Top Ten

June 9, 2017

SK launches Co.Labs, province’s first technology incubator

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has announced that the province will be developing its first technology incubator, called Co.Labs, which will provide early-stage technology startups with the necessary skills, mentorship, and support for building and growing a technology company. “Initiatives like the Saskatchewan Commercialization Innovation Incentive (“Patent Box”) which is the first of its kind in North America, will help us reach this goal,” said Wall. “As our province’s first technology incubator, Co.Labs will support growth in the technology sector by helping prepare startups for future success and create jobs and opportunity for young people in Saskatchewan.” A release states that the incubator’s model was developed through consultation with academia, government, existing start-ups, and private industry. 


Bishop’s “out of survival mode” with $4M funding boost

Bishop’s University has received a $4M funding boost from the Government of Quebec, reports CBC. “This additional money will allow us to have a balanced budget, but not necessarily to reduce the accumulated deficit,” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom. The university has reportedly operated at a deficit for the last 3 years, and Bishop’s Interim Vice-President of Finance Isabelle Goyette states that the institution has been pushing the province to correct the uneven distribution of funds for years. Goldboom explains that Bishop’s has also filed a recovery plan that outlines reduced expenses and plans to increase in revenues through improved student recruitment.

CBC La Presse

Dal Arts Centre expansion names Sarah McLachlan honorary celebrity chair

Dalhousie University has drawn on musician Sarah McLachlan to help raise money for a new 300-seat, $27.7M expansion to the Dalhousie Arts Centre. McLachlan was also named the honorary celebrity chair of the project. The three-storey addition would include a new “jewel of a concert hall,” and increase teaching and practice spaces. “Having this cabinet of performing artists supporting the idea that this is valued, that this is necessary, not just for the training of artists, but also that it's going to be something that will contribute productively to the whole community, I think is excellent,” commented Jacqueline Warwick, director of Dal's Fountain School of Performing Arts.


Three pitfalls to avoid when determining higher ed marketing ROI

When measuring the ROI of marketing efforts, there are three common pitfalls that groups fall into, writes Mallory Wood for Inside Higher Ed: operating without measuring any metrics, measuring the wrong metrics, or trying to measure too many metrics. The article outlines the importance of following a select handful of metrics in order to have data for making evidence-based decisions, ensuring that these metrics are directly related to the ROI of institutional initiatives, and focusing on the most valuable metrics. The author notes that deciding what to measure is often easier than overcoming the excuses for not measuring ROI properly in the first place. 

Inside Higher Ed

UVic developing properties to meet housing issues

The University of Victoria will be redeveloping three of its properties in downtown Victoria to create housing and rental units, as well as commercial spaces, reports the Globe and Mail. One of the properties will be developed into a 52-unit rental complex that UVic will use to address any shortages in on-campus living quarters. “This proposal is intended to provide housing downtown, including for UVic students, increase UVic’s downtown real-estate investments, as well as enhance the future returns of a donation that was intended to provide ongoing financial support to UVic,” explained Peter Kuran, president of UVic Properties.

Globe and Mail

Organizational change takes a willingness to challenge the status quo

“I am always surprised to find people who would rather settle for discomfort than challenge the status quo, especially when challenging it is a relatively risk-free option,” writes Allison Vaillancourt for Chronicle Vitae. Vaillancourt reflects on an institutional meeting where “according to those doing the bulk of the talking, we are sinking fast and there is nothing to be done about it.” She notes that this assumption typically stems from a lack of understanding of organizational change and the misconception that only those in leadership positions can make change. To enact change, the author recommends identifying and confirming an issue, determining possible solutions, identifying a person with the power to make a change, and convincing this person that making the change is in their self-interest. “When you are told change is impossible, ask ‘why?’ - over and over again,” concludes Vaillancourt.

Chronicle Vitae

Capilano leases residences and dining hall

Capilano University will soon be able to offer student housing off-campus, which North Shore News says will be the first time in its history that the institution has offered student housing. “We have listened to our students and are taking action to respond to their needs,” stated CapilanoU President Paul Dangerfield. “To date, a significant impediment to the growth of our student population is the lack of accessible, affordable student housing on or near our campus. CapU Residence is our first step towards addressing our students’ appeals for affordable housing.” The university has leased the property and buildings at a site that was originally developed as an international school campus. The site has three dormitory buildings and a dining hall, which CapilanoU hopes to have available for the 2017/2018 academic year.

North Shore News

Improving cabinet working habits and collaboration with administration

In a reflection on the frustrations that can arise between senior administration and their cabinets, Peter Eckel outlines how a cabinet can avoid their most common shortcomings. In particular, Eckel recommends that presidents and their cabinets take time to periodically examine the senior team’s practices, create an appropriate senior team structure that fits the institution’s needs, develop intentional efforts as a team, and deliberately focus on spending collective time wisely. Finally, the article discusses the importance of ensuring that these changes develop into entrenched habits, and of periodically evaluating how well these new habits are working for the leadership team.

Inside Higher Ed

ON colleges launch local food procurement pilot projects

Four Ontario colleges are launching pilot projects that will see more locally grown food available for students on campus. The local food procurement initiative is being led by Mohawk College, and will see Algonquin College, Collège Boréal, Fleming College, and Humber College attempt to both replicate and validate the initiatives used at Mohawk and develop new initiatives. “With support from the Government Ontario through the Local Food Investment Fund, Mohawk College is leading the way in making it easier for college students across Ontario to choose fresh, local food,” stated Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal. “When public institutions embrace local, they are strengthening their communities and supporting the powerhouse agri-food sector in Ontario.”


Minimizing scope creep through team, project management


“Scope creep is a common occurrence in higher ed,” writes Deborah Maue for Inside Higher Ed. However, Maue asserts that a project leader can minimize scope creep through initiatives such as keeping the project team as small as possible and clearly defining each team member’s role. The article goes on to add that agreeing on the objectives of a project; writing a project brief that includes the objectives, strategies, timeline, responsibilities, budget, and key issues; and breaking the project into phases can also help limit project creep so that you can obtain your goals.


Inside Higher Ed