Top Ten

July 18, 2017

The damaging narratives about senior women in PSE: Berdahl

The labels and narratives placed on senior women in academia have not changed significantly since a generation ago, writes University of British Columbia Professor Jennifer Berdahl. Writing for the Georgia Straight, the author recounts moments in her early career when she believed and reinforced some of the damaging stories that were told about the senior women with whom she worked. The author notes that as she climbed the institutional ranks, she noticed that she was becoming the subject of many of the same narratives that had been applied to other senior women. Berdahl concludes by asking, “how do we stop this generational cycle so that women's wings aren't clipped as soon as they approach the power to soar?” Georgia Straight

BrandonU hires group behind UWinnipeg redevelopment to lead downtown transformation

Brandon University announced last week that it has hired the group behind the University of Winnipeg’s campus transformation to lead the public consultation process for BrandonU’s revitalization of nearly 70,000 square feet of downtown Brandon real estate. The project will see BrandonU work with the non-profit University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corp and its related organization, UWCRC 2.0. The organizations, which are incorporated separately from UWinnipeg, will use community advice to inform the conceptual plan for seven parcels of land that BrandonU has slated for development. BrandonU has reportedly expressed interest in creating “"new-concept student residences” in downtown Brandon, as well as lodgings for seniors. The residential component of the project will be coupled with academic spaces and possible commercial development. Brandon Sun | BrandonU

Researchers identify trends transforming international student mobility

In an examination of the many events and factors influencing international student mobility, the Institute of International Education (IIE) has identified ten trends of particular interest. These include the influence of shifting global demographics, such as life expectancy and fertility; the value of an institution’s brand and prestige to the graduate; and a renewed focus on the student experience in light of the difficulty to differentiate between institutions that offer a quality education. “It is useful to know that we do have access to data and information on which to base strategies, that there are trends impervious to political changes, and that the future may not be so difficult to predict after all,” notes Anna Esaki-Smith for Times Higher EducationTimes Higher Education | Report

Former UAlberta president’s compensation package draws CAUT criticism

The common practice of offering paid administrative leave to university presidents has garnered recent criticism from the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Speaking to the executive compensation of former University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera, CAUT Executive Director David Robinson argues that paid leave has “been obviously distorted recently, and seen as a perk, and a way of attracting people to the job.” Robinson argues that the original purpose of paid leave was to give professors time to re-enter their research activities after serving in an administrative role. UAlberta’s board of governors has stated that Samarasekera returned to research after serving as president and pursued “select academic activities” during her leave. Edmonton Journal

Renaming Ryerson will only cover up Canada’s ugly past: Wright

“The push among social justice advocates to erase the names of those involved in unsavoury parts of Canadian history is a misguided way to deal with our past,” writes Angela Wright for CBC. Wright highlights recent calls to rename Ryerson University as an example of how social justice advocates risk erasing Canada’s colonial past when the goal is to call attention to it. Wright argues that if Ryerson were given a new name, the school “would no longer have to make a statement about or acknowledge Egerton Ryerson’s legacy and influence. The conversation would disappear.” Wright offers suggestions on how institutions across Canada can better highlight the colonial impact of historical figures without “stripping away reminders” of this history. CBC

Knowledge translation as remedy to grad school mental health issues

“When we explain what we do, we learn who we are,” writes Ardon Shorr in a reflection on how learning to translate academic knowledge for non-academic audiences can be an antidote to the mental health challenges of grad school. One of the main reasons cited for depression among grad students is academic disengagement, Shorr notes, which is why it is imperative for grad students to remain in touch with the core motives that brought them to grad school. Further, learning to connect with non-academic audiences can help prepare grad students for non-academic careers, which Shorr notes is a stressful reality facing many of these students today. Chronicle of Higher Education

In an age of polarization, campuses must encourage intellectual diversity

“Colleges and universities have long been the screens upon which groups project their own fears and anxieties,” writes Michael Roth for Inside Higher Ed. The article reflects on recent survey findings on the deep polarization of opinions around whether or not colleges have a positive impact on the country. To this end, the article explores how objections and support from people who hold a variety of perspectives are in fact signs of intellectual diversity. Roth goes on to encourage others in higher ed to combat the desire to view colleges “as places where like-minded people go to become more alike” in their beliefs. Inside Higher Ed

Dal med school admissions might dissuade Indigenous, African-Canadian applicants: report

The admissions process at Dalhousie University’s medical school might be partly to blame for the school’s difficulties in attracting African-Canadian and Indigenous students, according to the finding of a review committee. A 12-page report submitted by the committee to the school’s dean in August 2016 has just been made public, and in it, the committee “speculates that potential candidates from diverse backgrounds might not apply because of an apprehension of bias against them within the admissions process.” The report also found that Dal’s admissions committee placed too much weight on the medical college admission test (MCAT) and on the grade-point average of candidates, which Committee Chair Gus Grant says are not particularly good measures of one’s ability to practise medicine. CBC

UVic receives quarter-million-dollar investment for running track

The running track at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium will be resurfaced with the support of a $254K federal investment. With an overall budget of $694K, the project is expected to be complete by mid-August 2017. The track’s renewal is a priority project for the university, as it is the primary track facility for the Greater Victoria community and is enjoyed by elite athletes, as well as school children, teams and clubs. “Centennial Stadium’s running track is a key part of the UVic campus and community,” said Director of UVic Vikes Athletics and Recreation Clint Hamilton. “The support from the Canada 150 community infrastructure program is going to ensure that both the legacy of excellence previously achieved and yet to be achieved can continue for our entire Vikes community for many years to come.” UVic

TRU nursing receives seven-year approval from CRNBC

Thompson Rivers University’s School of Nursing has received the highest available approval from the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia Education Program Review Committee. “The School of Nursing is very pleased to receive notification that the CRNBC has granted seven years’ recognition for the registered nurse qualifying theory and practice courses in psychiatric/mental health and perinatal nursing offered by the School of Nursing through Open Learning,” said Dean of the School of Nursing, Donna Murnaghan. “This is significant because it’s the longest period of recognition offered by the CRNBC.” TRU