Top Ten

May 15, 2017

UWindsor student president files lawsuit after being dismissed

The President of the University of Windsor Student Alliance took swift legal action after being ousted from her position last week in a “marathon board meeting,” reports the Windsor Star. Larissa Howlett argues that her dismissal as president was indefensible, adding that the board meeting in question was “inappropriately held” and that new board members had not received the training necessary to make such a decision. The issue that reportedly led to Howlett’s dismissal was the firing of UWSA general manager Nicole Morell earlier this month, which the board alleges Howlett undertook “without direction, discussion or approval from the board.” Howlett, however, argues that the decision was made through a unanimous decision by the UWSA board. Howlett’s lawyer has applied to the Ontario Superior Court for an injunction to overturn the board’s decision and to censure the board. Windsor Star

MUN approves new budget amidst student protest

The Memorial University Board of Regents last week approved a budget that will commit the school to implement $13.5M in additional expenditure reductions across all university operations over the new three years. The MUN Gazette reports that this is the sixth consecutive year that the university’s budget has included base budget reductions. The board meeting that saw the budget’s approval was reportedly disrupted at one point by more than 60 protesting students, whose dissent toward the new budget was echoed by the chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students provincial chapter, Alex Noel: “They obviously want a more corporate, more private institution for Newfoundland and Labrador and we simply don’t think that is what (the province) needs.” MUN President Gary Kachanoski noted that the budget was developed through a consultative process that included meetings with the school’s student unions, in addition to a special Senate meeting and budget town hall. Telegram | MUN Gazette

McGill announces Bensadoun School of Retail Management, funded by $25M donation

McGill University has announced that it will establish the Bensadoun School of Retail Management with a $25M gift from the family foundation of Aldo Bensadoun, founder of Aldo Shoes. “Over the course of his extraordinary career, Mr. Bensadoun has advanced both Quebec’s prosperity and its social well-being,” said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier. “He epitomizes the qualities of McGill’s students and alumni: an inquisitive mind, an unwavering dedication to one’s goals, and a passion for making one’s community a better place.” The gift will also fund student scholarships, the hiring of new professors, and a research chair in retailing. The school is slated to open in Fall 2018. McGill | Montreal Gazette | Globe and Mail

NB to improve PSE accessibility, affordability with new funding

The New Brunswick government has announced that it will invest $3.4M to help more students access higher education in the province. The new changes will impact the provincial portion of the Canada Student Loans program, and moving forward, students will only be expected to provide a fixed contribution between $1.5K and $3K per academic year based on their family income and family size. “This will make more money available to more students while significantly decreasing the variability of assessment amounts,” said New Brunswick Student Alliance Executive Director Robert Burroughs. “It also means students will no longer be punished for working in-study and during their summers.” The program will also exempt Indigenous students, students with permanent disabilities, students with dependent children, and current or former children in permanent care from making any contribution. NB

URegina receives $1M anonymous gift to Darke Hall restoration

The University of Regina has received another $1M anonymous donation to the renovation of Darke Hall. URegina President Vianne Timmons called the gift a “significant milestone” in the institution’s fundraising campaign. “It is important for young students to have a place where we can perform, and Darke Hall is such a wonderful venue,” commented cello student Ilana van der Merwe. “But, the building was difficult to play in because it was in poor condition.” While some remedial work has already been undertaken, the university explains that much more work is needed to bring the building into compliance with health and safety codes and to ensure it is fully accessible. URegina | CBC

OCAS announces new portal for international college applications in ON

OCAS has announced the launch of a new portal that will streamline and centralize international application and admissions processes for Ontario’s public colleges. Titled the International Application Service, the new resource will give college admissions officers and global recruiters the ability to review and manage applications, documents, and offers for international students. “Colleges are experiencing year-over-year growth in international enrolment, and in the wake of global uncertainty and recent geo-political events, Ontario continues to be a premiere destination of choice for international students,” says OCAS CEO Karen Creditor. “As a leading provider of technology solutions for Ontario’s public colleges, we’re ready to help our college partners meet that demand with this new opt-in service.” OCAS

Four senior university women leaders discuss their route to becoming president

“I’d been put into a [leadership] role at my institution and there was no one for me to talk to,” recalls former University of Toronto Vice-President Angela Hildyard, describing the challenges of “trying to be a woman in a senior role at a postsecondary institution.” Since that time, Hildyard has become secretary general of the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada, an organization that aims to support and advance women in senior higher ed roles. The article goes on to interview four women PSE leaders—Ann Everatt of Northern Lakes College in Alberta; Melanie Humphreys of The King’s University; Annette Trimbee of the University of Winnipeg; and Deborah Saucier, incoming president of MacEwan University—on the routes they took to become the top executive at their respective schools. University Affairs

Lakeland, Northern Lakes collaborate on practical nurse training

Lakeland College and Northern Lakes College have announced that they will collaborate to increase student access to practical nurse training. As part of the agreement, Northern Lakes will offer its practical nurse program at Lakeland’s Lloydminster campus. Courses will be offered primarily online, but the lab component of Northern Lakes’ program will feature face-to-face instruction at the Lloydminster campus and use Lakeland’s existing health labs. Students will also have access to many of Lakeland’s amenities such as residence, athletics, recreation, and wellness services. “We’re pleased to work with Northern Lakes College to provide another program option for people in our region who want to pursue careers in the health sector,” says Lakeland President Alice Wainwright-Stewart. “Northern Lakes College has a number of collaborative partnerships and is very happy to be working with Lakeland College in delivering the Practical Nurse program,” adds Northern Lakes President Ann Everatt. Lakeland | Northern Lakes

AB considers tying PSE funding to evidence, outcomes in current provincial review

The Alberta government is considering changing its postsecondary funding system in order to provide more direction and clarity to institutions, reports Metro. “Right now with the block grant system, the government writes a giant cheque with almost no strings attached,” said AB Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt earlier this year. “We’re looking at if there are ways we can target some indicators or outcome measures.” Metro notes that AB is looking for more ways to leverage data to make more evidence-based decisions around where and how to allocate funding. Among the top outcomes it wants to promote are accessibility, affordability, and quality. Alberta College of Art + Design President Daniel Doz has recommended that the province look at a more student-based funding model, noting that “if you really care about equity in the system, and students being treated fairly, why don’t you look at a system that attaches funding to the student.” Metro

Invest in career counselling to create more engaged business school alumni: report

Business schools should look to bolster their career services if they want to inspire students to become loyal alumni after graduation, writes Jennifer Lewington for the Globe and Mail. Lewington cites a recent international online survey that found that 82% of those who identified as “highly engaged alumni” said that they believed they were contributing actively to their school’s success, compared to 41% for the entire survey group. The survey of 2,800 respondents from 89 countries also found that 50% of all respondents ranked career support as good at their school, although more recent graduates had more positive assessments than those who received their degrees more than 20 years ago. The article goes on to chronicle how the Ivey School of Business at Western University and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University are working to ensure that their alumni are as engaged as possible. Globe and Mail