Top Ten

March 21, 2016

ON invests $23 M in UoGuelph Veterinary College

Ontario has announced a $23 M investment to support critical infrastructure renewal at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. The funding will specifically support renovations at OVC and expansions such as enhanced clinical teaching and learning spaces. "Current and future veterinarians must have the skills and knowledge required to meet the health demands of our province," said OVC Dean Jeff Wichtel, "this requires state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and innovative learning and training programs." OVC will reportedly raise an additional $10 M to meet a $33 M plan to address infrastructure needs. UoGuelph | ON

BC must reform leadership appointment process, write CUFA BC executives

BC needs to rethink the current model that most of its universities use to appoint members to their boards of governors, write Michael Conlon and Doug Baer, Executive Director and President of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC, respectively. Rather than treating board members like “political appointees,” they argue, BC should follow the practices of most other provinces in appointing leaders who are not politically polarizing. The current politicization of the appointment process, the authors add, is compounded by the “mandate letters” that BC issues to ensure that “university priorities align with government policy priorities.” The article concludes that BC must initiate a discussion on how to reform the appointment process “so that good governance and merit are the defining criteria for board appointments, instead of loyalty” to the ruling party. Times Colonist

SK students “switched on” by main parties’ visions for PSE, say student leaders

Student leaders at two Saskatchewan universities believe that the two primary contenders in the upcoming provincial election have strong, yet very different visions for PSE. In an interview with CBC, University of Saskatchewan Students' Union President Jack Saddleback and University of Regina Students' Union President Devon Peters agreed that both the NDP and Saskatchewan Party are “dreaming big” in their higher ed platforms and getting positive attention from students. The student leaders applauded the NDP’s plan to convert all provincial student loans to grants. The Saskatchewan Party, on the other hand, will reportedly continue its emphasis on tax credits for graduates who choose to live in SK and offer a grant for residents who choose to study in their home province. CBC

Laurentian receives $5 M to support three climate change response projects in Indigenous communities

The Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources at Laurentian University has received $5 M to support climate change response in Ontario Indigenous communities. OCCIAR will use the funds to develop a Climate Change Impact Study for Ontario’s remote First Nations, work with First Nation communities in preparing for the effects of climate change, and help First Nations to capitalize on opportunities created by the proposed cap-and-trade program. "Climate change is already having a significant impact on First Nations communities and their environments," said OCCIAR Director Al Douglas, "this investment will help First Nations to build capacity, to deal with climate risks, and to limit climate change through carbon storage and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions." Laurentian

NL Association of Career Colleges disputes claims of higher expense, lower enrolment for adult education

The Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Career Colleges has issued a statement disputing claims that the cost of Adult Basic Education has increased and enrolment has decreased since the program’s delivery was privatized in 2013. While the Canadian Federation of Students claimed that program costs had increased 31% and enrolment had dropped 30%, the NLACC argues that the Freedom of Information documents accessed by the CFS show that the overall cost of ABE has dropped 44% since 2013 and that the provision of and enrolment in ABE have remained consistent. VOCM | NTV (Video)

OCUFA, COU weigh in on 2016 ON budget

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations has released a full analysis of the 2016 Ontario Budget, titled Access to What? The report recognizes the importance of recent changes to student financial aid, but also claims that the budget does not significantly increase public investment in higher ed operating budgets. The analysis predicts that the provincial budget will lead to larger class sizes, fewer full-time faculty hirings, and an increase in precariously employed part-time instructors, all to the detriment of students. In a separate statement, Council of Ontario Universities President David Lindsay praised the 2016 budget for the transparency it will bring to net student fees and for removing access barriers for students from low-income families. “That's why universities wholeheartedly applaud the government's new, modernized financial aid system,” he concludes. OCUFA | Report | COU

Universities need to change to accommodate more Indigenous students

Universities need to make changes in order to better accommodate Indigenous students, according to CBC, as the responsibility to do so should not fall on Indigenous students themselves and members of the community. Many institutions are following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action to “indigenize” their campuses through measures such as hiring Indigenous affairs coordinators and establishing meeting spaces. "The onus is on non-Indigenous and universities to get along with this project of reconciliation,” says Ryerson University Professor Pamela Palmater, “it shouldn't be on the backs of the lone Indigenous faculty or the Indigenous students.” CBC

NBCC signs MOU with Galway Business School

New Brunswick Community College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ireland’s Galway Business School that commits the institutions to co-operation in program delivery, joint programs, and study abroad opportunities. The agreement will allow NBCC grads who complete a two-year diploma to obtain a business-related degree from GBS. Upon completing the degree, they will also be eligible to work in Ireland and Europe for a year. “This is an amazing change for NBCC learners to obtain a diploma and a degree on top of being able to gain work and life experience abroad,” said NBCC Director of International Education Ryan Sullivan, “by developing strong relationships with our other postsecondary institutions around the world, we can better serve our learners who will have increased opportunities for travel and diverse learning experiences.” NBCC

Canadore, uSudbury, Laurentian sign Transfer Agreement for ECE students

Canadore College, the University of Sudbury, and Laurentian University have signed an articulation agreement that will allow Canadore early childhood education students to transfer to complete their degree in French. The students would transfer into Laurentian’s Bachelor of Arts in Folklore et ethnologie, delivered by the University of Sudbury, after completing a two-year college diploma through Canadore. "It is important to continue to expand the possibilities and various pathways a student can access to pursue their postsecondary education," said uSudbury Registrar Sylvie Renault, “we are pleased to partner with Canadore College in our endeavours.” Canadore | BayToday

Turning cultural appropriation into a discussion

US campuses frequently wrestle with debates about cultural appropriation, writes Courtney Kueppers for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and this issue is made all the more urgent by social media’s ability to build local controversies into national backlash. The article discusses a number of cases of cultural appropriation on US campuses over the past few years, including a professor’s controversial response to an email at Yale University that asked students to be mindful of their costumes, and outlines a few of the ways that institutions have attempted to turn these matters into discussions or teachable moments. Chronicle of Higher Education(Subscription Required)