Top Ten

August 8, 2017

Dal Student Union opening support centre, relaunching helpline

The Dalhousie Student Union will open a support centre for survivors of sexual violence this September, and will re-launch a 24/7 helpline service that was previously suspended due to a lack of funding. CBC reports that, through a student levy passed early this year, each Dalhousie student will contribute $2.50 towards covering the costs of the centre and helpline. “We're looking at advocacy, education and support,” said union president Amina Abawajy. “The main purpose of the centre is to combat rape culture on campus and to create a culture shift.” The union hopes to have an office open on campus when students return in September. CBC

OPSEU calls for September strike for ON college faculty

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a strike vote for faculty at Ontario public colleges in the second week of September. A release states that, under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act, the OLRB is responsible for scheduling a strike vote when requested by a bargaining union. “Our colleges have played a vital role in providing access to education for the past 50 years,” said OPSEU President Warren Thomas. “But to make sure they can continue to do this for the next 50, there are some serious problems to be addressed.” The current OPSEU collective agreement is set to expire at the end of September. Newswire

Slow apologies from presidents stem from need to process information, personal ego

For postsecondary institution presidents, apologizing for a misstep “isn’t as simple as saying ‘I’m sorry’,” writes Rick Seltzer for Inside Higher Ed. Seltzer writes that slow apologies tend to be rooted in the need to process information and weigh risks to the institution before formulating a sincere apology, as well as the “human element” of personal ego that makes it difficult for many highly successful leaders to apologize for their actions. The article discusses the complexity of the decision making process behind a public apology, and examines a number of recent gaffes at US institutions, the president’s response or lack thereof, and the ensuing public response. Inside Higher Ed

BCCSU, UBC launch training program for opioid treatment prescribers

The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine and the BC Centre for Substance Use have partnered on the launch of the Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program. The program combines an online learning program with one-on-one, in-person preceptorships for all health care professionals currently prescribing opioid agonist therapies. “Evidence-based training in combination with clinical practice will ensure prescribers are well-positioned to provide safe, effective, and compassionate treatment,” says Cheyenne Johnson, Director of Clinical Activities and Development at the BCCSU. “Additionally, this program will improve access and provincial capacity for opioid agonist education for health professionals across the province.” UBC

SMU Sobey School of Business launches Sell Beyond Borders program

Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business has announced the launch of a Sell Beyond Borders program that will help entrepreneurs and companies looking to sell to new Canadian and international markets. The program will help companies to identify new markets, determine their sales approach, and understand the cultural nuances and skills needed for global market strategy. “This program directly aligns with our mission statement,” said Sobey School of Business Dean Patricia Bradshaw. “Sell Beyond Borders enables our entrepreneurial businesses and communities to grow, increasing prosperity across our region. It supports initiatives and priorities of the Atlantic Canadian provincial and federal government in supporting more Atlantic Canadian companies to be successful players in the global marketplace.” SMU

TWU case to return to courts with additional court time, intervener groups

In what the Aldergrove Star describes as an unusual step for the Supreme Court of Canada, the Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has varied a decision made by Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner and allotted two days for the Trinity Western University law school appeal in order to allow all 26 applicant groups to act as interveners. The Globe and Mail explains Wagner came under fire after rejecting the four LGBTQ groups that applied to intervene, under the belief that others among the 9 accepted applicants were able to represent the views of LGBTQ advocates. In response, the Supreme Court of Canada explained in a release that “Chief Justice and Justice Wagner discussed the matter and agreed that all applicants could be now given the right to intervene.” Aldergrove Star | Globe and Mail Supreme Court of Canada

Fanshawe partners with craft brewer for student course

Fanshawe College and the Fanshawe Student Union have announced a partnership with Railway City Brewing Company in St Thomas, ON that will give students enrolled in Fanshawe’s School of Tourism and Hospitality the opportunity to learn about the brewery business. “This is an amazing industry connection and partnership that reinforces in-class learning with real-life experiential learning,” says Fanshawe School of Tourism and Hospitality Chair James Smith. Students will learn about running a brewery, from marketing and promotions to packaging and the brewing process. The college will also launch the Fanshawe Legacy Lager, made by Railway City Brewery, in celebration of its 50th anniversary. London Free Press | Fanshawe

Reevaluating the claim that universities teach critical thinking skills

Are universities successful in teaching graduates critical thinking, and is critical thinking as valuable an asset to employers as has been historically assumed? John Gill and Dave Matthews of Times Higher Education raise both of these questions in a challenge of the “unique selling point most commonly cited” by universities. Gill notes that while the attributes tied to critical thinking “sound like must-haves in a changing world of work,” students tend to view other aspects of their undergraduate experience as more valuable. Matthews further highlights how a time-pressed workplace may not be as interested in critical thinking as other skills, and touches on the other skills and personality traits needed in the workplace. The writers conclude by calling on universities to examine these concerns and investigate whether or not their courses are successful in changing how students think. Times Higher Education (Subscription required) | Times Higher Education (Subscription required)

UBC Indigenous education pioneer reflects on Indigenizing the academy, hopes for future

Jo-Ann Archibald, former associate dean for Indigenous Education at the University of British Columbia, reflects on several decades of work in Indigenizing the education system in Canada, and the importance of continuing to do so. Archibald discusses her experiences both in the K-12 and postsecondary education systems in attempting to increase Indigenous student enrolment, improve student supports, and introduce relevant curriculum. Archibald then goes on to outline the work that still needs to be done in improving graduation rates, increasing the number of Indigenous faculty members and teachers in all levels of public education, and improving how K-12 teachers are prepared to talk about colonization and the impact on Indigenous people. The Tyee

CBU to receive funds from provincial government in wake of disclosure of Acadia funding 

The Nova Scotia government has stated that it has committed to providing additional funds to Cape Breton University. The National Post notes that the announcement comes days after public accounts documents revealed that Acadia University had received $10.5M in additional appropriations in the last fiscal year. A spokesperson for NS Minister of Advanced Education Labi Kousoulis stated that the decision to provide additional funds to CBU was made in June, though CBU board members say that they had not known about this additional funding. Kousoulis states that Acadia and CBU were the only institutions negatively impacted by an operating grant change in 2008, and that the government opted to “adjust their base funding … going forward.” National Post