Today's Top Ten

September 22, 2021

UMontréal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine receives $1M for technological improvements

The Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV) has received a $1M grant from the Molson Foundation to use for technological improvements. The funds will support the development of a Veterinary Simulation and Virtual Reality Centre, as well as funding material acquisitions such as virtual reality equipment and an enhanced fleet inventory. “Thanks to this tremendous philanthropic initiative, we will soon have access to the most advanced teaching facilities for training Quebec’s future veterinarians, while respecting the highest ethical standards in animal care,” said UMontréal FMV Dean Christine Theoret. UMontréal (QC)

TRU faculty working group creates Statement on Academic Freedom

A faculty working group at Thompson Rivers University has created a Statement on Academic Freedom. The committee was struck in spring 2019, and though its work was delayed due to the pandemic, it has now finalized a four-page statement on academic freedom. TRU President Brett Fairbairn said that the statement “reflects our university’s vision and values and acknowledges Indigenous perspectives on academic freedom.” The process was faculty-led and faculty-driven, and Indigenous perspectives were prioritized through Indigenous scholar involvement. “[The statement] reflects TRU’s values which are built on respectful relations, including respect toward one another and respect for knowledge,” said Fairbairn. TRU (1) | Castanet | TRU (2) (BC)

Internationalization lies in student integration, experiences: Opinion

Internationalization’s future lies in the integration of international students and the creation of exceptional student experiences, write Jen Gonzales (executive director of student affairs, Ryerson University and Chad Nuttall (director of student housing and residence life, University of Toronto Mississauga). The authors describe the ways that this has been done through Ryerson and UTM. At Ryerson, integrated supports offered to international students were found to benefit non-international students as well. At UTM, pairing international students with domestic Canadian roommates was found to increase their GPAs and their likelihood of graduation. The authors advise institutions to keep the "whole student in mind" when developing internationalization efforts and recommend sharing data across functions, building relationships with and between students, and actively collaborating between faculty affairs and student affairs. "Collectively, across Canada, we can deliver on our promise to propel the dreams and vision of a successful future for international students choosing to study here," conclude Gonzales and Nuttall. University Affairs (Editorial)

UOttawa Gee-Gees player dies shortly after season opener

A football player for the University of Ottawa’s Gee-Gees passed away after a game on Saturday, reports CBC. Francis Perron, a mechanical engineering student at UOttawa and a graduate of Cégep de Sherbrooke, died shortly after the season opener against the University of Toronto Blues. “Our hearts are broken,” said head coach Marcel Bellefeuille in a tweet. “We’ve lost an outstanding person, teammate, player and veteran leader that made us better in every way possible.” No cause of death has been released. CBC | Times Colonist | National Post (ON)

Brighton Civil Infrastructure Design Technology program receives TAC accreditation

Brighton College’s Civil Infrastructure Design Technology program has been accredited by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). The audit included an evaluation of policies, curriculum, labs, and student support services; as well as interviews with employers and campus community members. “Brighton College is honoured to have received TAC accreditation for the Civil Infrastructure Design Technology diploma program,” said Brighton President Carol Pollock. “We are indebted to the innovation and hard work of all educators, staff and students who contribute to the success of our programs and we look forward to continuing our commitment to provide high quality, accredited programs for our students.” TAC (BC)

LUFA files Directors & Officers claim under Laurentian’s current insurance

CBC reports that the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) has filed a Directors & Officers claim under Laurentian University’s current insurance. The claim will attempt to access funds that cover past and present senior officers from lawsuits in order to provide a greater level of compensation for faculty than would be given through the existing claims process. “We’re trying to make, you know, both our current and terminated members as whole as possible,” said LUFA president Fabrice Colin. “We realize this won’t be possible but this is the mechanism or the process at our disposal at this time.” CBC (ON)

Expanding reach through writing for non-academic audiences: Opinion

Academics who are interested in reaching more people through their writing should look beyond the typical academic peer-reviewed journal and consider other avenues, writes Diana Brazzell. Academics who are interested in sharing the lessons learned from research could consider writing an op-ed for a mainstream media outlet, explains Brazzel. The author explains that blog posts offer a less daunting way to start writing for a non-academic audience, while policy briefs and white papers provide academics with an opportunity to provide longer, more technical details. Finally, Brazzell points to social media as a way to engage with a broader audience. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

UQAM research chair receives over $2.85M for research on HIV patient health needs

Université du Québec à Montréal Professor Ali Jenabian has received over $2.85M in combined funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for studies focusing on the health needs of HIV patients. One study will examine the role of the expanded endocannabinoid system and gut microbiome in chronic inflammation and co-morbidities in those living with HIV, while another is focused on the same objectives but with a control group of people who do not have HIV. The other two projects will study the effects of COVID-19 vaccinations on patients who are living in HIV. UQAM (QC)

King’s launches new student supports, career programming

King’s University College’s Student Affairs department has rolled out several new programs and partnerships to serve and support its students. “Heading into a new term or especially a first term can be exciting, but there can also be challenges that come with that,” said Joe Henry, Dean of Students at King’s. “Student Affairs has collaborated with many other departments and teams at King’s to develop programming and services that will assist our students as we transition back to campus.” The programs cover topics such as mental health, enhancing diversity supports, career and employment programming, and academic supports. Among these, King’s has entered into a partnership with Academica’s Devant in order to better support international students on their post-university career transition. King’sUC (ON)

How to make the most of conferences: Opinion

In a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Thomas J Tobin discusses techniques academics can use to make the most of academic conferences. The author provides advice to help academics make the most of their time at a conference. Tobin recommends that academics prepare for a conference by taking steps such as clearing their schedules, deciding on a flexible schedule, and doing pre-networking. Conference attendees are also encouraged to participate appropriately in Q&A, take notes, and know how to gracefully speak up when a colleague says something offensive. Tobin also provides tips on self-care, connecting with others, and what not to do at a conference. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)