Today's Top Ten

November 20, 2019

New Queen’s Institute unites researchers from 16 universities to form Sustainable Finance Network

Queen’s University’s Smith School for Business has announced that it will host the newly formed Institute for Sustainable Finance, an organization formed to align mainstream financial markets with Canada's transition to a sustainable economy. One of the institute’s first acts was to establish the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), a collaboration platform for academic, industry, and government to move sustainable finance forward. The 44 members from 16 universities of the CSFN—which include Queen's University, the University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Concordia University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Manitoba—will expand research partnerships and joint funding opportunities, create a repository of education resources, and collaborate with like-minded organizations. Markets Insider (National)

UCalgary announces that 250 jobs will be impacted by AB government funding cuts

The University of Calgary has announced that 250 jobs will be impacted by recent AB government funding cuts. Of those positions, 100 jobs will be eliminated through closing vacancies, retirements, and resignations. 150 layoffs will also reportedly be conducted in two rounds beginning this month. UCalgary told CBC that “no academic programs will be impacted this year, but strategic initiatives and projects have been slowed, deferred or cancelled, and other items like non-essential travel have been cut.” UCalgary has also announced plans to discuss any changes to tuition later this week during a town hall meeting. Amidst provincial budget cuts, other AB postsecondary institutions are also contemplating budgetary decisions. For example, MacEwan University told CBC that “the school does not have timelines in place yet,” regarding “reduction[s] in positions,” but said “it has to create a plan and submit it for government approval by Dec. 2.” CBC (1) | CBC (2) (AB)

Mohawk breaks ground on new airport campus

Mohawk College has announced that construction has begun on a dedicated classroom and hangar space at Hamilton’s International Airport. The addition, which is part of a $30M facility expansion funded by KF Aerospace, will provide state-of-the-art shops, classroom space, and hangar space for Mohawk College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer programs. “Getting hands-on experience is the hallmark of a Mohawk education,” says Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. “This partnership with KF Aerospace ensures our Aviation students get real-life learning experiences in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.” Mohawk (ON)

USask signs MOU with Métis Nation-Saskatchewan to increase Métis presence, representation

The University of Saskatchewan has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) to identify common priorities and explore mutually beneficial opportunities. Specifically, the agreement aims to improve the education status of Métis people, remove barriers to Métis postsecondary education, and close the university achievement gaps between Métis and non-Indigenous populations. “With continued community partnering, such as today’s announcement with the University of Saskatchewan, Métis youth can confidently follow the examples set by individuals like James McKay, Howard Adams and other Métis leaders, thinkers and achievers,” said MN-S President Glen McCallum. USask | Saskatoon StarPhoenix (SK)

How to excel at ‘teaching the teachers’: Opinion

“What happens to us faculty, who are often skilled teachers, when we are asked to deliver a workshop for our peers [and] our default mode [is] almost always a lecture?” asks Melissa Nicolas. To answer this question, the author points to an “oft-told tale: just as most of us are not taught how to teach, almost none of us are taught how to teach the teachers.” To remedy the problem of poorly designed faculty workshops, Nicolas recommends that faculty or institutions seek out coaches who are practiced in workshop execution, the alignment of session outcomes with session activities, and similar areas. The author adds that these coaches could also be made available to instructors at institutional centres for teaching and learning. If a school lacks such a resource, instructors may consider accessing these coaches on an on-call consultancy basis for individual or group sessions. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UPEI partners with Mi’kmaq Confederacy to install weather station monitoring climate changes

The University of Prince Edward Island has partnered with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI to install a new weather station. The station, which runs off solar power, monitors climate changes that could cause a breach in the island’s dune chain. The station will be located on Hog Island, which is both culturally and materially important to the Mi’kmaq people, as it acts as a protective barrier to Malpeque Bay and Lennox Island. "We're gathering as much data and as much information as possible to help Lennox Island and Lennox Island residents [to] prepare themselves for future climate-change activity,” said Mi’kmaq Director of Integrated Resource Management Randy Angus. CBC (PEI)

UWindsor partners with Chatham-Kent, SOAR Innovation to boost local entrepreneurship initiatives

The University of Windsor, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, and SOAR Innovation have partnered to expand entrepreneurship initiatives and economic growth across the region. The agreement will advance the incubation and commercialization of innovation and research in food, agriculture, energy, water, and rural affairs. SOAR Innovation has agreed to act as the central hub to keep all partners, businesses, and stakeholders informed of progress and results. “By providing SOAR Innovation’s clients with access to UWindsor expertise needed to support the development of new technologies, and supporting UWindsor startups through resources provided by SOAR Innovation, this partnership will ultimately contribute to a stronger economy in our region,” stated UWindsor VP of Research and Innovations K W Michael Siu. Chatham This Week (ON)

UNB, UMoncton sign 10-year funding agreement with NB to deliver LPN bridging programs

The University of New Brunswick and the Université de Moncton have signed a 10-year funding agreement with the NB government to implement bridging programs for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at both institutions. Set to begin in January 2020, the bridging programs combine classroom learning and clinical experience, and are designed to recognize students’ experiences and education while addressing the knowledge and training differences between LPNs and registered nurses. UMoncton will receive $5.3M to provide 25 seats in the program per year, while UNB will receive $5.3M to support 24 seats in the program per year. NB (NB )

Great Plains partners with SaskPower, Nekaneet First Nation to create new educational pathways

Great Plains College, SaskPower, and Nekaneet First Nation have signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to expand the college’s educational offerings. The agreement will allow Great Plains to add Class 5 Power Engineering courses to the college’s current Adult Basic Education offerings. The new pathway program will enable students to complete their grade 12 education while also completing the courses and steam-time requirements needed to write the Class Five Power Engineering exam. “Our Maple Creek Program Centre student body is approximately 90 per cent Indigenous, many from Nekaneet First Nation, so we are proud to provide a pathway for more Indigenous students to complete their Grade 12 while taking their first steps in a power engineering career,” said Great Plains President David Keast. Great Plains (SK)

ECUAD’s decision to cancel classes for climate strike arose from desire to promote student-led activism

This past September, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, alongside at least one other Canadian postsecondary institution, cancelled classes on the afternoon of September 27th to allow students to participate in the Global Climate Strike march. What led senior administrators to make this decision? According to ECUAD President Gillian Siddall, the decision was made in consultation with various campus organizations, all of which suggested that “it was cleaner to cancel classes so all students would be free to attend without worrying about being penalized.” Siddall concludes that the environmental crisis “is obviously a crisis that is affecting the entire planet [and] we felt it was really important to facilitate our students’ participation in that, and our faculty and staff.” University Affairs | (BC)