Top Ten

December 3, 2015

uManitoba receives $5 M donation for electrical engineering

The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Engineering has received a $5 M donation from Stanley and Dorothy Pauley to support the construction of a new electrical engineering building. This is the second large gift to the university from Stanley Pauley, who graduated from the school in 1949, and his wife Dorothy. “[Pauley's] contributions ensure that our outstanding students and faculty have the best equipment in the best laboratories—an investment not only in our students’ success, but in our province’s success as well,” said uManitoba President David Barnard. Construction on the new building will begin in late 2017. CBC | Winnipeg Sun | Metro News | uManitoba

NIC uses $2.1 M in funding to introduce 24 new programs

North Island College will be using $2.1 M in funding to bring 24 programs to a number of communities across the North Island in the next two years. These programs were developed as a result of NIC’s ongoing communication with North Island residents, and they include programs such as health assistant and plumbing foundation programs in Comox Valley, a new Electrical Foundation program in Port Alberni, and a new Aboriginal education assistant program in Mount Waddington. “We’re very proud that we will be offering six programs in Aboriginal communities in partnership with local First Nations,” said NIC's VP Learning and Students Lisa Domae. NIC | My Comox Valley Now

Dal celebrates opening of $38.5 M Collaborative Health Education Building

Dalhousie University opened its new $38.5 M Collaborative Health Education Building, which is expected to bring together thousands of students studying in nine different areas of health in a new interprofessional learning environment. The building includes a 200-seat classroom, an open-concept learning commons, and simulation labs. “We know that as the health care system and care becomes more complicated, it is more and more important for teams to work together,” said Dal President Richard Florizone, who added that this collaborative approach will allow students “to get to know each other and understand and respect the role of each others' professions.” Dal | Chronicle Herald | Metro News

OCAS, La Cité launch college-specific application platform

The Ontario College Application Service has announced that it will launch its new College-Branded User Interface (CBUI) in partnership with La Cité collégiale. The CBUI will serve as an online platform that delivers a uniquely college-oriented application process for applicants interested in applying to single programs at single colleges in Ontario. OCAS CEO Karen Creditor praised La Cité’s involvement in the project, saying, “not only was their spirit of innovation essential in creating this new doorway for applicants, but through their insight and close collaboration, we have also been able to raise the bar on how we meet the needs of our Francophone students.” OCAS

MTA Students’ Union protest fees for correspondence courses

The Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) is reportedly protesting tuition fee increases for correspondence courses at Mount Allison University. The current fee structure at MTA charges full-time students $7,465 with no additional cost for correspondence courses, explains Vice President Communications for the MASU Tina Oh, while the new fee structure will introduce an additional $746.50 for a correspondence course. According to Oh, this charge is unfair because it financially compromises accessibility and flexibility. MTA’s academic calendar states that full-time students taking correspondence courses and taking more than 9 credits per term, the minimum for a full-time student, will be charged additional tuition fees as of January 2016. CBC

uSask implements gender-neutral bathrooms

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that it is implementing gender-neutral bathrooms on its campus. Starting in early 2016, 100 single-stall washrooms will be converted and will be given signs saying “gender neutral accessible washroom.” uSask Women and Gender Studies Professor Manuela Valle-Castro said, “the bathroom is one of the ways we can start re-socializing ourselves, rethinking about gender, about sex, and about what are the assumptions that are underlying the gendered bathrooms.” Several other institutions in Canada have implemented gender-neutral washrooms this year, including Brandon University and MacEwan University. CBC | Global News

University Canada West invests $800 K in new scholarship program

University Canada West has partnered with Global University Systems to announce the launch of a new scholarship program valued at $800 K. The program’s most significant prize will be the Founder’s Scholarship, which was established in celebration of UCW’s 10th anniversary. This scholarship will provide approximately $25 K for up to 20 full-time undergraduate students per year. “For many smart and capable students, one of the biggest challenges in pursuing a post-secondary degree is figuring out how to fund it,” said UCW President Arthur Coren. “These scholarships are designed to help solve that problem and to provide students with an outstanding university education.” UCW

Financial firm awards 1,000 scholarships to North American students

Foresters, an international financial services provider based in Toronto, has awarded 1,000 scholarships to students across North America. The scholarships reward students for academic excellence and commitment to volunteerism and are valued at $8 K with possibility of renewal. One of the scholarships will go to Katelyn Greer, who will attend Western University in the fall, partly in recognition of a charity golf tournament she has organized, which has now raised more than $200 K. Foresters

Majority of US professors believe trigger warnings harm academic freedom

60% of professors working in the US believe that trigger warnings are harmful to academic freedom, according to a new report by the US-based National Coalition Against Censorship. Despite this stance against the practice of including these warnings, the report also quotes numerous instructors who say they have changed the way they teach in order to avoid offending students. Inside Higher Ed reports that while the report shows a clear discomfort with trigger warnings, it does not in say “exactly where—if anywhere—the line between thoughtful pedagogy and chilling free speech should be drawn.” Last month, a survey of Academica’s StudentVu panel found that over two-thirds of 1,500 respondents said they supported the use of trigger warnings for certain types of material. Inside Higher Ed | Report

Scholars express concern about’s role, a social media platform for academics that allows the sharing of research, now has more than 29 million registered users who have shared more than 8 million papers. These large numbers have some scholars expressing concern that a private for-profit company is benefiting from the labour of academics without giving anything back. “ [is] kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor and co-founder of Open Humanities Press.'s CEO Richard Price defended his service, likening it to Google, also a free service that depends on its users for revenue. “One shouldn’t be childish,” he said, “and say Google shouldn’t exist.” Other academics have recently raised concerns about the proliferation of academic social networks. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)