Top Ten

November 2, 2017

ON premier not ruling out back-to-work legislation in ON college strike

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says that she is not ruling out back-to-work legislation to end the current strike at the province’s colleges. Wynne said this week that she and ON postsecondary minister Deb Matthews “expect” both college executives and faculty to return to the bargaining table and solidify a deal soon.  “We really do not want students to lose their term,” Wynne said Monday morning at an event in downtown Toronto. “And you know my expectation and the minister’s expectation is that both sides of this negotiation will find a way to get back to the table to re-engage because that’s where the agreement has to be forged.” Matthews said she has personally spoken to both the College Employer Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to convey Wynne's message. Toronto Star | CBC | The Province

Canada’s urban universities face increasing pressure to be “real estate savvy”

“You may be hard pressed to find a university mission statement that expounds the importance of managing campus real estate,” writes Grace Karram Stephenson. “But in an era of rising property prices and urban land shortages, universities are forced to understand the real estate market or get left behind in the urban hustle for property.” The author explores the unique challenges that urban Canadian universities face when trying to manage infrastructure in hot real estate markets. Stephenson goes on to discuss the financial pressures that are also faced by students in search of urban housing, which in turn affects university enrolments. University World News

BC PSE operating grants lag behind enrolment

Operating grants at British Columbia’s top universities have not kept pace with growth in enrolment, reports Business Vancouver. Overall, the top five universities on Business in Vancouver’s 2017 list of largest BC postsecondary institutions have reported steady operating grant growth over the past five years, yet this growth has been outpaced by enrolment, resulting in an overall drop in grant dollars per student. Enrolment numbers at the province’s top five postsecondary schools have increased by an average of 5.7% since 2013. During the same period, the operating grants for these schools have increased by an average of 3.7%. Business Vancouver  reports that the discrepancy has caused operating grants per student for the top five to fall by an average of 1.9%. Business Vancouver

Three reasons why Canada should invest more in polytechnic education: Robinson

As the conversation about the future of work unfolds internationally, “our federal government has not considered all the solutions already at hand in Canada that can boost innovation and productivity,” writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson. While the government continues to look to universities to prepare students for the future of work, Robinson argues that the unique role of polytechnics in bridging higher education and employment has still not captured the attention of decision-makers. To this end, Robinson outlines three reasons why governments should invest in polytechnics to spur innovation and train the workforce of tomorrow: polytechnics work directly with Canada’s labour market; polytechnics train the skilled trades workforce required for a digital economy; and polytechnics give business the capacity to innovate. Hill Times

McMaster joins global network of “age-friendly” universities

McMaster University has joined the international Age-Friendly University (AFU) network, a global body made up of higher education institutions that are committed to  improving accessibility for older adults. The AFU network was launched in 2012 by Dublin City University in order to address the challenges and opportunities associated with the world’s ageing population. “Our interest in joining the network emerged because collaboration and community engagement are two key pillars at McMaster,” said McMaster President Patrick Deane. “By working together with our institutions, we can advance our mutual goals and have a positive impact on today’s aging population, as well as the growing population of older adults worldwide.” McMaster | Hamilton Spectator

RRU receives Changemaker Campus designation

Royal Roads University has been designated as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. The Ashoka U Changemaker Campus Network is a global community of more than 40 universities and colleges committed to advancing social innovation and changemaking across their institution and beyond. “The Ashoka U Changemaker Campus designation highlights how essential social innovation has always been to Royal Roads University,” says RRU President Allan Cahoon. “Changemaking is part of our DNA as an organization and it is embedded in everything we do, from our applied research to our culture of mentorship and collaboration for social change.” RRU

Practical tips for new members of the search-committee

Sitting on the other side of the hiring table for the first time can be a daunting and strange experience for new assistant professors, so Karen Kelsky of the Chronicle of Higher Education offers a few practical tips on how to be a good search-committee member. Kelsky advises new search-committee members to address any feelings of impostor syndrome, guilt, or obligation before dealing with applications. Further tips include becoming fully informed about both the rules of the institution’s search process and department needs, being mindful of visiting candidates’ needs and comfort, being alert to internal prejudices, and acknowledging that the end result of the search might not be your preference. Chronicle of Higher Education

UQAM launches pilot offering to accompany sexual assault survivors when lodging complaints

The organization Trêve pour Elles has offered to accompany students and employees of the Université du Québec à Montréal who wish to lodge a sexual assault complaint. Since September, social worker Annie Girard has had her own office at UQAM, offering telephone and in-person support to survivors of sexual violence. Girard also offers support to survivors “throughout the process” of filing a complaint with the Police Service of the City of Montreal or with university authorities. Maude Rousseau, director of the Bureau d’intervention et de prévention en matière de harcèlement at UQAM, notes that working with Trêve pour Elles is a pilot project at this point. “We will see what it yields,” adds Rousseau. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that victims are not isolated and that they are accompanied in the steps they wish to take.” Journal de Montréal

CCNB to launch Canada’s first cannabis cultivation program

Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and Moncton-based marijuana producer Organigram are reportedly launching Canada's first cannabis cultivation program. The first cohort of the 12-week program will see an enrolment of 25 students, who will learn about horticulture and how to meet strict medical marijuana regulations from Health Canada, while getting hands-on experience at Organigram’s Moncton facility. “We'll provide the training, but Organigram will provide the landscape to continue the training,” says Michel Doucet, CCNB executive director of continuing education. The New Brunswick government will be paying $70K to cover tuition for the first wave of 25 students. CTV News | CBC | Acadie Nouvelle

Okanagan partners with local companies to build new lab

Okanagan College and three local companies collaborated on the design and construction of a new cutting-edge natural gas lab for Okanagan trade students. The new 1,500 square-foot lab will provide Plumbing and Piping Trades students with hands-on training for gasfitting and steamfitting techniques. “We are happy to be part of such a unique collaboration,” says John Davina of KalWest Mechanical Systems. “We all understand the importance of skills training and wanted to invest in the future of trades education in the Okanagan, and that’s what made this project a success.” The lab development was part of the college’s $35M trades complex renovation and expansion. Okanagan