Top Ten

October 27, 2017

U of T, McGill, UBC top list of Canada’s best Research Universities

The University of Toronto is Canada’s top research university, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2017. Published by RE$EARCH Infosource Inc, the rankings also rated universities based on research income, research income growth, and research intensity. U of T had the highest research income among medical/doctoral universities, while the University of Waterloo had the highest research income among comprehensive universities and Laurentian University had the highest income among undergraduate universities. The University of Saskatchewan saw the highest growth in research income among medical/doctoral universities, while the University of Regina and Wilfrid Laurier University topped the comprehensive and undergraduate categories in this area, respectively. McMaster University came out on top among medical/doctoral schools for research intensity, while the University of Guelph and the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue topped the comprehensive and undergraduate categories in this area. RE$EARCH Infosource Inc (Categories)|  RE$EARCH Infosource Inc (Overall)

Dal withdraws disciplinary action against student who made Facebook post on white fragility

Dalhousie University has announced that it will withdraw disciplinary action against a student over a post she made on Facebook criticizing white fragility and its connection to Canada 150 celebrations. Masuma Khan had been facing possible disciplinary action over the post. After withdrawing the disciplinary action, Dal Vice-Provost of Student Affairs Arig al Shaibah said in a statement that the incident “demonstrated the need for an open, thorough discussion on campus about the appropriate policies and processes to support freedom of expression.” Masuma says that she was not consulted about the decision and that the withdrawal of discipline “doesn’t stop the fact that systemic racism happens on our campus, and it doesn't stop that the university still isn't dealing with that.” CBC | Montreal Gazette

Jewish student removed from McGill student board over BDS issue

A Jewish student was reportedly denied a place on the McGill student union’s board of directors Monday night with no debate or argument. The Montreal Gazette reports that during the meeting, Noah Lew was identified by supporters of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Movement (BDS) as being politically active in support of Jewish causes. “I was initially very shaken,” Lew said of the vote that denied him a seat on the board. “It was an extremely tense and emotional room, and more than anything it was overwhelming. I was also very sad.” Democratize SSMU, the group that first associated Lew with “layers of corruption” at the student council, later apologized without reservation for being “insensitive to anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish people as corrupt and politically powerful.” McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier has since launched an investigation and set up a hotline so people “can report incidents of intolerance based on religion or ethnic origin occurring on our campuses.” Montreal Gazette

ON College strike could impact school year

If the Ontario college strike does not come to an end this week, students could face an extended school year that stretches into May or June, according to OPSEU Local 653 President Lad Shaba. “That’s going to put the college students at a disadvantage to get summer employment because all the university students will get out on time to find employment,” said Shaba. “We like to see students finish on time so they can enter the workforce,” said Northern College President Fred Gibbons. “But to the extreme situation, one that we have not experienced in our 50 years thus far, we could extend classes into the early part of summer.” Sudbury Star  

Canada’s universities commit to publishing diversity data

Canada’s universities have committed to collecting and publishing demographic data about faculty, staff, and students as part of an effort to increase diversity and inclusion on Canadian campuses. The commitment is part of the Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence, which had been agreed to by all university presidents across the country. “We will in essence challenge ourselves by being public with our data,” said Mike Mahon, the chair of Universities Canada's board of directors. “An institution is going to say to itself, 'If this data is going to be public, we want it to look as best as it can.' It's a simple approach called self-monitoring. If we have public self-monitoring, change will happen.” Globe and Mail | Universities Canada  

Catholic PSE moves forward with “ambitious plans” with Indigenous communities

Catholic colleges and universities in Canada have woken up to the call for truth and reconciliation, writes Michael Swan of the Catholic Register. “I don’t really see that a university or a place of learning has a valid claim to the pursuit of truth and reason if it isn’t looking at all these factors that really have textured our society, both good and bad…. It would be self-evident to say that reconciliation is one of the calls of our times,” said Gerry Turcotte, Chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities of Canada and President of St Mary’s University President. The article discusses Turcotte’s recent report on the efforts of Catholic institutions to learn about and teach Indigenous heritage, and discusses examples of how institutions such as Saint Paul University and STMU have collaborated with Indigenous communities. Catholic Register

RDC formally opens renovated, expanded Makerspace

Red Deer College has celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated and expanded Makerspace. The facility is reportedly the first of its kind in central Alberta, and was initially built in 2015. The new Makerspace is located in RDC’s Library Information Common, and features bright and spacious workspaces with free access to a wide variety of high tech and low tech maker equipment. “Students have always used our Library to create and collaborate, and the addition of the Makerspace adds a new but complementary element to our existing services,” says Kristine Plastow, Director of the Library Information Common. “Our Makerspace is a place where people can gather to envision and create, while sharing ideas, knowledge and equipment.” RDC

UCalgary announces opening of unique Field Research Station

The University of Calgary and Carbon Management Canada Research Institutes have announced the official opening of the Containment and Monitoring Institute’s carbon capture and storage Field Research Station. UCalgary states that the research station is unique worldwide. “The University of Calgary is committed to a low carbon future, so we’ve invested in partnerships with industry and government to bring new knowledge to market,” says UCalgary Vice-president (Research) Ed McCauley. “The Field Research Station provides an unparalleled opportunity to field-test concepts at scale, which will accelerate the development and commercialization of carbon capture and monitoring solutions.” UCalgary

CBU launches pilot project providing education students with additional training

Cape Breton University has launched a pilot project that will provide bachelor of education program students and teachers with extra training on subjects such as mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and treaty education. The new, weekly course series is optional to students, but the Cape Breton Post reports that so far 20 students have attended every course. “We can prepare people to teach content and to be inclusive and to make assessments, but it’s how do you prepare for some of those serious issues that students bring with them,” said Kristin O’Rourke, manager of the CBU teacher education programs. “It’s hard to put that into courses so that’s why we’re bringing in a lot of community members because they are the experts in these fields.” Cape Breton Post

Lakehead raises tipi on Orillia campus to address lack of “Indigenous visible presence”

Lakehead University’s Orillia campus has raised a tipi in order to create a visible Indigenous presence on-campus. The tipi was placed next to the Wiigwasitig Gitigaan Lakehead Community Gardens, and was celebrated with a ceremony that included a smudging ceremony, as well as traditional Indigenous songs, prayers, and the Coldwater Ojibway Singers. “The tipi and surrounding gardens are a part of a living, growing, gathering place for learning and sharing of ideas between students, faculty, and staff,” said Allysha Wassegijig, Aboriginal Initiatives Coordinator at Lakehead Orillia.  “We want to make sure that Lakehead University is a welcoming place, where Indigenous peoples, history, and way of life are celebrated through education, respect, and diversity.” Lakehead | Orillia Packet