Top Ten

September 26, 2016

Ontario universities consulting with parents, students on concerns about job market

Ontario’s universities have launched a year-long consultation with parents and students in an effort to be responsive toward current attitudes toward jobs, environmental sustainability, and social services, among other topics. “A lot of things that people are worried about, universities are working on,” says Council of Ontario Universities President David Lindsay, adding that universities “recognize that people are concerned about the economy and the future and … what are the job prospects for their children.” Results of the consultation are expected to be released in September 2017. Globe and Mail

One in four QC students experience sexual victimization, says study

One in every four students across six Quebec campuses experience some form of sexual victimization, according to a new study by university researchers in the province. The survey of 9,000 students and staff confirms what research from the past 20 years has already established, according to researcher Geneviève Paquette, who adds that the findings also show that sexual victimization occurs across many contexts, especially at “bars and other social events.” Of the respondents who said they had experienced some form of sexual vicimtization, over 60% said they were in their first year. CBC

Laurentian approves creation of Indigenous Research Institute

Laurentian University’s senate has approved the creation of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute. CBC reports that while the institute already exists as a body within the university, the senate’s decision will pave the way for the creation of devoted space at the Faculty of Arts building on Laurentian's Sudbury campus. “It's a focal point for students wanting to learn more about research or those who are completing a thesis at the masters or the PhD levels,” said Taima Moeke-Pickering, associate professor at Laurentian’s School of Indigenous Relations. “So it's a place, very much what the name says, ‘Maamwizing,’ to come together.” CBC

Queen’s, SLC announce one-of-a-kind Music Theatre program

Queen’s University and St Lawrence College have announced that they have agreed to offer a “new one-of-a-kind Bachelor of Music Theatre program.” The program will allow students to complete a two-year set curriculum at SLC that will provide them with industry-focused training before moving to Queen’s, where they will pursue two years of training with a more interdisciplinary liberal arts approach. “This new partnership opens up an exciting new career path for St Lawrence College students, providing both hands-on and theoretical learning that will help our graduates stay competitive in a dynamic and evolving field,” says SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. SLC

How to train admissions officers for their evolving roles

“Twenty years ago, … young admissions officers​ ​were​ ​plenty​ ​busy.​ ​But​ ​they​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​to run​ as ​fast,​ ​or​ ​in​ ​as​ ​many​ ​directions,” writes Eric Hoover for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Hoover discusses how the role of the admissions officer has evolved to require more than energy and positivity; officers often must also have a plethora of technical and analytical skills, as well as social media savvy. Yet many admissions offices can lack the resources to train staff in these skills. The article discusses how institutions have overcome a variety of barriers to ensure these officers receive the training they need. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

UQÀM introduces Philosophy of Science Lab

The Université de Québec à Montréal has created a new laboratory for the philosophy of science. The university states that the laboratory will focus on developing collaborations between science and philosophy while addressing questions that range from the origins of life to the nature of scientific knowledge itself. “I find it very important that science and philosophy are talking,” said Christophe Malaterre, Chair of Philosophy of Life Sciences at UQÀM. “On the one side, you have scientists who say that philosophy is useless, it is only speculation, and, on the other side, you have philosophers who are not interested in science. … we sometimes forget that humanity is placed in a world that is the object of the empirical sciences.” UQÀM

McMaster Indigenous Studies unveils open air classroom

The Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University has unveiled a new outdoor classroom. “It's an open space tailored for indigenous use, but not limited to students in the Indigenous Studies program,” said McMaster President Patrick Deane. The new classroom is constructed in the style of an amphitheatre, surrounded by traditional plants and featuring four tiers of flagstone rocks to offer seating for 150 students. “Indigenous students wishing to come to universities across the country need spaces that are culturally sustaining their need to be able to learn in a setting that is congenial to them,” said Deane. “The fact there is a visible sign of the importance the university places on indigenous culture is a really important thing to me.” Hamilton Spectator | McMaster

“I think they should not do it,” says IHE contributor of pursuing a PhD

“I strongly urge any student who will listen to reconsider their plans to go on to earn a PhD,” writes Betsy Lucal for Inside Higher Ed. A professor at Indiana University South Bend, Lucal writes that universities’ increasing tendency to cut costs and follow the principles of “consumerism, individual empowerment and self-interest” has created a higher ed landscape in which she, a tenured professor, questions whether she will be able to make a living from academia for the remainder of her career. Lucal outlines a number of other reasons to avoid earning a PhD and entering academia. Inside Higher Ed

Brock parts ways with provost appointee

Brock University has parted ways with its appointee for the position of Provost, reports the Toronto Star. Martin Singer’s appointment to the role was reportedly approved in June 2016, but a statement on Brock’s website explains that the school’s recent mutual decision not to proceed with the appointment of Wendy Cukier as president changed the context for the provost appointment. The Star adds that Singer was Cukier’s top choice for the provost position. Toronto Star

Sault partners with CMA on unique mental health, suicide awareness training for athletes

Sault College has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association to offer mental health and suicide prevention training to 180 varsity athletes, coaches, trainers, and athletic staff at the college this season. Named “Talk Today,” the program has existed since 2014, yet Sault reports that this is the first time it has been offered in a PSE environment. “Pretty much every student needs support at some point during their post-secondary experience,” said Sault Director of Student Services Matt Trainor, who adds that athletes face additional pressures to maintain their grades while practicing, playing, and travelling with their college teams. Sault Star | CTV | SooToday | Sault