Today's Top Ten

June 18, 2021

CICan launches Massive Impact initiative to reduce members’ environmental impact

Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan) is launching Massive Impact, a project that will use a $5.3M investment from the Government of Canada to support the reduction of its members’ environmental footprints. The five-year project will see CICan working on a variety of initiatives, such as identifying best practices for green buildings, developing a campaign to raise awareness about GHGs emissions and climate, and developing an Emission Reduction Mentorship Program and a Campus Emissions Inventory Tool. “[O]ur Massive Impact program will help to leverage the strength and full potential of our members to deliver lasting change and raise awareness about ways we can work together to reduce our overall GHG emissions,” said CICan president Denise Amyot. CICan (National)

ITK, Mastercard Foundation partner to plan university in Inuit Nunangat

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to plan for the establishment of a university in Inuit Nunangat. A task force of representatives from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation and the Nunatsiavut Government will guide the development process and initiate planning activities. “The support of the Mastercard Foundation will allow Inuit the space, time and resources to determine how best to lead and plan for a new reality of higher education in Inuit Nunangat,” said Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “ITK and the Mastercard Foundation are ready to advance this work and set in motion the process of creating a new reality of Inuit self-determination in education.” Nation Talk (NV)

Trent launches integrated integrated dual degree program with Swansea, offers ESL courses for credit toward undergraduate

Trent University has announced that it is launching an Integrated Bachelor of Arts & Science/Medical Studies Dual Degree Program with Swansea University in the UK. Students in the program will spend the first two years of their degree at Trent earning a Bachelor of Arts & Science degree before completing a Bachelor of Science degree in a Swansea medical pathway program in Wales. The collaboration will allow students to graduate with two degrees in four years. Trent also recently announced that it has become the first university in Canada to offer students the opportunity to take English as a Second Language courses for credit towards any undergraduate degree program at the institution. “The Trent-ESL program has always upheld a reputation for excellence in English language programming,” said Trent Associate Vice President, International Glennice Burns. “Offering for-credit ESL programming speaks to the academic integrity and rigor these courses carry and lifts the value and benefit to an unmatched level across Canada.” Trent | Trent (ESL) (ON)

ÉTS achieves carbon neutrality

École de technologie supérieure has announced that it has achieved carbon neutrality. The achievement comes well ahead of schedule for the institution: François Gagnon, Director General of ÉTS, signed a declaration of climate emergency in 2019 that included a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 “or 2050 at the latest.” The institution achieved this status through the purchase of Gold Standard certified carbon offset credits and by investing in research projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ÉTS says that it is the first university in Montréal to achieve carbon neutrality. Newswire (QC)

Seneca establishes The Jane Fund through $12M endowment

Seneca College has announced the establishment of The Jane Fund, a $12M investment that will support student-related EDI initiatives. The fund will provide permanent support for equity-focused financial aid, support programs, projects, research initiatives, and other EDI initiatives. “The Seneca community spoke with one voice in our reflections on how we as an institution could contribute to building a world free of racism and discrimination. We heard that words are not enough – action is required,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “We are responding with a significant and permanent investment dedicated to building the equitable Seneca through concrete measures such as financial aid and supports for students from racialized and equity-seeking communities.” Seneca says that the Jane Fund is its largest endowed fund. Globe Newswire (ON)

Concerns expressed over MB plan to scale up nursing program admissions

A representative of nursing instructors at the University of Manitoba is “raising red flags” about the Government of Manitoba’s plans to expand enrolment in nursing programs. Maggie Macintosh reports that, in May, institutions in the province were asked to create blueprints to scale up their nursing program admissions to create 200 new nursing seats. UManitoba Associate Professor Genevieve Thompson expressed concern about nursing education quality and institutional autonomy, and made a list of questions for her colleagues to ask the senate’s chairperson. “In our view,” said Thompson, “it is deeply troubling and extremely problematic that the current provincial government is directing the university to significantly alter its approach to nursing education without regard to the impact of such changes on the quality of our program, on our students or on the faculty members who teach them.” The Star (Winnipeg Free Press) (MB)

YorkU to host Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention centre

York University has announced that it will host the Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention centre. The centre was established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and will focus on preventing, researching, and finding practical solutions for homelessness. It will also assess youth homelessness and prevention in UNECE member States to help put the topic on public policy agendas. “The establishment of the UNECE Toronto Centre of Excellence at York is a testament to the global leadership of our researchers,” said YorkU President Rhonda Lenton. “Under the guidance of our Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, the new Centre will bring together experts, policymakers, and local and international community partners to make a positive global impact on this urgent social issue.” YorkU (ON)

UoGuelph introduces new programs, Indigenous Research initiative

The University of Guelph has introduced a variety of new undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a program to encourage Indigenous students to pursue careers in biology. The university has launched new undergraduate programs in health; sexualities, gender and social change; creative writing; linguistics; and Black Canadian studies. UoGuelph has also introduced new graduate programs, which include the Master of Dairy Technology Management, a PhD in Computer Science, and a specialization in Sexualities, Genders and Bodies. The new Enhancing Indigenous Research initiative, launched by UoGuelph’s College of Biological Science, was created to encourage Indigenous perspectives within STEM and support Indigenous students in the biological sciences. UoGuelph (1) | UoGuelph (2) (ON)

Advice for junior faculty to thrive in professorships: Opinion

In a new article for Inside Higher Ed, Mike Gunter Jr provides advice for junior faculty based on his experiences as a professor over the past 25 years. The author suggests cultivating passion and perseverance in order to power through tedious or difficult times, and encourages networking as early as possible in a career. Gunter Jr explains that academics should also be aware that there is a struggle between professional and personal commitments and offers suggestions on how to merge work-life balance. Finally, the author encourages academics to keep sight of what led them to become a professor. “[O]ur profession really is more about the journey, not the destination,” writes Gunter Jr. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Queen’s to buy former KCVI building and property

Queen’s University has announced that it will be buying the former Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute (KCVI) building and property. Queen’s has not mentioned an intended use for the building yet, but said that it may be used on a temporary basis after the sale is finalized. The property will need to be rezoned and re-designated before it can be used. “We are pleased with this pending acquisition of KCVI by the university,” said Donna Janiec, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “This is a great fit for Queen’s, as it directly adjoins our campus and will allow for the future expansion of our academic programming.” Queen’s | Kingstonist | Global News (ON)