Top Ten

November 20, 2017

ON back-to-work legislation passes, ends college strike

Ontario’s college students are expected to return to class this week after the provincial government passed back-to-work legislation on Sunday. The Liberals introduced the six-page page bill Friday after college faculty rejected the College Employer Council's last offer by 86%. The bill was initially blocked by the NDP and all parties agreed to work through the weekend to finish the process. Last week, ON Minister of Advanced Education Deb Matthews said that the bargaining process that led to the strike “failed everybody,” and said that she plans to review the process in the wake of the strike. CBC |  CBC (Matthews)

USB formally inaugurates new state-of-the-art microbiology lab

The Université de Saint-Boniface officially inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory last week. The space is configured for both teaching and research, and has advanced features such as an anteroom with automatic doors, a water filtration system, and specialized hoods. The construction of the lab was funded by nearly $1M in investments from the provincial government and USB. Peter Dorrington, USB’s vice-president of education and research, said that the opening of the laboratory is another sign that French science education is gaining momentum in Manitoba.


Acadia faculty sets strike deadline, students express concerns

Acadia University’s faculty association has set a strike deadline for November 27th. CBC reports that the walkout would affect 331 professors and instructors, as well as library staff and archivists. “What we want more than anything is a negotiated collective agreement that is fair and equitable and responds to the reasonable demands and proposals that we have,” said AUFA spokesperson Rachel Brickner. “None of us want [a strike].” The Chronicle Herald reports that students are worried by the strike, which is scheduled to occur a few weeks before exams. Acadia Students’ Union President Grace Hamilton-Burge pointed to exams, travel plans, thesis defenses, and graduation plans as aspects of student life that could be affected by a strike at this point in the term.

CBC | The Chronicle Herald

UQO celebrates ISFORT birthday with new research centre, provinicial ministry partnership

The Université du Québec en Outaouais has celebrated its fifth anniversary of its Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée (ISFORT) with the announcement of a new research center focused on adaptation to global change in temperate environments. The new ACG Center will host researchers who will be innovating to meet the ecological, economical, and social challenges posed by climate change. UQO will invest $200K in the centre over the next five years, but a larger form of support will come in the form of a research service agreement with Quebec’s Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs. The contract will support two-year research projects worth up to $1M, and will see the expertise of ISFORT researchers put at the disposal of the MFFP and the Outaouais and Laurentides municipalities.

UQO | Le Droit

Southeast announces TSASK-approved third class power engineering theory program

Southeast College has announced that it will be offering its own third class power engineering theory-only course in 2018. The program has been approved by the Technical Safety Authoirty of Saskatchewan (TSASK) as an approved third class theory program. The 15 week course will allow students to write their TSASK examinations and credit students with six months time towards their stream time requirement at the third class level. “We developed this course to assist with the continued training of power engineers in our region,” said Southeast Vice-President of Training Jody Holzmiller. “We recognized an opportunity to provide flexibility in the delivery model as well as to assist out students in a focused approach as they prepare for their regulatory exams through the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK).”

Estevan Mercury

WLU launches third-party probe, TA disciplined over presentation of Peterson clip

A debate about academic freedom has arisen at Wilfrid Laurier University after a teaching assistant was allegedly chastised for airing a clip of University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson and not condemning his views outright. WLU graduate student Lindsay Shepherd claims that she was chastised after showing a clip to two classrooms that showed Peterson debating issues of language and gender identity. Peterson has been accused of uttering hate speech and transphobic rhetoric, and Shepherd says that the university disciplined her for taking a “neutral” approach to Peterson’s remarks and not personally condemning his views. The university would not confirm what was said to Shepherd, but said it had enlisted an unidentified “neutral third-party professional” to “gather the facts” of the situation.

Toronto Star

UVic receives $2.4M for clean energy projects

Researchers at the University of Victoria have received $2.4M to pursue clean energy projects that are making a difference at a local, national, and international level. As well as supporting a variety of solutions-focused research, the UVic release states that the funds will be used to establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery. “As we tackle the many challenges posed by climate change, our researchers are leading the way in sustainable energy research, working closely with governments, industry and community groups to foster clean growth and low-carbon economic development,” says UVic President Jamie Cassels. The funds were provided by the federal government and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in conjunction with Seaspan.

UVic | Times Colonist Marketwired

SPU to boost social innovation with donation, scholarships

Saint Paul University in Ottawa will offer the largest scholarships in its history thanks to the support of a gift from Desjardins Group. The $200K contribution will support ten scholarships of $10K each in social innovation, which will be geared toward Indigenous students, first-generation students, and/or students from developing countries. The funds will also assist with the development of the Desjardins Room, located in SPU’s Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop, which has been under construction since the summer of 2017. “The Workshop is a meeting point for university research projects on social innovation and collective action. Its objective is clear: to promote social change and participate in reducing poverty,” said SPU Rector Chantal Beauvais.


Professor Steve Kirby fired from Berklee College following UManitoba harassment allegations

Steve Kirby has reportedly been terminated from his job at Berklee College of Music after a number of students and former students from the University of Manitoba told the college that Kirby had harassed them while working at UManitoba. CBC reports that over the course of an investigation it made into the allegations, its team spoke with a number of complainants. Berklee administrators told the audience at a public forum in Boston last week that Kirby had been on administrative leave since the college learned of sexual harassment allegations. They added that “he has since been terminated from our community.”


Sault inks pacts with two Chinese schools

As part of its international recruitment strategy, Sault College has signed multi-year partnerships with Beijing Information Technology College and Jiujiang Vocational and Technology College. The Sault Star reports that the agreements come at a time when the college is looking to diversify its enrolments as the number of potential students from Northern Ontario declines. “We really have to go there,” said Sault Director of Human Resources and Corporate Communications Rick Webb. “International students is an area of growth for us.”

Sault Star