Today's Top Ten

December 10, 2018

UManitoba’s Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement resigns

CBC reports that Lynn Lavalée, the University of Manitoba’s first Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement, has resigned. According to Lavalée, university administrators resisted her efforts to fight systemic racism. “I am not doing this to be malicious,” said Lavalée. “I think that University of Manitoba is no different than any other post-secondary institute in Canada. Racism exists everywhere.” UManitoba declined CBC’s request for an interview with President David Barnard. In a statement, VP Academic Janice Ristock said that UManitoba “remains firm in its commitment to bring about transformations at the institutional level that will facilitate Indigenous achievement.” CBC (MB)

MUN asks NL government to reconvene negotiations with faculty

Memorial University has asked Newfoundland-Labrador’s Conciliation Officer to reconvene negotiations with the university’s Faculty Association for a tentative collective agreement. According to a MUN release, the university had previously reached out to MUNFA since talks broke off on Nov 7, and that a right of first refusal for standing appointments appears to be the primary point of contention between the two sides. “If this is indeed the case, we are cautiously optimistic a resolution is possible and have reached out to the conciliator to help us get back to the table,” wrote Provost and VP Academic Noreen Golfman in a statement. MUN adds that MUNFA had proposed an MOU to ensure that no strike action would be taken before Jan 3, 2019. MUN (NL)

PSE has “substantial effects” for underrepresented students: study

Offering high school students enhanced career education programs and promises of financial support significantly boost post-secondary participation rates among underrepresented students, according to a ten-year study conducted by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) and published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. The study also found that higher PSE participation rates also “yielded substantial economic returns to the lives of young people.” More than 5,400 students in two provinces — Manitoba and New Brunswick — took part in the study, which tested the effectiveness of two interventions designed to help students overcome some of these barriers. HEQCO | Report (ON)

Lambton, Algonquin, Canadore launch management training for tradespeople program

Lambton College, Algonquin College, and Canadore College students will have access to a new online business program focused on teaching management and entrepreneurial skills to certified tradespeople. The program is described as the first of its kind in Ontario, and is currently available through OntarioLearn for students of the three colleges. “Producing a more highly qualified workforce for the skilled trades is a top priority in Ontario,” said Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “We’re delighted that the province’s colleges are continuing to pursue innovative and effective ways to help more people find rewarding careers in the trades.” Lambton (ON)

SK premier removes Northlands board member following assault conviction

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has removed Vince Natomagan from the board of Northlands College after Natomagan’s recent domestic assault conviction was brought to the government’s attention, reports CBC. Minister of Advanced Education Tina Beaudry-Mellor took responsibility for appointing Natomagan. “I am horrified. Especially in the north where we have really high rates of domestic violence, we have really high rates of interpersonal violence — it is the wrong message to send,” Beaudry-Mellor said. Beaudry-Mellor added that criminal record checks are not customary for board appointments, but the provincial government may revisit the policy in the wake of Natomagan’s conviction. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (SK)

McMaster, Mohawk sign on to autonomous vehicle initiative

McMaster University and Mohawk College have signed onto a $10.5M initiative aimed at boosting Hamilton’s automotive industry, reports the Hamilton Spectator. The Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility will provide advisory services for local businesses that develop autonomous vehicle solutions, which will include connecting industry to academia to resolve technical issues. “Hamilton has incredible capacity and talent in the automotive space, and we're looking to enhance that existing talent and capacity,” said Sam Saad, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Innovation Factory, the company that launched the Centre. Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Schools focus on lifelong learning rather than teaching "future-proof" technical skills: Lysecki

The world of work is changing so rapidly that it’s become impossible for schools to offer future-proof programs, courses, and credentials, writes Sarah Lysecki, which is why post-secondary institutions are now focusing on teaching students skills like teamwork, communications, and building trust that they will use throughout their careers. The author cites UOIT President Murphy, who points to Scandinavia as a place that has already adopted education models where people in the workforce come back to post-secondary institutions to learn new skills on an ongoing basis. Lysecki then provides a cross-section of initiatives being undertaken at various Canadian institutions to address this challenge. NOW Toronto (ON)

Grad student mental health a neglected crisis: US report

While post-secondary institutions throughout North America have recently focused a good deal of attention on undergraduate mental health, graduate student issues have been relatively neglected, Colleen Flaherty finds. Flaherty cites a working paper co-authored by Paul Barreira, Director of Harvard University’s Health Service, as an exception to this trend. Barreira and his team developed a survey that found self-reported indicators of mental health among graduate students resemble those of incarcerated populations. A team of graduate student researchers at another US institution told Flaherty that a major component of mental well-being comes down to simply feeling valued by faculty. A lecturer added that advisors should check in with their students more frequently. Inside Higher Ed (International)

USask launches training program to assess youth mental health

The Continuing Medical Education Division at the University of Saskatchewan has received $400K for a new training program aimed at helping physicians assess and treat mental health conditions in children and youth. A release explains that the three-day session will bring 25 physicians from across the province for 16 hours of coursework, followed by a six-month, case-based distance learning program. “Our purpose at CME is to equip caregivers with knowledge and skills as they work to ensure the well-being of Saskatchewan people. We’re thrilled to be moving forward with a program focused on mental health,” said CME Associate Dean Jim Barton. SK

UQO establishes health services clinic on campus

Université du Québec en Outaouais has announced the creation of a health services clinic at its Gatineau campus, which will serve the student population of the Gatineau campus and the ISFORT-UQO. The clinic will cover physical health, vaccinations, promotion of healthy living habits, mental health, and disability diagnosis and/or referrals. AGE-UQO, the UQO general students association, voted to add a new mandatory institutional fee supporting the health services project. The clinic will open its doors in 2019. UQO (QC)