Top Ten

March 23, 2017

WLU report issues recommendations to increase diversity on Canadian campuses

Wilfrid Laurier University has released a new report that aims to provide PSE administrators across Canada will calls to action to address systemic racism on campus. Released by WLU’s Diversity and Equity Office and the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives, the e(RACE)r Post-Summit Report issues five calls to action that ask university administrators play an integral role in supporting racial justice initiatives across the sector. The calls to action include establishing a sector-wide anti-racism task force, developing and delivering sector-wide anti-racism training for senior administration and faculty on an annual basis, building a sector-wide community of practice through an online portal, providing monthly updates on the status of race and racism on North American campuses, and promoting new practices in anti-racism education. WLU | CBC | Waterloo Region Record

Okanagan receives $15.5M for new Health Sciences Centre

Okanagan College has received a commitment of $15.5M from the British Columbia government to build a new Health Sciences Centre at its Kelowna campus. A college release states that Okanagan will contribute an additional $3.5M to the project for a total investment to nearly $19M. The Laboratory Building currently accommodates a number of the college’s programs, including nursing, university transfer science, and engineering technology. “The Health Sciences Centre has been a high priority for Okanagan College and today’s announcement is welcome news for thousands of students who will have the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to advance their careers in health and social development,” said Okanagan President Jim Hamilton. BC

CFS supports inclusion of recommendations in federal report on gender-based violence

The Canadian Federation of Students has announced that it is pleased to see its recommendations included in the federal government’s recent report on Taking Action to End Violence Against Young Women and Girls in Canada. A CFS release adds that the organization will now focus on making sure that the report’s recommendations are acted upon without delay. The report’s recommendations include a call for jurisdictions to discuss mandatory requirements for Canadian postsecondary institutions to implement stand-alone sexual assault policies, and to provide sexual violence intervention and sensitivity training for all students and staff at orientation. “The release of this report is an important step towards action addressing gender-based violence on campuses and in communities across Canada,” said CFS National Chairperson Bilan Arte. CFS

Algonquin, Siemens Canada partner on programs to fill skills gaps

Algonquin College and Siemens Canada have partnered on mechatronics and dual-education programs that will serve to address Canada’s current skills gap and future needs. Algonquin reports that students will soon have access to the Siemens Mechatronics Systems certification and the Dual-Education enhanced co-op program, both to be offered through the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA). Algonquin also announced that they will become an official partner school in the SCETA Dual Education program, which provides students with an enhanced co-op program through Siemens Canada and the opportunity for employment upon graduation. Algonquin

Lethbridge program earns first-college-in-Canada accreditation

Lethbridge College has stated that it is the first college in Canada to earn accreditation from the Child and Youth Care Educational Accreditation Board of Canada (CYCEAB) for its Child and Youth Care program. “When our students graduate and look to enter the industry, employers will know they are getting a graduate from a credible program who meets the highest standards in Canada,” says Marty Thomsen, Lethbridge Dean of Centre for Justice and Human Services. “They will know that we offer high-quality, current and relevant instruction that meets the needs of the child and youth care industry that benefits our students, which is always our top priority.” Lethbridge

When should a newly minted PhD negotiate a job offer?

“I only got one [job] offer, and I’m a brand new PhD, so I assume I don’t really have the standing to negotiate anything,” writes Karen Kelskey as she reflects on her first tenure-track job offer after finishing school. Kelskey notes that many recent PhD graduates mistakenly assume that they cannot negotiate a job offer if they do not have a competing offer or a high-calibre record. Yet Kelskey contends that every applicant has the potential to negotiate certain parts of a job offer. To this end, the author offers tips on when and how to negotiate an offer, from tailoring one’s negotiating to the institution in question to knowing the norms surrounding job offers in one's field. Finally, Kelskey tells readers to watch out for “red flags” that might provoke an institution to rescind an offer. Chronicle Vitae

MtA becomes “field testing” site for mental health initiative

Postsecondary students in New Brunswick will have access to improved mental health literacy and on-campus mental health care thanks to the expansion of a provincial initiative, reports the Sackville Tribune Post. The New Brunswick expansion of Pathway through Mental Health Care for Postsecondary Settings program was launched earlier this week at Mount Allison University. The Tribune Post reports that the program's framework has the potential to expand to other New Brunswick campuses and could serve as a model across Canada and internationally. “We are delighted to be part of this fantastic program, which will increase our capacity to understand our students’ needs and help us to adopt the most effective programs and initiatives to help them,” said MtA President Robert Campbell. Sackville Tribune Post | MtA

US Arts & Humanities leaders develop “tool kits” to help departments avoid cuts

Departments in the Arts & Humanities are becoming used to the threat of cuts, writes Robin Wilson for the Chronicle of Higher Education, but some of these departments are coping well in this environment by developing coordinated strategies for avoiding these cuts. Sally Scholz, Chair of the Philosophy department at Villanova University, is one of many leaders who have worked to develop a “tool kit” for promoting her discipline among both students and administrators. American Philosophical Association Executive Director Amy Ferrer adds that “our hope is not that this is a tool kit for threatened departments, but rather a tool kit to use proactively to help make sure administrators see how important philosophy is.” The author adds that the lessons learned from Scholz and Ferrer’s success are likely to apply to many other humanities programs. Chronicle (Subscription Required)

Trent alumni donate $500K to construction of new Student Centre

Six alumni of Trent University have donated a combined $500K to support the construction of the school’s new Student Centre. A Trent release states that the donation builds on the efforts of many other generous supporters in pushing the new project toward its $16M goal. “The Student Centre project is a Trent family effort,” says Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations and Advancement at Trent University. “We strive to create an outstanding student experience and to do so we need spaces where students can collaborate, learn and grow. The Student Centre will do just that, and I am excited to see from my office window the building under construction.” Peterborough Examiner | Trent

How PhDs can escape the limiting label of “trained researcher”

“Don’t let the fact that you have a PhD limit the way you see yourself,” writes Jennifer Polk for University Affairs, adding that “one of the important discoveries I made about myself after my PhD was that I wasn’t much interested in doing research for research’s sake.” Polk admits that seeing oneself as a trained researcher can be a good thing if it helps a PhD graduate find a fulfilling career. But if seeing oneself as only a researcher limits one’s sense of possibility, then Polk advises that person to look beyond this label. “If your own values and priorities may have shifted over the past little while, you’re not alone,” the author adds. “Take some time to reassess what’s important to you and see how well your current work and life align with that. This can be a scary process, but we know the alternative is even worse.” University Affairs