Top Ten

June 30, 2015

Report says Dal dentistry culture permitted “sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and racism”

An independent report investigating the scandal surrounding a misogynistic Facebook group at Dalhousie University has been released, saying that the culture of the Faculty of Dentistry permitted “incidents of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and racism.” Furthermore, said panel chair Constance Backhouse, “This was not an isolated incident. And the status quo is unacceptable.” According to the report, one graduate said that the faculty existed in a “‘time warp,’ oblivious to social progress that has rendered some behaviour unacceptable.” Dal President Richard Florizone said that he accepted the findings of the panel, and that he hoped to have implemented the majority of the recommendations within 24 months. CBC | Globe and Mail | National Post (CP) | Full Report

Canada commits $5M for athletic facility upgrades at YorkU

The federal government will commit at least $5 M to upgrade the Toronto Track and Field Centre at York University as part of its funding for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. The operation of the facility, which opened in 1979, is coordinated by a committee with members representing the City of Toronto, YorkU, and the track and field community. “Improvements to the Centre will allow Canadian track and field athletes to train year-long in a world-class facility and will help build Canada’s future track and field stars,” said Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). Toronto Sun | Canada News Release

KPU students say they will refuse donations from pipeline company

Students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are saying they will refuse scholarships funded by a $300,000 donation from Kinder Morgan. The donation agreement states that, if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is approved, Kinder Morgan will commit about $15,000 per year for awards for apprenticeship and trades students, as well as fund a new environmental protection technical lab. Representatives from the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) stated that they are opposed to the agreement, as it does not support KPU’s strategic goal of sustainability. The KSA further says that students should have been consulted and that the agreement is a “tacit endorsement of the pipeline project.” CBC | KSA News Release

Keyano receives $1.5 M from feds for heavy equipment training

Canada has committed $1.5 M through Western Economic Diversification to support Keyano College’s delivery of Heavy Equipment Operator training to Aboriginal learners in the area. The funding, combined with funds from industry-partner Syncrude, will go towards the purchase of four mobile simulators and other equipment, allowing Keyano to train students in remote and rural locations. It is anticipated that the program will train close to 150 Aboriginal learners in the next four years. “The mobile simulators offer an exciting opportunity to diversify Keyano College programming while meeting the needs of our region’s Aboriginal and rural communities. This federal funding is an important investment in our students and the sustainability of postsecondary education in [the region],” said Keyano President Kevin F Nagel. Canada News Release

Education may actually increase income inequality, study says

“Education and training policy is not a silver bullet for solving inequality,” according to a new study of Canadian economic data. The forces behind rising income inequality in Canada, the authors argue, cannot be offset just by increasing the level of education. University benefits, for instance, skew toward middle- and upper-income households, and as such may increase inequality. Furthermore, an increased focus on college and apprenticeship programs may not help, unless low female participation rates and low completion rates are addressed. The study, to be published in Income Inequality: The Canadian Story, is based on analysis of census and labour force data from 1981 to 2013. Toronto Star | Full Study

TWU launches institute focused on Indigenous issues in three countries

BC’s Trinity Western University has launched the Institute of Indigenous Issues and Perspectives (IIIP), designed to “build bridges of conversation” with other PSE institutions and Indigenous communities. The Institute will focus on Indigenous issues in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, exploring reconciliation from a “Christian and biblical perspective.” Educators and researchers working with IIIP will consider a broad range of topics in relation to Indigenous perspectives and concerns—politics, business, education, health, nursing, and social justice issues. “We felt that, as a faith-based university, TWU had something unique to contribute to the conversation,” said IIIP Director Matthew Etherington. TWU News Release | IIIP Website

uAlberta breaks ground on Peter Lougheed Leadership College

Construction has begun on the new Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta. The new facility will provide space for undergraduate students to participate in leadership training. The inaugural cohort, beginning this fall, will consist of third-year students from a variety of disciplines; the students will take two leadership classes per year for two years, as well as participating in lectures, seminars, retreats, and project work. Leadership activities will begin in alternate locations until the new facility is complete in 2017. uAlberta has also partnered with the Banff Centre on the Peter Lougheed Leadership Initiative, which will see uAlberta students engaging with leaders from around the world. uAlberta News

Study shows younger siblings heavily influenced by older siblings’ college choices

A new study published in the Economics of Education Review has revealed that older siblings’ college choices have a significant influence on their younger siblings. The results are based on an analysis of 1.6 M sibling pairs of SAT-takers graduating from high school between 2004 and 2011 and then enrolling in a US postsecondary institution. Compared to similar high school classmates, younger siblings are 15–20% more likely to enrol in four-year colleges or “highly competitive” colleges if their older siblings did first. Academica Group’s University/College Applicant Study (UCAS) shows that Canada has seen a similar trend: over the past decade, family influence on student choice has increased. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Full Study

Changes to medical school accreditation give Canada more control

A long-awaited deal involving the accreditation of Canadian medical schools will give Canada more autonomy and will better reflect Canadian priorities, reports the Globe and Mail. Until now, Canadian medical schools had to be reviewed and accredited by both the US Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). Previously, schools had to meet standards in 132 areas; now, CACMS will assess schools based on 95 elements before reporting to LCME and making a joint decision. The new process will cut back on redundancies and will allow policies that better reflect the Canadian reality. Criteria for accreditation have also been revised to emphasize patient safety and social accountability. Globe and Mail

Impact of US ruling on marriage equality uncertain

In the wake of Friday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed have published articles trying to determine the possible impact on postsecondary institutions. The effect will likely be felt most strongly at religious colleges, particularly those with policies that do not recognize same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, in states where same-sex marriage was already legal, cohabitating same-sex couples that choose not to marry could lose their benefits. Students who had previously chosen to leave their state to attend a more progressive institution may be more likely to remain in their home state. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed