Top Ten

March 14, 2016

Algonquin receives $4.6 M for apprenticeship training

Algonquin College will add two new electrical labs next year with space for 120 apprentices, along with a new welding lab in 2018 to support several other apprenticeship programs. The announcement was made following a commitment of $4.6 M from Ontario, and additional funding of roughly $238 K will be used to launch a Cook pre-apprenticeship program for 20 Aboriginal learners this May. “I am very proud of the students at Algonquin College, and I know I speak for the entire College community when I say we are very grateful for the province’s investment in our students,” said Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen, “We are forging a new path in the training of the workers of tomorrow, workers who will keep our city and province at the forefront of innovation.” Algonquin

TRU take firsts steps toward creating university village

Thompson Rivers University has announced plans to create a university village that could include townhouses, condos, and retail shops. Work on the village is expected to commence within the next 12 to 18 months once the City of Kamloops has processed the school’s rezoning application. The full list of potential additional uses of the rezoned land include a church, day care, entertainment facility, hotel, museum, stores, pubs, professional and personal services, a recreation facility, restaurants, retail outlets, student accommodation, and a trade and technology centre. TRU President Alan Shaver said that the project is intended to “improve the sense of campus life,” adding that, “TRU has never been an ivory tower institution and I can see this bringing more people from off campus onto the campus.” Kamloops This Week

Brock faces controversy over handling of sexual harassment complaint

CBC has reported that Brock University warned a female student "to keep quiet" about a sexual harassment complaint she made against a history professor at the school. Brock responded in a news release that "the University has in fact addressed the issue in a serious manner. The employee is not assigned to a class and is not on campus." The news release also explains that an external investigator was hired to conduct an independent inquiry after Brock received the complaint, and upon receipt of the findings, the institution sought legal advice and proceeded to take action. "It has nothing to do with … protecting the university's reputation," said Brock President Jack Lightstone, "[it] has to do with the conundrum of our obligation to keep personnel records private and confidential. I don't know how we would be able to get around that." Brock | CBC | Niagara This Week

Université Laval launches $350 M fundraiser

Université Laval has launched a $350 M fundraiser, the largest in the institution’s history. The $350 M figure was chosen to celebrate the school’s 350 years of history. Rather than supporting one major project, the funds will reportedly be used to support the school’s general mission and to attract repeat donors moving forward. uLaval Rector Denis Brière said that he hoped the campaign would appeal to the school’s more than 280,000 alumni. "If we can change the culture of philanthropy,” he added, “it will really help us in the long term." The campaign is scheduled to end in May 2017. La presse | Journal de Quebec

Confederation to create new training facility with $7 M from ON

Ontario has announced that it will invest $7 M to create a new state-of-the-art training facility at Confederation College to help support strong technology and trade jobs in Northern Ontario. The new Technology Education and Collaboration Hub will allow students to pursue preparatory, apprenticeship, trades, and technology programs without needing to leave Thunder Bay. “We are grateful for the support from Ontario to develop the Technology Education and Collaboration Hub,” said Confederation President Jim Madder, “As the economy changes, we will see our need for local manufacturing increase, and through the establishment of this hub, Confederation College will be poised to grow our manufacturing, technology, and trades programming to support a higher number of qualified graduates ready to enter the workforce.” ON

Olds, Lacombe County bolster partnership with $400 K donation

Olds College has received $400 K and a renewed commitment of collaboration and support from Alberta’s Lacombe County. The funds match the value of support already provided to Olds by the county’s alumni and residents since the early 2000s, according to a release. The college plans to use the funding to support its “future-proofing” initiative, designed to enhance its students’ learning opportunities and to ensure that the value of those opportunities persists and even grows beyond graduation. “This funding commitment is tangible evidence of the shared commitment between Lacombe County and Olds College to excellence in postsecondary education in the Central Alberta region,” said college President HJ Thompson, “Olds College has been successful because of our partnerships and we are proud to have Lacombe County on board as a supporter in this transformational endeavour.” Olds

Universities need clearer intellectual property guidelines

“Intellectual property is important in our universities but it sometimes raises thorny issues,” writes Martha Crago for University Affairs. Canadian universities freely establish their own individual intellectual property arrangements, unlike those in the United States, which are governed by the Bayh-Dole Act. Crago discusses a number of the ways that this arrangement may be made in Canada, and how it might address the significant concerns that exist in the current situation. “Our universities make many important intellectual and economic contributions to society,” she writes, “we need to be sure that the intellectual property generated by them is handled in a respectful, well-informed, equitable, fair and transparent manner. University Affairs

Medicine Hat College introduces community to "makerspace"

Medicine Hat College has launched its new Makerspace MHC, a space where members of the community can come onto the MHC campus to explore technologies like 3D printing, a die cutter, and a number of computer-based design programs. The space is located in MHC’s Vera Bracken Library and also features an interactive poster-making area. “Last year the Makerspace was more like an experiment. We hosted presentations on various topics to see how people would react to a space like this, and what they would be looking for,” said MHC Outreach Librarian Shawna Murphy. “This year we’ve provided some technology and set aside a dedicated space that people can use to create and explore.” MHC

Flexible course scheduling will only grow in importance

Flexible course scheduling is going to become more important as the proportion of students working during their education grows with each passing year, writes Pamela Mills-Senn for University Business. While faculty members have traditionally had a powerful influence over when and how courses are taught, an increasing emphasis on helping students graduate on time is leading universities to become more accommodating to their shifting schedules. For Mills-Senn, the best way to overcome possible resistance to these changes is by “reminding faculty that a flexible schedule will help achieve everyone’s common goal: student success.” University Business

Bridging the gap between IT and Faculty

As technology and big data become increasingly available and accessible, “the need for professors, researchers, and IT professionals to work together becomes more urgent,” says Michael Hart for Campus Technology. Hart outlines many of the barriers that prevent the two groups from working smoothly with one another, including communication skills and differing workload priorities. He then makes six recommendations for improving IT-faculty relations, including appointing an official go-between, or nominating a faculty member or student with a natural talent for technology to fill the role of “professional translator between academia and IT.” Campus Technology