Top Ten

December 12, 2016

New report offers path forward for ON college fundraising

Universities in the Greater Toronto area “dwarf” colleges when it comes to fundraising, yet colleges can help close this gap by pursuing a model that is better tailored to them, according to a new report in College Quarterly. The report found that in 2010, the University of Toronto raised five times more funding than all of the GTA's colleges combined. The report examines the differing histories of universities and colleges in Ontario, describing how universities have developed “a culture of philanthropy through their unique historical context, their role in research and knowledge creation, their tenure in fundraising, and the different socio-economic status of their students and alumni.” The report ultimately advises colleges to depart from efforts to replicate the university model and to pursue a college-specific approach to fundraising based on “strategic philanthropy, service experiences, and different financial tools.” College Quarterly

CAUT condemns suspension of uLethbridge professor

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has condemned the University of Lethbridge’s decision to suspend one of its professors without pay for possible Human Rights Act violations. Globalization Studies Professor Anthony Hall has been suspended since early October while the university investigates whether he has provided a platform for hate speech. “There’s no investigation into any alleged inappropriate activity,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “There’s been no findings or allegations of inappropriate activity, except for the university saying he may be in violation of the Alberta Human Rights Code, which, if it’s true, they have to prove it.” uLethbridge has responded with a statement reading: “At this time, the university has no additional commentary to add to the previous public statements it has made on this issue.” Lethbridge Herald

UPEI support staff file for conciliation

A CUPE local representing 280 support staff at the University of Prince Edward Island has filed for conciliation after talks with the university broke down, reports CBC. The employees represented by the union reportedly include “technical staff, programmer analyst and administrative support service classifications.” The union has stated that the proposals made by the university are “non-starters,” particularly on the issues of wage increases, health and dental benefits, and employees’ right to retain seniority after they have been laid off. “A conciliator has been assigned to assist UPEI and CUPE reach a negotiated agreement,” said a release from the university, adding that the school “is confident that the appointment of an independent third party will allow both parties to resolve outstanding issues.” CBC

U of T passes $2B fundraising goal

The University of Toronto has passed the $2B fundraising goal it initially set for its Boundless fundraising campaign five years ago, reports the Globe and Mail. The milestone marks a success that President Meric Gertler says dates back to the 1990s, when former U of T President Robert Prichard raised more than $1B. “We’ve been at this game now in a serious way for 25 years or so,” says Gertler. “[Prichard’s efforts] broke tremendous new ground, and I think raised everybody’s sights. It gave Canadians a sense of what was possible.” Gertler notes that tightening government budgets are forcing Canadian universities to enhance their fundraising efforts, particularly when it comes to supporting fundamental research and student scholarships. “Fundraising has now become an essential part of the business of universities,” says Gertler. “Pretty much every university has to engage in this kind of activity to some extent.” Globe and Mail

Five ways institutional communities can address tenure-track reality

“The prospect of a tenure-track future hinges on departments renegotiating institutional infrastructure,” writes Jamie J Hagen in an article on how concerns with the tenure-track path must be met on an institutional level. Hagen advises tenure-track faculty to openly recognize that, “regardless of merit or method,” the current system will not grant tenure to most PhDs. The author urges faculty to talk directly with doctoral students about adjunct labour; and encourages them to gain an understanding of how class, race, and gender dynamics impact tenure denial. The author goes on to encourage departments to gather and share data about their workforce, and adds that senior faculty should use their bargaining power to address issues when negotiating contracts. “We no longer need advice for individual faculty,” concludes Hagen. “We are overdue for attending to real institutional change.” Inside Higher Ed

Students set priorities for “reimagining the world-class university”

Students around the world place a high level of emphasis on culture and values when they are asked to imagine a “world class university,” reports University World Report. The students in question were speaking at the recent Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies Universities Summit, under the theme “Reimagining the world-class university.” “We need to create the means of engaging with each other’s language, literature and cosmology,” noted one student speaker, while others spoke to a need for more engaged teaching, as well as a call for education research to feed more quickly into teaching methods. The vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand reportedly noted that institutions must be “locally responsive and globally competitive,” a strategy he said universities cite but do not always “internalize.” University World News | Times Higher Education

USask to add new NBA style practice gym with $4M donation

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies will be able to access new NBA style practice gyms thanks to a $4M donation from Ron and Jane Graham. The funding will also go towards developing locker rooms and team rooms for the two Huskies basketball teams, as well as giving USask the flexibility to consider developing an athletic research area. “It’s extraordinary what they’ve done for this university — it’s nothing short of spectacular,” said USask Huskies Athletics board of trustees member Tom Anselmi of the donors. “The goal here is to be the best athletic program in Canada and a world-class experience for everybody who participates in Huskies Athletics and that’s what we’re working on. Obviously, this objective [is] well underway.” Star Phoenix (1) | Star Phoenix (2)

How do today's academics think of retirement?

“Nobody admits to complete retirement [anymore],” writes Lincoln Allison for Times Higher Education, describing the many ways that academics born in the period following World War II now tend to speak of “various kinds of semi-retirement, and retirement at different ages.” Allison contends that these professors (himself included) suffer from “MOGS” or “Mad Old Git Syndrome.” This is a condition, the author argues, whose main symptom is the phrase “busier than ever.” Yet one of the most difficult questions that arise around this condition is, as the author puts it, “when do you finally bow out? When you are invited to give a lecture and nobody turns up but you’re glad anyway because you can’t remember what you were going to say? Or when, in a fleeting glimmer of perspicacity, you realise that you’ve written the same article this week as you wrote last week?” Times Higher Education

Genome Canada donates $110M to research addressing natural resource, environment challenges

13 large-scale research projects have received a total of $110M to investigate genomic solutions to sector challenges in natural resources and the environment. Genome Canada reports that a hallmark of these projects is the inclusion of research from the standpoint of the social sciences and humanities, which allows them to identify societal issues upfront to ensure the use of science to develop sound practices and policies. Several projects will also see collaboration with northern communities. Researchers for these projects hail from numerous postsecondary institutions across Canada: the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, Queen’s University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, and Memorial University. Genome Canada (Announcement) | Genome Canada (Project Backgrounder)

RRC to support First Nations, Métis students with new bursary

Red River College alumnus Cindy Petrowski and her partner have created a new endowment fund that will support First Nations or Métis students with their academic aspirations and help with financial burdens. RRC notes that The Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary will honour the Métis members of the Petrowskis’ families as it provides new opportunities for students. “As I moved through my career, I remembered the fantastic instructors I had and their patience with each and every one of their students,” said Petrowski. “I would encourage alumni to remember the experience and the rewards that RRC has provided them in career opportunities, friends made, and knowledge gained. Donate to help others achieve greatness through education.” RRC