Top Ten

January 31, 2018

Concordia issues revised faculty-student relationship guidelines

Concordia University has released its revised guidelines on faculty-student relationships in the wake of recent allegations of sexual misconduct. “It is imperative to set boundaries that eliminate any confusion of professional and personal relationships between instructors and students,” according to an email issued by the university. “This is glaringly the case with respect to romantic or sexual relationships.” The guidelines are reportedly not a departure from rules laid out in the school’s code of ethics for employees, but are more explicit. “We explored the option of banning such relationships, but concluded, for legal reasons, we cannot prohibit such relationships between consenting adult,” explained Concordia spokesperson Mary-Jo Barr.


Actua receives $10M from CanCODE, shares with 35 PSE partners

Actua, a non-profit organization that provides STEM education to Canadian youth, received $10M from the Government of Canada’s CanCODE program. The $10M in funding will be used to increase coding programming offered through 35 member programs located at universities and colleges. Postsecondary institutions from across the country have issued releases specifying how the funds will be used at their institution. “Coding is the next big job. Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. 

Betakit | Carleton | ULethbridge | Yukon

Agri-Food Innovation Centre opens at USask

A new, $17.5M Agri-Food Innovation Centre has been officially opened on the University of Saskatchewan’s campus. The facility will reportedly expand the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre’s capacity to develop and process products. The space includes a food processing incubator, labs, and a pilot plant. “The Government of Canada is committed to growing a strong economy,” said Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. “Centres of innovation, like this one in Saskatoon, will play a key role in creating jobs and new opportunities for Canadian farmers and agri-businesses, growing the economy and the middle class.”


Textbook bundles, access codes negatively impact students

Relying on bundled textbooks and access-code course materials has had a negative impact on students searching for cheaper textbook alternatives, according to a new US report. The study found that 45% of supplemental resources were unavailable from any source other than the campus bookstore, which “forced [students] to pay full price for these materials” and eliminated the possibility of reselling the materials afterwards. The report recommends either offering textbooks that can be found in a used condition outside of the campus bookstore, or better yet, relying on open educational resources to better support their students.

Campus Technology

UWaterloo to get cybersecurity lab, research funds from RBC

The Royal Bank of Canada is opening a cyber security lab and providing $1.78M in research funding at the University of Waterloo for the purposes of developing advanced cybersecurity and privacy tools. The funding will support research in areas such as detecting and mitigating security threats through the use of machine learning and AI, privacy-enhancing technologies focused on consumer metadata, and post-quantum cryptography. “This partnership is important to RBC as we'll be able to leverage Waterloo's unique capabilities in mathematical science as it applies to tackling increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks,” said RBC Chief Information Security Officer David Fairman.

UWaterloo | The Record

CCNB receives investment of $1.6M for infrastructure

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick has received a total of $1.6M in investments in infrastructure improvements from the Government of New Brunswick. The funding will be distributed between the college’s five campuses. “The provincial government’s investments will allow us to solve many urgent problems at our five campuses, where some of the buildings are more than 50 years old,” explained CCNB CEO Liane Roy. “We will be able to modernize our institutions and make necessary upgrades to learning spaces for our students and to working spaces for our staff across the CCNB network.”


YorkU Schulich school launches first-in-Canada Master of Marketing program

York University’s Schulich School of Business has announced the launch of a new, one-year Master of Marketing degree program. The program is reportedly the first Master’s program in Canada specifically designed to train university graduates in professional marketing skills. YorkU states that the program is uniquely management-focused and designed to prepare university graduates to fill progressive marketing positions. “The Master of Marketing program will teach how to most effectively use state-of-the-art digital marketing and social media tools and research methods and will allow students to grow their literacy around advertising and consumer behaviour,” said YorkU Program Director David Rice. 


Baie-Comeau denounces summer employment program excluding international students

Cégep de Baie-Comeau is criticizing the federal government’s summer employment program for its exclusion of international students. The school says that the exclusion could jeopardize its recruiting efforts, as international students make up roughly 10% of its student body. Calling the exclusion nonsense, Baie-Comeau directeur général Claude Montigny stated that international students who have a study permit have every right to work in Quebec during the school year and full-time during the summer.  

Journal de Montréal

UCalgary receives $29M from Canada for research

Projects investigating issues such as stroke, diabetes, and Indigenous health at the University of Calgary have received $29M in funding from the federal government. A UCalgary release states that the funding will help UCalgary researchers study a full spectrum of health issues, especially the priority areas of brain and mental health, and infections, inflammation, and chronic diseases. “This investment by CIHR will support our researchers in their endeavour to address our country’s most pressing health challenges,” says UCalgary Vice-President (Research) Ed McCauley.


Anonymous Amazon packages sent to at least seven university student unions

A number of student unions from across Canada have received anonymous packages from Amazon containing a seemingly unrelated assortment of goods—from light bulbs to record players. CBC reports that there is currently no indication of who might be sending the parcels. “We're definitely confused by it,” says Shawn Wiskar, University of Regina Students’ Union vice-president of student affairs. “I'm really curious to see what comes next.” Student unions at Dalhousie University, St Francis Xavier University, Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Royal Roads University, and the University of Manitoba have also received strange packages.