Top Ten

October 5, 2016

“She didn’t want to show him her ears”: QC student wearing hijab prevented from taking exam

Montreal’s Collège de Maisonneuve is working to accommodate one of its students after an instructor prevented her from taking an exam because her hijab covered her ears, reports the Globe and Mail. College spokesperson Line Legare explained that one of the school’s biology instructors asked the student to pull back her hijab during an exam to demonstrate that she was not wearing headphones, and when she refused, he informed her she would not be able to take the test that day. Legare added that the teacher had clearly indicated at the beginning of the school year that he reserved the right to check whether students were wearing headphones during exams, a policy that was approved by the biology department. Legare added that to her knowledge, the student has not filed a formal complaint. Globe and Mail (CP) | La Presse

UNB hires sexual assault support advocates to foster trust, safety on campus

The University of New Brunswick has hired two sexual assault support advocates to offer students with new venues for reporting sexual assault, asking questions, and receiving other support services. CBC reports that one of the core features of these new staff roles is that they will not be required to report cases of sexual assault to police. UNB Vice-President George MacLean said that the counsellors will also provide support to New Brunswick Community College and St Thomas University, in addition to their service at UNB’s Fredericton and Saint John campuses. “Mostly what would they need to feel safe here on campus. That would be my job to make them feel safe here on campus, [for them] to go to classes, to go to meal halls, to be among people and feel comfortable and empowered,” said Support Advocate Maggie Forsythe. CBC | UNB

Toronto man arrested for threatening gun violence at Western

A 22-year-old Toronto man has been arrested and will face charges for making online threats involving Western University. The Canadian Press reports that investigators first received reports on Monday morning that a Western student had posted a message on social media saying that he planned to go to the university and use a gun to “harm an unspecified person or people on campus.” Police have stated that the man is in custody and faces charges for uttering threats to cause death. At this time, it is reportedly unknown who the intended target or targets of the message were. Toronto Star (CP) | London Free Press | CBC | Western

SFU opens downtown Vancouver residence, social innovation hub

Simon Fraser University has opened the Charles Chang Innovation Centre, a new graduate student residence and innovation facility located in downtown Vancouver. The building is named after alumnus Charles Chang, who donated $10M to establish the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship earlier this year. The new facility boasts 52 furnished rooms and can house 68 graduate students. It also features a social innovation and technology hub designed to connect students and community members who are looking to collaborate on new solutions to social challenges. “This exciting new building expands SFU’s presence in downtown Vancouver, and strengthens our commitment to be Canada’s engaged university,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. SFU

ON court reduces suspensions in McMaster harassment case

An Ontario appeal court has ruled to reduce the suspensions handed down by a tribunal at McMaster University following a harassment investigation, and has ordered the institution to compensate the faculty members. “What the courts are saying is that tribunals will be held to certain standards,” said CAUT Executive director David Robinson. While the Superior Court reportedly upheld the right of McMaster’s tribunal to take action to address concerns, the court reportedly felt that the long suspensions appeared to be unprecedented, reducing the three-year suspension to one year and the one-year suspension to one term. The Globe and Mail reports that McMaster has said that it is establishing a process to determine fair compensation for the professors. Globe and Mail

MTA, UVic receive significant contributions from Canadian artists

Mount Allison University and the University of Victoria both recently received significant contributions from Canadian artists. MTA received painter Alex Colville’s studio—including Colville’s paints, brushes, easels, and other resources—which will be permanently housed at the Colville House on MTA’s campus. “This is a unique and consequential gift,” said MTA President and Vice-Chancellor Robert Campbell. “Visitors, admirers of Colville’s work, and those who wish to make a study of it, will be able to come to Mount Allison, step into his studio, visit his home, view his pieces, and literally walk in his footsteps around the community.” In British Columbia, UVic has received its largest ever donor-funded endowed award from sculptor Jeffrey Rubinoff and the Jeffrey Rubinoff Foundation, which will establish a recurring four-year PhD fellowship in the area of modern and contemporary art history. “Jeffrey’s sculptural work is monumental in its scope and his legacy will now create a monument to future scholarship,” commented UVic Dean of Fine Arts Susan Lewis. MTA | CBC (MTA) | UVic

Former PHD student accuses UBC of discrimination based on physical disability

A former doctoral student from the University of British Columbia's music program has filed a lawsuit against the university claiming that she was discriminated against based on a mental and physical disability, reports Simona Chiose of the Globe and Mail. The student in question will have her case brought to mediation at the BC Human Rights Tribunal this month. The student alleges that during her PhD study, she developed a physical ailment that prevented her from sitting for long periods of time. She alleges that the department did not properly accommodate the ailment by recognizing that she would need additional time to complete her degree, and that it unfairly increased the requirements for completing her degree. Globe and Mail

Canadian Business ranks country’s top 10 MBA programs by reputation

Canadian Business magazine has released its 2016 ranking of Canada’s Top 10 MBA programs by reputation. The magazine states that it selected and ranked this year’s top 10 programs by surveying 1,000 MBA grads, students, parents, human resources professionals, and corporate recruiters to determine which schools enjoy the highest reputations. The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management took the #1 spot, followed by Western University’s Ivey Business School (#2) and HEC Montréal (#3). The Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers MBA program also featured in the rankings for the first time, placing #10. Canadian Business

TÉLUQ CEO calls on QC universities to unite in offering distance ed

TÉLUQ CEO Martin Noël has called for Quebec’s postsecondary institutions to follow the example of other provinces and unite to offer distance education. In a submission to QC Minister of Higher Education Hélène David, Noël said that QC should look to Ontario, whose eCampusOntario portal launched last fall and now offers 13,000 distance learning courses. This portal is supported by a consortium of Ontario universities that have pooled their resources to develop a range of courses. According to Noël, having schools pool their resources can reduce costs to governments and save money that might be spent on other higher ed initiatives. “Software is expensive and must be renewed regularly," said Noël. “Courses should also be reviewed regularly. For each university, these are costs that can become astronomical.” La Presse

uManitoba incorporates Indigenous design, planning into 30-year campus plan

The University of Manitoba has released a set of Indigenous design and planning principles alongside its master plan to provide a 30-year framework for the school’s Fort Garry campus. The plan and principles were reportedly developed over a two-year period that included stakeholder consultation with the help of an Indigenous Advisory Committee and the University’s Indigenous Advisory Circle. “The [principles] themselves are pretty exciting in terms of doing something new and unprecedented,” said Planner Jonathon Hildebrand, noting that the plans focus on making the university campus “a space where Indigenous cultures are rolled into the experience of the campus and how people experience and view the campus.” Metro