Top Ten

October 17, 2016

New MB campus sexual violence legislation praised by students

A new bill introduced by the Manitoba Government would require all of the province’s PSE institutions to have appropriate policies and procedures to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus. The new legislation would reportedly also include a definition of sexual violence and extend the scope of such violence to harassment via social media, in addition to setting new requirements for institutions to raise awareness and communicate the availability of services and supports. The legislation has garnered strong support from the Canadian Federation of Students, whose MB Chairperson Michael Barkman has stated, “We are happy to see that the Progressive Conservative government has tabled legislation that will protect students on our campuses and move our public institutions to challenge rape culture and proactively replace it with a culture of consent.” NationTalk | Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription required)

uSask to build new $41M rink complex with help of largest-ever private donation

A planned twin-ice facility at the University of Saskatchewan received a significant boost last week when a uSask alumnus gave the university its largest-ever private donation. Merlis Belsher, a commerce and law graduate of uSask, is contributing $12.25M to the new $41M rink, which will be named Merlis Belsher Place in recognition of his gift. “I made this donation because of my gratitude for the University of Saskatchewan — it provided me with confidence and education in two professions,” said Belsher in a release. uSask states that the new arena complex will help address a shortage of ice facilities in Saskatoon, and that the official timeline for construction will not be set until the remainder of the building's funding is in place. CTV Saskatoon | CBC | uSask

Laurentian seeks additional staff to preserve social work accreditation

Laurentian University is making efforts to hire more staff for its social work schools to ensure that these schools do not lose their accreditation, reports CBC. The university has reportedly been told by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education, the organization that officially recognizes the programs, that its schools are understaffed. Two full-time professors and one part-time administrative staff member are reportedly needed at the university's Indigenous social work program, while three full-time English professors, two full-time French professors, and one full-time staff member are needed to help with field placements. Laurentian VP Academic Pierre Zundel says he is confident the programs will retain accreditation, adding that his message to students is: "We understand you have a lot at stake. Stay focused on your studies. Stay focused on your field placements. We're doing what we have to do and I'm confident that we'll get there’.” CBC

Confederation, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win receive combined $20M

Northwestern Ontario’s postsecondary community has received a major contribution from the Canadian and Ontario Governments totaling $20.7M. $18M of the funds will be used to construct Confederation College’s Technology Education and Collaboration Hub, a space that will reportedly feature workshop and lab space while housing all of the college's apprenticeship, trades, and technology programs. $2.7M will be used to support the Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute, a First Nations education centre that provides training for Indigenous people in Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory. A portion of the funds will be used to support the organization's Pathways to a Prosperous Future project, which uses a mobile trades lab to bring a variety of skills training opportunities to almost 50 First Nations communities. CBC | Confederation

UNB to boost entrepreneurship training with $1M RBC investment

The University of New Brunswick has received $1M from RBC to help students hone their entrepreneurship skills. The RBC Innovative Action Fund will support a variety of experiential activities associated with UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship program, including student pitch and product design competitions, a fund to help students move from ideas to working models of products, and an export marketing fund to help start-ups explore new markets outside of NB. “UNB is changing the conversation about business development in New Brunswick for a generation of new entrepreneurs,” said Dhirendra Shukla, Chair of the Dr J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship. “This gift from RBC will ensure that our programs can continue to develop, expanding UNB’s role as a regional and national leader in entrepreneurship education.” UNB

SLC launches “Hello Future” project

St Lawrence College is set to take a major step forward in enhancing student life and innovation with its “Hello Future” project, a three-part building initiative that will include the creation of a new Student Life and Innovation Centre. The project will benefit from a $11.5M contribution from the Canadian and Ontario Governments, with SLC contributing roughly $20.6M. The three-stage project will include the construction of the Student Life and Innovation Centre; a permanent home for the college’s Centre for Education, Behavioural Research and Innovation in the Community; and modernized health sciences simulation labs. “This investment will help us turn our dream of new student learning, innovation and wellness space into a reality,” said SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. SLC

The perils of using supply and demand to justify contingent academic labour

“The argument [in academia] is that the supply of ‘good’ jobs is not sufficient, therefore, contingent faculty either must be satisfied with their usually meager pay, or do the only thing in their power … quit,” writes John Warner for Inside Higher Ed. One of the biggest problems with this argument, Warner notes, is that it describes labour decisions as though they exist outside concerns of ethics or morality, adding that “we have many mechanisms that interfere with or interrupt the ‘law’ of supply and demand – child labor laws, overtime regulations and a minimum wage just to name a few.” Warner highlights tenured professors as a particular group that should resist using the supply and demand argument to justify the existence of their precariously employed counterparts, concluding that “convenient deflections and oversimplifications of our labor structure like ‘it’s supply and demand’ are a denial of deeper realities, and it’s time to dispense with them.” Inside Higher Ed

UoGuelph Veterinary College receives heartfelt donation for new animal surgery facilities

A donation inspired by pets in need of surgery is set to help University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College construct a new state-of-the-art surgical centre. Donors Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan Slaight have given the school $2.5M in honour of their dogs James and Stewart, both of whom died while in need of surgery. The new facilities, which will include multiple operating suites to perform surgical procedures, will be named the James Slaight Advanced Surgical Complex in honour of the donation. “This incredible gift will allow OVC to continue to be at the forefront of veterinary medicine here in Canada and around the world,” said UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino. Guelph Mercury | UoGuelph

Langara to prepare students for in-demand careers with $54M Science and Technology Building

Students at Langara College will have new opportunities to prepare for a range of in-demand careers in health care, life sciences, and technology thanks to the opening of the college’s $54M Science and Technology Building. Adding over 1,000 square metres of student space and 35 new laboratories and classrooms, the building is home to a number of programs including computer science, biology, physics, internet and web technology, and nursing. “This new facility provides new spaces and opportunities to enhance our students’ learning. Our entire community is so excited about this beautiful signature addition to our campus,” said Langara President Lane Trotter. Indo-Canadian Voice | Langara

UOIT students to enjoy new opportunities in software and informatics

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology has received $13M from the Canadian and Ontario governments to support its Software and Informatics Research Centre. The centre will reportedly serve as a hub for research in health and business analytics, IT security, networking, gaming, and software engineering. It will also offer access to e-guest lectures and interactions with industries through digital conferencing technology. “The Government of Canada’s investment in our university will help to make Durham Region and Northumberland County a leading hub of new knowledge generation, skills development and economic success,” said UOIT President Tim McTiernan. “It is also an investment in our students—the entrepreneurial young women and men who will be the citizen leaders of tomorrow.” UOIT