Top Ten

February 13, 2017

QC says it plans to “reinvest” in universities, CEGEPs with upcoming budget

The Quebec government has signaled its intention to “reinvest” in universities more than five years after it promised millions in new funding, reports La Presse. QC Finance Minister Carlos Leitão said in an interview that the upcoming provincial budget will focus on “higher education, training and manpower.” Speaking to the province’s financial situation, the minister added that “the news is pretty good on this side: the government had a surplus of $1.2B as of October 31. In the fall financial update, the government announced an additional $110M for education (primary and secondary) and higher education in the next fiscal year, 2017-2018.” La Presse

Students impacted by federal payroll issues continue to struggle

Some postsecondary students who have worked for the Canadian government continue to feel financial pressure due to wage issues associated with the Phoenix payroll system, reports CBC. “It's scary,” says Carleton University student Greg Owens. “I'm a student ... I don't have big savings accounts. I don't have an RESP. My line of credit only goes so far.” Canadian Federation of Students Chairperson Bilan Arte notes that students might also be unable to secure grants or loans in the coming year if their T4 tax forms are inaccurate as a result of the payroll problem. “It has huge ripple effects,” says Arte. “If they've been overpaid, for example, it might really hurt their chances to apply for certain programs and scholarships.” CBC

OCADU to connect students with world-class artists, scholars through new program

OCAD University has announced that it will launch a new international initiative designed to bolster Canada’s position in the world of arts and culture. Over the next five years, the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation Global Experience Project will bring leading international artists to Toronto for a residency placement at OCADU. The university states that the new program will connect a number of select students with visiting artists and renowned scholars. “We are thrilled beyond words to realize the launch of the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation Global Experience Project,” said OCADU President Sara Diamond. “The opportunity to interact closely with ground-breaking international artists will shape the learning experience for OCADU students in a way that no classroom ever could, and heighten international awareness of Toronto as a vibrant contemporary art community.” OCADU

TRU breaks ground on new trades centre

Thompson Rivers University has formally broken ground on its new Industrial Training & Technology Centre, which will help TRU expand its trades and technology programs by additional 550 full-time student spaces. “This new facility will enable Thompson Rivers University to co-locate trades and technology programs, a move that supports our university’s contribution of relevant education and research to various industry sectors in Canada,” explained TRU President Alan Shaver. The centre was funded by the federal and BC governments, along with contributions from TRU and various donors. It is expected to be ready for use in Fall 2018. BC | TRU

Brock to create online bachelor’s degree, additional courses with $430K funding injection

Brock University has announced plans to develop content for new online courses with the support of nearly $430K in funding from the Ontario government. $330K of the funds will be used to create an online four-year bachelor’s degree program in Adult Education, while roughly $100K will support the development of open course modules associated with the University’s Environmental Sustainability in Practice course in the Environment Sustainability Research Centre. “It makes a direct contribution to the University’s strategic goals when it comes to online learning,” said Associate Professor Camille Rutherford in the Department of Teacher Education, who added that new courses will be developed over the coming year in partnership with Niagara College. Brock

uRegina to release results from campus-wide study on gendered violence

The University of Regina says that it plans to release a report next month detailing the results of a comprehensive survey on gender-based violence at the school. CBC reports that the program was launched as a follow-up to the university’s adoption of its formal policy to combat sexual assault in 2015. Roz Kelsey, a uRegina professor and the head of the Gendered Violence Prevention Project, says that the survey looked to measure the attitudes and behaviours of participants, their knowledge of campus policies and services, and their personal experience of gender-based violence. “We needed to get a picture of what kind of progress we were making and how we could collectively look at the problem of gendered violence on our campus,” says Kelsey. Last year, Academica Group conducted a cross-country StudentVu survey on campus safety that asked students about their knowledge of campus policies and services, as well as their on-campus experiences. CBC

The challenge, opportunity of fundraising for smaller universities

For Canada’s smaller universities, the challenges of fundraising are more an issue of scale than of technique, writes Brian Owens for University Affairs. The author notes that despite the smaller pool of donors to draw from, smaller institutions have a number of advantages, such as closer personal connections between alumni and their school and deeper connections with local communities. Further, some alumni from small schools who go on to hold powerful positions can access their professional networks to help support their alma maters. The author also notes, however, that smaller schools face particular challenges, such as the perception that they might not require the amount of donations that some larger schools do in order to function. University Affairs

Lanaudière receives $1.5M to upgrade civil engineering labs

The Cégep régional de Lanaudière is set to receive $1.54M from the governments of Canada and Quebec to upgrade labs for its civil engineering technology program. A federal release notes that the upgrades are intended to help the CEGEP accommodate growing demand for enrolment in the program, and that the new investment will give students, professors, and researchers the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country's best research. “The Cégep régional de Lanaudière is very proud to see this project coming together under the Strategic Investment Fund. This collaboration between the federal and provincial governments will help our students bring cutting-edge technological skills into the job market and will benefit the entire Lanaudière region,” said Cégep régional de Lanaudière Director General Marcel Côté. Canada

Langara releases new sexual violence and misconduct policy

Langara College is pleased to announce that it has instituted a standalone college-wide sexual violence and misconduct policy. Shaped by feedback from faculty, students, and administration, the policy outlines a variety of procedures and provides a comprehensive list of services and supports that are accessible to victims and survivors. “Langara is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for all individuals who are connected to our campus, and this policy is the next step in ensuring that we continue to offer a holistic vision of services to our community,” says Langara President Lane Trotter. “Congratulations to the working committee for their efforts on this policy, which will keep our campus safe and our students supported.” Langara

How to embark on a successful midcareer faculty move

“Advice abounds for new PhDs about how to approach the job market, yet guidance is harder to find for tenured mid-career faculty members,” write Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra for Inside Higher Ed. To this end, the authors offer suggestions to those looking to return to the job market after having obtained a tenure-track job. These suggestions include reflecting on why a career move is appealing, deciding on whether one feels happy or valued at their current institution, and avoiding the appearance of arrogance. “Many people say senior job searches make them appreciate what they have in a way that they would not otherwise have realized,” the authors conclude. “While it’s time-intensive to be on the job market, it can also be a worthwhile investment, expanding your network, and introducing you to new colleagues and institutions.” Inside Higher Ed