Top Ten

August 3, 2017

CBU officials “furious” over Acadia bailout

CBC reports that Cape Breton University officials are “furious” after learning that Acadia University has received $24.5M in bailout money from the province since 2012-2013, given that its own requests for help were rebuffed. “Our university's loss was just about on par with that of Acadia and, in fact, represents a higher percentage loss of provincial funding support,” said CBU Board Chair Robert Sampson. “The implications for our university have been very challenging.” Sampson and CBU President Dale Keefe have stated that they are seeking a meeting with NS Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis as soon as possible. CBC

RRC to build new Smart Factory, expand aerospace centre with $10M investment

Red River College has announced that it will create a new Smart Factory and expand its Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training with the support of $10M from the Canadian government. The investment will come from Western Economic Diversification Canada and will be disbursed over the next five years. The investment will be bolstered by in-kind contributions of $4.5M and $1.2M from StandardAero and RRC,  respectively. The Smart Factory will offer an applied research space, experiential learning facility, and technology demonstration site that feature emerging technologies such as robotics, automation, additive manufacturing, high-speed robotic inspection, and industrial networking. “This expansion is going to have far-reaching impacts across the province and will be able to serve both the aerospace and non-aerospace industries through direct access to the College’s equipment, facilities and expertise,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. RRC | Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription Required)

Surviving an environment of austerity requires trying new techniques

“How can you as an individual make a decent living in a profession that was never all that lucrative in the first place and is likely to get less-so in the future?” asks history professor Jonathan Rees in Chronicle Vitae. The answer, Rees says, is to avoid doing the “same old thing” in the classroom. The author highlights how taking advantage of professional development opportunities and trying out different teaching methods can help professors become better teachers and stay ahead of the curve. Chronicle Vitae

UNB students head to Cape Breton to exhume bodies before historic graveyard falls into the ocean

A group of anthropology students from the University of New Brunswick have been called upon to assist in the excavation of a 300-year-old graveyard in Cape Breton before the site falls into the Atlantic Ocean. The 12 students have been exhuming artifacts and remains from the burial ground just outside the gates of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. The five-year project will document and protect the burial grounds at Rochefort Point, where the shoreline has retreated about 90 metres over the past three centuries. Parks Canada adviser David Ebert says that five sets of skeletal remains have been uncovered so far. Global News

Examining the impact of the UniverCity

“The quaint notion of the ivory tower is dead, as city schools take on a baronlike stewardship over surrounding neighborhoods to help shore up their fiscal stability in times of economic change,” declares Davarian Baldwin of the Chronicle of Higher Education. To this end, Baldwin examines the impact of urban campuses on their cities – dubbed “UniverCities” – to determine the negative and positive aspects of this impact. Baldwin concludes that “if colleges and universities are going to be the new company in our ‘company towns,’ then campus stakeholders, neighborhood residents, and city leaders must be at the table, in an equal way, for transparent discussions about how higher-education institutions can best serve as a public good.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Aboriginal Mentorship Program at Lakehead receives $1M

Lakehead University has received $1M from the Joyce Family Foundation to support a program that mentors Indigenous high school students from Northwestern Ontario. The Aboriginal Mentorship Program allows high school students to visit Lakehead's Thunder Bay campus to engage in a number of activities that include touring the school's Paleo DNA and chemistry labs, learning about the human body using the School of Nursing and Northern Ontario School of Medicine manikins, and performing archaeological digs on campus. “The Joyce Family Foundation’s gift is more than a financial gift,” said President Brian Stevenson. “The Joyce family has made an investment in the future generations of Indigenous students by providing Lakehead University’s AMP program with the means to continue to make their university dreams possible.” Lakehead

KPU offers new medicinal chemistry minor

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has announced that it is offering a new minor in medicinal chemistry that will train students in the processes of drug discovery and development. The first course in the minor, Natural Products Chemistry, will be offered this fall and will teach students about chemical compounds found in natural sources. Other courses in the program will cover drug discovery, design and development, and modern alchemy, such as nuclear and radiochemistry. Students will also learn about the chemical techniques and instruments used in a modern medicinal and analytical chemistry laboratory. “This minor will give our students the opportunity to stand out in their field by enhancing their KPU degree with specialized knowledge about the exploding industry of pharmaceuticals," says Elizabeth Worobec, dean of the Faculty of Science and Horticulture. KPU

Ransomware attacks increase, yet accidental breaches remain significant source of data loss

Ransomware attacks across Canada rose 50% in the first half of 2017 compared to 2016, but accidental breaches also accounted for more than one quarter of all breaches. Those are the findings of a recent report published in Canadian Underwriter. The report found that in the higher education sector, unintended disclosures caused 26% of breaches in the first half of 2017. While slightly down from the 28% recorded in the first half of 2016, “this still represents a quarter of all breaches which could be mitigated through more effective controls and processes,” said the report’s authoring company, Beazley. Hacks and malware accounted for nearly half of higher education data breaches in the first six months of 2017 (43%), which was roughly even with the 45% of breaches caused by hacking in the same period in 2016. Of these, 41% were due to phishing. Canadian Underwriter

Carleton offers math refresher for incoming students

Carleton University will be offering a week-long math refresher program for students entering their first year in order to ensure that students are prepared for a successful school year. The program, called Math Matters, is open to students entering a degree program with a strong math component, such as Architectural Studies, Commerce, Engineering, Health Sciences, or International Business. The week-long program will allow first-year students to revisit math concepts and meet other students, as well as provide the knowledge, strategies, and support required to thrive in first-year math courses. Carleton

Staying positive on the job market in the face of constant rejection

“There is a lot of information out there on how to nail a job interview, but no one really likes to talk about what happens when you don’t,” writes Elizabeth Franks. The author notes that failing to land a job after multiple interviews with different organizations can create a cycle of excitement and disappointment that is devastating for many job seekers. For this reason, Franks offers advice on how to accept rejection, address the issue, and move forward. “Job seekers may even face a cycle of rejection that can derail their entire hunt. My hope is that you take these tips and resist giving up or giving in,” the author concludes. Inside Higher Ed