Top Ten

August 10, 2015

uWindsor cuts food services, housekeeping positions, due to fewer students in residence

The University of Windsor has cut 42 food service and housekeeping positions for the coming fall. Furthermore, uWindsor Spokesperson John Coleman told the CBC that the cuts are “part of a process,” and he could not say how many jobs could ultimately be lost. Both the university and the union say that the cuts come due to a reduction of the number of students living in residence. This is due to the scheduled demolition of Electa Hall, as well as the temporary closure of two of the Clark residences; the university confirmed that an environmental assessment ordered last month has indicated the need for “substantial renovations” resulting from the presence of mould. CBC (Cuts) | Blackburn News | CBC (Mould) | CTV News | Windsor Star

MRU launches strategic indigenization plan

Mount Royal University has drafted an Aboriginal Strategic Plan as part of its effort to indigenize the university. The plan includes several key goals: creating culturally respectful research, bridge building with Indigenous education stakeholders, assessing the available supports at MRU, and developing respectful curriculum and pedagogy. MRU has experienced a steady increase in the number of self-identified Indigenous students enrolling in programs, and has a goal of increasing the percentage of Indigenous students from its current 4.4% to 7% by 2024–25. The university consulted with students and faculty to create the Aboriginal plan, which builds on indigenization work already underway at MRU. Metro News

CBU Students’ Union plans to file for bankruptcy

The Cape Breton University Students’ Union (CBUSU) has indicated that it plans to file for bankruptcy. The group says that it lacks the funds to pay nearly $400,000 in dues and legal fees to the Canadian Federation of Students as ordered by a judge last month. “In terms of the potential payment plans that we have been looking at with the Canadian Federation of Students and with the overall judgment, we could not operate with such a crippling debt,” said CBUSU President Brandon Ellis. According to Ellis, when the bankruptcy takes effect, 30 jobs on campus will be lost. CBC

Queen’s introducing mandatory Aboriginal education course for education students

All Bachelor of Education students at Queen’s University will soon take a mandatory course on Aboriginal education, history, and culture. Starting in 2016, education students will be required to complete the course. Educators say the course will help future teachers support Indigenous students while creating a welcoming, inclusive learning environment. “If we have teachers in elementary and secondary schools who don’t have enough awareness of Indigenous issues, Indigenous intellectual tradition, and culture, then they’re not going to be able to appropriately enact [Aboriginal education] strategies,” said Lindsay Morcom, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) at Queen’s. Lakehead University and the University of Winnipeg are also working on plans to make courses on Indigenous issues mandatory for students. Queen’s Journal

Seeking increased visibility, Capilano moves Squamish campus downtown

Facing declining enrolment since 2010, Capilano University is moving its Squamish campus downtown, in hopes that the increased visibility will lead to new enrolments. “The main thing was we wanted to get a location that was central and that the students could engage in the community life a bit more,” said Dean Christopher Bottrill. “And then if people see it and find it a little bit more accessible, then maybe they will be more interested in participating in the programs.” The school offers two main programs at the campus, in wilderness leadership and business administration. Squamish Chief

CNA, MUN Grenfell campus establish articulation agreement for business programs

The College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University have entered into a 3+1 articulation agreement. Graduates from the college’s three-year business management program will now be able to complete a bachelor of business administration with an additional 12 months of study at MUN’s Grenfell Campus. The arrangement builds on the already successful 2+2 agreement that has been in place since September 2013. “We are seeing more and more Memorial University students come to CNA to take advantage of our applied, technical programs, it is great that CNA students have a new opportunity with Memorial University to transition from diploma to degree,” said CNA President Ann Marie Vaughan. CNA

Yukon College to conduct new study on its economic impact

Yukon College has grown significantly in the last ten years, and it’s time for a new study to assess its economic impact on the region, says President Karen Barnes. The last study, conducted in 2003, showed that the college injected $22 M into the territory’s economy. Since then, however, its operating budget has doubled and its staff has grown significantly. Barnes also says that the study will lay the groundwork for the college’s transition into a degree-granting university. “The decision’s been made, we’re going to be a university,” said Barnes. “Now we’re just talking about what the plan is, how do you roll that out.” CBC

Ed tech pioneer frustrated by narrative of disruption

George Siemens, a Canadian pioneer in educational technology who coined the term MOOC, has expressed his frustration with the “‘disrupt and transform’ learning crowd.” After attending a closed-door meeting at the White House on education quality and innovation, he wrote a lengthy blog post, sparing no one. Both traditional higher education and new for-profit startups came in for criticism. Higher ed needs to be more aware of coming trends, such as the emergence of code academies, while newer for-profits need to recognize that traditional PSE has indeed changed and innovated over the last century. He called as well for decisions to be driven by better data, rather than just by rhetoric. Chronicle of Higher Education  | eLearnSpace

Amid scandal, critics take aim at “outrageous benefits” for US college presidents

The $0.75 M severance paid to now-fired College of DuPage President Robert Breuder, amidst a scandal that sees the college under investigation, has focused critics’ attention on the perks, such as housing and car allowances and free club memberships. Some, like Raymond Cotton, a partner at the law firm in Boston, say that such perks are necessary to recruit the best talent, but not everyone agrees. “Increasingly you hear spokespeople or chairs of boards of regents saying, ‘This is what we need to pay to get good people,’” said Saranna Thornton, an economics and business professor and Chair of American Association of University Professors’ Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession. “Nobody’s backing that up with any data.” Time

Chinese academics fear greater censorship under new political regime

When Xi Jinping came to power in China in 2013, some hoped that this indicated the possibility of political reforms: his father was believed to have opposed the Tiananmen Square crackdown and his daughter was studying at Harvard. But these hopes, in the words of The Guardian, have been “spectacularly misplaced.” “Since [Xi] came to power the government has placed tighter controls on ideological research and education. It’s like a minor cultural revolution,” said Qiao Mu, a journalism professor at the Beijing university. “I haven’t seen it so bad since the 1980s,” said UBC historian Tim Cheek. The Guardian