Top Ten

June 8, 2017

“Business as usual” at CNA, UCalgary campuses in Qatar in wake of international schisms

The College of the North Atlantic and University of Calgary have issued messages stating that the operations of their campuses in Qatar will continue as usual, following the news that several Arab countries have cut diplomatic ties with the country. BBC reported earlier this week that six countries have severed ties with Qatar, with several accusing the country of supporting terrorism. “While we are treating this as a serious development, we also note that this is occurring at the diplomatic/political levels right now,” reads an internal memo sent to CNA staff from CNA Qatar President Ken MacLeod. A UCalgary release has also stated that the school will continue to operate its Qatar campus on its regular schedule. “The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are paramount to us, and the university has worked, and will continue to work, to put the appropriate safeguards in place,” the statement concludes. CBC | UCalgary

UWindsor plans for former bus station revitalization “up in the air” following obstacles

The University of Windsor had “lavish plans” to revitalize a former Greyhound bus station as part of its $32.6M creative arts and music campus, reports the Windsor Star, but factors such as the station’s position above the Detroit-Windsor tunnel have changed the original construction plans. “Right now we are just going to clean up the exterior until we finalize the plans there,” said UWindsor President Alan Wildeman. “We are looking at several options. It will be something that will benefit the university and downtown area, but we haven’t decided yet exactly what the interior will be.” The article goes on to discuss the progress of the other aspects of the new campus. Windsor Star

Stopping fake science publishers a critical, but difficult task for universities

Legal experts agree that it is time for universities to crack down on fake science publishers, writes Tom Spears for the Ottawa Citizen, who admits that “the ‘how’ part is trickier.” Spears reflects on a recent incident in which the Citizen re-submitted a garbled, meaningless article to OMICS International to test its reviewing methods, and the article was published. “If the presence of such journals/conferences on a CV were treated akin to plagiarism, and it was known that (like plagiarism) they were easily detected, much of the viability of this business would likely disappear,” stated University of Ottawa Adjunct Professor David Sweanor. The article goes on to examine industry factors that lead to fake publishers, the barriers to rectifying the problem, and what universities may be able to do to help prevent graduate students and young academics from falling prey to them. Ottawa Citizen

NWT replaces Aurora board with single administrator

The Government of the Northwest Territories has said that it will replace Aurora College's Board of Governors with a single administrator. CBC reports that the board will be replaced by Denny Rodgers, who currently serves as the general manager of the Inuvialuit Development Corporation and is the former mayor of Inuvik. In a press release, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Alfred Moses said that bringing in Rodgers was the best way forward as the college prepares to undergo a comprehensive review. “The administrator will help to ensure stability and continuity, as Aurora College will be expected to maintain normal operations through the course of both the foundational review and the implementation of the review's recommendations,” said Moses, who noted that the move is intended to be temporary. CBC | NationTalk | CBC (Former Board Member Reacts)

PEI high school students receive UPEI credit for business classes

The province of Prince Edward Island has signed an agreement with the University of Prince Edward Island that will allow students who complete three specific high school business courses with at least a grade of 70% to earn credit towards UPEI’s Business 101. “They will save having to do a full course, so that's work they won't have to do [at UPEI],” said Juergen Krause, UPEI's Dean of Business, who further expressed hope that the agreement would serve as a good recruitment tool for UPEI. CBC reports that Holland College has a similar agreement with the province for an accounting course and an economics course. CBC

Durham, UOIT, U of T, partners launch “Teaching City” initiative

Durham College, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, the Canadian Urban Institute, and the CIty of Oshawa have partnered to help Oshawa become what Durham calls the world’s first “Teaching City.” The initiative would establish Oshawa as a city focused on experiential learning, applied research, and innovative teaching partnerships centred on urban issues. “Engaging our post-secondary institutions and other partners gives Oshawa a unique opportunity to work with the academic community in ways that will advance our City,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “The initiative signals Oshawa’s intent to continuously adapt and embrace new ideas to the benefit of our residents.” UOIT | Durham

NU law program set to go in the fall with 25 students

Nunavut’s first law program has finalized its first list of incoming students. Of 86 applicants, 25 have been admitted into the new four-year law program at Nunavut Arctic College to begin in September 2017. Of the 25 Nunavummiut, 18 are Inuit . On Monday, however, MLA for Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu Pat Angnakak reportedly challenged the alleged success of the enrolments, noting, “I imagine I am not the only person who is wondering why almost a third of the entering class are non-Inuit. Can the minister clarify why this is so?” NU Minister of Education Paul Quassa replied that the seven non-Inuit students enrolled in the program are all long-time residents of the territory. “Courses we develop are open to all Nunavummiut,” added Quassa. “The selection committee selects who will be participants and they look at them very carefully.” Nunatsiaq Online

Apprenticeships have “relevance built right in” for students

Postsecondary institutions need to embrace apprenticeships and the many benefits they can bring to students, writes Scott Carlson for the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Carlson argues that the traditional college track has given many students overwhelming debt instead of workplace skills, and discusses how apprenticeships can allow students to earn while they learn. The article examines trends in the US postsecondary sector related to apprenticeships, and looks at how several US colleges have integrated apprenticeships into their institutions. “If a student understands the relevance of what they are doing in their aspiration for work, then you've got them,” explains Colorado Department of Higher Education Executive Director Kim Hunter Reed, adding that apprenticeships “have the relevance built right in.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Canada 150 inspires hundreds of university events

Universities across Canada are hosting a variety of events to mark Canada’s 150th year, reports Salma Mahgoub for University Affairs. Some are hosting citizenship ceremonies, while others are collaborating with Canadian curators and contemporary artists to develop courses around the role of art in creating cross-cultural dialogue and inclusivity. While some events aim to deepen people’s connection to the land, Mahgoub reports, others look to explore the relationships on which Canada was built. “Our diverse past will inform some of these projects as they explore where we have been and why, while others will use this history as a catalyst to examine and assess our present and future situations as we look towards the next 150 years of Canadian history,” says Crystal Sissons, acting manager of SSHRC’s research grants and partnerships division. University Affairs

Deans must adapt to their growing role as fundraisers: Chronicle contributor

While not all deans will be involved in landing major gifts, most now play a part in PSE fundraising, according to Kathryn Masterson for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Masterson notes, however, that despite this increased fundraising role, “courting donors is not always a natural fit for deans.” Academic leaders may have very different skills than the ones that make advancement professionals successful, the author adds, arguing that listening to donors may conflict with the more traditional academic skills of imparting expertise. In addition, many deans have probably not learned the fundamentals of fundraising as part of their training. To this end, Masterson a series of tips on how deans can become better fundraisers. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)