Top Ten

May 3, 2017

Sheridan becomes first Canadian PSE institution to receive Tony Award nomination

Sheridan College made PSE history yesterday when it became the first ever PSE institution in Canada, and possibly the world, to receive a Tony Award nomination. The school received its nomination in the category of Best Musical for its role as a producer in the show, “Come From Away,” with the show receiving seven Tony nominations in total. “With a producing credit on the show, Sheridan is thrilled to be nominated for a Tony Award in the category of Best Musical,” says Sheridan President Mary Preece. “We believe we’re the first post-secondary institution in the history of the Tony Awards (and certainly the only Canadian one) to have a Tony Award nomination for best musical, to our name.” Sheridan

StFX to undergo “single most transformative project” in its history with $35M Canada, NS investment

Saint Francis Xavier University has received nearly $30M from the federal government, along with a $5M investment from Nova Scotia, to pursue construction of “the single most transformative project in StFX’s history.” According to a StFX release, the funds will be used to support the Xaverian Commons, a $90M project that will see the school construct two strategically-aligned teaching, research, and learning centres, and refurbish a third. “This is a visionary investment in Canada’s next generation of leaders and thinkers. First and foremost, this is an investment in the academic mission of St. Francis Xavier University,” said StFX Academic Vice-President and Provost Kevin Wamsley. STFX

VCC partners with Indigenius & Associates on Gladue report writing program

Vancouver Community College has partnered with Indigenius & Associates Inc to develop and deliver a VCC Gladue Report Write writing program, which VCC states is the first of its kind at a college in Western Canada. The program will be designed for Indigenous community members, Native Court Workers, and others who wish to learn how to write Gladue reports, which are pre-sentencing or bail hearing reports. The program development is being overseen by a committee that includes representatives from the Legal Services Society of BC, Gladue Writers Association of BC,Indigenous Elders, and more. VCC

PQ debates extending Bill 101 to CEGEPs

Parti Quebecois leader Jean-François Lisée reportedly no longer wishes to extend Bill 101, the Quebec bill related to French language usage, to CEGEPs due to concerns that it is too controversial. However, the Journal de Montréal reports that a movement was organized to force Lisée to commit to the application of the bill to the CEGEPs. Marc Laviolette, President of l'association de Beauharnois, reportedly wants to end the growing transfer of Francophone students to the English-speaking network of CEGEPs. In particular, Laviolette notes that he would be in agreement with Lisée’s proposal to allow francophone students attend a session at an English-speaking CEGEP, provided that the bill act as a stop in the college system. Journal de Montréal

The conservative scholar on campus

“How could a respected philosopher, a specialist in logic and ethics, support a presidential candidate whom many would see as having a distant relationship with both coherent thought and truth?” asks John Gill in an interview with right-wing philosopher Daniel Bonevac to discuss his experience as a conservative scholar on campus. “I do think something is lost if a course is just about learning the arguments on the Left, and almost none of the intelligent arguments on the Right,” explains Bonevac. Bonevac discusses how viewpoints in today’s classroom, when disagreed with, will not even be debated as they were in the past, but maintains that “what has occurred is not so much a wholesale change in attitude among students as the adoption by a small, vocal minority of the role of 'thought police.'” Times Higher Education

CNA says it plans to make teaching a top priority after NL review

The College of the North Atlantic says that its top priority is improving educational standards after a recent report said that the school had not appropriately addressed this issue in recent years. CBC reports that last week, the Newfoundland and Labrador government released a modernization plan finding a lack of emphasis on teaching and learning that persisted for several years, in addition to courses not being updated to match the job market, campus infrastructure not being up to standard, and a lack of a coherent management system. “We really have to modernize our teaching, we have to be prepared to be able to teach the workforce of today and tomorrow for the jobs of tomorrow,” said interim CNA president Elizabeth Kidd. CBC

Gender gaps shrinking, others persisting: US study

There is no strong, comprehensive evidence that gender plays a major role in the path toward tenure in the first ten years of a professor’s career, according to a paper presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Rather, the study found that scholarly publications and activities, as well as a postdoctoral appointment in the years following degree completion, were the most important factors in securing tenure-track work for both men and women. However, the paper did find that women continue to earn less than men in tenure-track positions and take longer to complete their doctoral degrees. Inside Higher Ed

Three QC institutions receive $3.64M investment in innovation, research infrastructure

The governments of Canada and Quebec have announced a combined investment of $3.64M in infrastructure at postsecondary institutions in QC’s Montérégie region. A portion of the funds will help Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu upgrade its nursing labs to accommodate high-fidelity patient simulators, a computerized control room, and an observation room. Cégep de Sorel-Tracy will use its funding to set up a computer co-innovation hub that will be open to the business community. Finally, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit has upgraded six teaching labs for its multimedia integration program. “This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Canada

New $50 for changing university applications unfair, say Ottawa school board stakeholders

Stakeholders with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board say that it is unfair for Ontario students to pay a $50 fee if they change their minds about where to apply to university. Under the current system, all students are required to pay a base fee of $150 to submit up to three applications. But if students wish to apply to additional schools, they must pay $50 for each additional school. CBC reports that in previous years, students had the option of changing their minds about their three choices without facing financial penalties. “I think that if [students] have paid to apply to a university through OUAC, they shouldn't be charged a supplemental fee,” said OCDSB student trustee Kayvon Mihan. OUAC acting executive director George Granger, however, says that the new fee is not about generating revenue, but instead making the application process more equitable and encouraging students to be thoughtful about their choices. CBC

Students from campuses across US issue statement in support of free speech

Over the weekend, 25 students from about 20 colleges around the United States gathered at the University of Chicago in an effort to start a movement in defense of free speech on American campuses. “The Free Speech Movement began as an entirely student-led initiative,” says a statement issued by the group in reference to the University of California, Berkeley, movement of the 1960s. “However, free speech has been increasingly undermined by attempts of students and administrators alike to silence those with whom they disagree. We seek to reclaim that original tradition.” Inside Higher Ed has published the full text of the students’ first statement. Inside Higher Ed