Top Ten

May 30, 2016

UNB board member criticizes school’s marketing budget

A member of the University of New Brunswick’s board of governors has publicly opposed the school’s budget priorities, reports CBC. Julian Renaud, one of three board members elected by UNB students, has reportedly said that UNB is not devoting enough funding to its academic programs and is spending too much on marketing. Renaud claims that UNB justified spending millions of dollars on Google ads and other online messaging by pointing to the success of similar efforts at Dalhousie University. But Renaud contends that Dal “increased their enrolment because they devoted a lot of funding to their academy in order to increase the capacity of faculties that were in demand such as computer science and engineering.” A memo from UNB states that the marketing expenditures are intended to help the school address declining enrolment by “developing the capacity to better tell our story to a variety of audiences.” CBC

Career college leaders weigh in on importance of choice in higher ed

Recent debates have emerged around the question of whether students attending career colleges deserve the same financial aid as those attending public colleges, and this debate ultimately comes down to how much Canadians value choice, write Serge Buy, CEO for the National Association of Career Colleges, and Sharon Maloney, CEO of Career Colleges Ontario. The authors note that students who enrol in career colleges are looking to access these schools’ “compressed program lengths, continuous enrolment, flexible scheduling, small class sizes and more hands-on training.” For these reasons and more, the authors conclude that “choice in any sector is a good thing, and post-secondary education should be no exception.” Globe and Mail

McGill neuroscience research receives $3.5 M donation

Alumnus Victor Phillip Dahdaleh has donated $3.5 M to McGill University’s neuroscience research program. His contribution will be used to fund a new endowed Chair in Neurosciences and support the existing Victor Dahdaleh-Clinton Foundation Scholarship program. McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier is grateful for Dahdaleh’s continued support and says he has been “a loyal and generous supporter of McGill for many years and has demonstrated exceptional commitment to higher education in Canada and in the UK. His gift will benefit key priorities of our University by advancing research in a critical area of discovery and providing valuable scholarship support that will open McGill to more deserving students, regardless of financial constraints.” McGill

How does an institution diversify its curricula?

What should a higher ed institution do when student groups demand fewer “dead white dudes” in school curriculum? Corinne Ruff of the Chronicle of Higher Education investigates the growing demand for diversity in university curricula and how schools are in many cases struggling to respond. Ruff notes that a 2016 survey by the American Council on Education shows that one in five US college presidents were overseeing changes to their schools’ curricula based on student demands for diversity. One professor notes that much of the debate around diversity in this case comes down to one fundamental question: “Do the courses in this general curriculum reflect the present reality and our students?” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

uWaterloo partners with Silicon Valley VC firm to create entrepreneurship program

The University of Waterloo has announced that it will partner a with a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm to create a new entrepreneurship program for students. Starting in June 2016, the Waterloo Engineering | Spectrum 28 Student Venture Program will provide senior uWaterloo students with pop-up classes and expert mentorship, in addition to the opportunity to compete for the program’s $2 M in initial capital funds. “This new program fills a gap in the entrepreneurship ecosystem at University of Waterloo by giving student teams direct access to Silicon Valley industry expertise and faculty mentorship,” said Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering. “This partnership will support our students at the earliest stages of entrepreneurship, which will make for stronger, more successful startups here in Canada.” uWaterloo

Ministry approves two new graduate programs at TRU

Two new graduate programs will be offered at TRU in the fall of 2017. The Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management, and the Master of Environmental Economics and Management have been in development for over five years and are expected to meet the significant demand for managers in the environmental sector. Acknowledging TRU’s strengths in both business and science, Dean of the School of Business Mike Henry noted, “We are a unique university and we are able to look at programming from a holistic fashion and seek knowledge wherever it comes from, regardless of the discipline.” TRU expects to roll out a number of graduate programs over the next three years in areas such as nursing, mathematics, tourism, and arts. TRU

STM begins $5 M North Building Renewal Project

St Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan has begun a renewal and expansion of its campus facilities. The North Building Renewal Project, set to be completed in spring of 2017, is a $5 M addition that will include improvements to the college’s research library, cafeteria, and a new student lounge. It will also increase energy efficiency in the facility and include installation of a 5-storey elevator to increase accessibility at the college. STM President Terry Downey said, “This new addition will enhance access for undergraduate and graduate students to the unique collections in STM’s library while also providing additional research and study space. Our very popular cafeteria, Choices, will now be able to adequately serve consistently heavy daily demand from our own students and many others from across the University of Saskatchewan campus.” STM

Algonquin opens new senior care centre with help of record-setting donation

Algonquin College has officially opened a new facility that will provide seniors with next-generation health care while offering Algonquin students new opportunities to explore innovations in seniors' care.  According to an Algonquin release, the Garbarino Girard Centre for Innovation in Seniors Care has been made possible through a $1 M donation from the estate of the late Anita Garbarino Girard, the largest donation from an estate in Algonquin’s history. The new facility will feature a learning lab, applied research facility, and an opportunity for Algonquin to collaborate with the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre on an adult day-program for seniors with dementia. Algonquin

Outdoor excursions becoming part of business curriculum

A five-day journey into the Canadian Rockies is one of several outdoor adventure programs now being offered through Haskayne’s Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business at the University of Calgary, writes Jennifer Lewington of the Globe and Mail, and it marks the school’s ongoing commitment to teaching decision-making and leadership in real-world situations. “We are talking about adventure education involving some level of risk,” says Jennifer Krahn, executive director of the centre. “There is a consequence to the decisions you make not only for yourself but also for your colleagues.” Lewington’s article also discusses how European business schools continue to lead their North American counterparts in offering specialty graduate programs to people with little or no business background. Globe and Mail

Is it ever okay to shut down speech on campus?

Protesters on higher ed campuses should have the opportunity to contest certain ideas, but not to stop them from being heard, writes Ellen Wexler for Inside Higher Ed. Wexler revisits a pair of recent incidents at DePaul and UC Irvine, in which protesters were able to disrupt controversial speakers’ engagements to the extent that they had to be cancelled or ended midway through the proceedings. Some free speech advocates have argued that shutting down another person’s speech is inappropriate at all times, even if the content of that speech could be construed as hate speech. Other groups note that certain types of speech should not be tolerated if they make certain groups feel unsafe on campus. Inside Higher Ed