Top Ten

July 17, 2017

CAUT reacts to Access Copyright v YorkU decision

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has deemed a recent federal ruling against York University to be a “setback for balanced copyright.” CAUT Executive Director David Robinson argues that fair dealing laws allow for the use of copyrighted works without permission from rights holders if the materials are used for research, education, and other specified purposes while meeting certain fairness standards. “It’s important that the education community work to preserve the principle of fair dealing and the rights of users to use copyrighted material for education and research,” Robinson says, noting that the CAUT is “very disappointed” with the court’s decision and that it hopes the decision will be appealed. YorkU has released a statement saying that it is also disappointed in the decision and that it will review the decision in the coming days before deciding how to move forward. CAUT | YorkU

Durham, UOIT student association apologizes for blocking pro-Israel group from event

An Ontario student association has apologized to a pro-Israel advocacy organization that was barred from a campus event last year. In a statement posted this week on its website, the student association of Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology said it regretted blocking Robert Walker, director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada, from participating in the school’s Social Justice Week in Spring 2016. “The SA sincerely apologizes to Mr. Walker and Hasbara,” the statement said. “The SA aims to promote healthy debate on campus and rejects discrimination of any kind, including against Israeli students or community members.” The apology was part of a negotiated settlement that was reached after Hasbara Fellowships filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The student association also said it would welcome Hasbara at future campus events. Globe and Mail

Dal student union faces pushback after boycott of Canada 150

The student union at Dalhousie University has faced criticism over its decision not to celebrate Canada or to partake in Canada 150 celebrations. CBC reports that in late June 2017, the Dalhousie Student Union passed a motion saying that it would not endorse Canada 150 or hold events for Canada Day on campus. Student union vice-president Alex Hughes told CBC that the decision was based on the recognition that Canada 150 celebrations constituted an act of colonialism. The decision drew harsh criticism from one Dal graduate student who wrote an opinion piece in the National Post last week, as well as from student council representative Mary MacDonald. Hughes told CBC that many of the student union's executive members ran on platforms of equity and inclusion and that the decision reflected a fulfilment of their mandate. CBC

UoGuelph Ridgetown campus to open Swine Education Centre

The University of Guelph has announced that it will create a 6,600-square-foot Swine Education Centre at its Ridgetown campus. A UoGuelph release states that the centre will be one of the most advanced swine learning facilities in Canada and will offer training and education for agriculture and veterinary technology students and industry producers. The project's $500K budget will be funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, with Ontario Pork contributing 20% of the budget. “Each semester, agriculture diploma students will have a significant number of experiential learning opportunities in the new facility, learning about the day-to-day operations and most recent production practices,” said Ridgetown Campus Director Ken McEwan. UoGuelph

How faculty mentorship can benefit from a networked approach

“Publications and awards may be the conventional metrics of success in academic careers, but that is not what ultimately nourishes most of us. What sustains faculty members are our relationships with others,” write Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra. The authors define mentors as those who believe in their younger colleagues, share knowledge, help find solutions, and listen when needed. They note, however, that one person cannot be all things to all people, which is why they advocate for departments to foster networks of mentors to give pupils and younger colleagues the benefit of many different perspectives and areas of expertise. To this end, the authors offer a series of tips to create day-to-day structures that encourage mentoring, such as a fund to pay for mentor-mentee meals, different matching programs for teaching mentors and research mentors, and the creation of thematic research groups. Inside Higher Ed

Laurentian student starts “cultural camp” for non-Indigenous youth

A Laurentian University student from the Wikwemikong First Nation is working to create a cultural camp on Ontario’s Manitoulin Island for non-Indigenous youth. Laurentian student Kaella-Marie Earle says that the camp, which is set to open at the beginning of August, aims to “change the narrative for Canadians on Indigenous cultures, values and humanitarian issues. If we can teach the culture to non-Indigenous youth, it will help strengthen relationships between Canadians and help inspire policy makers to address these calls to action.” Earle tells CBC that she has recruited an Indigenous professor and an elder for the camp. She adds that the camp is also open to Indigenous people who have lost touch with their culture and traditions. CBC

CNC provides public with free fire suppression training in light of BC wildfires

In response to the ongoing wildfire situation in British Columbia and the needs of the surrounding communities, the College of New Caledonia has developed a S100 Basic Fire Suppression & Safety Training Course for the public. The program has no prerequisites, and all costs have been absorbed by the college to increase access. “One of CNC’s strengths is our ability to create relevant programs that meet our communities’ needs,” said Acting Director of Community & Continuing Education, Alison Anderson. “Our strong partnerships with community agencies and instructors enabled us to work quickly and pull this together.” The 14-hour BC Forest Service course covers the basic knowledge of wildfire behaviour, wildland fire suppression, and safety procedures. CNC

VIU offers grad-level business program for those with no formal business training

Vancouver Island University has introduced a new graduate-level program that looks to give students with no formal business education the knowledge they need to run a successful business. The Graduate Certificate in Business is a one-year, three-semester program that provides students with the skills to launch their own businesses or move into management positions. “It’s for people who did their undergraduate degree in something other than business who are moving into management roles, such as arts, humanities or social sciences graduates, or people with their Red Seal who want to start up their own business, like an automotive shop or bakery,” says Tracy Gillis, a VIU Accounting Professor and program lead. “A cutting-edge feature of this program is the direct pathway for Red Seal holders. As far as I know, there isn’t anything like it in BC.” VIU

Northlands will cover books, tuition for NORTEP students, housing concerns remain

Northlands College has announced that it will pay for tuition and book expenses for the 51 transfer students who were previously funded by the Northern Teacher Education Program Council Inc. “Although we have recently been made aware of some of the decisions, the Northlands College Board feels that the waiting has gone on long enough, and what we are announcing today is the most that we can do to help the students at this time,” said Northlands board chair Deborah Charles. “We hope this reduces the stress they have been feeling.” CBC reports that student housing remains a concern for the transfer students. Saskatoon StarPhoenix | CBC

Government funding accounts for 49% of revenues for degree-granting institutions: StatCan update

Statistics Canada has released a report of the 2015/2016 financial information of 150 university and degree-granting colleges. The report states that government funding remains the largest source of revenue for institutions, accounting for 49.1% of all revenues for 2015/2016. Provincial funding, however, decreased between these years from 41.5% to 39.1%. Tuition and other fees were found to make up a growing proportion of revenue, with an increase of $328.8M from 2014/2015 to 2015/2016. The report further notes that the largest share of expenditures goes towards staff compensation, and that capital spending has declined as a percentage of expenditures. StatCan