Top Ten

July 22, 2015

BC provides $12 M for new trades equipment at 14 postsecondary institutions

British Columbia has invested $12 M for new trades equipment at 14 public postsecondary institutions across the province. The institutions will use the funds to purchase items like air disc brake and high voltage trainers, a logging truck and trailer, and diesel engines. The funding, part of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, is a portion of the province’s investment of $185 M over three years in new trades training equipment and facilities. The investment “will give students the skills needed for a wide range of in-demand careers … from LNG to shipbuilding and ship repairs to construction,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. BC

Prof no longer employed by SLC after violent, homophobic social media comment

St Lawrence College has announced that Rick Coupland, a business professor who posted a violent, homophobic comment on Facebook earlier this week, is no longer employed by the college. According to the Kingston Heritage, a student took a screenshot of the post in question, and then filed a complaint with the college. “The alleged comments on social media would certainly be in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code,” said Kelly Wiley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the college. Wiley added that the venue of the comment does not matter: “the conduct is either acceptable or not, it doesn’t matter if it happens in the bathroom, the classroom, the hallway or on the sports field or in this case on social media.” SLC | Kingston Heritage | CBC (CP) | Kingston Whig-Standard

Revised NT program offers additional debt aid to students, grads

The Northwest Territories is slated to provide thousands of additional dollars to its students and graduates by September 1. The funds will come through the territories’ modified student financial assistance program, which will allow students with remissible loans to pay back their loans much more quickly for each year they spend in the territory. The effort is designed in part to address the area’s declining population and to foster a strong young workforce. “It’s not just about assisting one student; it’s about a broader strategy of encouraging our northern students to come back, and encouraging southerners who have studied to come to the NWT,” said Andy Bevan, Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour and Income Security with the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment. Northern Journal

Latest issue of OUSA’s Educated Solutions explores “System Vision”

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has released the ninth volume of Educated Solutions. This issue is dedicated to the theme of “System Vision” and explores Ontario’s postsecondary education system. Issues addressed in the latest volume include striking a balance between institutional innovation and provincial strategy, ensuring efficiency and fiscal responsibility, and providing predictable deliverables amid challenging forecasts. How do we ensure efficiency and fiscal responsibility within institutions without resorting to a mindset of scarcity and competition? The volume includes contributions from Premier Kathleen Wynne, COU Chair Patrick Deane, past COU Chair Max Blouw, HEQCO President Harvey Weingarten, and several student leaders. OUSA | Full Issue

UQAM lifts injunction filed during disruptive protests

The Université du Québec à Montréal has withdrawn an injunction that it initially filed to use police to stop masked protesters who were blocking buildings and vandalizing university property in April. Although the injunction was initially slated to expire yesterday, the Montreal Gazette reports that the university withdrew the injunction on July 6. Jenny Desrochers, Director of Media Relations for UQAM, said, “one reason for the withdrawal is that no disturbance has occurred in recent weeks.” Montreal Gazette

Ryerson releases sexual violence report, implements university-wide policy

Ryerson University’s board of governors has approved a new university-wide policy regarding sexual violence. The policy is the outcome of a full public report, which includes a single policy and 18 other recommendations. The policy focuses on education, awareness, and training and is the product of extensive review and community consultation. It states that all members of the Ryerson community will receive support regardless of when, where, or by whom they have experienced sexual violence. The policy is effective immediately and the university will move toward implementing the full report’s 18 recommendations in the coming months. Ryerson | Full Report

Queen’s to offer new programs in aging and health

This fall, Queen’s University will begin to offer new programs in aging and health. The university will start by implementing the programs through its graduate diploma and Master of Science in September, with a PhD program expected in two to three years. The aging and health programs are the product of a collaboration between the university’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy and School of Nursing. Various components of the programming will be delivered by a multidisciplinary group of faculty members with backgrounds in occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, theology, urban planning, geography, family medicine, French studies, and others. Queen’s

uWinnipeg looks to transform underserviced neighbourhood with education hub

The University of Winnipeg has undertaken a $12.8 M project to transform Winnipeg’s Selkirk Avenue into a hub for creativity and education. The location is currently an underserviced portion of the city that university community members hope to turn into a “beacon of hope.” The project will be funded primarily by the Manitoba government. It will be designed to provide classroom learning by day and will host the Winnipeg branch of Pathways to Education, a tutoring and mentorship program for secondary students. It will also offer daycare, literacy classes, a community café, and 30 units of affordable housing. Globe and Mail

Public policy prof questions myth of academia’s “golden age”

It has become common for critics of higher education to hearken back to a “golden age” found in the period immediately following World War Two, writes Christopher P Loss, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education at Vanderbilt University. While Loss concedes that today’s educators might face challenges with “slashed budgets and political meddling,” he adds that, “when you consider the institutionalized white-male privilege of the GI Bill; or the routine breaches of academic freedom in the name of national security; or the dubious morality of military research; or the violent tendencies of the student antiwar movement; or the baldfaced racism, misogyny, and homophobia that pervaded campuses … the so-called golden age doesn’t look so golden.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

US colleges use outreach more than admissions decisions to promote diversity, report says

A new report from the American Council on Education suggests that the public debates over whether admissions decisions should consider race and ethnicity do not properly reflect the ways that most colleges actively attempt to diversify their student populations. The report draws its conclusions in part from a survey of college admissions leaders, and while it admits that 60% of those surveyed claimed they considered race in admissions, the report finds that the vast majority of diversification strategies are based on outreach rather than decisions made when judging student applications. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education | Report