Top Ten

October 21, 2015

Five Canadian Executive MBAs make Financial Times’ top 100

The Financial Times has released its rankings for the best 100 Executive MBA programs worldwide, and five Canadian schools have made the list. York University’s Kellogg-Schulich EMBA placed first in Canada and 25th worldwide. The Rotman EMBA at the University of Toronto placed second in Canada (#47), and the EMBA Americas program offered through Cornell University and Queen’s University placed third (#53). The Ivey EMBA at Western University’s Ivey School of Business ranked 53rd in the world. Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business EMBA ranked 67th, climbing 32 places since last year and earning the title “Highest Riser.” The University of Alberta/University of Calgary’s Alberta/Haskayne EMBA ranked 91st in the world. Financial Times | Full Rankings

YorkU School of Engineering receives $1.5 M for neural computing

York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering has received $1.5 M in funding from the Chinese software firm iFlytek. The funding will be used to create the new iFlytek Laboratory for Neural Computing and Machine Learning (iNCML) and to fund a professorship to lead research in this field. “With this generous donation, our Lassonde School of Engineering will continue on the path of innovative education, demonstrating the growing diversity of our research and curriculum, and ensuring that York University continues to lead the way for the future of engineering,” said YorkU President Mamdouh Shoukri. YorkU

uMoncton to house 60-bed francophone nursing home

The Université de Moncton has announced that it plans to build a new 60-bed nursing home. The two-year construction project will be made possible through a partnership with New Brunswick and a $50 M investment by Shannex RLC Ltd. Priority for housing in the nursing home will be given to uMoncton retirees. uMoncton President Raymond Théberge said the project will "provide an opportunity to create bridges between generations, internships and jobs for health care students and research projects on aging." The home will cater specifically to francophones, a feature that Théberge added was a key part of ensuring that the school “becomes a leader in the preservation of the language rights of the Acadian and francophone population of New Brunswick." CBC | uMoncton

Trent chooses green investment over divestment

Trent University has reportedly said that it will invest 5–10% of its $50 M endowment in Northwest Environmental Investments (NEI), a group that invests in companies aligned with the university’s environmental programs. The move comes in response to students’ calls earlier this year for divestment from fossil fuel companies. Trent says that rather than focusing on divestment, it wants to create positive change by giving itself a greater voice in the operations of those businesses it invests in. “Now we will have a say at these board tables,” said Susan Graham Parker, Chair of the Pension and Investment Committee of Trent’s board of governors. “If you divest,” she added, “you have no say.” MyKawartha

uSask, Beijing Institute of Technology partner to award new research grant

The University of Saskatchewan and the Beijing Institute of Technology have awarded the inaugural International Flagship Partnership Research Grant (IFPRG) to support an international collaboration that aims to remove contaminants from the environment. “This is a perfect example of how this partnership can strengthen connections between our institutions and advance our respective areas of expertise,” said Diane Martz, Director of International Research and Partnerships at uSask. “It is a recognition that the issues we examine are not local, but now more than ever before our research has global application.” uSask and BIT have each contributed $50 K to fund the annual competition for the next three years. uSask

uAlberta student death prompts public conversation on suicide

The death of University of Alberta student Evan Tran has led to a growing conversation about the need to acknowledge and discuss youth suicide, reports CBC. Statistics from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) rank suicide as the second leading cause of death for Canadians aged 10 to 24. "It's not a shameful act. It's not something to put under the carpet," said Tran’s sister, Vanlee Robblee. Last year, uAlberta announced that it was working on a new suicide prevention program in response to two deaths on its campus in one month. CAMH’s website warns that the current transition from summer to winter is one of the most difficult times of the year for youth suffering from depression. CBC

Canadian graduates must align with labour market

Canada needs to do more to align the skills of its new graduates with the demands of the labour market, write Don Drummond, Ross Finnie, and Harvey Weingarten for the Globe and Mail. The authors argue that Canada can take three concrete steps to accomplish this goal: first, by producing better information on the relationship between labour markets and graduates’ outcomes; second, by fostering a better understanding of the skills required in today’s workforce; and third, by having PSE institutions do a better job of measuring and credentialing the transferable skills that are important to employers. Finally, the article suggests that Canada could engage much more proactively with provincial governments to align the outcomes of new graduates with the needs of the labour market. Globe and Mail

Fullick raises concerns about the devaluation of university teaching

Writing in University Affairs, Melonie Fullick has responded to an article on teaching-stream faculty published in the Globe and Mail earlier this month. Fullick first raises definitional questions, noting that teaching-stream faculty are not necessarily “a sort of longer-term version of [contract academic faculty],” as many Canadian institutions have teaching-stream positions with tenure. Her main concern, however, is “value and hierarchy in academic work.” Arguing that in today’s universities research is valued over teaching, she says, “if teaching is a part of the university’s mission, why is it still treated as ‘less than’ research work in the academic prestige hierarchy?” She concludes by noting the problems caused by a lack of data about contract faculty. University Affairs

Comprehensive study of US college writing programs

A recently released study by the National Census of Writing provides an open-access view of the way writing is taught in US colleges. The eight-part, 200-question survey is reportedly the most comprehensive of its kind conducted in more than three decades. Douglas Hesse, President-Elect of the National Council of Teachers of English, explained that “this will allow finer-grained analysis of the correlation between teaching, curricular, programmatic, and administrative configurations and what students are learning as a result of those program.” Swarthmore Associate Professor Jill Gladstein explained that the survey allows writing program administrators and other users to base their writing program decisions using data instead of anecdotes. Inside Higher Ed | Writing Census

Humanities must engage in public scholarship

Humanities scholars need to engage in more public scholarship, according to Gretchen Busl, an Assistant Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University. She argues that public scholarship could increase the perceived value and visibility of the humanities, as well as allow humanities research to make a greater impact on society. Current arguments in favour of the humanities emphasize their value to career-minded students, but fail to include the impact of humanities research on ethics; technology; and social discourses of gender, race, and class. “The inward-focused nature of scholarship has left the public with no choice but to respond to our work with indifference and even disdain,” Busl explains, “because we have made little effort to demonstrate what purpose our work may have beyond the lecture hall or academic journal.” The Guardian