Top Ten

January 22, 2018

Industry heavyweights throw efforts behind agriculture innovation project

Technology giants Telus, Microsoft, and IBM are backing a $250M nationwide project that has been shortlisted for federal innovation funding, reports iPolitics. Based in Ottawa, the Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster is one of two industry-led agriculture innovation projects to be shortlisted for up to $950M in federal funding. The SASC cluster is backed by 17 universities and colleges, including Carleton University, Olds College, McGill University, the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary, along with groups like MacDonald’s, Cargill, General Mills, Ducks Unlimited, The National Research Council, and the City of Ottawa. iPolitics reports that the project is designed to spur economic growth through the enhanced use of agricultural data. It is estimated that the project will create up to 300,000 new jobs. iPolitics

SaskPolytech, URegina, Collège Mathieu commit to support of French-language health programming

Collège Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the University of Regina have signed a Letter of Intent that will see the institutions work together to support French-language nursing and health programs. “There is a growing demand in Saskatchewan’s francophone communities for health-care-related providers who are fluent in both official languages,” said URegina president Vianne Timmons, who explained that the institutions will support a “laddering concept for French-language/bilingual nursing-health programs”. The agreement will see the institutions share resources and develop a Memorandum of Agreement that further defines collaborative outcomes. SaskPolytech | Collège Mathieu (FR)

Doctors-in-training growing concerned about lack of residency opportunities

A growing number of doctors-in-training are concerned about their ability to complete the final stage of their training given the lack of available residency opportunities. Maclean's reports that the ratio of medical student applicants and available residency spots has ‘tightened,’ a situation that is made worse by a skew in the preferred areas of medicine. “Now we have a situation where more than half of all positions are in disciplines that have more demand than supply,” said Canadian Medical Residency Match System CEO John Gallinger, who noted that family medicine saw many positions left unfilled last year. The Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada has reportedly set a deadline of October 2018 for medical schools to determine a plan for supporting unmatched medical students. Maclean's

Capilano, QuestU collaborate on transfer pathways

Capilano University and Quest University Canada have signed an agreement that increases the opportunity for transfers between the institutions. Specifically, the agreement will allow eligible Quest students to transfer directly into the third year of Capilano’s Bachelor of Arts with a major in Liberal Studies. “As a university with programming that serves the Sea-to-Sky corridor, it’s important to strengthen our relationship with Quest to provide more opportunities for students in our region,” said Capilano’s Acting President Toran Savjord. The agreement will take effect on September 1, 2018. Capilano

Bell expands national mental health campaign

Bell has announced the expansion of its national mental health campaign, Bell Let’s Talk Day, adding that that 128 Canadian universities and colleges from across the country will be joining the day’s activities. “The student-athlete initiative clearly showed that mental health is a priority for students on Canadian campuses,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. “This year, we're building on that momentum as we expand the conversation to 128 universities and colleges throughout the country.” Representatives from numerous institutions and organizations across Canada voiced their support of the campaign and discussed how they had introduced or improved mental health supports at their own institution. Newswire (Bell)

Municipality of Port Hope, McMaster, Loyalist partner on environmental health in community

The Municipality of Port Hope, McMaster University, and Loyalist College have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate on future sustainable and environmental remediation efforts within the region. The MOA will see the partners identify external funding for research projects and determine educational programming that best supports workforce development needs in the field of environmental studies. “This is an excellent opportunity for our community,” said Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson. “Council is fully supportive of this important, collaborative partnership, and we look forward to the research and projects that will be planned to promote the future health and vitality of our environment.” Port Hope

Transformative leadership requires high impact practices, transparency

Transformation and the leaders who drive it are “essential if colleges and universities are to survive in the 21st century,” writes Elaine P Maimon. Maimon highlights several key principles that would-be transformative leaders must consider if they are to be effective, such as the need for high impact practices like mentorships and foundational courses led by first-rate faculty to drive student success, and notes that “preparing students for a first job is not enough” in a world that is being increasingly automated. The author further identifies the need for transparency and inclusivity in strategic planning and budget reallocation, as well as generous investments from the government. “Nothing is more powerful in higher education than an uncompromising commitment to student success,” concludes Maimon. “If we keep this principle at the forefront, all transformations are possible.” Chronicle

UOHS doctor charged with sexual assault, voyeurism

A doctor from the University of Ottawa Health Services clinic has been charged with sexual assault and voyeurism, following a complaint from a patient. UOHS is reportedly an independent service provider that was contracted to deliver health services to the university community and general public. “The safety and security of our students, faculty and support staff is of the utmost importance to the University of Ottawa,” said Néomie Duval, UOttawa Manager of Media Relations. “Immediately upon being notified, the University contacted University of Ottawa Health Services (UOHS) to ensure the physician is barred from practicing at UOHS clinics.” Ottawa Citizen | CTV News

U of T releases sexual violence education and prevention training module

The University of Toronto has released a sexual violence education and prevention training module for all students, staff, faculty, and members of Governing Council. The module trains U of T community members how to recognize sexual violence and harassment, understand how it affects community members, understand the difference between disclosing and reporting an incident, respond supportively to a disclosure of sexual violence, and refer someone to the tri-campus Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre. “This training provides education for the University community on the prevention of and response to sexual violence,” said U of T Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr. “It is a continued part of the University’s action plan to address sexual violence on campus.” U of T

SK invests $2.2M in USask science research

The University of Saskatchewan is set to benefit from a $2.2M funding injection that the SK government has given to Compute Canada, a national organization that provides SK’s research community with advanced research computing infrastructure, support personnel and services. Based at USask, Compute Canada Major Science Initiative 2.0 Project will specifically support research initiatives focused on global food security, the Canadian Light Source, and other areas. The funding will be provided through Innovation Saskatchewan’s Innovation and Science Fund over a five-year period from 2017 to 2022. “This investment will provide the advanced computing services needed to catapult innovation,” said USask Vice-President of Research Karen Chad. SK