Top Ten

March 28, 2017

Runte resigns Carleton presidency to pursue new opportunity

Carleton University president and vice-chancellor Roseann O’Reilly Runte has said that she will resign her position at the school effective July 31. The resignation was announced last Thursday, and will bring to a close Runte’s nine-year career with the school, a time that Carleton Board Chair Chris Caruthers says has been one of “exceptional and stable leadership.” “Her top priority has always been our students and the educational mission of the university,” Carruthers added. “Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and partners have all benefited from her exemplary leadership and commitment to Carleton.” A Carleton release states that Runte is leaving the school to pursue a “new leadership opportunity,” with further details to be released this week. Ottawa Citizen | CBC | Carleton

UoGuelph leadership, residence life team go door-to-door checking on students’ mental health

The Residence Life team at the University of Guelph reactivated an old program last week that saw faculty members and staff visit the school’s residences to inquire after students’ mental health. CBC reports that the move came partially in response to four student suicides that have occurred at the school since the beginning of the academic year. “Any time there's a tragic event, you sit back and you want to figure out how to provide more support and resources and whatever else can we do,” said Patrick Kelly, an associate director of Residence Life who helped organize the initiative. UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino and Provost Charlotte Yates were among the 80 people who knocked on doors and engaged students on the subject of mental health. CBC (CP)

Prospective private college students encounter grad employment statistics under NS legislation

A number of private colleges in Nova Scotia have reportedly been ordered to provide prospective students with up-to-date information on the likelihood of finding a job in their field of study. Before enrolling in some private college programs, students must sign letters stating that they understand the likelihood of needing to move away to find employment. “The purpose of the private career colleges is strictly vocational training, so that's the golden thread if you will from applying, to taking the course, to getting a job at the end,” said Jeffrey Reed, director of private career colleges for the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “The regulations really push all in that direction.” Yet Cynthia Sullivan, owner of the Atlantic Flight Attendant Academy, argues that the province should hold universities to the same standards of disclosure in the interest of fairness. CBC

Event to criticize, resist far right sees groups clash outside Concordia

Montreal police issued two tickets for fighting over the weekend after skirmishes broke out during a protest held outside Concordia University. On Saturday, several groups collaborated to host an event titled, “Learn to Resist,” which was described on Facebook as a “teach-in and conference about resisting the far-right.” After learning of the event, however, a group called the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens organized a protest, calling the event a “terrorists workshop.” Jaggi Singh, a member of QPIRG Concordia and Solidarity Across Borders, argued that the counter-protesters “hide behind their Quebec flags and their Canadian flags but they really are groups that are promoting false, exaggerated information about immigrants and about Muslims.” CBC

NAIT student group criticizes 24% fee hike for international students

The student association at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is pushing back against a reported 24% increase in international student fees at the school. “It's a huge increase. It isn't small, it isn't predictable, it isn't something that students could have been anticipating,” said John Perozok, NAIT Students’ Association president. The association has since published a statement condemning the tuition hike. “Of course we welcome international students and they enrich the experience here at NAIT," said NAIT spokesperson Frank Landry. “But we were in a position where international tuition hadn't increased in three years. The cost had gone up in that time and we did not want Alberta taxpayers to have to heavily subsidize their tuition.” CBC states that Landry could not comment on the school's stance towards international students who are unable to afford the new rate, or who accepted offers for the fall semester before tuition increased. CBC | NAITSA

NB career colleges continue push to have students included in tuition bursary

New Brunswick’s private career colleges say that they continue to be concerned about the provincial government’s choice to exclude them from a bursary that provides free tuition to students from low-income families. Oulton College President Darcie Robichaud tells the CBC that the legislation punishes students who want to enroll in a private institution, adding that the issue limits “the opportunities for the students to make the choice of the educational institution that they wish to attend.” “We felt positive that we'd see some progress. But, to this point, we haven't had the result we were looking for,” added Robichaud. “But we will continue to be collaborative and do what we can do to have the evidence that we should be included.” CBC

Proposed MB freeze on professors’ salaries may be illegal: CAUT leader

A proposed freeze on professors’ salaries in Manitoba might be illegal, according to David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Robinson acknowledges that using operating grants and tuition to influence university spending is something that provincial governments do from time to time, yet adds that placing a freeze on professors’ wages might violate legislation that considers universities to be autonomous from the government. Robinson argues that while such a cap is currently in place in British Columbia, it may also be unconstitutional. Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription Required)

McGill principal, Hébert support Potter resignation

McGill University Suzanne Fortier has voiced strong support for Andrew Potter’s decision last week to resign as director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Potter resigned after coming under fire for publishing an article in which he argued that Quebec society suffered from a widespread lack of trust and cohesion. Fortier was quick to distinguish between Potter’s role as director of the institute and as a instructor at the school, stating that “[if] he had written this article as Andrew Potter [period], nothing would have happened. He wrote it as director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.” In an editorial for the Toronto Star, Chantal Hébert also expressed support for the resignation, arguing that Potter “failed to let the facts get in the way of a good rant” and that “shoddy journalism” necessitated the resignation. Globe and Mail (Fortier) | Toronto Star

TRU to build new Nursing and Population Health building

Thompson Rivers University has received the green light for its new $30.6M Nursing and Population Health building, thanks to the recent announcement of an $8M contribution from the British Columbia government. The building will house TRU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Health Care Assistant programs, as well as the new Master of Nursing program. “TRU will attract the brightest students in nursing and health to a learning environment that incorporates high-calibre advanced technology, equipment and resources. said Nursing Dean Donna Murnaghan. “TRU, Kamloops and all the communities TRU serves will greatly benefit from graduates who have the knowledge and expertise to deliver the best care possible to the population.” The building is expected to be complete by Spring 2020. TRU

UManitoba introduces Qualico Bridge to Success transition program for Indigenous students

Thanks to a $1M donation to the institution’s Front and Centre campaign from Qualico, the University of Manitoba has introduced the new Qualico Bridge to Success program, which aims to improve the transition of Indigenous students into PSE at the school. UManitoba notes that highlights of the program include one-day summer camps prior to the summer term, the Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program, and student advising provided on a regular basis. “The University of Manitoba is committed to creating a strong foundation for Indigenous students,” says Christine Cyr, director of the Indigenous Student Centre. “This program will allow us to promote Indigenous student success in meaningful and intentional ways.” UManitoba (Announcement) | UManitoba (Program description)