Top Ten

February 15, 2018

UofT “sends global signal” by charging domestic fees for international PhDs: THE

The University of Toronto’s decision to charge domestic tuition rates for international PhD students signals a new step in the school’s efforts to attract leading talent from around the world, reports Times Higher Education. The article outlines how the university’s decision was impacted by negotiations with the Ontario government, which agreed to allow UofT to use a grant supporting domestic PhD students to also support international PhD students in certain circumstances. Although the share of overseas PhD students has dropped to about 19% of total enrolment, UofT President Meric Gertler says he hopes this number will “rise through the 20s, even up to 30 per cent or more.” Times Higher Education

Dal focuses search for new VP on “racially visible” candidates

Dalhousie University says that it will focus its search for a new senior administrator exclusively on “racially visible” and Indigenous candidates as part of its ongoing effort to increase underrepresented groups on the Halifax campus. In a memo to the university community, Dal Provost and VP Academic Carolyn Watters said that the decision is aligned with the school’s employment equity policy. Dal AVP of Human Resources Jasmine Walsh also notes that the school has been “deliberate and proactive” in its recruitment so that students will be able to see themselves represented across the university's ranks. Globe and Mail

Ill-defined roles for provosts can lead to major problems at universities: Bugeja

“You know something is amiss when offices of the provost have to explain what they do at comprehensive universities,” writes Michael Bugeja, adding that a vagueness around the duties of this role is responsible for many budget cuts at universities across the US. Bugeja notes that provosts traditionally served as an “advocate for and titular head of the professoriate,” often clashing with presidents on faculty’s behalf. When the title “vice president for academic affairs” started being appended to this title, however, the author claims that provosts also became “the voice of the administration” in a way that is often at odds with the traditional duties of a provost. Inside Higher Ed

UoGuelph students fined $2K for 2017 homecoming party

After organizing a homecoming party that brought thousands of students to campus last September, two University of Guelph students have been fined $2K by Guelph bylaw officers. The two students created a Facebook page encouraging people to come together and celebrate homecoming. When the page began to gain traction and UoGuelph reportedly warned them of potential consequences, the students attempted to cancel the event and dissuade would-be partiers. However, the students still received a $2K fine for causing a ‘nuisance party’. “We understand that we caused [the party], but we didn't know how big it was going to be,” said one of the students. “A lot of the damage [we were fined for] are things we don't think we are responsible for.” CBC

BC announces nearly $900K to train new teachers, union says more needed

The Province of British Columbia has announced that they are investing a combined amount of nearly $900K into teacher education in the province. The province announced $571K to train 100 teachers in high-demand fields such as special education, French, math, and physics; as well as $260K to help the University of British Columbia teach 20 students in its Indigenous Teacher Education Program in Williams Lake and Quesnel. The BC Teachers’ Federation has said that the funds are still not enough to solve the crisis that the province’s education system is facing. Global News

PSE leaders issue statements on Colton Boushie verdict

“I haven't seen a day like this since I've been at the university,” said Laurentian University Interim President Pierre Zundel of the reaction he saw in his university community following the not-guilty verdict in the case involving the death of Colton Boushie. “Laurentian University is committed to reconciliation,” reads a statement from Zundel. “That means we will dig deep and help create a justice system that works for all people, including those it currently fails most consistently, namely Indigenous peoples.” Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf also issued a statement of condolence to Boushie’s friends and family, which came in addition to a candlelight vigil held by the school’s Indigenous Law Students’ Alliance and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives on Tuesday night. A number of other schools across the country also released statements and held solidarity events in the wake of the verdict. CBC | Queen’s

NB invests $2.4M in NBCC infrastructure

The Government of New Brunswick has invested $2.4M in the New Brunswick Community College’s infrastructure as part of its 2018-19 capital budget. “NBCC has set a bold goal of welcoming more learners to our college over the next five years,” said NBCC Vice-President of Finance and Administration Lisa Taylor. “Our capacity to grow depends on investments in our learning spaces.” The funding will be distributed among the institution’s campuses. “Your government is investing to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of university and college education in New Brunswick,” said NB Premier Brian Gallant. “This investment in the Saint Andrews campus of the NBCC will improve the learning environment and create good construction jobs.” NB (1) | NB (2)

John Abbott introduces new initiatives to help students become active bystanders

Direct, distract, delegate: those are the three “D's” that administrators and instructors at Montreal’s John Abbott College wanted students to learn at a recent event called Consent Matters. The event featured workshops that taught students how to intervene in incidents of sexual misconduct by using the three Ds, as well as a social media campaign to raise awareness about consent. Among the event's more popular installations was a virtual reality kiosk where students could watch a video about sexual harassment while wearing a VR helmet. Montreal Gazette

UQAM establishes first lab in Canada dedicated to documentary

Université du Québec à Montréal has created what it says is the first Canadian laboratory dedicated to the study of documentary filmmaking. Based at UQAM’s School of Media, the lab was founded by professors Viva Paci and Diane Poitras. Paci notes that Quebec is a world leader in the field of documentary filmmaking, with a rich tradition that goes back to the work of the National Film Board in the late 1950s. UQAM reports that the initiative will bring together roughly fifteen members, including filmmakers, authors, professors from UQAM, and graduate students. UQAM

Reflect on your values, motivations to help with the emotional labour of teaching: Riddell

“As academics, we grapple with failure all the time and in a myriad of ways,” writes Jessica Riddell. But while professors will often “gloss over the emotional labour” involved in coping with failure, Riddell notes that failing to acknowledge it can have adverse effects on one’s mental health and teaching effectiveness. To help address this issue, Riddell recommends that teachers take time regularly to reflect on what brought them to teaching in the first place. “When we make emotional labour invisible, we privilege perfection over process,” the author concludes. “Erasing our vulnerability runs counter to true learning, which requires us to make mistakes as a precondition for generating new insights about our discipline, our classrooms and our selves.” University Affairs