develop a client base outside the University.

By January 1988, EXCITE, with Dr. Gerri Sinclair as its first Director, was fully established as a research and demonstration centre investigating the current and potential uses of interactive multimedia in the classroom, the home, and the workplace. As Canada’s first new media lab, EXCITE focused on the intersections between education and technology, people and content.

Initially, EXCITE consisted of Gerri Sinclair and one graduate assistant. By 1990, in addition to Gerri Sinclair, the members of EXCITE consisted of two former humanities teachers; a philosopher of communications theory; a poet; and a former lawyer with experience in performing arts, English literature, economics, software development, and educational theory.

Apple Canada was one of the first major organizations to support EXCITE. From 1988 to 1991, EXCITE was an Apple Centre for Innovation (“ACI”). Gerri Sinclair was also an IBM Consulting Scholar from 1989 to 1994. EXCITE worked with both Apple and IBM to develop applications in multimedia computing. Throughout these early years, EXCITE focused on work in the field of interactive technologies, researching and developing software applications including diskette-based software programs, the first “talking books” on CD-ROM, software integrating videodisc-based content, authoring tools such as audio and video clipmakers, and the electronic magic marker.

In 1993, with the release of Mosaic, the first Web browser, much of EXCITE’s focus shifted to Web-based activities, converting existing applications and content, and developing new applications and content specifically for the Web. These activities led to the development of a new Web browser called NCompass, which allowed Microsoft’s Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology to be embedded on a Web page. The development of the NCompass technology led to the formation of a spin-off company that, in February of 1996, became a separate entity from EXCITE – NCompass Labs Inc. – with Gerri Sinclair as the President and CEO. Julie Zilber and Noni Maté took over the direction of EXCITE, becoming its two Co-Directors. Gerri Sinclair retained a half-time advisory position as Founding Director until December 15, 2003. NCompass Labs Inc. remained physically co-located with EXCITE at SFU until April of 1996, at which time NCompass moved into its own office space. As part of the terms under which NCompass was spun out of EXCITE, Simon Fraser University was granted equity non-voting shares in NCompass Labs Inc.

While EXCITE was engaged in Web-based projects, another stream of its activities was focused on the design and development of high-end, rich multimedia content applications. This included the creation of on-site interactive displays for museums, science centres, discovery centres, and historic sites; as well as the development of educational CD-ROMs.

On December 8, 1999, EXCITE moved to the seventh floor of Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre (Vancouver) Campus and changed its name to 7th Floor Media (7FM).

An agreement dated July 20, 2006 between the Vice-President, Academic, John Waterhouse, Dean of Education, Paul Shaker, and Dean of Continuing Studies, John LaBrie, transferred 7th Floor Media from the Faculty of Education to Continuing Studies. This change in reporting relationships took effect on September 1, 2006. The rationale for the transfer was the belief that there was a strategic fit between the mission of Continuing Studies and the capabilities of 7th Floor Media, and that the group could become financially self-sustaining at a reduced staffing level if it became integrated into Continuing Studies. As part of this new agreement, 7th Floor Media became a self-funding, non-profit research and development unit within Continuing Studies, and significantly downsized its staff. Current staff are professionals with backgrounds in education, photography, videography, animation, software engineering, design, requirements gathering, user experience, and usability analysis. 7th Floor Media’s staff are employees of Simon Fraser University, but the majority of the Department’s revenue comes from external contract work.

7th Floor Media’s current mandate is new media development and prototyping for education and culture. All of 7th Floor Media’s activities explore how people interact with content, and how technology supports that process. 7th Floor Media creates and develops Websites, mobile applications, and interactive public installations; does traditional classroom and curriculum educational work; researches, analyzes, and forecasts new media trends and futures; and provides human factors analysis, interface design reviews, and consulting services. Its clients and partners range from governments to museums and science centres, public broadcasters, non-profit organizations, private foundations, and corporations.

Academic Planning Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1970 - 1975

The Academic Planning Committee (APC) was establsihed in 1970 as an advisory committee to the President and successor to the Senate's Long Range Academic Planning Committee. Its main functions were to review and recommend to the President, as Chair of Senate, all new program proposals submitted to it; and develop annually a recommendation to the President concerning academic and action priority listings. It was replaced in 1975 by the Senate Academic Planning Committee (SCAP).

