Top Ten

July 26, 2016

StFX launches Elizabeth & Thomas Rankin School of Nursing

In honour of alumnus Thomas Rankin, St Francis Xavier University has announced the naming of the Elizabeth & Thomas Rankin School of Nursing. Thomas Rankin, CEO of Rankin Construction, has donated a total of $2M to support the School of Nursing and the Xaverian Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries. $1.5M of the donation will support renovations to Mount Saint Bernard, the home of nursing school, and the creation of a state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Lab. The remaining $500K will support the Xaverian Fund. “Tom and Beth Rankin are community champions who truly exemplify StFX’s tradition of service to society. We are so deeply grateful for their most generous gift,” said StFX President Kent McDonald. Atlantic Universities

To capitalize on moment of opportunity, Canada must invest in public institutions says Gertler

“While the turbulence abroad poses significant threats globally, we stand to benefit if we play our cards right,” writes University of Toronto President Meric Gertler in a contribution to the Globe and Mail. Gertler examines the unique opportunities available to Canada, given its unique position on the world stage, and further discusses the ways that Canada could take “full advantage of such a moment.” Among Gertler’s recommendations, he encourages the country to continue "to invest in key public institutions to foster inclusion, access and opportunity; in particular, public education at all levels.” Globe and Mail

uSask broadens Ethiopia project to help 70,000 drought-stricken farm families

A joint project between University of Saskatchewan and Ethiopia’s Hawassa University is expanding to help approximately 70,000 drought-stricken farm families in the African country, with the help of $3.8M in additional funding over three years. The project has a number of focuses, including promoting the consumption and sale of pulse crops, the creation and development of a “micro-nutrient lab” at Hawassa that teaches families how to ferment and preserve pulse crops without refrigeration, and the development of packaging and marketing ideas to sell pulse foods in urban Ethiopian markets. StarPhoenix

How to build a diverse faculty

Reflecting on success within his own department at a US college, Kevin Johnson discusses the method and reasoning behind building a diverse faculty. Johnson credits the success of his department to factors such as support from leaders within the academy, having a diverse appointment committee, and the inclusion of criteria beyond elite credentials in faculty search criteria. Johnson also notes the lasting effects of deliberately committing to diversity within the academy, as “the hiring of top scholars of color has helped recruit other minority scholars and students.” Chronicle

uWindsor launches bike-sharing program

As part of a strategy to promote green transportation, the University of Windsor will implement a bike-sharing program this fall. The Windsor Star reports that the student union and university administration have partnered with US bike-sharing company Zagster for a two-year pilot project. The Ubike Share program will have bike stations set up in several places, including downtown Windsor, the student centre, and the human kinetics and law buildings. UWindsor Students’ Alliance President Moussa Hamadan says that the bikes are “more for recreational use, to foster [an] eco-friendly environment on campus.” He says UWSA has not determined a rental cost, but predicts a nominal fee for students. Windsor Star

Five ways to improve your time-management skills as an academic

In today’s busy culture, “knowing how to manage your time efficiently is key to your progress, your career success and, most important, your overall well-being,” explains Gaia Vasiliver-Shamis, before naming the five ways that academics can improve their time-management skills. Vasiliver-Shamis recommends that academics “triage [their] to-do list” according to the importance and urgency of each task; write down and schedule individual tasks; quit the “bad habit” of multitasking; learn to recognize and avoid time suckers such as emails, unnecessary meetings, and digital distractions; and take time for breaks. Inside Higher Ed

uCalgary formalizes partnership with emergency app creators

The University of Calgary has formalized a partnership with UC Emergency app developer RallyEngine, resulting in a long-term license to the university, new safety modules on the app, and student scholarships. RallyEngine launched the UC Emergency app to send emergency alerts and updates, as well as notifications of suspicious activity and severe weather to users’ smartphones. New safety modules in development include a help call button and the ability to check-in and check-out with campus security when studying or working alone on campus. The partnership will also lead to the creation of a scholarship fund for students developing projects in the safety, emergency, and risk management fields. uCalgary

Afghan-Canadian fundraising to help Afghan students go to university in Atlantic Canada

The Halifax-based Canadian Afghan Association of Atlantic Canada is fundraising to help a young student from Afghanistan get an education at an Atlantic Canada university. Four members of the group will be embarking on a mission in Afghanistan to research the education system and find students who would be interested in studying in Atlantic Canada. "They have lots of very intelligent students, but they don't have the opportunity to get a better education, a higher education," said group member Mohammad Zamir Karimi. “When I came here, I see it's better. Halifax especially has a good education [system], and I thought this is a beautiful city." The group also plans to sponsor students by providing assistance with funding and paperwork. CBC 

New buildings pose paradox on campus in need of repairs

Jon Marcus of the Atlantic discusses the paradox posed by institutions that build new buildings on campus, despite the strain of deferred maintenance and reduced governmental funding campus. The article discusses the many contributing factors to this paradox, including the desire to attract students, difficulties getting funding for maintenance, and the fact that donors are more interested in new buildings. Marcus then touches on a number of strategies that US colleges and universities have used to ensure that their facilities have access to the funding needed for repairs and upkeep.The Atlantic

CNA helping Vietnamese colleges develop job-training programs

The College of the North Atlantic is partnering with colleges in Vietnam to help Vietnamese students get a head start in the workforce by matching training programs to the job market. In order to provide hands-on experience, CNA reportedly intends to set up training centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. CNA Dean of Engineering Technology and Natural Resources Brent Howell explains that these centres “will be establishments that are designed to inform policy makers, leaders, and to better equip college managers and leaders in administering a college operation that is responsive and effective.” Howell states that CNA will benefit from this partnership through development for its instructors and staff, revenue generation, and an increased reputation outside of Newfoundland and Labrador. CBC