Top Ten

October 6, 2016

UCalgary, Western condemn signage targeting Muslims, Black Lives Matter

The University of Calgary and Western University have issued statements condemning signs that expressed anti-Muslim sentiment and trivialized the Black Lives Matter movement, respectively. “It’s truly disturbing and makes me personally very angry,” said UCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon following the discovery of nearly 40 posters on the school’s campus telling Muslims to “keep your barbaric ways … in your 7th century homeland.” A Western release has also condemned a banner reading “Western Lives Matter” whose image was recently shared widely on social media. “‘Black Lives Matter’ is an important human rights movement and a powerful response to systemic racism that permeates our society,” said Western. “Co-opting the ‘Lives Matter’ phrase in this way is repugnant and trivializes the validity of this international cause and network.” Both schools have said that they have increased security to ensure a safe and respectful atmosphere on campus. Calgary Herald | UCalgary | Globe and Mail (UCalgary) | CBC (UCalgary) | National Post (Western)| Western

QC creates program to retain more foreign students after graduation

Quebec has provided $1.6M to Montreal International to implement a program encouraging more international students to stay in the province after graduation, reports La Presse. The program will specifically target graduates trained for work in in-demand sectors, although it will still be open to students from all programs. Montreal International CEO Hubert Bolduc hopes that the program will increase the number of students remaining in the province after graduation from 3,000 to 9,000. Bolduc notes that of the 30,000 international students who currently study in Montreal, many do not stay due largely to language barriers, difficulty finding a job, and the burden of the immigration process. La Presse | UQAM

How pregnancy can impact professional identities in PSE

“When I was pregnant with my first child, I experienced the usual mix of delight and trepidation that comes with impending parenthood,” writes Bishop’s University Associate Professor Jessica Riddell. “However, I was also concerned with how my pregnancy might threaten to disrupt the professional identity I had so assiduously constructed for myself as a young, female professor in the early stages of my career.” Riddell discusses her efforts to “[police] the boundaries between the public and the private spheres of my life” in order to maintain a professional identity, and how this led to a realization that compartmentalizing her personal experience did “my students and myself a disservice.” Riddell then reflects on the benefits of reintegrating these identities into her teaching, research, and role in the academy. University Affairs

Business Vancouver compares executive pay across BC’s higher ed institutions

“Executive compensation doesn’t necessarily reflect enrolment size” when it comes to British Columbia’s higher ed institutions, reports Business Vancouver. The publication draws on data collected from the province’s universities and colleges to compare the enrollment sizes and compensation at the province’s five largest universities: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of Victoria, and Thompson Rivers University. In particular, the article examines the compensation for the positions of president and vice-chancellor, vice president academic/provost, vice president finance/administration, and vice president research. Business Vancouver

CCNB to launch course on marijuana cultivation

Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick plans to create a course on marijuana cultivation, reports the Globe and Mail. The move comes at a time when Canada’s medical marijuana companies are looking to expand into a much larger recreational market, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize the plant’s recreational use by spring 2017. CCNB will look to institute the new course next year, says Michel Doucet, the school’s executive director of continuing education and customized learning. Doucet adds that the course will have a direct focus on readying graduates to work in the marijuana industry, saying that, “we’re looking at training qualified employees to meet the needs of industry, versus training students at large.” Globe and Mail

CCNB to launch professional course on marijuana cultivation

Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick plans to create a professional program in marijuana cultivation, reports the Globe and Mail. The move comes at a time when Canada’s medical marijuana companies are looking to expand into a much larger recreational market, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize the plant’s recreational use by spring 2017. CCNB will look to institute the new program next year, says Michel Doucet, the school’s executive director of continuing education and customized learning. Doucet adds that the program will have a direct focus on readying graduates to work in the marijuana industry, saying that, “we’re looking at training qualified employees to meet the needs of industry, versus training students at large.” Globe and Mail

MB to introduce new PSE sexual violence legislation, possible tuition hikes

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government suggested this week that it may raise the province's current cap on postsecondary tuition, reports CBC. MB Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart has stated that “right now, we're the third-lowest in the country (for tuition fees), you know, certainly that is a challenge for many of our post-secondary institutions,” adding that the government will look to offset a tuition increase with more funding for scholarships and grants. Wishart has also said that the government will introduce a new postsecondary sexual assault bill that will replace a bill tabled by the province’s former NDP government that would have required institutions to have standalone sexual assault policies and to make any reported incidents public. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that it is not known at this time what the new PC bill will propose. CBC (Tuition) | Winnipeg Free Press (Tuition) (Subscription Required) | Winnipeg Free Press (Sexual Assault)

IHE contributor speaks to benefits of non-tenure-track jobs

“I do love being off the tenure track, and I say this having been off it for nigh on eight years as well as having been on it previously at a small liberal arts college,” writes Gina Brandolino for Inside Higher Ed. The author cites research showing the growing trend toward full-time non-tenure-track jobs at US universities, and adds that she feels the trend is a positive one, arguing that “tenure provides a mantle of protection that too often makes not the brilliant and daring, but the lazy and careless and sometimes malevolent virtually untouchable.” Further, Brandolino argues that most non-tenure-track jobs contain an academic freedom clause that offers protections similar to those of tenure. The author concludes by highlighting four common misconceptions about the nature and worth of non-full-time academic jobs. Inside Higher Ed

CLARI lab signals new phase in collaboration among NS higher ed institutions, communities

Communities in Nova Scotia will now have access to a cross-province, multi-institutional network connecting connects academic experts, research resources, collaboration spaces, and communications technology. The Change Lab Action Research Initiative will be housed at Saint Mary’s University and will benefit from collaborations between the school and Cape Breton University, St. Francis Xavier University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne, and Nova Scotia Community College. “The Change Lab Action Research Initiative is … a space where students, researchers, and experts will come together to help communities overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities across the province,” said NS Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan. SMU

uLaval food research institute signs three innovation partnerships

The Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods at Université de Laval has signed three partnerships with companies looking to spur innovation in the bio-food sector. Nestle Food, Diana Food, and the German company R-Biopharm have reportedly invested $250K US to work with uLaval on a series of proposed bio-food projects. The institute at uLaval, which includes nearly 80 researchers, is known for its studies on bioactive ingredients—such as those found in cranberries or blueberries—and their beneficial effects on health. Institute Executive Director Renée Michaud explained that the partnerships are designed not only to produce research, but to enhance collaboration with small businesses in the Laval region. Journal de Montréal

Canadian women target change in treatment of victims on campus

Five women from across Canada are demanding a change in the way that sexual assault victims are treated on campus, reports Metro. The women—Mandi Gray, Paniz Khosroshayis, Elle Ade Kur, Glynnis Kirchmeier, and Tarrah McPherson—are tackling sexual assault on campus through a number of initiatives, including starting anti-sexual-assault organizations on campus and filing freedom of information requests against their schools. Most notably, while other human rights complaints that target campus assault and harassment have focused on assault itself, Metro reports that “McPherson, Kirchmeier and Gray are each alleging their schools directly discriminate against women through their sexual assault practices, policies and protocols.” The article goes on to discuss the implications of these efforts, stating that they “could set the new high bar for how universities handle sexual assault.” Metro