Academic Planning Office

  • Corporate body
  • 1964 - 1974

The position of Director of Academic Planning (also referred to as the Academic Planner) was created by President McTaggart-Cowan in 1963 in order to help plan, organize, and formulate policies on the academic activities of the University. Duties of the director included providing assistance to the President, the Senate, and the Board of Governors in making decisions as to the format of the academic year to be adopted by SFU (e.g., a semester system versus a term year system); the organization of University faculties (including making decisions as to which faculties were to be included in the University); the planning of University academic priorities in relation to programs offered by other universities in the community; the setting of admissions policies; the establishment of student study formats (such as sizes of lectures and tutorials, and grading standards); the formulation of policies regarding academic staff; and the formulation of expansion plans for the University. The Academic Planner reported to the Vice-President, Academic, until the position of Academic Planner was eliminated in 1974.

On November 14, 1963, the University hired its first Director of Academic Planning, Ronald James Baker, who assumed his duties on January 1, 1964. On December 10 of that year he also became the head of SFU's English department. He served in these positions until 1969, when he left SFU to become President of the University of Prince Edward Island. At that time, John Chase took over duties as Academic Planner. Chase left the position in 1974 to become Director of Institutional Studies (now Analytical Studies) for SFU.

Academic Planning Services

  • Corporate body
  • 1990 - 2004

Academic Planning Services was established in September 1990 with the appointment of Alison Watt as the unit's first Director, reporting to the Vice-President, Academic (VPA). Academic Planning Services' main functions were to coordinate academic planning at the senior staff level, provide secretariat services to the Senate Committee on Academic Planning (SCAP), coordinate the process for external reviews of academic departments, oversee use of endowment funds to support academic programs, and maintain the university's policies and procedures manual.

In March 1996, Watt became Director, Secretariat Services, moving from the VPA's to the Registrar's portfolio and transferring a number of responsibilities with her. In subsequent years, academic planning support services have been variously organized through the VPA's Office. Kathy Heinrich was appointed Special Assistant to the VPA, Academic Planning in 1996 to assist academic restructuring processes; Heinrich left the university in the summer of 1999. A directorship for Academic Planning Services was re-established from 2000 to 2004 with the appointment of Sue Roppel (2000-2001), then Laurie Summers (2002-2004). In 2004, academic planning was reorganized with the creation of the Academic Planning and Budgeting Office, headed by Glynn Nichols as Director. This unit has a dual reporting relationship to both the VP Academic and the VP Finance and Administration through their respective Associate VPs.

Academic Relations Office

  • Corporate body
  • 1988 -

The Academic Relations Office is the planning, policy advising and administration office for faculty, professional librarians and archivists, and academic administrators at SFU. The Office was established in 1988 with the appointment of Sharon Cochran as Director. Its main functions are to coordinate human-resources services for faculty personnel; advise faculty and provide administrative support to the appointment, renewal, tenure, promotion, and salary review processes; and liaise with the SFU Faculty Association. Prior to 1988, a number of these responsibilities had been carried out within the Office of the Vice-President, Academic (VPA) by Alison Watt in her position as the Assistant to the Vice-President (1978-1990).

Throughout its history, Academic Relations has always belonged the VPA's reporting portfolio. From its establishment in 1988 until the departure of its first Director in 1996, Academic Relations reported directly to the VPA. Subsequently, the Associate VPA, Judith Osborne, assumed direct responsibility for the unit from 1996 to 2001. A new Director, Sue Roppel, was appointed in 2001 following a reorganization of senior administrative portfolios at the university. This saw the incumbent Associate VPA (Osborne) move to the new post of Associate Vice-President, Policy, Equity and Legal, and the mandate of the Associate VPA redefined, shifting from academic employment relations to academic planning and budgeting.

Acorn, Milton

  • Person
  • 1923-1986

Milton Acorn (1923-1986) was a noted Canadian poet. Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, he worked as a carpenter until the late 1950s. He became known as a Marxist poet, being dubbed "The People's Poet", and was identified with the Montreal School of Poets. His published works included "In Love and Anger", "Against a League of Liars", "The Brain's the Target", "Jawbreakers", "I've Tasted My Blood", and "More Poems for People".

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