Top Ten

January 10, 2017

CFI invests $328M in Canadian science

A group of Canadian science labs and initiatives is set to receive a collective $328M in additional funding, reports the Globe and Mail. Awarded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the funding aims to support 17 national facilities that cover a range of research disciplines. Recipients highlighted by the Globe and Mail include the Canadian Light Source ($48M), an X-ray beam based at the University of Saskatchewan; and Ocean Networks Canada ($46.6M), a University of Victoria-run series of sea-floor observatories that conduct ocean monitoring. As with all funding issued through the CFI, the Canadian government will provide 40% of each grant, while the remainder is funded by provincial governments and other sources. Globe and Mail

Former UWaterloo manager jailed after defrauding school of $176K

The former general manager of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture will serve an 18-month jail sentence after being convicted of fraud against the school totaling $176K, reports the Waterloo Region Record. Jeffrey Lederer was also put on probation for two years last Friday and ordered to make full restitution of the $176K to the university. The court learned that while working as general manager, Lederer had placed his mother-in-law on the university’s payroll as a casual employee and paid her $139K over several years for what reportedly amounted to seven hours of work. Lederer also reportedly used a university credit card for $37K in personal purchases. Waterloo Region Record

RRU “Don’t Stop” campaign promotes a lifetime of learning

Royal Roads University’s “Don’t Stop” campaign has “struck a reflective and cheerful tone” as part of its effort to promote continuous learning and personal growth, writes Anqi Shen for University Affairs. As part of the campaign, the university filmed two public events: the first was a mural at the Vancouver International Airport made up of hundreds of sticky notes asking passersby to complete the statement, “In my life, I hope I don’t stop ___.” The second event was the transformation of a bus shelter into a community book share in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. In addition to the videos, RRU chose to highlight alumni stories on the campaign’s landing page, which promotes the school's popular programs and encourages prospective students to speak with enrolment advisors. University Affairs

SMU dorm partially evacuated over student’s “paintball gun” social media post

A student living in residence at Saint Mary’s University provoked the evacuation of a floor at the school’s Loyola Residence last Friday evening after posting a picture of himself with a paintball gun on social media, reports CBC. Halifax Regional Police say that SMU’s security staff were shown a picture of a man with what was thought to be an assault rifle late on Friday evening. Police were then called to the residence, where they evacuated the floor that was home to the student shown in the photo. Police later located the student and took him into custody after learning that the weapon was a paintball gun. Police Spokesperson Rob Lowther says that people should never post photos of themselves on social media with guns, real or fake. “Police have to treat these investigations as if they were firearms which could potentially lead to dangerous situations,” Lowther said in a news release. “It also ties up police resources and could result in various charges for the person posting the pictures.” CBC | Metro

Georgian receives $10.8M for Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre

Georgian College is set to construct a new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre thanks in part to a $10.8M investment from the federal government. The centre will include commercialization and research labs, collaboration space, and space for applied research where Georgian students and staff can work with local industry partners. “The new Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre will be a game changer—an inspirational home for diploma and degree studies as well as a boost for our local economy,” said Georgian President MaryLynn West-Moynes. “This new building reinforces that Georgian is a resource for business and industry. This innovation and research centre will be a catalyst for change and help to build the future of our communities for decades to come.” CTV News | Canada

PSE completion, not student debt, is main factor behind children returning to live at home: US study

Student loan debt is not responsible for the rise in young people returning home to live with their parents, according to a new study by researchers at Dartmouth College and Montana State University. Rather, the main factor associated with “boomeranging” individuals is whether they complete their PSE. The study found that students who did not graduate from either a two- or four-year program were 40% more likely to move back in with their parents than students who earned postsecondary degrees. Further, students who experienced a “smooth transition” into traditional adulthood experiences, such as marriage and full-time employment, were far less likely to return to live at home. The study did, however, find a connection between debt, race, and moving back home, which the study's authors attribute to economic inequality and societal influences that affect minorities. Inside Higher Ed

StayNorth jobs program faces unknown future at end of school year

A pilot project designed to help graduates from Northern Ontario colleges live and work in the region faces an unknown future when its funding ends this spring, writes the North Bay Nugget. Over the past two years, the StayNorth program has reportedly helped 65 students find jobs immediately out of school with Northern Ontario employers. “It’s most definitely been a success,” says Employment Liaison Officer Alex Rogerson. “The initial goal over the two years was to find jobs for 25 students, and over that time we’ve been able to more than double that goal.” Yet despite this success, it remains unclear whether the program will become permanent after its funding ends at the conclusion of the school year. “We are very happy with the program and are hoping to build on that momentum,” said Rogerson. North Bay Nugget

St Clair takes over regional skilled trades training centre

St Clair College will be taking skilled trades and apprenticeship training to the next level at the recently acquired and renamed St Clair College Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre. The Centre, formerly known as the Valiant Training and Development Centre, has historically provided hiring and development services for local specialized skilled trade talent. “We believe it is now time to expand the program to benefit the greater community and that St. Clair College is well positioned to drive that growth,” commented Valiant TMS founder Michael G Solcz Sr. St Clair President Patti France emphasized colleges' strengths in experiential and work-integrated learning, and added that St Clair did not plan to change the program, but hoped to expand it. Windsor Star | CTV News

“Cultural issue” largely to blame for lack of entrepreneurship in Western NL, says MUN professor

Newfoundland’s west coast suffers from a dearth of entrepreneurship, according to the chair of the business program at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, and the reason for this is largely a cultural one. The Western Star reports that according to Professor Jackie Walsh, “many people” on the province’s west coast “hold out hope for a government job or one with lifelong union protection, rather than set out to start their own enterprise.” Speaking to the Rotary Club of Corner Brook, Walsh reportedly added that many of her business students say that they would rather work for someone else than themselves. MUN’s Grenfell campus has partnered with the College of the North Atlantic to help address this issue by creating a new business incubator on NL’s west coast. But for Walsh, a key piece remains instilling a culture of entrepreneurship in which “everything will be linked to starting a business and making money off what you’re doing, as opposed to just doing it for the sake of doing it.” Western Star

Are we done yet with debating laptops in the classroom?: IHE contributor

“Can we get beyond the tired old discussion about if laptops should be banned from the classroom?” asks Joshua Kim for Inside Higher Ed. The discussion we should be having, Kim argues, should be about how we can better harness and guide the digital habits that students already bring to their own learning experiences. Rather than fighting students’ tendency to gravitate toward digital interaction, Kim suggests that professors learn how to celebrate the skills, capabilities, and competencies that come with this behaviour. “I think that the educator is the irreplaceable and irreducible variable in any quality education—and that any college or university that tries to save money by commoditizing teaching will quickly make themselves irrelevant in an environment of ubiquitous information,” Kim concludes. However, the author adds that “at the same time, I want to use digital tools—and digital thinking—to improve learning.” Inside Higher Ed