Top Ten

January 16, 2018

Two Concordia professors stripped of teaching duties during sexual assault investigation

Two professors from Concordia University have been stripped of teaching duties following the recent allegations of sexual misconduct. “As of this moment, the courses taught by the professors named online are being reassigned pending investigation, the books written by those faculty members have been removed from the display window on the sixth floor of the Webster Library Building, and a third party is conducting the investigation,” said a statement released by the student-run Concordia Association for Students in English. Concordia spokeswoman Mary-Jo Barr stated that the administration had recently met with all university department chairs, and that the university was re-examining its policies regarding faculty-student relationships.

CBC | Montreal Gazette  

Brescia expands student mental health resources with launch of the Care Program

Brescia University College has launched its new Care Program, which will “provide early identification of at-risk behaviors that impact a student’s ability to be successful and safe.” The program was informed by evidence-based best practices used at universities across Canada and the USA, as well as research and consultation. “As an institution that has always put the needs of its students in the forefront, and one that is recognized for being student-centred, it is vital for us to provide the resources for our students to succeed academically within a safe and supportive campus environment,” says Brescia’s Vice-Principal of Students Marianne Simm. “We are incredibly proud to launch this pivotal new program that will assist in supporting our students and their overall health and well-being.”


Allow students to take risks, explore to improve workplace preparedness

Being qualified and being prepared are two different things, writes John Warner, and current processes in PSE risk producing highly qualified, yet under-prepared graduates. Warner reflects on his experience being employed in a job “for which I was utterly unqualified,” yet well-prepared to succeed in, and asks how this could occur when highly-qualified students are poorly prepared for work. Warner points to a number of factors that create these kinds of students, including the use of assessments that evaluate surface-level proficiency and encourage correctness over discovery. Inside Higher Ed

Former GBC Theatre School students speak out against “toxic” learning environment

Graduates and former students of George Brown College's theatre program described the negative experiences that they had while enrolled. CBC interviewed graduates and former students who described to experiences such as receiving a report card suggesting that a student “try to lose some weight,” being told to “get rid of the gay,” and being advised to “channel her South Asian heritage and to think of the women who henpeck their husbands.” GBC Director of Communications Brian Stock said that letters sent to the school in 2008 led to numerous changes, including the creation of a student and faculty handbook and counselling for students. “I feel like our theatre school has been very proactive in recent years to make sure that some of the stories that we're hearing aren't happening again,” commented Stock. The Star | CBC

NWCC partners with Park University on business transfer pathway

Northwest Community College and Missouri-based Park University have signed a transfer agreement that will allow students who have completed a business diploma at NWCC to enter a two-year Bachelor of Science in Management program at Park. The agreement ensures that tuition and living costs are comparable to those incurred by students completing a degree in BC, while making distance education possible for students who wish to stay in Canada while completing the degree. “Our goal is to provide adventurous pathways coming into our college and going out of college,” said NWCC president Ken Burt. “For each agreement we are signing we want them to be able to access unique courses and to do so in a cost-effective manner.”

NWCC | The Northern View

Incorporating digital and social technology into pedagogical practice

When it comes to incorporating digital and social technology in the classroom, Neelofer Qadir writes that “tools require we think about their purpose, method, and audience just as carefully as when we design an essay prompt, a problem set, or any other assessment exercise.” Qadir explains that her initial reason for introducing the technology was to get rid of the notion “that I’m the only reader of my students’ work” in her literature classes. She goes on to highlight a number of platforms and technologies that she has used in the classroom to bolster students’ understanding of the materials and break down the wall between instructor and student.

Inside Higher Ed

Sex offender not allowed on UCalgary campus

The University of Calgary has stated that student Connor Neurauter, who was recently convicted as a sex offender, will not be allowed on campus property while he completes his first semester prior to serving a prison term. “If he was to show up on campus, campus security would escort him off campus,” said UCalgary Provost Dru Marshall. “He has been advised not to come on campus.” UCalgary stated that it is not able to expel Neurauter since he did not commit the offence while he was a student. UCalgary student union Vice-President of Student Life Hilary Jahelka said that the union is satisfied with how university administrators are handling the issue, although it has provoked strong emotions from students.

UCalgaryCalgary Herald

ULaval incorporates new residence safety features after alleged break-ins, assaults in 2016

Université de Laval is investing $770K in new safety features at its student residences after a string of break-ins and alleged sexual assaults on campus a little more than a year ago. CBC reports that the renovations include an electronic access system on exterior and interior doors as well as elevators, and adds that security cameras are being added to common areas. The security improvements have reportedly been made to one residence so far. Yet following consultations with residents, the university has decided to implement the upgrades at its three other residences. “On top of electronic security measures, the security and prevention department is continuing its efforts in prevention, and raising awareness of good safety practices among residents,” said ULaval spokesperson Andrée-Anne Stewart.


UNB awarded $2.9M to boost Arctic surveillance capabilities

A University of New Brunswick physics professor has received $2.9M in federal funding for research that will enhance surveillance and detection capabilities for continental defence. A UNB release notes that the two funded projects are part of the Department of National Defence (DND) All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) program. UNB operates the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN), one of the world’s largest networks for ionospheric monitoring and investigation. The two projects will reportedly help to develop a next-generation surveillance system for the Arctic, and will have broad impacts on communication and navigation technologies as well as the economy.


UBC professor barred from supervising students after investigation into conduct

A psychology professor at the University of British Columbia who was under investigation by the university in 2017 has been temporarily barred from supervising students, researchers, and volunteers by the province's College of Psychologists. Simona Chiose writes that a report from an external investigator hired by UBC found that Stephen Porter, who is the co-director of a psychology centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus, violated policies on conflict of interest and maintaining a respectful environment. Last Friday, the college announced that Porter would be under regulatory supervision for 18 months with particular focus on boundary issues, power differentials, sexual harassment, and doing no harm. Later that day, UBC announced that Porter would no longer be teaching.

Globe and Mail | CBC