Top Ten

September 7, 2017

Western offers Indigenous-focused campus housing

A group of 10 Indigenous students at Western University will have the opportunity to live on a residence floor “with an Indigenous focus” this year, reports CBC. Western’s housing department has partnered with Indigenous Services for the pilot project, which is designed to keep students connected to their roots by having them meet with elders every two weeks to learn Indigenous tradition, language, and history. The students will also participate in cultural ceremonial celebrations. “Western recognizes and values the significant historical and contemporary contributions of local and regional First Nations peoples and all of the original peoples,” says Peggy Wakabayashi, associate vice-president of housing at Western. “We're trying to celebrate and honour some of the Indigenous populations in our area and work closely with them.” CBC

UNB innovation program receives $1.25M from McCain Foundation

The University of New Brunswick has created a postdoctoral fellowship program focused on innovation thanks to a $1.25M gift from the McCain Foundation. A UNB release reports that the new McCain Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Innovation will aim to give PhD graduates the resources they need to transform their research into a product ready for market. These two- to three-year fellowships are valued at $50K per year and will be awarded competitively on an annual basis. “I wish to extend my thanks to The McCain Foundation for this exceptional gift,” says UNB President Eddy Campbell. “The [fellowships] will attract highly trained and experienced researchers who will promote and encourage vital partnerships between academia and industry with potential benefits for all Canadians.” UNB

CNA students will be able to finish respiratory therapy program with SAIT

The College of the North Atlantic says that up to 40 students who were enrolled in its respiratory therapy program will have the opportunity to finish their education with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Earlier this week, CNA finalized a memorandum of understanding with the Calgary-based SAIT to ensure that students enrolled in the college’s suspended respiratory therapy program will be able to finish their studies with SAIT at CNA’s Prince Philip Drive campus in St John’s, NL. CNA says that the partnership will enable students to complete their studies and graduate as SAIT students without any academic or financial impact. CBC | CNA

UPEI rethinks teaching in advance of new school year

Faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island are looking to adapt their teaching to a changing student body, reports CBC. This Tuesday, instructors from all departments came together to listen to presentations and discuss topics based on current trends and conversations about teaching on UPEI’s campus. “We can't just do things the way that we did 10 years ago,” said Gerald Wandio, program coordinator for the faculty development office, which hosted the event. “We have to find new ways of helping students learn. And this seemed a good opportunity to talk about it.” CBC notes that a main focus of this year’s event was inclusiveness, particularly in light of the increasing proportion of international students in UPEI’s student body. CBC

Exploring leadership opportunities after tenure

“The assumption that leadership equals an administrative position is an overly narrow definition and one that constrains thinking about posttenure pathways,” writes Kerry Ann Rockquemore in a piece that asks recently tenured professors to think of themselves as campus leaders. As the author notes, being a leader does not always mean becoming a dean or senior university executive. Rather, the author defines leadership simply as “using your strengths to work for change you care about in a meaningful and consistent way.” With this in mind, Rockquemore explores some of the “limiting beliefs” that can hold academics back from embracing leadership, offering tips for overcoming these beliefs by reconnecting with one’s core values. Inside Higher Ed

Concordia, exam supervisors' union to head to arbitration

The exam supervisors’ union at Concordia University has applied for arbitration for its first collective agreement after stating that it is dissatisfied with negotiations with Concordia’s management. Exam supervisors currently receive minimum wage, and the institution’s latest offer included a salary raise to $11.43/h for exam supervisors and $12.19/h for chief examination supervisors. However, union president Alexandre St-Onge-Perron has described the offered increase as an “insult.” La Presse highlights the recent successful agreement for salaried students at the Université de Montréal to receive a wage increase to $15/h. Concordia’s media relations department has only stated that negotiations are still underway. Montreal Gazette | La Presse

Teaching resistance in the classroom

“Surely I cannot be the only professor finishing up my syllabi and wondering how am I supposed to follow my regular lesson plans while there are literal Nazis marching on university campuses?” writes Karen Kelsky for Chronicle Vitae. The author argues that faculty from all disciplines must find ways to teach resistance to growing cultures of intolerance. But while she sees such resistance as an obvious part of a humanities or political science education, the author reaches out to other faculty for thoughts on how such teaching might apply to subjects like math or the life sciences. Kelsky concludes by offering tips on how to teach political resistance in the classroom. Chronicle Vitae

Boréal introduces three new programs in response to labour market trends

Collège Boréal has announced that it will introduce three new apprenticeship programs across 2017 and 2018 in response to the shortage of skilled workers in Ontario and across Canada. In 2017, Boréal will be offering a Plumbing Technician program in Sudbury and a Motive Power Technician – Truck and Coach program in Timmins. In 2018, an Integration Support Services Worker program will be offered online. “The apprenticeship program is a win-win formula,” stated Denis Brouillette, Boréal Manager of Apprenticeship Programs. “The apprentice benefits from a quality education while working a trade and the employer has the opportunity to train an employee and contribute to the education of the province’s future workforce.” Boréal (EN) | Boréal (FR)

NS students react to fastest-rising tuition in Canada

Students in Nova Scotia are speaking out about having to pay the fastest growing tuition fees in Canada. In a release, the NS chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students said undergraduate tuition fees have increased by an average rate of 5.6%. “These tuition fee hikes are slamming the door shut on a generation of learners,” said Aidan McNally, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. This year, average undergraduate tuition in Nova Scotia is $7.5K. The Canadian Federation of Students said that “drastic tuition fee increases” are made possible by the tuition fee market adjustment included in the current Memorandum of Understanding between the province and universities. Guelph Mercury

UWindsor, Laurentian reach agreements with unions

The University of Windsor and Laurentian University have each announced that they have reached agreements with their faculty and staff, respectively. UWindsor reached a tentative, four-year contract agreement with its faculty last Friday morning after four months of bargaining. CBC reports that the details of the deal have not yet been released, but WUFA President Jeff Noonan says that he is pleased with the agreement. Laurentian and LUSU, which represents 280 clerical and service staff, have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will see LUSU members receive economic wage increases. The agreement was reportedly reached 10 months ahead of schedule. Windsor Star | CBC (1) | CBC (2) | The Sudbury Star