Top Ten

August 5, 2016

uWaterloo increases female faculty pay to correct wage gap

The University of Waterloo has announced that it is increasing the salaries of female faculty after an internal review uncovered a “systematic gender anomaly” that was “consistent across the university.” At the start of September, an adjustment of nearly $3K will be made to the salaries of all female faculty members who were part of the union’s bargaining unit as of April 30th last year. The review also recommended making a one-time adjustment for other faculty members whose salaries were flagged as “anomalous” during the evaluation. Globe and Mail (CP)

uManitoba negotiating with Ontario MEP, hiring midwifery instructor

The University of Manitoba has allegedly negotiated a partnership that will allow provincial midwifery students to complete their didactic courses and clinical placements in the coming school year, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. The article notes that it is not clear what this means for the 14 midwifery students whose program was cancelled by the province last June. The institution has also reportedly had conversations with the Ontario Midwifery Education Program, and Eileen Hutton, Assistant Dean of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University, stated that the MB government is exploring options across Canada. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

uToronto student arrested after Bangladesh attack

University of Toronto student Tahmid Khan and another man have been arrested after a deadly terrorist attack at a Bangladeshi café. Khan was in Dhaka visiting family while on leave from the university, and planned to travel to Nepal for an internship. His family insists that he has done nothing wrong, and have asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene as Khan is a permanent resident of Canada. Two students have also written an article in the uToronto student newspaper The Varsity about the situation in support of Khan. CBC (CP) | The Varsity

Alternatives to beginning a semester with “syllabus day”

“The pedagogical decisions we collectively make about the first day of our classes have conditioned students to expect nothing more than a syllabus … and an early exit after about 15 minutes,” writes Kevin Gannon for Chronicle Vitae. “That’s the absolute worst way to begin a semester.” Instead, Gannon recommends using a different approach on the first day. Instead, Gannon recommends a number of different approaches to the first day of class, including introducing activities that will be the norm throughout the semester, conducting a mini-lesson on an interesting part of the course material, or developing the classroom expectations through a discussion with students. Chronicle Vitae

BCIT installs sleeping pods in campus library

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has set up barrel-shaped sleeping pods in the campus library for students in need of some rest. BCIT Director, Library Services James Rout explained that the pilot project was spurred by student demand. "We often see students sleeping in the library," Rout said. "We've also had some research ... that shows a clear need for students to have a safe and secure place to rest." Each of the pods sleeps once, and CBC reports that they are not sound-proof. The pods are also located directly next to work stations and are under video surveillance to discourage misuse. CBC | The Province

uLaval rejects scholarship donation on grounds of discrimination

Université Laval has turned down thousands of dollars from a donor wanting to establish a scholarship exclusive to male students studying either public affairs or political science. André Gélinas challenged uLaval’s decision by asking why there cannot be a scholarship for men when there are scholarships available for women. uLaval rejected this argument on the grounds that a scholarship exclusive to men becomes discriminatory when targeted programs already have a significant majority of male students, as is the case with public affairs and political science. Journal de Montréal

MUN student union calls for transparency

Memorial University’s student union is urging the institution to put budget cuts up for a transparent public review. The call follows the closing of MUN’s Math Learning Centre, a move the union says was a “knee-jerk decision” made without proper consultation with students and faculty. Renata Lang, director of student life at the union, said that the decision to close the centre was made by a small group of administrators, rather than going through the usual consultation process. Lang also stated that there should be more transparency around administrative salaries, spending, and travel budgets. CBC

VCC improving access to transportation trades for Deaf and hard of hearing community

Vancouver Community College is improving the accessibility of its trades and apprenticeship training for members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community through a new Access to Transportation Trades program. This full-time program runs for eight weeks and is focused on auto collision, mechanics, safety training, forklift training, and certification. A VCC release explains that the class will be comprised of Deaf and hard of hearing students, with interpreters available for both shop and classroom settings. VCC

AB oil workers have difficulty finding jobs in growing tech sector

Alberta’s technology sector is reportedly seeing a growing need for software developers and programmers, reports CBC, but the many available workers from the oil industry are missing the needed skills to become employed in this sector. Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary at the University of Calgary, says that their client list has grown from 100 to 600 entrepreneurs over the past five years, growth that Garrett attributes both to the “downturn in the oil industry” and to students “who are unable to find high-paying jobs downtown.” One of the key issues outlined in the article is the inability to transfer most skills developed in the oil and gas industry to the technology sector. CBC

University researchers push back on journal demand for clinical trial data

University researchers are pushing back on a proposal by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors that would require researchers to publish data from clinical trials. The editors have described this as an ethical imperative, while skeptics have warned about moving forward without a firm plan and imposable requirements for sharing. A group organized by scientists at McMaster University has instead proposed delaying the data disclosure deadline by at least two years, as well as having independent statisticians review released data. Researchers have also requested that compensation be made available in order to counter the associated costs. Chronicle of Higher Education