Top Ten

August 9, 2016

uWaterloo should address root causes of faculty wage gap, writes Toronto Star

The University of Waterloo should “do the right thing” by addressing the root causes of a systemic wage gap and by making its new wage increase for female faculty members retroactive, writes the Toronto Star. uWaterloo announced last week that female members of the university’s faculty association would receive a $3K increase in their salaries after an internal review revealed a systemic wage gap between male and female academics at the school. The Star contends that this study was too limited in scope, as researchers were reportedly precluded from considering the root causes of the gap. “That’s short-sighted,” the editorial concludes, adding that until such root causes are addressed, the gap “keeps reproducing itself.” Toronto Star

CBU faculty vote in favour of labour action as talks continue

Members of the Cape Breton University Faculty Association who participated in a strike vote have reportedly voted 90% in favour of a strike. The CBUFA said the vote was spurred by a lack of progress after a month of negotiations between it and CBU’s board of governors. According to an Association news release, the main issues under discussion relate to workload, job security, and “what CBUFA considers the future vision and academic integrity of the university.” CBUFA filed for conciliation on Friday. Cape Breton Post

Criticism of social media in PSE sparks debate about who counts as a “serious academic”

Academics from around the world have criticized a recent piece published in The Guardian newspaper denigrating the use of social media as a vehicle for spreading and conducting academic research. “I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer,” writes the article’s anonymous author, who adds that, “I do not—and should not—have to parade myself online to please my employer or to stake my claim as a good researcher.” The article has since provoked a significant debate over social media, with critics arguing that the notion of a “serious academic” being proposed by the author is “harmful” and “outdated.” Chronicle of Higher Education

uManitoba reaches agreement with McMaster to continue midwifery program

Fourteen midwifery students in Manitoba will be able to resume their studies this fall following an agreement between the University of Manitoba and McMaster University. Under the agreement, the students will be offered admission to McMaster’s Midwifery Education Program and will take their classes at uManitoba as McMaster transfer students. They will also be given a modified fall semester in order to move into clinical midwifery placements afterwards. The students had been left in limbo in June when the Manitoba government decided to discontinue the midwifery program at University College of the North. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC | uManitoba | McMaster

Universities not producing graduates that businesses need, poll finds

Canadian universities are not providing the graduates that the country's businesses need, according to a survey of 823 business leaders. 41% of the survey's respondents believed that universities in their province were doing a good job of preparing graduates to meet employers’ needs, while 31% said they were doing a poor job. While the poll did not ask respondents to explain their reasons for dissatisfaction, Modus Research CEO Charlie Graves says other research has shown business executives often complain about the lack of “soft” skills among graduates, such as good communication, writing, and strategic thinking. He believes that a shifting focus toward technical training is preparing people to fill skilled jobs, but is leaving other gaps that can frustrate employers. Globe and Mail (Subscription Required)

UQAR signs double Master’s agreement with Ocean University of China

Canadian and Chinese oceanography students will now be able to pursue a double Master’s degree through the Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Ocean University of China. A new agreement between the two institutions will allow students who complete their first year at OUC to continue their studies at UQAR under the supervision of an experienced mentor. “This agreement is a recognition of the quality of the training offered in oceanography and the caliber of our researchers and our researchers,” said UQAR President Jean-Pierre Ouellet. “It will also increase our cooperation with the OUC in terms of research and training.” UQAR

Stop arguing for the humanities in economic terms, says Chronicle contributor

“Economic arguments for the value of a humanistic education will not save the humanities, and we should stop making them,” writes LD Burnett for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Burnett rejects the claim that the humanities’ value lies in the development of critical thinking or any other transferrable skills, and instead argues that the future of the humanities rests on values that are non-financial and only tangentially related to employment outcomes. “We must insist on the importance of sustaining other values besides the purely pecuniary,” Burnett concludes. “That is the ground upon which we must stand.” Chronicle of Higher Education

UoGuelph receives $460K for groundwater research

The University of Guelph is set to study how groundwater can be kept safe and sustainable with support from a $460K donation from Nestlé Waters Canada. The funds will go specifically to the university-based G360 Centre for Applied Groundwater Research under the leadership of engineering professor Beth Parker. A UoGuelph release notes that the research’s findings will have direct implications for the water supplies of more than a million people living in southern Ontario. UoGuelph

Does ed tech hold unique benefits for community colleges?

“What community college students need is access to more flexible, personalized, individually-paced and low-cost programs to succeed—the perfect job for education technology,” writes Alejandra Cervantes for EdSurge. The author points to the large number of non-traditional students attending community colleges as a primary reason why these colleges can benefit from the flexible, personalized learning opportunities offered through ed tech. Ultimately, Cervantes believes that ed tech and personalized learning can help make community colleges “a place where all students — the veteran, the single mother, the refugee and everyone in between — can succeed.” EdSurge

Enthusiasm of job search should continue into first months in new role, says CV contributor

People working in PSE should maintain the enthusiasm of their job search even after securing a new position, writes Nicole Matos for Chronicle Vitae. To begin, Matos recommends that new employees make as many connections as possible across different departments before a “silo effect” puts them in contact only with those who have similar roles. Further, Matos argues that it is important for newly hired professionals to resist feeling that they are somehow “done” once they have found a job, and to focus instead on bringing the “competitive edge” of their job-seeking mentality into their new role. Chronicle Vitae