Top Ten

May 7, 2015

NDP introduces bill requiring NS universities to adopt sexual assault policies

A private bill introduced in the Nova Scotia legislature by NDP MLA Dave Wilson calls on the province’s PSE institutions to establish specific sexual assaultpolicies. The “Safer Universities and Colleges Act” would require that institutions set up complaint procedures and response protocols, training and prevention programs, and 24-hour support for victims. Additionally, the institutions would have to collect and report sexual assault data and make the information publicly available. The bill stipulates that students would play a significant part in the creation of institutional policies, and requires that policies undergo a full review every four years. ChronicleHerald | Metro News

CEGEP suspends teachers for unauthorized protest

Montreal CEGEP Collège de Rosemont has suspended six teachers with pay for their involvement in a May 1 protest against Quebec’s austerity measures. CEGEP teachers across the province had voted to stage a one-day strike to coincide with International Workers’ Day, but Quebec’s labour board ruled that they did not have the right to do so. The six teachers nevertheless picketed and blocked the entrance to the school. The teachers will remain suspended pending the results of an investigation into other possible disciplinary actions. Rosemont said that it will explore options to ensure that the teachers’ classes will not be affected. Montreal Gazette

uRegina approves balanced budget with tuition increase

The University of Regina released its 21st consecutive balanced budget yesterday. The budget includes a $1.23 M increase in financial support for undergraduate and graduate students and a $1.1 M investment in various research initiatives. However, the budget also includes a tuition increase that will see fees go up by an average of 3.6%. 61% of new tuition revenue generated in 2015–16 will be allocated to increases in student financial support. The budget also includes savings realized through a voluntary incentive plan for retirement, the elimination of currently vacant positions, and a reduction in discretionary spending. uRegina News Release 

uSask introduces Indigenous language certificates

The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education and College of Arts and Science have signed an MOU to deliver and enhance First Nations, Métis, and Inuit programming, beginning with Indigenous language certificates. The College of Education will this fall begin offering a certificate in Cree language proficiency that will be recognized by the provincial education ministry as a specialized qualification for teachers in SK. The College of Arts and Science will this fall hire a tenure-track faculty member focused on Cree, leading to the language certificate also being offered through the Department of Native Studies. The two-year, ten-course certificate programs will allow students to take courses from both colleges to fulfil requirements. uSask News

Seneca, UTSC partner to create Ontario’s first BSc pathway

Seneca College has partnered with the University of Toronto Scarborough to create a Bachelor of Science pathway that will allow students to complete both a college diploma and a university degree in four years. Graduates from Seneca’s new Arts and Science diploma program who meet specific admissions requirements can enrol in UTSC courses and transfer college credits towards an honours BSc. According to UTSC, the pathway is the first of its kind in Ontario. The partnership builds on an earlier agreement that facilitated transfers from Seneca’s Liberal Arts program. UTSC News

uCanWest signs on with Global University Systems

Vancouver-based private institution University Canada West has joined Global University Systems (GUS), an international network of PSE institutions, affiliates, and partners. The affiliation has been approved by British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education. GUS will assist uCanWest in expanding its course portfolio and developing its academic profile. University President Arthur Coren said, “this is a very positive development for uCanWest and a new chapter in its evolution. We are excited to have joined the GUS group and confident that it will enable the university to achieve its full potential.” uCanWest News Release | GUS News Release

uWinnipeg to introduce fall reading week

Students at the University of Winnipeg will soon have time in autumn to catch up on their reading. The institution’s senate has endorsed in principle a plan to implement a fall reading week to coincide with Thanksgiving Day weekend. No teaching time will be lost—classes will begin the Tuesday after Labour Day instead of the Wednesday, and there will be only one “study day” between the end of classes and the start of exams instead of two—but it is hoped that the break will allow students to recharge mid-term. The break will be implemented beginning in the 2016–17 school year. uWinnipeg is reportedly the first university in Manitoba to offer a fall reading week. uWinnipeg News Release | CBC

Institutions should focus on differentiated, downstream metrics

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released a new report that questions the “input-output” approach to measuring PSE institutional accountability. According to the report, measures of institutions’ economic impact typically relate to internal operations and short-term flow-through effects on local economies. Such measures rarely provide a full picture and in some cases can be very misleading. However, more meaningful metrics can be difficult to define and measure, often leading to them not being captured at all. The report suggests that institutions link metrics to their differentiated missions and goals. While this practice will lead to inconsistencies between institutions, it would provide a more useful way of measuring impact and success over time. HEQCO Summary | Full Report

National study reveals challenges faced by transgender youth

A new national study led by researchers at UBC sheds light on the challenges faced by transgender youth in Canada. The study, reportedly the first of its kind in Canada, found that two-thirds of transgender youth reported experiencing discrimination in the past year because of their gender identity. 70% said they had been sexually harassed, and 55% of school-aged youth said they had been bullied. However, the report also found that supportive parents, family members, schools, and community adults can have a significant positive impact on transgender youth’s well-being. The report recommends measures including developing safer, more inclusive schools. UBC News | Vancouver Sun | Full Report

What do part-time faculty want most? Respect.

A study published in the Journal of Higher Education offers new data on part-time faculty in the US. The survey found that the leading cause of job dissatisfaction among part-time faculty was not underemployment but a lack of respect. This perceived lack of respect manifested itself in a variety of ways, including lack of access to resources. Just 18% of part-time faculty members had their own office, while 45% shared with colleagues; the remainder had no office space at all. Those with private office space were more likely to express job satisfaction than those without. The authors of the report offer suggestions to help make part-time faculty feel respected, including seeking their input on governance or offering teaching awards and development opportunities. Academica Group is working with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to gather data on non-full-time/contract faculty in Ontario. Inside Higher Ed