Top Ten

December 16, 2015

CAUT releases statement in support of Carleton Professor’s refusal to sign new agreement

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has released a statement in support of Professor Root Gorelick, an employee of Carleton University who has reportedly refused to sign an agreement “that would prevent him from speaking publicly about open sessions of Carleton University board meetings.” The statement goes on to say that Gorelick is the only member of Carleton’s 32-person board who has refused to sign the agreement. CAUT Executive Director David Robinson has suggested that the university has a “vendetta” against Gorelick, adding that “it’s pretty outrageous that a public institution like a university would prohibit any discussion on the part of any board member of public meetings.” CAUT | CityNews | Ottawa Citizen

Yukon to stop hosting Enhanced Language Training program

Yukon College has announced that it will not renew a contract with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to host the Enhanced Language Training program, an initiative offered to help immigrants settle in their new community and connect with job opportunities. Yukon Dean of Applied Science and Management Margaret Dumkee cited financial concerns for the program’s cessation, saying, “the costs to deliver the program have increased and the funding the College receives to run the program has not always covered the expenses involved in delivering it.” Yukon has offered its support to CIC in transitioning the program to a new provider. Yukon | CBC

Lambton and Bluewater Health partner to develop Healthcare Leadership program

Lambton College has announced that it has partnered with Bluewater Health to create a new corporate training program designed to strengthen leadership competencies for those working in the healthcare sector. The program was first launched for a select group of Bluewater employees in spring 2015. The leadership program is designed to explore various aspects of human resources, finance, and quality assurance, in addition to healthcare legislation. Lambton President Judith Morris said, “this program will assist those already working in a healthcare setting to gain a stronger understanding of the industry and further develop the skills needed to deliver quality healthcare to a diverse segment of the public.” Lambton

uManitoba reaches four-year agreement with staff union

The University of Manitoba and the Association of Employees Supporting Education Services have successfully negotiated a new four-year collective agreement. This agreement includes a series of general salary increases of approximately 1% to 2% per year to occur over a four-year period, starting April 5, 2015, the expiry date of the former contract. uManitoba reports that the institution and AESES “utilized a collaborative approach to bargaining, referred to as interest-based bargaining” to negotiate the agreement. AESES, which represents nearly 2,600 support staff workers, states that 91% of voters chose to accept uManitoba’s contract offer. uManitoba | AESES

MSVU Students protest proposed tuition hike

Students at Mount Saint Vincent University were expected to deliver 350 postcards to the university’s board of governors in protest of a proposed 20% tuition hike on Tuesday, according to the Chronicle Herald. “We’ve seen students that are struggling to pay rent, struggling to afford food and we just don’t see how this matches the university’s mandate of social justice,” said Jon Grant, Vice President of Advocacy for MSVU’s Student Union. University Spokesperson Gillian Batten has reportedly told the Herald that MSVU has been consulting with students, faculty, and staff over the past several weeks on a possible tuition adjustment. Chronicle Herald

Youth leader offers three keys for student mental health support

“Not only is tackling mental health issues vital to addressing the health outcomes of students who need services the most,” writes Karen Young for HEQCO, “it is also critical to show students, who will one day be in positions of power, the transcending importance of addressing mental health issues.” Young goes on to highlight three key areas for improving mental health support for young people: intersectionality, or acknowledging how mental health issues can often combine with other pressures faced by those from marginalized backgrounds; actionable awareness; and the development of a shared sense community and belonging. HEQCO

Niagara renews partnership with Anishinabek Educational Institute

Niagara College and the Anishinabek Educational Institute have renewed a partnership designed to provide high-quality academic programs for Anishinabek students. The renewed partnership will be in effect for five years and will aim to improve Anishinabek students’ access to programs and boost student retention efforts. “We’re extremely pleased to renew this important partnership, which will see Niagara College and Anishinabek Educational Institute pursue our shared goals of providing high quality academic programs, and meeting the economic needs of the communities we serve,” said Niagara President Dan Patterson. Niagara | AEI

Confederation, Couchiching First Nation sign trades school MOU

Confederation College and the Couchiching First Nation have signed an MOU to collaborate on the creation of a Trades School. Under the terms of the agreement, Couchiching would provide the facility near Fort Frances and Confederation would deliver programming in skilled trades and engineering technology. “This partnership with Confederation College will continue to honour the location where education has always happened for the Anishinaabe,” said Chief Sara Mainville. “This partnership will help to address the shortage of skilled workers and provide increased access to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in our region,” added Confederation President Jim Madder. Confederation

MOOC students from more affluent, better educated neighbourhoods

People from more affluent and better-educated neighbourhoods are much more likely to enrol in MOOCs than the average American, according to a study recently published in the journal Science. The researchers examined more than 160,000 students who took nearly 70 MOOCs offered by Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They found that each additional $20 K in neighbourhood median income increased the odds of MOOC participation by 27%. For each year-based increase in neighbourhood average educational attainment, the odds of MOOC participation increased by 69%. “Our findings raise concerns that MOOCs and similar approaches to online learning can exacerbate rather than reduce disparities in educational outcomes related to socioeconomic status,” said the study. New York Times | Full Study

We need a better definition, measurement of employability

It is time for PSE institutions to talk more about the qualities that make a graduate employable and less about employment numbers, writes Johnny Rich for Times Higher Education. However, Rich acknowledges the “Babel-like babble” that can often prevent students from recognizing the attributes they need to acquire in order to make an impact in the workplace. For this reason, the author offers a three-part definition that can help make employability more measurable. This definition comprises the three elements of what Rich calls knowledge, social capital, and skills. Times Higher Education