Top Ten

September 1, 2016

Cap on growth for federal Aboriginal PSE fund doesn’t keep up with rising tuition: report

Canada’s largest federal program for helping Aboriginal students pay for PSE faces a number of significant issues, according to a federal review from summer 2015. The Canadian Press reports that the 2015 review suggests that the Post-Secondary Student Support Program requires more money than the currently mandated 2% annual growth cap provides, as this growth reportedly does not keep up with rising tuition prices. “It’s literally affecting the potential future in communities by limiting the access to education,” says NDP Indigenous Affairs Critic Charlie Angus. “The government knows just how overstretched this program is and they are very clear in their internal briefings about the devastating effect that the two- per-cent cap has, so why is it still there?” The Record (CP)

UoGuelph to enhance research, innovation facilities with $30M federal investment

The University of Guelph is poised to undertake “one of its largest-ever infrastructure improvement projects” thanks to a $30M investment from the federal and Ontario governments. A university release states that the funding will be used to support six initiatives across UoGuelph’s campus, including the creation of a new centre for the innovation and commercialization of bio-carbon technologies. UoGuelph plans to contribute an additional $35.7M to the new funds for a total investment of $66.6M. “This critical investment will allow us to expand our world-class facilities and the reach and impact of U of G innovations,” said UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino. “The new spaces and resources will also facilitate the exchange of new ideas and opportunities, providing benefits for decades to come.” UoGuelph

Shifting discussion from benefits of attracting international students to offering better support

“We need to start shifting our focus from the benefits [international] students bring, to ways that we can help them succeed while they are attending our institutions,” writes Colin Aitchison for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. Aitchison critiques the ways that current discussions about international students talk about the “benefits” these students bring to Canadian universities, such as “unique perspectives in class discussions” or “a significant economic impact.” While these benefits are real, the author writes, they also draw attention away from the significant barriers that international students face at Canadian institutions. Aitchison outlines several ways that institutions can shift the focus of this discussion by better supporting international students. OUSA

uRegina VP discusses “misconceptions” around Conexus deal, announces upgrades to Darke Hall

University of Regina Vice President of Administration Dave Button discusses the school's recently announced deal with Conexus Credit Union, stating that there are currently some “misconceptions” around the agreement. “Probably one of the biggest misconceptions is that Conexus is getting this for free,” says Button. “They're actually paying well beyond what is fair and reasonable value. Only one part of what they're contributing to this actually gets reported. That's the cash amount of $8.25 million.” Button further notes that Conexus will be paying for major upgrades to Darke Hall, covering the area’s maintenance costs, and providing space for a business incubator. CBC

SLC, MCA, SUNY sign unique cross-border agreement benefiting Indigenous students

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has engaged in a cross-border partnership with St Lawrence College and the State University of New York at Potsdam that will help train Mohawk students to meet the need for archeological specialists in the St Lawrence region. According to the SLC release, MCA Grand Chief Abram Benedict indicated that there was a distinct need for archeological specialists in the region, “as the St Lawrence Seaway holds centuries of shared history.” Through the partnership, Mohawk students will complete a General Arts and Sciences diploma delivered by Iohahi:io in Akwesasne at SLC, before transferring into the junior year of a Bachelor of Arts in Archeological Studies at SUNY Potsdam. SLC

Taking conflicts offline can lead to more effective resolutions

“Many people struggle with conflict, which isn’t unsurprising since as academics we imagine we’ll have the greatest clarity in stating our positions in writing,” writes Kerry Ann Rockquemore for Inside Higher Ed. “However, engaging in conflict via email rarely results in an effective or healthy resolution.” Rockquemore gives advice on how to eliminate email-based conflict and provides suggestions on better ways to resolve issues. The author suggests taking all conflicts offline, always giving colleagues the benefit of the doubt, and taking the time to separate the facts of each situation from any interpretation of them. Inside Higher Ed

Dal working with faculty association to sustain Agricultural Campus daycare

Dalhousie University and the Dalhousie Faculty Association have adjourned arbitration efforts and are now working together to explore options for sustainable on-campus daycare facilities at Dal’s Agricultural Campus. “Dalhousie University believes that on-campus daycare offers many benefits for our university community,” says Ian Nason, Dalhousie Vice-President of Finance and Administration. “We need to make sure that this service is offered in an effective and efficient manner.” A Dal release states that Dal and the Dal Faculty Association are also working with the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union as they move forward. Truro Daily | Dal

Concordia looks to student filmmakers in new anti-sexual violence campaign

Concordia University has launched a new campaign to combat sexual violence through the use of student-made animated films. The Montreal Gazette reports that the animated films focus specifically on consent, being an active bystander, and the fact that most perpetrators are known by victims. The selected videos use animated fruit to depict scenarios where consent to sexual activity is at issue, and where bystanders intervene to prevent an assault. “We thought using animated fruit was a fun, original and colourful way to attract attention. They are also gender neutral, so anyone can identify with (any character),” said the films’ co-creator and recent Concordia graduate Lori Malépart-Traversy. Montreal Gazette | CTV News | Concordia

You can say whatever you want in class, but there are consequences, writes CHE contributor

“Words are dangerous, but not as dangerous as efforts to suppress them, be it by government or dean—and certainly not as insidious as self-censorship,” writes Ted Gup for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Gup writes that he believes that the classroom should be a “safe space” for students to say absolutely anything they want. But there is a catch, adds Gup, who argues that students must also be prepared to face the consequences of what they say, which may include aggressive criticism from others. Gup offers an example of his teaching method when writing that “in my class, if students say something offensive, even remotely or overtly racist (the ‘overtly’ has yet to occur), then they must take ownership of their words, be prepared to defend them, and be willing to accept the storm that might follow.” Chronicle of Higher Education

The Pas will likely recover, but Churchill faces crisis, says uManitoba business dean

A University of Manitoba dean says that as Northern Manitoba deals with an ongoing economic crisis, The Pas should recover while Churchill will likely face a “crisis,” reports CBC. Asper School of Business Dean Michael Benarroch says that The Pas’ diversified economy will help it attract new investments and developments that should shepherd it through difficult times, while Churchill’s geographic isolation makes the community a difficult target for development, even with government support. “I think other than the tourism industry, there's not a lot there. I think the people there are quite resourceful, there's a greenhouse and a few little things like that, but it's very difficult in Churchill,” Bennarcoch said. CBC