Top Ten

January 18, 2016

uRegina changes research rules after 2013 audit

The University of Regina has made a number of changes to its research rules in response to a 2013 audit, reports CBC. The audit completed by Bonnie Lysyk at uRegina’s request found that the institution “didn’t have enough control over some of its research operations.” uRegina President Vianne Timmons added that, “our research endeavors grew faster than our controls and our systems, and that makes you vulnerable as an institution, so we really had to put in different controls … it’s a change of culture and takes time.” The institution has reportedly hired a dedicated financial professional to work with researchers and ensure that claims are properly handled. CBC

SFU to launch “trailblazing” Skwomesh language immersion course

Khelsilem, a 26-year-old language activist, will be leading a full-time adult immersion program for the Skwomesh language at Simon Fraser University, starting in September. “My heart just soars when I have opportunities to speak to others in my language. Right now, I don’t have enough people,” said Khelsilem. The program, which aims to enrol 15 students, will run seven hours a day, five days a week. After completing 1,000 classroom hours, students will graduate with a certificate in First Nations language proficiency. “It’s a trailblazing project (in British Columbia),” said SFU Professor Marianne Ignace, Director of SFU’s First Nations Language Centre and a community member of the Skeetchesen First Nation. CBC

Dal and local health authority gave unfair treatment to doctors, says CAUT report

A new report has supported the claims of three doctors who say they were unfairly disciplined by Dalhousie University and the former Capital District Health Authority more than ten years ago, according to CBC. The report was commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and found that the doctors were disciplined in “career-threatening ways” after receiving official complaints from colleagues for challenging the authority of department heads and not being team players. The report also found that the policies governing the relationship between Dal and CDHA failed to protect academic freedom. CBC | CAUT

TRU faculty begin limited job action

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) began limited job action last Thursday, but the union says it won’t impact students or classes. Rather, the job action will involve limiting communication and contact between faculty and the provost’s office. The most recent collective agreement for faculty expired in March 2014, and parties have been in negotiations since February 2015. TRUFA represents 650 instructors, researchers, and librarians, among others, at TRU’s Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses. One area of contention is the cost of TRU’s administration. The union alleges that it has grown 350% in cost over the last decade, while the university counters that its administrative costs are the third lowest among comparable BC universities. Kamloops This Week | KamloopsBCNow | CBC

Laurentian to investigate new complaints against Persinger

Laurentian University has initiated an internal investigation to examine new complains against Michael Persinger, the psychology professor who was removed from his first-year course earlier this year. Shawn Frappier, of Laurentian’s human resources department, has been appointed to look into the complaints, according to Laurentian Chief of Staff Alex Freedman. “We wanted to make sure that we treat each of them with the respect that they deserve, which is why we’ve appointed a point-person in this case to make sure that they come in through one central portal,” said Freedman. He could not elaborate on the nature of the new complaints, due to concerns about confidentiality. CBC reported that it was unable to reach Persinger for comment. CBC

Brock unveils “first of its kind” PhD program in Youth and Child Care

Brock University has announced that it will offer a PhD program in Child and Youth Studies. The school claims that this will be the first doctoral program in Canada that uses multi- and transdisciplinary perspectives to pursue children and youth studies. “We will look at all aspects of children and childhood,” said Tony Volk, Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies. “It will offer students interested in children and youth a diversity of theory, knowledge, and tools that are not available from traditional unidisciplinary degrees.” Brock

Trent partners with Chinese university on dual-degree math opportunities

Trent University has announced that it will partner with Tianjin University of Commerce in China in an initiative that will bring new international students to Trent as early as 2017. The agreement will allow mathematics students at Tianjin University to complete the first two years of their degree in China and the next two at Trent. These graduates will then have the option of continuing in Mathematical Finance and preparing to enter Trent’s new graduate streams in Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods, Big Data Analytics, and Financial Analytics. “We’re delighted to be able to extend this exciting international learning opportunity to students at Tianjin University of Commerce and we look forward to growing our relationship with the university and welcoming students to Trent and to Peterborough,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. Peterborough Examiner | Trent

Turkey detains 18 academics who signed petition condemning attacks on Kurds

18 academics were detained by Turkish police last Friday after they signed a declaration criticizing the government’s military operations against Kurdish rebels in the southeastern part of the country. The declaration received more than 1,000 signatures worldwide from academics including Noam Chomsky, who claimed they refused to be “a party to the crime” and asked Turkey to return to peace talks with the rebels. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the declaration as “terrorist propaganda” before telling the AP, “Just because they have titles such as professor, doctor in front of their names does not make them enlightened. These are dark people. They are villain and vile because those who side with the villain are villain themselves.” Lethbridge Herald (AP) | The Guardian | Chronicle of Higher Education

Why US colleges inflate their “sticker” price

Many US colleges publish excessively high “sticker” prices for enrollment that few to no students ever end up paying, writes Lucie Lapovsky for TIME, and this tactic might discourage many students from applying to better schools. According to Lapovsky, schools do this because they believe the public associates quality with price. A high price also allows the college to “shape” its incoming classes by selecting whom it wishes to provide grant money to; and finally, some administrators do not realize that lowering the published price will not necessarily shrink the school’s revenues. TIME