Top Ten

June 17, 2016

UBC’s new president speaks on pay raises, depression, sexual assault

“I’ve never accepted a raise or a bonus,” says recently appointed UBC President Santa Ono in an interview with the Vancouver Sun, adding that “I even sold the [UCincinnati] president’s house to create a quasi-endowment worth $3 million for scholarships.” Ono discusses a number of experiences and perspectives that will inform his coming role at UBC, including his openness about his battles with depression, his desire to find better ways to investigate sexual assault on campus, and his unwillingness to accept pay bonuses or raises as a president. Ono also celebrates outgoing Interim UBC President Martha Piper, whom he says “has done a remarkable job in moving the institution past that difficult time.” Vancouver Sun

RRC names investigator to investigate work placement program

Red River College has hired a third-party investigator to examine an assault one of its students suffered during a work placement in May. Earlier this week, RRC student Jackie Healey criticized her college and the Selkirk Behavioural Health Foundation for not properly preparing her to deal with the violent attack she suffered while working at a behavioural health centre. The school has since announced that it has hired Linda Burnside to conduct an investigation into Healey's assault, in addition to reviewing the school's current policies on work placements related to its child and youth care diploma program. Burnside’s investigation is set to finish by the beginning of the fall 2016 semester. CBC | RRC

Higher participation in PSE may increase inequality, study says

Increasing participation in higher education worldwide may reinforce existing inequalities rather than eliminate them, according to a new report by Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at University College London. Marginson’s research concludes that postsecondary systems with lower participation rates lead to less-stratified societies than ones with higher rates. The reason for this, the report adds, is because with lower rates, “it is possible to have a successful middle-class life without going to university,” while systems with high rates of participation foster inequality because “in any competition, those with the best starting resources are most likely to win.” Times Higher Education | Report

Niagara Falls and Ryerson partner on application to provide postsecondary education downtown

The City of Niagara Falls is partnering with Ryerson University in an effort to bring postsecondary education to the city’s downtown. Ryerson has filed a proposal for a Niagara Falls/Ryerson Innovation Zone, according to Acting Manager of Public Affairs Johanna VanderMaas, which “will be an ‘incubation to acceleration’ hub for digital technologies linking Niagara region’s (small and medium-sized enterprises), startups and incubation services to the broader ecosystem of southern Ontario.” VanderMaas adds that “it is not a new satellite campus.” Introducing postsecondary education to the downtown has reportedly been a priority for Major Jim Diodati since his election in 2010, and the Niagara Falls Review reports that the city “will need to provide more information for the application to move forward.” Niagara Falls Review

Rio Tinto and UQAC CURAL renew partnership with $3 M investment

Rio Tinto has renewed its partnership with the University Centre for Research on Aluminum (CURAL) at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi through an investment of $3M over five years. Rio Tinto Director, CRDA Frederic Laroche stated that the projects identified and pursued by CURAL and Rio Tinto "are focused on the growth of related programs, as well as on the consolidation of our technological leadership in the aluminum industry.” UQAC Dean of Research and Creation Stéphane Allaire emphasizes the importance of the history between UQAC and Rio Tinto and the resulting contributions to regional development in terms of “access to proximal locations and quality training as well as a large labour pool.” UQAC | UQACtualité

Tenure-track job may not be what it seems

“I was offered a tenure-track job, and took it. Exactly one year from accepting the position, I resigned from my first – and very likely, last – tenure-track job and eagerly coordinated my family’s return to Colorado,” writes Liz Swan, before embarking on a discussion around the aspects of tenure-track positions that would-be applicants may want to consider. Swan argues that a tenure track job can result in a lack of locational freedom, a loss of writing freedom, and an unsatisfactory salary. Finally, Swan highlights the capacity to investigate alternative careers, insisting that “all of us have skills honed in academe — coupled with personal experiences and insights — that can help guide us to a different yet equally fulfilling and potentially more lucrative career.” Chronicle Vitae

Carleton Signs MOU to renew India studies chair

Carleton University President Roseann O’Reilly Runte has signed an MOU with the High Commissioner of India to Canada to renew a visiting chair focused on India-related studies at Carleton. Valid for five years, the agreement will see Carleton host a visiting professor who will serve as a chair for a four-month semester each academic year. “The India Chair has proven to be a wonderful experience,” said Runte. “It’s an opportunity for us to build bridges of culture and understanding, and to have our students exposed to different forms of teaching. It’s very significant that the Indian government is doing this with Carleton. India has such a rich culture to share.” Carleton

The difference between good and bad PC

Current arguments about political correctness often overlook the fact that it can take both positive and negative forms, writes Jonathan Zimmerman for Inside Higher Ed. The author defines the first, positive type of PC as something that “aims to change our language for describing human difference, so it doesn’t demean others.” The second, negative type is one that inhibits dialogue about controversial issues “by imposing liberal political orthodoxies," that in turn create concerns around free speech on campus. Zimmerman concludes that the first type of PC will break down if it transforms into unquestioned social norms, adding that “politically correct words can help promote conversation. Politically correct pieties will kill it.” Inside Higher Ed

Students give lower ratings to professors believed to be female, says new research

Staff, faculty, and students at Simon Fraser University are criticizing the school’s response to three sexual assault complaints involving the same male student, writes the Vancouver Sun. SFU Director of Communications Kurt Heinrich stated in an email that the school’s requirement to issue a campus-wide alert about such complaints requires an assessment conducted in cooperation with police to determine whether there is a risk of continued harm. “I think our key message, our most important message to students and our campus community is that the safety or our students is our No. 1 priority here,” Heinrich added. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

SFU faces criticism on handling of sexual assault

Staff, faculty, and students at Simon Fraser University are criticizing the school’s response to three sexual assault complaints involving the same male student, writes the Vancouver Sun. SFU’s teaching support staff have reportedly also told the Sun that they are concerned about the administration’s response to the complaints. SFU Director of Communications Kurt Heinrich has stated in an email that the school’s requirement to issue a campus-wide alert about such complaints requires an assessment conducted in cooperation with police to determine whether there is a risk of continued harm. “I think our key message, our most important message to students and our campus community is that the safety or our students is our No. 1 priority here,” Heinrich added. Vancouver Sun | Medicine Hat News (RCMP) | Toronto Star | Windsor Star | CBC