Top Ten

April 27, 2017

Women account for growing number of full-time faculty positions, but still face wage gaps: StatsCan

A new report from Statistics Canada shows that while women are filling a growing proportion of full-time faculty positions, they still face a wage gap compared to their male peers at many Canadian universities. The data, collected from a survey of 75 universities across Canada, found that the overall number of full-time faculty members has increased by 2.9% since 2010-11, with women accounting for 40.2% of full-time university teaching staff compared to 37.6% in 2010-2011. That said, the data also showed that that most of the growth in full-time teaching staff from 2010-11 to 2016-17 occurred for full professors and associate professors, which grew by 12.4% and 8.8% percent, respectively. The number of assistant professors, however, dropped by 18.5% and the number of those below assistant professor rank declined by 2.7%. The Calgary Herald and Saskatoon StarPhoenix write that at many schools, wage gaps between female and male faculty members still persist. StatsCan | Calgary Herald (wage gap graph) | Saskatoon StarPhoenix | University Affairs

Potter emails show “no hint of resignation” in apology to McGIll: CBC

An email sent by Andrew Potter to McGill University’s principal and board members on the day after his controversial article appeared in Maclean’s offers “no indication he intended to resign,” writes Benjamin Shingler for the Globe and Mail. According to emails obtained under a freedom of information request by CBC, Potter wrote to the principal and board that it “is an enormous privilege and responsibility, the dream job of a lifetime, and I am extremely sorry for having let all of you and the Institute down” before adding that “[if] anyone can suggest any further steps I can take to make this right, for MISC and for McGill, I'm all ears.” It was one day later that McGill’s board reportedly called an emergency meeting, after which Potter requested to meet with McGill's principal, Suzanne Fortier, in which the “discussion was about his ability to continue in his role as Director of MISC.” “The Board of Trustees of MISC accepted his resignation later that day,” said Louis Arseneault, the university's vice-principal of external relations. CBC

53% of working Canadians would change choice of PSE if given the chance

Over half of working Canadians would not pursue the same degree or diploma if they could go back and attend PSE again, according to a new survey by Monster Canada. The survey of 817 Canadians found that 53% would choose to pursue a different PSE option than the one they did, while less than one-third said they would pursue the same degree or diploma. A further 10% said that they would skip PSE and enter directly into the workforce if given the chance to do things over again. The results of the study echo those of another Canadian study released earlier this year. “I was not that surprised to see that many people would actually study something different, should they have gotten the chance,” said Arturo Gallo, content manager at Monster Canada. “I think that’s something we all realize at some point in our careers when we experience ups and downs. We ask ourselves if we’re doing the right thing.” Global News

Holland offers free rent and moving assistance to tenants forced out by new residence

Tenants who are occupying properties set to be demolished to build a new residence for Holland College will be offered free rent for their remaining occupancy and assistance with relocating, according to a statement from a Holland spokesperson. Michael O'Grady, the college's vice-president of strategic planning, said that the college will not charge rent during the final months of the tenants' occupancy of the building that currently sits on the site of Holland's planned residence, and that the school will further assist these tenants with finding new housing and moving. “We've had meetings with the tenants, and we'll have additional meetings with the tenants, but we have committed to assisting the residential tenants, and the commercial tenants, in identifying alternative accommodations,” said O'Grady. CBC

New pavilion to become home to supercomputer at ÉTS with $67M investment

The governments of Canada and Quebec are investing $55M in École de technologie supérieure, which combined with $12M from ÉTS and other partners will result in a $67M investment. The funds will be used to build a pavilion that will house Calcul Québec’s supercomputer and free up some of the learning spaces in the main pavilion, thereby increasing the number and quality of the institution’s engineering research labs. Part of the funding will also go to converting the Dow Planetarium into a creativity hub—an open entrepreneurial space focused on knowledge transfer and research for start-ups—and to expanding and repurposing the school's library to create a learning hub. “I’m quite proud and happy that students will benefit from these new facilties and the Innovation District during their studies at ÉTS,” said ÉTS Director Genreal Pierre Dumouchel. Canada

Strategies to address student unemployment, underemployment in Canada

Unemployment and underemployment pose a major challenge to Canadian students looking to pay off the cost of postsecondary education, writes the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, which is why the organization has released a policy paper outlining how government can better support students in finding quality employment during and after PSE. Titled “Student (Un)Employment in Canada,” the paper calls for governments to invest more in helping students transition into the workforce through provincial roundtables to discuss best practices in addressing youth unemployment. It further calls for federal investment in programs connecting disadvantaged and marginalized youth with employers and the labour market, and a federal Training Incentive modeled after Quebec’s training requirement program, among other recommendations. CASA | Report

Yukon to create 21st century Innovation Commons with $3M investment

Yukon College will soon be home to a 21st century Innovation Commons at its Ayamdigut Campus in Whitehorse, thanks to a $3M investment from the Canadian and Yukon governments. A YK release states that the investment will allow students, professors, and researchers to work in state-of-the-art facilities and collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. “We are grateful for this investment by Canada and Yukon towards our goal of offering exceptional student experiences,” said Yukon President Karen Barnes. “With the new Innovation Commons Yukon College students will have greater access to a variety of quiet and collaborative study spaces as well as innovative tools and technologies to support their learning and research.” Yukon | YK

Law schools dispute priority of theory v practice

Critics say that Canada’s law schools have not evolved quickly enough to keep up with the changing landscape of the legal profession, writes Julius Melnitzer for the Financial Post. The current debate, the author notes, centres on disagreements over the priority that academic study and practical knowledge should receive in law school curricula and teaching. Lorne Sossin, dean of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, argues that the debate is a false one, adding that “[e]mployers, in my experience, want law graduates who know both how to thrive in practice, and how to bring analytic rigour, critical reflection and creative problem-solving to their work.” The article goes on to chronicle the efforts of new programming at YorkU, in addition to programs at Lakehead University, Thompson Rivers University, McGill University, University of Victoria, and University of Calgary. Financial Post

SFU Aboriginal University Transition Program threatened with cancellation

Natalie Knight, an instructor at Simon Fraser University’s Aboriginal University Transition Program, is speaking out against SFU's alleged decision to cancel the program. “It’s the only program at SFU that has the capacity to support Indigenous students,” says Knight, who explains that the program blends Indigenous ways of knowing with traditional academia. “If we want Indigenous people to go through university, we have to make adjustments to curriculum, and AUTP does that.” iNews 880AM reports that SFU has not responded to a request for comment on the program’s cancellation, but reportedly has a note on its website stating that the university is “taking a pause to explore new approaches, and re-envision” its programs. iNews 880 AM

UOIT signs new agreement with Chinese university

New research and study-abroad opportunities are part of a new international agreement signed earlier this year by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and China’s Nanjing Xiaozhuang University. The agreement will offer UOIT students new opportunities for studying abroad in English. The partnership with NXZU reportedly grew from delegation exchanges between the partnering universities in December 2016 and March 2017. The agreement will also give researchers the chance to explore new research collaborations with NXZU professors. The first visiting scholar from NXZU is set to come to UOIT during the Fall 2017 semester. UOIT