Top Ten

January 9, 2017

Addressing Canada’s colonial history by teaching Indigenous law

First-year students at McGill University’s Faculty of Law are participating in a new course on Indigenous legal traditions this semester, writes Law Faculty Dean Robert Leckey for the Montreal Gazette. “Our intensive course is part of a larger curricular renewal that will substantially bolster the place of Indigenous legal traditions in legal education at McGill,” adds Leckey, who says that the course is a key part of the faculty’s effort to implement the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Speaking more broadly, addressing the Canadian legacy of colonialism regarding Indigenous peoples doesn’t allow anyone to stay in his or her comfort zone,” the author concludes. “Law faculties and universities have a long way to go on this issue—and it’s crucial to talk about the experiments and tentative steps forward.” Montreal Gazette

Student faces charges in UAlberta malware attack

A 19-year-old University of Alberta student has been charged after a malware attack targeted hundreds of university-owned computers and thousands of passwords at the school, reports the Edmonton Journal. The student has reportedly been charged with cyber crimes including mischief relating to computer data, unauthorized use of computer services, and use of a computer system with intent to commit an offence. “We have not in recent memory sustained an incident of this scale or magnitude,” said Gordie Mah, UAlberta’s chief information security officer. CBC reports that in total, the attack may have affected 304 university computers and potentially 3,323 passwords belonging to students, staff, and faculty. The university says it has found no evidence to suggest that an individual experienced a security breach or that compromised information has been used. Edmonton Journal | Journal de MontréalI | CBC

CBU talks break down, faculty advised on possible strike

The Cape Breton University Faculty Association has stated that negotiations with the institution have broken down. “Both sides clarified their relative positions but unfortunately the talks have broken down,” said CBUFA Vice-President Calvin Howley, who added that the major impasse between the groups is centered on the details of article 39, or the layoff clause, in the groups' collective bargaining agreement. Howley said in a statement that the association's executive will be meeting to discuss next steps, but no negotiations with the school are planned. CBC reports that both the faculty and administration had worked last week to avoid a potential work stoppage after the university's board of governors rejected a proposed deal in December 2016. CBC

CCNB receives $2M investment for modernizing, improving centre

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) will be able to improve research infrastructure and industrial services at the Grand Falls Centre of Excellence in Agricultural and Biotechnological Sciences, thanks to a $2M investment from the federal and New Brunswick governments. The investment will go towards facility modernization, increasing research and development capacity, supporting users, and improving the environmental sustainability of the centre. “CCNB warmly welcomes today’s announcement, as the improvement of infrastructure at the Grand Falls site will greatly help us continue our activities in research and industrial services,” said CCNB President Liane Roy. “Thanks to this investment, the highly qualified staff will have safer and more confidential research spaces, which will allow them to respond to the ever-increasing demand from businesses and to contribute more to our province’s long-term economic growth.” NB

A model for gender balance in PSE presidential roles

“With women making up only about 26 percent of all college and university presidents [in the US], there’s a lot of ground to cover,” write Anne Blackhurst, Joyce Ester, Connie Gores, and Barbara McDonald for the Chronicle of Higher Education. But the authors find in Minnesota’s State PSE system—where 14 of 30 university presidents are women—an example that other jurisdictions might want to follow. The cornerstones of this success, the authors note, are strong recruitment, mentoring, onboarding and coaching of presidential candidates. “Now the culture of this more-diverse group of presidents encourages more collaboration to identify solutions together,” the authors conclude, “and we believe better outcomes are achieved through further debate and robust participation by the larger group.” Chronicle

Want to learn from students? Use social media

“[By] asking questions of students on social media, institutions can gain access to realtime responses, threads, issues, suggestions, and ideas that may or may not be found within more formal survey and assessment initiatives,” writes Eric Stoller for Inside Higher Ed. The author admits that engagement via platforms like Twitter might not always inspire constructive responses, but argues that even in these cases, “there are almost always legitimate threads running through exaggerated social media posts that can be used to respond to tangible issues.” Further, Stoller argues that social media platforms can create teachable moments or opportunities to engage students about their digital presence and to ensure students have every possible opportunity to know about school events or resources. Inside Higher Ed

Brock introduces online continuing ed course on ON wine industry

Brock University has announced the creation of its first online continuing education course, which will focus on the Ontario wine industry. The Certificate in Ontario Wine is slated to begin next month and will reportedly be the Ontario wine industry’s first integrated online program specific to VQA wine. Offered by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, the five-week program will use an interactive format that includes videos, forums, and chat discussions. Graduates will receive official certification through CCOVI at Brock, and will also be eligible to write the Wine Council of Ontario Certification. “This is the first online course of its kind,” said Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI’s manager of continuing education. “Offering this course online will remove both geographical and time barriers for people interested in a formal introduction to Ontario wine.” Brock

Lethbridge creates new campus in Pincher Creek

Lethbridge College is looking to better serve communities in southern Alberta by opening a new regional campus in Pincher Creek. The campus’ official opening was marked by the signing of a collaborative agreement between the college and five community partners, who will work with the college to identify the educational needs of the local community and deliver programs and services. Lethbridge is currently conducting a survey of educational needs in Pincher Creek to best determine which programs and services are most needed. “This campus would not be possible without the dedicated support of our community partners,” says Leah Wack, Lethbridge’s manager of regional stewardship. “Each of the partner organizations provides a representative to serve as an advisory to the college, and they are all exceptionally committed and community-minded individuals.” Lethbridge

Langara Nutrition and Food Service Management program re-accredited

Langara College’s Nutrition and Food Service Management Program has received a perfect score in meeting accreditation requirements for the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management and has been reaccredited for five years. “This means that upon completion of their diploma, students [of this program] are job ready and immediately eligible for membership in the national association, the CSNM,” explained Laura Cullen, Nutrition Management Program Department Chair. “The program is meeting 100% of professional food service manager competency requirements.” Langara explains that the program is available entirely online and allows students to apply concepts of food service management through practicum and fieldwork experience. Langara

UCalgary Werklund School introduces first-in-Canada required wellness course

All Bachelor of Education students at the University of Calgary Werklund School of Education will be required to take a Comprehensive School Health course as of 2018, which UCalgary says is the first of its kind in Canada. The course will allow students to gain research knowledge, develop theoretical foundations in health, and take part in experiential learning. “Healthy students make better learners, and all teachers are positioned to influence the health, wellness and development of their students regardless of subject specialty,” said Werklund School Associate Professor Russell Mayhew. “School wellness is not solely the responsibility of the health or physical education teacher; however, most BEd students in Canada are not provided with any wellness education in their program.” UCalgary