Top Ten

July 4, 2016

Laurentian receives $10M donation, renames school of architecture

Laurentian University’s newest building will be named the McEwen School of Architecture, thanks to a $10M donation from Rob and Cheryl McEwen. Goldcorp Founder Rob McEwen explained that the couple’s decision to donate the funds was based on the belief that “the goals of the McEwen School of Architecture will unleash the genius of the North and usher in new, innovative approaches to the design, form, and function of buildings and communities, not only across Canada but around the world.” Praising Laurentian for its ability to represent First Nations, French, and English peoples, McEwen stated, “We believe this combination of diverse cultures and perspectives will continue to generate extraordinary results, and this is the goal of our investment.” CBC | Sudbury Star |

TWU Law School denied accreditation by ON Court of Appeal

Trinity Western University has been denied accreditation by the Ontario Court of Appeal after attempting to overturn a decision by the Law Society of Upper Canada. TWU was refused accreditation of its proposed law school on the grounds that it enforces a discriminatory code of conduct on students. The Vancouver Sun reports that the case involved a collision of religious freedom and equality, and the appeal court found the law society’s unanimous decision to be a reasonable balancing of these two Charter rights. “The court correctly found an infringement of TWU’s rights,” said TWU’s Executive Director of the proposed law school, Earl Phillips. “However, we are most disappointed that the court found the infringement to be justifiable.” TWU has now reportedly been granted accreditation by six law societies, but has gone to court challenging refusals in ON, BC, and NS. CBC | TWU | The Record | Globe and Mail | Lethbridge Herald | Vancouver Sun

uOttawa adopts new “survivor centered” policy on the prevention of sexual violence

The University of Ottawa has officially adopted a new “survivor-centered” policy on the prevention of sexual violence. A university release states that the new policy meets the obligations set out in Ontario’s Bill 132, and that it is aimed at “maintaining a campus culture that fosters respect for every individual and a University-wide environment that is free of harassment, discrimination and sexual violence.” The recommendation to establish the new policy was first issued by the university’s Task Force on Respect and Equality, as well as an Action Team responsible for the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations. uOttawa

SK approves over $2.1M for graduates’ first homes

The Saskatchewan government has approved over $2.1M to date under the new Graduate Retention Program—First Home Plan. The program allows recent postsecondary graduates to borrow up to $10K as an interest-free loan towards the down payment on their first home. “Our government recognizes the importance of recruiting and retaining graduates from both in and out of province, and helping them enter into homeownership will help us do that,” said Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services Donna Harpauer. “We are encouraging and supporting those who want to live and work here, and through initiatives such as this we will keep Saskatchewan strong.” Graduates are also eligible for rebates of up to $20K in tuition fees if they stay in Saskatchewan for seven years after graduation. SK

Mohawk opens Indigenous gathering place

Mohawk College has opened an outdoor Indigenous gathering place that is the first of its kind at an Ontario college or university, writes Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. The gathering place, called Hoop Dance, was designed to provide a space where “the college and community could teach, learn, gather and share Indigenous knowledge, culture and tradition.” The $650K project was supported by Mohawk, the Mohawk Students’ Association, and a private donor. McKerlie states that the project was largely driven by Mohawk Director of Aboriginal Initiatives Ron McLester. McKerlie writes that “Hoop Dance marks an important milestone on Mohawk’s ongoing journey to weave Indigenous knowledge and culture into the fabric of our college.” Mohawk | Hamilton Spectator

Fleming, VIU ink agreement on new pathway to Master’s Degree

Graduates of Fleming College’s GIS graduate certificate programs will now be able to enter the second year of Vancouver Island University’s Master of GIS Applications program, thanks to a new MOU between the two institutions. The Master’s degree allows for more career mobility in institutional and governmental positions, explained VIU MGISA Program Coordinator Paul Zandbergen. “This pathway is extremely attractive to students as it reduces the time required to complete a graduate degree by one year,” added Fleming Principal Linda Skilton. “We believe this will pave the way for other universities to consider pursuing similar agreements with colleges.” NationTalk | Fleming

“How reliable is current research on active learning?” asks CV contributor

“The scholarly literature on ‘active learning’ is almost shockingly positive,” writes David Gooblar for Chronicle Vitae, yet he warns readers that there is a key aspect of this research that is often overlooked. Gooblar argues that the existing research has been carried out almost entirely by educational researchers, or professionals who “having devoted their careers to studying education, tend to be particularly committed and well-informed teachers.” Goolbar questions whether the results from active learning field research would be as compelling if studies were performed on a more random sampling of PSE instructors. The author points to a 2011 randomized study that found no correlation between active learning and improved student outcomes, and concludes that “active learning, as a subject of scientific inquiry, is still a relatively young phenomenon.” Chronicle Vitae

NB opposition says it will resist free tuition bill

New Brunswick’s official opposition has stated that it wants to revisit the cancellation of the province’s tuition tax credit before it considers passing the government’s free tuition bill, reports Global News. Opposition leader Bruce Fitch has indicated that the proposed legislation would negatively impact 44,000 people. “The government took $50 million out of post-secondary education for student assistance, they put back less than half of that,” he said. Premier Brian Gallant, however, has criticized the opposition for stalling the legislation, adding that the group “would rather try to waste time in the legislature than ensure that the free tuition bill will pass so people from low income and middle class families will be able to benefit from it in September.” Global News

uSask, IMII partner to explore “deep injection” for mining wastewater

The University of Saskatchewan has partnered with the International Minerals Innovation Institute to perform research on deep groundwater systems and wastewater management. According to a uSask release, the research is designed to support “sustainable resource development by advancing knowledge with respect to the growth of mining and extraction processes, and understanding and minimizing the potential for environmental impacts from waste management activities.” uSask Associate Professor Grant Ferguson, the project’s lead investigator, says that it is essential to achieve a better understanding of “deep injection” of waste water into the earth, adding that it “is an effective strategy in terms of protecting the surface environment and contributes to sustainable resource development.” uSask

The role of undergraduates as future public intellectuals

While much has been written about the need for professors to write for a non-academic audience, less attention has been given to the topic of teaching undergraduates to do the same, write Sarah Madsen Hardy and Marisa Milanese for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The authors explain that the greatest challenge in this effort is teaching students to produce “academic arguments for audiences who are intellectually ambitious but expect accessible prose and an immediate sense of the argument’s relevance to their lives.” However, the authors also note that readers should approach these efforts with some skepticism, as they may have the unintended consequence of making scholarly writing seem inconsequential compared to the “real world” value of more accessible writing. Chronicle of Higher Education