Top Ten

April 12, 2017

SPU receives $2.5M donation to create Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

Saint Paul University has received a $2.5M contribution to launch the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, a centre that is reportedly the first of its kind in Canada. The gift came from the Sisters of Providence of St Vincent de Paul of Kingston, Ontario. An SPU release states that the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality will be uniquely positioned to address a growing national and international need for preparing purposeful and committed leaders to integrate the values of social justice, enhanced human development, sustainability, diversity and inclusion into their professional practice. “The School will perpetuate the congregation’s mission by engaging transformative leaders, organizations, communities and institutions towards building a stronger, more inclusive and more humane global society,” said SPU Rector Chantal Beauvais.


Presidential contributions will be measured in “rebuilding, rather than building”

Retiring or departing presidents have historically been measured by how much they “grew” the campus in terms of buildings, brand size, or student population. In an age when measurement by this sort of growth no longer makes sense at most institutions, Matt Reed of Inside Higher Ed argues that “the new challenge is rebuilding, rather than building.” Reed outlines how this new challenge, which includes improving the student experience and solving financial issues, is a much more difficult venture than growing the institution. Yet Reed concludes that at the end of a career, “I’d rather not be referred to by the square footage I generated. I’d prefer to know how many more students succeeded than otherwise would have.” Inside Higher Ed

Camosun opens new satellite training centre on Songhees Nation Territory

Camosun College has announced the opening of a new satellite campus located on Songhees Nation Territory. Formerly known as IMTARC (Industry Marine Training and Applied Research Centre), the Camosun Coastal Centre will include two state-of-the-art classrooms and a 12-station computer lab. At this new location, Camosun plans to continue its programming in coastal and marine-related Contract Training courses, offer customized programs for Indigenous communities, develop new offerings in Continuing Education, and deliver rental space for external education and industry providers. “We expect to grow Camosun’s partnerships with First Nations communities, marine industries, the Department of National Defense, and the City of Esquimalt,” said Camosun’s VP Partnerships, Geoff Wilmshurst. Camosun

CBU to introduce unique interdisciplinary degree

Cape Breton University has announced a new interdisciplinary degree called the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment (BAS Environment), which will allow CBU students to engage with issues related to sustainability, environment, and the community. The program will see students pursue a science concentration, an arts/social science concentration, and a core set of program-specific courses; and will allow students and faculty to work together on projects of interest. A CBU release also notes that the program will also open the door to collaborative learning and research opportunities with local Mi’kmaq communities. The program is set to take its first cohort of students in September. CBU

“Wise hermits and trusty dwarves”: how professors can build student resilience

“Emerging research suggests that for students to fare better, they need to fail better,” writes Jessica Riddell for University Affairs, which means that instructors need to find new and creative ways to build resilience into the classroom. Riddell provides an example of this work by discussing how she used her expertise in medieval literature to teach her students about persistence in the face of failure. Adopting the model of the medieval quest, Riddell speaks about how students proceed through PSE with “initially high expectations, inevitable failure, learned humility, renewed purpose and eventual success.” Riddell concludes that the role of professors’ in this journey is to act as “wise hermits and trusty dwarves” to “encourage [students] as they grapple with despair, and celebrate when they return victorious from their diverse quests.” University Affairs

Langara, UNBC sign MOU to assist student transfer

Langara College and the University of Northern British Columbia have signed a memorandum of understanding that will give students an improved experience in transferring from Langara to UNBC. The MOU will see the schools collaborate on assisting students with the transfer process and helping them understand transfer requirements. “As a pathways college, we aim to strengthen our relationship with institutions throughout British Columbia,” said Langara Provost and Vice President, Academic and Students Ian Humphreys. “This partnership with Langara College will make it easier for students to earn their degree at Canada’s top-ranked small university,” said UNBC President Daniel Weeks. “We look forward to welcoming even more students from Langara to our campuses.” Langara | UNBC

WLU student pens editorial on campus experience for pro-life demonstrators

Students who “don’t conform to the accepted ideologies that now dominate Canada’s universities” are facing an uphill battle, writes Christine Schuknecht for the National Post. The Wilfrid Laurier University student recounts her experience of organizing a pro-life demonstration on WLU’s campus, an event that she alleges was disrupted by both students and the school’s Diversity and Equity Office. Schuknecht notes how opponents of the demonstration characterized the event as purveying direct harm on the university community. Yet the author argues that “[p]lainly, we were censored because our ideas and conduct, though respectful and lawful, contradict the new dogma of my university.” National Post

MB nixes tuition tax rebate in new provincial budget

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has cut a tuition tax rebate for PSE students in its new provincial budget, reports CBC. The government has noted that the rebates will be phased out gradually and will eventually save the province millions in lost tax revenue. Introduced by previous NDP governments, MB’s 60% tuition tax rebate and advanced tuition fee rebate were reportedly part of an effort to keep recent PSE graduates living in the province. The PC government, however, argues that the credits never achieved their goals, and that the government now wants to provide students who need assistance with an enhanced bursary and scholarship program. “I think it is important that we focus our resources in such a way that we can help young people get the training they deserve and want,” said Premier Brian Pallister. CBC

UBC students reject Israel boycott, divestment with 52% “no” vote

University of British Columbia students have rejected a vote to boycott and divest from companies perceived as supporting Israel with a 52% “no” vote. The school’s Alma Mater Society had reportedly presented the resolution for the second time, calling for students to boycott and divest from “companies that support Israeli war crimes, illegal occupation and the oppression of Palestinians.” Metro reports that the referendum would not have been binding even if the students had voted in favour of the resolution, as the 3,000 voters represented only 5.5% of the student body and did not have a sufficient quorum. “I’m relieved that this is over,” said UBC student Jake Reznik, who opposed the referendum. Reznik added that he was “happy to see the UBC community reject the toxic climate engendered by this referendum.” UBC

BC Liberals offer military veterans a 50% tuition rebate

The British Columbia Liberal government has stated that it will provide Canadian Forces veterans who attend PSE in BC with a 50% tuition fee rebate. The Ottawa Citizen writes that the rebate is intended to help former service members transition to civilian life and would be available to military members who have served in the Regular Force, Class “C” reservists who served a minimum of three years and were honorably released, and those who were medically released and unable to complete the minimum three years of service. “This platform commitment is a small but meaningful way to show our appreciation for their service,” said BC Liberal candidate and former base commander Jim Benninger. Ottawa Citizen