Top Ten

September 28, 2017

CBU says provincial budget fails to address funding shortfall

Cape Breton University says that the most recent Nova Scotia budget does not address a longstanding funding imbalance that has affected the school. While the new budget includes an additional $1M for CBU, the school maintains that it lost roughly $5.9M in 2008-2011, when the NS government's funding formula changed. Since that time, fellow NS institution Acadia University has reportedly received roughly $24.5M to help offset its costs. “For Cape Breton University to get a fair treatment, and for the Cape Breton community to have a fair treatment, we think it should be on the order of about a $3-million annual increase,” said CBU President Dale Keefe. CBC

Universities looking to early connections to support international students

“Universities are boosting the services of their international centres and connecting earlier” in response to growing international enrolments, writes Suzanne Bowness. Some of these earlier connections include airport pickups, special orientation sessions, and ongoing events designed to integrate international students into the campus community. Some schools have also begun offering pre-departure orientation sessions to both international students and their parents before these students arrive in Canada. The author offers examples of how a number of universities are working to make the transition to Canadian PSE as smooth as possible. University Affairs

ON college faculty union seeks strike date amidst negotiations

The union representing 12,000 Ontario college faculty is seeking a strike date as talks with the province’s colleges are still ongoing. Last week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said that it had requested a “no board” report along with a conciliator in an effort to “trigger real negotiations.” The colleges’ bargaining team leader Sonia Del Missier, however, has responded that “continued threats by the union to strike are not going to help us reach a negotiated settlement. The union repeatedly states that it wants to avoid a strike. Yet, after just two days of bargaining (last week), the union chose to start the strike countdown clock.” The two sides continued bargaining this Monday. Toronto Star

The importance of being intentionally naïve

“Sometimes I have to remember to forget,” writes Matt Reed, adding that “experience has its undeniable virtues. … But if you’re not careful, it can also get in the way.” The author notes that professionals can often fall into the habit of poking holes in new ideas before they have a chance to get off the ground, adding that the ability to suspend one’s critical negativity can be crucial to preserving a sense of optimism and creativity in the workplace. Reed adds that giving oneself permission to suspend disbelief requires one to let go of grievances that are no longer productive in order to “generate that naivete that allows breathing room for real progress.” Inside Higher Ed

BC ministry announces launch of Study North BC brand

The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has announced the launch of the Study North BC brand, a new campaign to promote PSE in the province’s north. The campaign includes a robust website, downloadable student handbooks and video media, and guidelines on how it will encourage a greater number of students to choose Northern BC as a study destination. The campaign is a collaborative branding initiative led by the Northern Post-Secondary Council, with representation from the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, Northwest Community College, the University of Northern British Columbia, and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. A Study North BC release notes that the campaign also seeks to raise awareness about the world-class education and lifestyle available in the region.

UWinnipeg gym rules face pushback for alleged discrimination

New gym hours at the University of Winnipeg reserved for women and some members of the LGBTTQ* community are being called discriminatory, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. Student Joel Olfert argues that the changes implemented this Monday, while well-intentioned, are creating a culture of exclusion at the school. The new rules set aside 17 hours per week during which specific gym facilities will be reserved for women and those who identify as non-binary (neither male or female). Olfert tells the Free Press that some students on campus are afraid to voice their disagreement for fear of being labelled intolerant or sexist. The school’s students’ association, which advocated for the changes, says that it has received negative feedback over the new hours that included an anonymous, intimidating note which was left for the association’s status of women director, Jade DeFehr. Winnipeg Free Press

Woman sues URegina over swimming accident that left her a quadriplegic

Miranda Biletski is suing the University of Regina for negligence over an incident that left her a quadriplegic. Biletski dove into a pool from competition starting blocks at the university during a swim club practice in June 2005. The then-16-year-old hit the bottom and fractured her cervical vertebrae, leaving her a quadriplegic. Biletski testified before a jury Tuesday that she later had to withdraw from her schooling at Camosun College on compassionate medical grounds because of her injury. In court documents, URegina contends that third parties such as Biletski's swim club have a responsibility for ensuring that the contracted pool facilities are safe. The case is expected to last three weeks. Times Colonist (CP)

UoGuelph Homecoming partying prompts apology from president

University of Guelph President Franco Vaccarino has apologized to the Guelph community for the behaviour of students during the school’s recent Homecoming weekend. “I would like to personally, and on behalf of the university, apologize to any members of the Guelph community who were affected negatively,” Vaccarino said in a statement released Sunday. Vaccarino went on to say that the university takes unruly student behaviour seriously, and promised to follow up on complaints and concerns. Guelph Police Chief Jeff DeRuyter said that one party attended by students saw between 4,000 and 5,000 people gathered on a single property, causing police to close the road in an attempt to maintain order and safety. Guelph Mercury

Georgian receives $500K for sports field

Georgian College has received half a million dollars from the Massie family in support of its sports field. The funds will specifically be used to pay for the stadium’s lighting and an electronic score board. The donation was celebrated with the unveiling of the JC Massie Field archway by the late JC Massie’s son, Jamie, and his daughter, Marilynn “Today, the Massie clan is supporting our students again,” said Georgian President MaryLynn West-Moynes. “This will greatly enhance the varsity athletic experience.”

UNB hoping to partner with Fredericton to build new aquatic centre

The University of New Brunswick is reportedly in talks with the City of Fredericton about constructing a new aquatic centre on the UNB campus. A partnership between the parties would allow the university and city to share costs of operations while maintaining a pool for students and members of the community. The conversation was reportedly prompted by UNB's announcement earlier this year that it plans to close its Sir Max Aitken Pool in the fall of 2018 because the facility is “past its useful life.” “The conversation has been quite positive, and in recent weeks we've made real progress of the possibility of the partnership between the university and the city,” says George MacLean, vice-president of academics at UNB. CBC