Top Ten

December 18, 2017

Academic fraud, misconduct in Canada revealed in new report

A new federal document has revealed new details about academic wrongdoing in Canada. La Presse reports that the online release contains numerous pieces of information that had never before been made public, including details about how a researcher employed by a Canadian university illegally kept “high-risk pathogens” in their lab and asked their assistant and students to lie to protect them. The “summary of facts” put online yesterday revealed that between December 2011 and April 1st, 2016, 15 Canadian teachers had been dismissed, suspended, demoted or had resigned after being found guilty of embezzlement, misrepresentation, fraud, or plagiarism. Half a dozen students were expelled or had their doctorates revoked in the same period. La Presse

Yukon College permitted to offer undergraduate degree programs

Yukon College has been recognized by the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC) as being ready to deliver and sustain high-quality undergraduate degree programs. The recognition stems from a partnership established earlier this year between the Governments of Yukon and Alberta, and YK says that this is the first time that a postsecondary institution in any territory has been evaluated to grant degree programs. “Achieving this significant milestone in our institutional journey was made possible by a remarkable team of faculty and staff at Yukon College,” said Yukon College President Karen Barnes. “We are pleased their dedication and hard work was recognized by CAQC and look forward to presenting our first degree for evaluation.” The college plans to launch a made-in-Yukon Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance program in September 2018. YK

Colleges work to turn on-the-job training into academic credit

Canada’s colleges are engaging in a growing number of formal partnerships with businesses in order to provide students with the work experience they need for a seamless transition into the workforce, writes Jennifer Lewington. The author highlights initiatives such as a recent partnership between Colleges Ontario and McDonald’s that gives students college credit for taking workplace training through the fast food franchise. The article also highlights Algonquin College’s partnership with Siemens Canada which gives students the opportunity to work in an on-campus lab built to Siemens’s specifications. Maclean’s

Why not to get a PhD: Kamadia

There is very little reason to enter a PhD program unless one is absolutely committed to getting a tenure-track job, writes Aly Kamadia, noting that even in the latter case, the prospects of success are slim. The author cites the investment of time and money required to obtain a PhD as significant concerns, especially given that for most fields of study, there are no jobs that require doctorates other than tenure-track positions. Kamadia also critiques the argument that doctorates provide one with transferable skills, since acquiring such skills does not require a doctorate. Finally, Kamadia notes that there is “no evidence that a PhD in most of the related areas is respected by the corporate world or most employers.” Ottawa Citizen

Universities should give graduates “lifetime membership” to keep up with changing world of work

Universities should provide graduates with a “lifetime membership” in order to ensure that their alumni’s skills keep up with the changing workplace, says the president of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. Speaking to Times Higher Education, Salvador Alva said: “I think universities are falling behind in many respects. There are some that focus too much on pushing graduates into well-paid jobs, because they believe that it will improve their reputation and the students will in turn repay them in donations.” Alva said that schools have an obligation to think more about how to better prepare students for life in an era of rapid technological change. Times Higher Education

Campus police at WLU, UWaterloo now carry naloxone

Campus police at both University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University now carry naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. CBC reports that officers at both universities, as well as dispatchers, are now equipped with the nasal spray version of the drug. Twenty officers at the UWaterloo were reportedly trained on how to safely administer naloxone by the university's school of public health at the end of November. A total of 26 special constables at WLU—17 at the Waterloo campus and nine at the Brantford campus—were trained to administer naloxone in the fall. CBC

MHC announces social work, health care aide programs for Brooks Campus

Medicine Hat College has announced that it will be offering a social work diploma program and a health care aide certificate program in Fall 2018 at the college’s Brooks Campus. “We are so pleased to provide these opportunities at the Brooks Campus,” said MHC President Denise Henning. “Social work and health care aide are both a great fit for Brooks and the County of Newell and there are many employment opportunities in the region for both fields.” Brooks Campus director Cindy Slenders added that the offerings are part of a larger effort to revitalize the campus, and that the college is also exploring new opportunities with Grasslands School District, County of Newell, and the City of Brooks. MHC

To diminish controversy, abandon dichotomous view of research, suggests U of T professor

Taking Pasteur’s approach could diminish the current controversy in Canada over pure and applied forms of research, writes University of Toronto Professor Creso Sá. Sá explains how the concept of Pasteur’s quadrant – in which research sits on a spectrum that ranges from basic to applied, instead of falling into a dichotomy – can help better understand research’s contributions to both society and academic fields. As organizations that embrace this ideology, such as the HIBAR Research Alliance, gain traction, Sá concludes that “perhaps some of the current heat over the Naylor report might just be turned into light.” Times Higher Education

MUN students criticize increase in co-op education work-term fee

Students at Memorial University say that they were “blindsided” by a recent decision by the school’s board of regents to increase the co-op education work-term fee. The MUN Student Union Executive Director of Campaigns, Brad Greeley, says that the increase from $323 to $600 per work term for all domestic full time undergraduate co-operative education program students is “totally unacceptable and irresponsible.” MUN Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Noreen Golfman notes that “while co-operative education programs at Memorial receive operating funding, the university’s current fiscal environment has eroded available resources for co-operative education, making it difficult to sustain student service levels in these programs.” MUN Gazette | VOCM

SPU introduces Bachelor in Social Innovation

Saint Paul University has announced the approval of its new Honours Bachelor of Arts in Social Innovation by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development of Ontario. An SPU release states that the Bachelor joins the existing Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, programs that are committed to addressing the issue of poverty reduction in its many forms, working with marginalized communities, and engaging with local and national leaders to promote justice, democracy, and social change. “The course offering is like nothing else available in Canada,” said Simon Tremblay-Pépin, director of the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation. “Students will tackle important social issues such as responsible management, capitalism, finance, ecology, feminism and how to launch a start-up – just to name a few.” SPU