Top Ten

September 27, 2017

McGill School of Architecture to build stronger ties with China thanks to landmark gift

McGill University says that it will transform its teaching and research while building stronger ties to China, thanks to a gift of $12M to the university's School of Architecture. McGill alumnus Peter Guo-hua Fu, who has helped design several buildings in Shanghai, will reportedly donate the funds over six years.  Upon the donation's announcement, Fu said that his time at McGill was “a transformative part of my life,” and that he wants to give back to “the students of today and tomorrow.” To thank Fu for his donation, McGill will rename the school the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture. A McGill release reports that the donation will allow the university to create a range of fellowships, scholarships, and research opportunities, including an exchange agreement with Tongji University in Shanghai. Montreal Gazette

UManitoba would need to pay $9.4M if it loses unfair labour practice case

The University of Manitoba says that it will need to pay $9.4M if it loses an unfair labour practice case to its employees. The case in question concerns how the university’s conduct in its last round of collective bargaining with faculty was linked to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister’s public-sector wage controls. “In the event that the University of Manitoba Faculty Association is successful in (its) complaint, the unfair labour practice charge being heard at the Manitoba Labour Board could result in a cost of $9.4 million to the university,” states a financial report tabled at Tuesday's board of governors meeting. UMFA president Janet Morrill said Monday that the union has not made its own calculation of damages. “We would get the value of any damages awarded by the labour board. If the value of those damages is different than $9.4 million, that would be the amount we would be entitled to,” she said. Winnipeg Free Press

UPEI receives funding for revenue-generating science equipment

The University of Prince Edward Island is set to buy roughly $820K worth of new bioscience equipment, which the university says will help produce new revenues for the school in collaboration with private companies. The funds will specifically be used to purchase a piece of equipment that will allow a UPEI researcher to examine the chemical makeup of materials in the making of natural health products. A second piece of equipment will be used by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) to provide detailed toxicology testing on fish and mammals to detect pesticides, toxins, and antibiotics that could be harmful for human consumption. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will provide the majority of the funds at $621K, while UPEI and the AVC is covering the remaining $200K or so. CBC

Gender, race influence decision to run for student union positions: UAlberta study

Gender plays a major role in PSE students’ decisions to run for student government, according to new research out of the University of Alberta. The department of research and political affairs at the school’s Students' Union released a study Friday showing that women at the university are just as likely as men to be interested in seeking elected positions, but much less likely to become candidates. Between 2005 and 2016, only 25% of executive candidates at the school were women, and 2010 to 2014 saw no women elected to the union's five-member executive team. Women in the study often reported feeling they did not have the time, knowledge, or confidence to run. Women also frequently reported concerns over their appearance, while male candidates rarely reported this as a concern. Hamilton Spectator

How BC universities are preparing for marijuana legalization

University and college campuses across British Columbia will need to rethink their smoking policies in preparation for the proposed legalization of marijuana in July 2018, reports Global News. Smoking policies are different for each BC campus, which has caused stakeholders to worry that the policies at some schools will not be strong enough when marijuana is introduced. One of these stakeholders is the Canadian Cancer Society, whose Advocacy Lead Jenny Byford notes that “in comparison to many municipalities across the province university and college campuses are actually falling short in their tobacco control policies…We would encourage that university and college campuses have the same regulations… wherever smoking is prohibited that smoking cannabis is also prohibited.” Global News

UMontréal receives $11M to enhance Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are investing $11M in a project at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Saint-Hyacinthe. The faculty will use the funds to repurpose vacant office spaces and decommissioned labs to consolidate research spaces under the umbrella of the Centre intégré des maladies infectieuses animales (CIMIA). A federal release notes that this investment will allow the institution to better support the scientific community, as well as research and training in animal production and food safety. “Our faculty plays a leading role in Quebec’s agri-food technocity, and upgrading the Centre intégré des maladies infectieuses animales will help strengthen this leadership, benefiting all citizens,” said UMontréal Rector Guy Breton. Canada

GBC culinary and hospitality students to benefit from $7M investment

George Brown College is looking to bolster Canada’s food and beverage sector with the support of a $7M investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and matching contributions from GBC, donors, and industry. The college says that it has used the funds to expand its Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Toronto. The spaces include a dedicated Industry Research Demonstration Kitchen; a Large Quantity Bake Lab; a Beverage Lab; and a Large Quantity Culinary Lab. “This expansion will allow the Centre to continue to enhance its excellent reputation for culinary teaching, while ensuring students receive career training in state-of-the-art facilities, so they’re ready to hit the ground running in the workplace,” said Lorraine Trotter, Dean of the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. GBC

Including Indigenous knowledge in the classroom 

“There is a new duty felt by teachers at all levels of our education system to make good on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) calls to action, creating both a critically important opportunity and an unease about our preparedness,” writes Kathleen Gallagher. The author notes that in order to truly address the TRC’s calls to action, instructors need to think about the process of reconciliation as a personal journey as much as a curricular adjustment. To this end, Gallagher reflects on some of the events and resources that have caused her to expand and rethink her ideas about Indigenization and decolonization in PSE. “Those of us who teach have our own trek on this path to a different and better Canada,” the author concludes. “Guided by humility about what we don’t know and listening carefully to those who do, will keep us on a good path.” University Affairs

St Catharines City Council looks to target student housing with new bylaw

“We’re putting you on notice,” says St Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik to landlords who operate student housing in the city. In a meeting this Monday, St Catharines city council unanimously passed the mayor’s motion directing city staff to prepare a report and a draft bylaw that will regulate and license rental housing in the city. The bylaw will specifically target student housing in residential neighbourhoods and will reportedly crack down on noise and partying. The city is modelling the draft bylaw on the City of Oshawa’s residential rental housing licence and student accommodation strategy. Mayor Sendzik says that Oshawa’s bylaw has been tested all the way to the Supreme Court and emerged victorious against resistance from the city’s landlords. The bylaw has reportedly also been adopted by other Ontario communities such as London, Waterloo, and Peterborough. St Catharines Standard

MUN adopts Indigenous land acknowledgement at beginning of events

Staff and students at Memorial University are looking to support the work of reconciliation by featuring a declaration of Indigenous land claims at the beginning of on-campus events. “We respectfully acknowledge the territory in which we gather as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and the island of Newfoundland as the ancestral homelands of the Mi'kmaq and Beothuk,” the declaration states. Catharyn Andersen, MUN president Gary Kachanoski's special advisor on Aboriginal affairs, says that the statement was drafted in consultation with Aboriginal organizations in the province, adding, “I think it's important that we put that into our consciousness and remember that.” CBC