Today's Top Ten

April 22, 2019

ON pulls $20M from OCADU expansion project

The Ontario government has pulled $20M in funding that had been earmarked for an ongoing expansion project at OCAD University, reports the Toronto Star. The decision could interrupt the project, which began about ten years ago. “We’re well underway and it meets the needs of our university for 21st century high-quality education in design and in digital media and creative industries that the Ontario economy needs,” said OCADU President Sara Diamond. The Staradds that OCADU had already raised $33M of the project’s required $60M from private donors, the federal government, and institutional funds. In a letter to the Star, ON Deputy Minister George Zegarac cited “fiscal constraints” as the reason for the province’s decision. Star (ON)

UAlberta to move mountains with new research centre

Canada’s newest member of the Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Canadian Mountain Network, will be hosted at the University of Alberta. The Government of Canada has announced that it will provide $18.3M over the next five years for the network. “Collaboration will be a key component of this initiative, with the aim of identifying critical research gaps and opportunities that link Canada’s inter-jurisdictional mountainous regions,” explained UAlberta professor and CMN Research Co-Director and President Stan Boutin. “We are harnessing existing capacities and seeking new research relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and communities.” UAlberta Edmonton Journal (AB)

The bleak reality of growing adjunct numbers: Hanlon

“We need to fundamentally reconceptualize the battle against adjunctification, shifting away from pity or outrage and toward arguments that universities themselves deny at their own peril,” writes Aaron Hanlon. The author adds that a vast share of the professoriate will eventually leave a part-time faculty job that, “by definition, has no future.” Hanlon argues that even a society that does not care about the wellbeing of adjunct professors must recognize that a post-secondary system that eats its young and behaves as though it has no future “is not a good thing.” The author also cites studies demonstrating that any cost reductions associated with reliance on contingent faculty members do not translate to greater savings or tuition decreases. Chronicle (Subscription required) (International)

Vowing to “learn from history,” Queen’s apologizes for barring black medical students 

Officials at Queen’s University have issued a formal apology for the school’s policy of barring admission to black medical students between 1918 and 1965. According to a release, PhD candidate Edward Thomas found archival evidence to suggest that the historical facts about the ban—which was designed to conform to discriminatory policies established by the American Medical Association—were misrepresented in 1978, 1986, and 1988. The Kingston Whig-Standardadds that Queen’s also plans to send personal letters of apology to family members of those affected by the ban, and that it will make changes to the school’s curriculum to enforce greater diversity and inclusivity. Queen's | Kingston Whig-Standard (ON)

UPEI announces tuition hike, doubles deposit fee

Students at the University of Prince Edward Island will pay 2% more in tuition for the 2019-20 academic year, reports CBC. Will McGuigan, President of the UPEI Student Union, said that he is generally happy with the new budget. “Now obviously you know we don't like to see fees increase for students, but you know to ensure that the services are being matched we do have to,” he said. CBC adds that UPEI is also doubling its deposit fee, from $250 to $500. McGuigan said that the student union and the university plan to work together to ensure that accessibility is not an issue for students who might not be able to afford the new deposit. CBC (PEI)

New labs at UQO aim to equip new scientists for climate change

Université du Québec en Outaouais has officially opened a new natural science laboratory. The lab’s state-of-the-art equipment will allow students of UQO’s new bachelor’s degree in ecology and environment to develop laboratory techniques and carry out research projects. The laboratories reportedly cost $1.5M, and UQO professor Serge Lavoie noted that the broad variety of equipment available in the lab will allow for students to take part in experiments and practical learning activities. Director David Rivest noted that as society is increasingly confronted with environmental issues, it becomes necessary to train professionals to engage with issues such as water and air quality.  UQO Radio Canada (QC)

George Brown strengthens relationship with University of the West Indies

An expanded Memorandum of Understanding between George Brown College and the University of the West Indies promises more international opportunities for faculty and students. According to a release, the updated agreement will also enable UWI to share its expertise in online course delivery with George Brown, foster exchange, and promote internships, electives, courses sharing, and practicums across all academic divisions. Prior to this updated MOU, George Brown and UWI had collaborated on a study abroad program with the Early Childhood program to Jamaica. George Brown (ON)

ESG UQAM unveils new-and-improved ops management program

École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal is launching a new operations management program and updating the management concentration of its bachelor’s program in order to better respond to trends in the field. UQAM states that it is the only university in QC to take a service sector position in the operations management program, rather than manufacturing. The university will be launching ten new certificate courses focused on the themes of service management and design, humanitarian and health logistics, and the application of emerging technologies. ESG Professor Marie-Pierre Spooner stated that graduates will be able to hold a broad variety of positions and that job prospects are excellent. UQAM (QC)

Niagara introduces women’s-only automotive program 

Niagara College has launched a women’s-only pre-apprenticeship program for automotive service technicians. A Niagara release states that the idea for the program started with an initiative to encourage women to enter the skilled trades. “We know that women currently make up a very small percentage of the workforce in the automotive service sector, yet they present one of the industry’s greatest opportunities for growth,” said Jeff Murrell, Associate Dean in the School of Trades. Niagara adds that the college has also formed a Women in Skilled Trades group, in which women studying across various trades programs may develop and share their experiences, as well as a women’s-only Basics of Automotive workshop. Niagara (ON)

UQAC receives $4M for bioproducts innovation centre 

The Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has received $4M from Développement économique Canada pour les régions du Québec for a bioproducts processing and recovery centre. According to a UCAQ release, the centre will facilitate innovations in plant-based materials while providing developing companies with access to a high-quality technology park to extract, formulate, and recover bioproducts for commercialization. Lac-Saint-Jean MP Richard Hébert added that the centre will position Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean as a leader in natural products. UQAC (QC)