Top Ten

March 4, 2016

WLU looks to "shift the culture" of St Patrick's Day celebrations

Officials at Wilfrid Laurier University have announced that the school will take new measures to ensure a respectful and safe campus environment for St Patrick’s Day. The measures will reportedly prohibit the sale of St Patrick’s Day merchandise in the campus book store, introduce additional security personnel in the campus’ buildings, and seal all building doors along the university’s south and western edges on St Patrick's Day to block traffic from neighbouring street parties. WLU Provost Deborah MacLatchy reportedly said in an email to staff that the measures are intended to “shift the culture” of Waterloo’s often-rowdy St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin has also stated that "all hands will be on deck" to ensure public safety on St Patrick’s Day. National Post | The Record

UBC faculty move to hold “unprecedented” no-confidence vote on board

The Faculty Association at UBC is reportedly set to hold an “unprecedented” no-confidence vote on the school’s board of governors, reports The Tyee. Association President Mark Mac Lean has stated that a yes vote would tell the university that the faculty "very much believe that the manner in which [the board is] operating does not meet the standards” expected of it. The faculty has reportedly been critical of the board since January, when internal communications between the board and former UBC president Arvind Gupta were leaked to the public. The leaked materials ultimately provoked faculty to call for an external review of how the board operates. The Tyee | UBC

McMaster-led research receives $12.3 M for wireless patient monitoring

A team of researchers led by McMaster University will receive a total of $12.3 M to enhance a remote monitoring and care system, called SMArTVIEW, for post-operative patients. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research announced yesterday that it will contribute $750 K to the project, while an additional $11.6 M will come from industry partners and other parties to develop and test the SMArTVIEW technology. McMaster reports that this technology could save many patients from life-threatening complications after surgery. McMaster

NS students stage sit-in at minister’s office over tuition reset, sexual assault legislation

Students from across Nova Scotia began a sit-in yesterday at the constituency office of NS’s Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan. A press release from the Canadian Federation of Students reported that the demonstration was staged to protest “massive tuition hikes” and the alleged blocking of the Safer Universities and Colleges Act. The CFS has argued that tuition fees could rise as much as 37% at some institutions over the next three years, adding that fees in NS are “already among the highest in the country.” At Dalhousie University, members of the school’s student union also met with Dal’s Budget Advisory Committee to discuss proposed tuition fee changes at the school. CFS | #RejecttheReset | Metro (Dal)

First Nations University of Canada implements cost-cutting measures

First Nations University of Canada is currently offering voluntary buyout packages to staff as the university goes about implementing cost-cutting measures and evaluating its budget in light of lower revenue. “We are not immune to what’s happening in all Canadian universities in terms of pressure around funding,” said FNUniv’s Vice President of Academics Lynn Wells, who stated that the situation should not concern students. Wells said that there was no guarantee of further cutbacks or layoffs until the federal and provincial budgets were announced. FNUniv Student Recruitment Officer Cadmus Delorme added that he was confident the institution could navigate its current difficulties, saying, “We are not going anywhere.” Leader-Post

Carleton postdocs ratify first collective agreement

A group of postdoctoral researchers at Carleton University has ratified a first collective agreement with the school. The two-year contract was negotiated with the help of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and reportedly raises the minimum annual wage for postdocs from $25 K to $30 K, which will be applied retroactively to begin on April 1, 2015. The minimum salary will rise again to roughly $32.5 K by May 2017. The group will reportedly also gain access to health and dental benefits, bereavement leave, 15 annual vacation days, academic freedom protections, and grievance and arbitration procedures. “I’m confident that this contract forms a good basis for our next round of bargaining two years from now,” said postdoctoral researcher Judith Brown, “where we will be seeking more of the basic benefits that other employees at Carleton enjoy.” Ottawa Citizen | PSAC

UoGuelph to hire Aboriginal professors, increase scholarships

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the University of Guelph plans to hire five Aboriginal professors in tenure-track positions and boost graduate scholarships to students who identify as Aboriginal. The hiring and scholarships won’t be limited to any faculty or discipline, said UoGuelph Provost Charlotte Yates, who believes that there is a moral responsibility for universities to respond to the TRC report. “All groups need to see themselves reflected in educational institutions, “ she added. In addition to the faculty positions and five graduate scholarships, the school will also create two undergraduate research awards, one postdoctoral fellowship, and a year-long artist in residence position. Guelph Mercury (CP)

uWindsor, ON Ministry to research adoption of new health innovations

The Odette World Health Integration Network at the University of Windsor has partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to study the procurement and adoption of new health-based innovations. The partnership will receive $2.7 M over three years to perform in-depth case studies of up to 25 projects to better understand the enablers and barriers to implementing new health innovations. “This funding will support WIN to examine procurement from multiple perspectives [… and] offer the opportunity for transformational change across the Ontario health care system,” said WIN Chair Anne Snowdon. Windsor Star | uWindsor

Queen’s provost contests claims by Whig-Standard

Queen’s University Provost Alan Harrison has published a letter in the Kingston Whig-Standard disputing some of the claims that the paper made in a recent story on non-academic misconduct. The original story claimed that a report on such misconduct said Queen’s had misled the regional coroner about the steps taken by the university following two student deaths in 2010. Harrison contends that, “this is false; the Lewis Report does not say this.” He further contests any claim that Queen’s misled the coroner, and notes that “the university continues to take the coroner's recommendations seriously, and Queen's remains in contact with the coroner, who has been kept aware of further actions the university has taken.” The Whig

PhDs often tolerate ethical grey areas to finish research, says new study

PhD candidates will often persist in the face of ethical dilemmas when conducting their research, according to a new paper published in the journal Organizational Research Methods. The three authors of the paper, titled “A dynamic process model for finding informants and gaining access in qualitative research,” say that they first came together at a 2013 conference when they realized that they all “had stories about the lengths that [they] would go and the boundaries [they] would consider crossing in order to… get on with [their] dissertations.” These dilemmas included tolerating sexism in the workplace for research purposes, getting a tattoo to study the work of tattoo artists, and wanting to interview fellow participants in a yoga teacher training program. Times Higher Education