Top Ten

July 27, 2016

Canadian scientist, educator Ursula Franklin remembered as global pioneer

Esteemed Canadian scientist and University of Toronto Professor Emerita Ursula Franklin is being remembered for her many accomplishments and her activities as a “global pioneer” and a “trailblazer in science and academics.” CBC reports that Franklin was the first woman to be named a “university professor” at uToronto, and made major contributions to science and society. Karen Suurtamm, records archivist for uToronto Libraries, explains that the archives holds numerous documents on Franklin that show “how she tried to intervene in different moments in history to find peace rather than more militaristic options.” “Ursula Franklin was a U of T and global pioneer -- as a scientist and educator, as an activist, and as a woman,” stated uToronto President Meric Gertler. “We are very proud and grateful to count her among the most distinguished leaders in the history of the University of Toronto." uToronto | Globe and Mail | CBC | Radio Canada International | Macleans

PSE leads to income increases, uOttawa study finds

New research from the University of Ottawa on Canadian PSE graduate earnings between 2005 and 2013 has found that Canadian PSE graduates from nearly all disciplines see salary increases over time. Graduates of bachelor’s programs saw a 66% increase in their average yearly earnings 8 years after graduation, while college diploma graduates saw a 59% increase. While graduates in STEM fields and business generally had higher salaries and greater earning growth, those from other disciplines, “including the oft-maligned Humanities and Social Sciences bachelor’s graduates,” also performed well. The report states that “very few graduates had truly barista-level earnings even to start, and they increasingly moved even further from that level as they gained labour market experience.” UnivCan | The Star | CBC |  Report

NB free tuition program unconstitutional, says lawyer

Lawyer Mike Murphy, who represents New Brunswick’s private PSE institutions, is planning a constitutional challenge against the province’s Tuition Access Bursary Program. The Tuition Access Bursary Program aims to provide free tuition to students with less than $60K in annual household income who enroll at public PSE institutions. “We know there's about 4,500 students in New Brunswick that attend private institutions, some of those are religion based, some are language based and they're the ones that [will] suffer by this,” said Murphy. NB PSE Minister Donald Arseneault said that there are still options for students who go to private institutions, as they’re entitled to more than $3,000 in “non-repayable assistance.” Cape Breton Post | CBC (1) | CBC (2)

Sustainability relies on more than money, says HEQCO report

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has released a report that provides a conceptual framework for examining the sustainability of Ontario’s public postsecondary system. The report, which was commissioned by the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, discusses sustainability’s importance, meaning, and measurement, as well as best practices around optimization and the available strategies for at-risk institutions. HEQCO asserts that when looking at sustainability, one must consider educational quality and offerings, as well as finances. The report further states that the best way to approach sustainability is with a proactive regime that is capable of predicting and accounting for future challenges. HEQCO

Lethbridge institutions working with industry on agriculture program development

The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are partnering with agriculture industry experts to develop and enhance joint programs to address sector demands in southern Alberta. Lethbridge's online Agriculture Business Risk Management program, which is designed for those who work in the industry and want to know about management, poses an example of one such program. “We’re taking a look at how we can guide what we’re doing with programming through this engagement with industry,” said uLethbridge Director of Centres and Institutes and Research Advocacy David Hill. “We’re also trying to be responsive to the culture and fabric of southern Alberta, perfecting our craft in the kind of agriculture we experience here.” Lethbridge Herald 

MHC expands partnership to offer trades to junior high students

Medicine Hat College has expanded their partnership with Prairie Rose School Division No. 8 to offer junior high students hands-on experience in the trades. The students will have the opportunity to take part in sessions offered by MHC that showcase trades such as welding, plumbing, and carpentry. Both instructors and students have reportedly benefited from the experience, as MHC Dean of Trades and Technology Dennis Beaudoin explains that the students “are committed to their projects and program and that enthusiasm is great to work with, it [...] brings the best out of everyone.” MHC

In pursuing phased retirement option for faculty, US institution considers “Terminal Sabbatical”

Chronicle of Higher Education writer Vimal Patel discusses how the idea of a “Terminal Sabbatical,” a form of phased retirement that would see eligible faculty members take a one-year sabbatical from which they retire without returning to the faculty, could solve concerns around faculty who are not retiring. These “terminal sabbaticals” are reportedly hoped to encourage more professors to retire by providing an easier way to phase out of institutional life, solving the complications posed by the removal of mandatory retirement for colleges and new PhDs on the job market. "Faculty are fearful of losing their identity," says Janette Brown, executive director of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education. “Institutions need to look at things differently so that retirement is not like stepping off the edge of a cliff.” Chronicle (Subscription Required)

uWindsor purchases Iona College property

After years of struggling with a “mountain of debt,” Iona College has sold its property to the University of Windsor. In addition to moving, the theological college has decided to become an ecumenical and inter-faith institution. “We are leaving the United Church and will be going in as a ministry open to all faith,” says Iona board member Kendal McKinney, adding he hopes there will be a new board of directors in place representing different faiths by the fall. Iona’s programs, such as courses, bursaries, and a foodbank, will continue through a different form. uWindsor takes ownership of the property on October 30 and plans to demolish it for green space. Windsor Star | Blackburn News

NWT First Nations youth get taste for trades at VIU camp

Students from Dehcho First Nations in the Northwest Territories took part in a two-week Exploring the Trades program at Vancouver Island University this month. Funded by the Dehcho First Nations, the trip included campus tours, menu planning, and mini-courses in a variety of trades programs, along with excursions in and around Nanaimo, BC. The release explains that VIU was chosen for this experience because students from Dehcho First Nations have attended the institution in the past, or have come to Vancouver Island to tour VIU and other PSE institutions. Chaperone Gloria Buboire says that there is a short supply of skilled tradespeople in the Dehcho First Nations’ area, and believes the trip has inspired some student to pursue trades training. VIU

MUN to close Math Learning Centre

Under pressure to cut costs, Memorial University will be closing its Math Learning Centre in September. The centre offers foundation level math courses to university students seeking to upgrade basic math skills before taking Math 1090, which is a prerequisite course for many MUN degree programs. The university determines whether first-year students need to take a foundation math course by their high school math mark or a math placement test. Mark Abrahams, MUN’s Dean of Science, says that the school will instead offer the Math 1090 course over a two semester timespan to students who require more time to absorb the material. CBC