Top Ten

May 5, 2015

UVic celebrates opening of new sports complex

The University of Victoria on Friday celebrated the opening of the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA). The $77-M facility includes a multi-purpose field house, space for court sports, a two-level fitness and weight-training area, the 16-metre Peninsula Co-op Climbing Centre, and studio space for yoga, dance, and fitness classes. CARSA will also feature a 2,100-seat performance gym, which is expected to open this summer. The facility will also provide a new home for CanAssist, a program that helps develop technologies and services for people living with disabilities. UVic News Release | Times-Colonist

MUN launches Genetic Research Centre

Memorial University officially launched the Craig L Dobbin Genetics Research Centre on May 1. A MUN news release said that the state-of-the-art research centre is poised to take advantage of the opportunity to study Newfoundland and Labrador’s distinct genetic population. The facility was funded by a $17.9 investment from NL and $11.2 M from the Canada Foundation for Innovation; it will conduct genetic analyses for outside parties as an additional revenue stream. “The research performed here will help to create a better understanding of the genetic causes of diseases and disorders, which we expect will lead to improved treatments and prevention methods and ultimately a cure,” said NL Premier Paul Davis. MUN News Release | CBC

Ryerson opens Legal Innovation Zone

Ryerson University has opened the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ), reportedly Canada’s first incubator dedicated to legal services innovation. Hersh Perlis, Director of LIZ, says that the incubator will take a three-fold approach: it will support individual entrepreneurs to develop an innovative legal idea or approach; work with companies, law firms, and organizations to build their innovation agendas; and help design a 21st-century legal system. Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said, “I’m so excited to see creative young minds working together in the legal justice sector.” Ryerson News Release | Financial Post

uOttawa names Alumni Hall for Alex Trebek

The University of Ottawa will name its new Alumni Hall for Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Trebek, who graduated from uOttawa in 1962, has donated more than $2.25 M to the institution. Trebek will be on hand today as uOttawa officially inaugurates the new facility. The $3.5 M alumni hall project was announced a year ago, and will be the first building dedicated to this purpose in the university’s history. It will include reception and conference rooms, an alumni wall of fame, and workstations for alumni use. Ottawa Citizen

Growing push for brick-and-mortar university in NU

There is a growing push to establish a brick-and-mortar university in Nunavut. Last week, James Nasso, Chair of Agnico Eagle Mines, told an audience of NU students and education leaders that a university “could be a great healing force.” His firm last year pledged $5 M toward the development of a university in NU. Nasso added, “Nunavut is on the cusp of robust economic growth, but without a university, it will be hard to take advantage of it.” Mary Simon, founding Chair of the National Committee on Inuit Education, echoed Nasso’s call. She envisions an institution with an Inuit identity that would welcome non-Inuit students and serve as an example of Inuit and non-Inuit co-management.

Victoria launches initiative to recruit international students

The Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA) has launched a new campaign to help attract international students to Vancouver Island. The initiative, called Education Victoria, has been created in partnership with Camosun College, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, and Tourism Victoria. GVDA’s Dallas Gislason said that attracting international students as potential residents will be key in a region that is expecting to face a labour shortage over the next 10 years, and added that international students can provide a significant boost to the economy. Moreover, Gislason said, international students offer “diverse perspectives ... which deepen the learning experience for all students.” Times-Colonist

Humber School of Health Sciences pilots initiative to support academic integrity

Humber College’s School of Health Sciences (SHS) has implemented a new pilot project that is intended to promote academic integrity among students in its Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing programs. Students recently participated in a pledge ceremony in which they committed to upholding the values of courage, honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, and fairness in their educational and professional experiences. Jennie Miron, co-Chair of SHS’s Academic Integrity Committee, said that research has shown that honour pledges help reduce cheating on exams and assignments. The pledge ceremony is just one piece of a comprehensive focus on academic integrity within SHS at Humber. Humber News

CBU report calls for action to support immigration

Cape Breton University has released a new report that addresses issues around immigration to Cape Breton. The report recommends taking action to improve permanent settlement and to enhance community support for immigration. It identifies a need to focus on potential immigrants and international students as potentially key contributors to Cape Breton’s work force, particularly given that many local business are dealing with labour shortages and succession issues. The report recommends that steps be taken to convince Cape Breton communities of the benefits of immigration and to make changes at the federal level to provide more support for settlement in rural Nova Scotia. CBU News Release |

Former uRegina Dean warns of effects of increasing administrator salaries

In an op-ed published in the StarPhoenix, Reid Robinson, former Dean of Arts, AVP Academic, and University Secretary at the University of Regina, says that the “diversion of a significant amount of money from teaching and research into administration” is hurting Canada’s universities. He argues that “the managerialistapproach,” which involves hiring presidents who see themselves as CEOs rather than as academics, has contributed to labour strife at PSE institutions as well as to the increased reliance on part-time faculty. Robinson warns that an increase in administrators’ salaries in England has forced universities to pursuemassification as a means to generate revenue, ultimately exacerbating the student debt problem. StarPhoenix

Pressure around international recruitment in Australia may foster corruption

A new Australian report published by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) says that academics “can feel pressure to forsake their role in enforcing compliance with academic standards for the financial good of the faculty” in order to attract and retain international students. The report states that pressure on staff to find ways to pass students as well as increasing competition for student numbers have created an environment conducive to corruption. To mitigate these pressures, the report recommends restricting the ability of academics to enter into binding agreements with overseas agents and increasing due diligence and monitoring of agents and partners, among other things. International students reportedly account for more than one-fifth of university enrolments in Australia. Inside Higher Ed | ICAC News Release |Full Report