Top Ten

March 13, 2018

ON provides $514M in grants and interest-free loans for green projects

As part of its Climate Change Action Plan, the Province of Ontario has reportedly provided “over $214 million in grants [while] making available up to $300 million in interest-free loans to retrofit college and university facilities through the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofit Program.” Amongst the stated beneficiaries are Carleton University, which announced that it will receive $7M to modernize its lighting, roofing, and insulation; the University of Guelph, whose $9.5M grant and $16.8M interest-free loan will help fund several projects to reduce greenhouse emissions; and Mohawk College, which received a $10.8M grant for energy retrofit projects. McMaster University states that it will apply for a $9.3M interest-free loan to improve its fume hooded ventilation system. ON | Carleton | UoGuelph | Hamilton Spectator

URegina professor faces “violent reaction” to talk on whiteness

University of Regina Assistant Professor Mike Cappello faced strong backlash in the leadup to a talk he delivered yesterday at Trent University. Titled, “It's Okay to be (Against) White(ness),” the talk reportedly offered a critical response to posters bearing the slogan, “It’s OK to be white” that circulated around various Canadian PSE campuses last November. Cappello said that the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) has received positive feedback from students on the upcoming event, but adds that he has mostly seen a “violent reaction” to his presentation's title. Ethical Standards Commissioner Lindsay Yates stated that “this event is not discussing problems with white people, it is discussing whiteness as an idea. Whiteness is a set of privileges that those of us who present as white have access to.” CBC

UMontréal withdraws request for injunction against union over Gilligan’s Island references

The Université de Montréal has agreed to withdraw its request for an injunction aimed at preventing a union from comparing management to Gilligan’s Island characters. The references to Gilligan’s Island were argued to have violated the fundamental rights of university representatives, and the court ordered former executive members of the union to pay $3K in punitive damages. A statement from UMontréal stated that both parties agreed on the importance of rights to freedom of expression, privacy, image, reputation, and dignity; and settled on the agreement that communication with representatives of either party must be free from harassment, intimidation, or threat. La Presse

UCN unveils $2M science lab after renovations complete

The University College of the North has officially unveiled its $2M science lab renovation, which was funded by the Government of Canada and Government of Manitoba. The renovations have seen the lab expanded to increase capacity to up to 240 students with a designated space for lab assistants, as well as upgrades to chemical storage and lab equipment. “The rapid advancement of science, technology, engineering and math means it is our obligation to ensure our students are given the tools necessary to succeed in careers in those fields,” said MB Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. “By partnering with University College of the North and the federal government, we are creating a place for students in Manitoba’s northern communities to thrive and spur innovation.” MB | UCN

Students in joint YorkU-college programs endure second strike in one year

As contract workers at York University began their second week of job action, students in joint programs offered by YorkU and local colleges expressed their frustration about the second strike's impact on their lives. “I do feel like I’m getting parts of my education taken away from me because of how long these strikes go on for,” said Chelsea Lecompte, a design student in a joint program offered by YorkU and Sheridan College. The union’s demands are said to include job security, better pay, improved equity and workplace accessibility, and the replacement of 800 positions that were allegedly cut. YorkU claims that it has offered the union a 3.5% wage increase per year. CBC | National Post

Students value diversity, inclusion more than free expression: US study

Postsecondary students in the US tend to value a diverse and inclusive environment more than free speech rights when asked to choose between the two, according to a new study. Asked to select which was more important, about 53% of the students interviewed for the study picked diversity, compared to 46% who chose free speech. The study further found that roughly 61% of men favoured free speech rights more than a diverse and inclusive campus. In contrast, 64% of women favoured diversity. A slim majority of White students (52%) tended to value free speech more than diversity, while roughly 68% of Black students said that diversity was more important. Inside Higher Ed

MHC, high school team up on dual credit offerings

Medicine Hat College and St Joseph’s Collegiate in Brooks, Alberta are partnering to offer Grade 11 and 12 students the opportunity to work towards college credits while in high school. Students will be able to take Health Care Aide and Criminal Justice courses and earn credits at both the postsecondary and high-school levels. “Dual credit programming provides high school students an excellent opportunity to not just earn post-secondary credits, but also explore possible career options,” said MHC Interim Vice-president Academic Sandy Vanderburgh. “It’s a great way to encourage post-secondary participation, and help students determine their path forward after graduation.” MHC

UQAM launches two new language programs

The Université du Quebec à Montréal’s École de langues states that it will introduce two new language programs in the Fall of 2018. A program in modern languages and culture will provide training in two languages outside a speaker’s native tongue, and a program in English and Anglophone culture will offer advanced training for intermediate speakers seeking fluency in English. The Modern Languages major provides training in German, English, Spanish, French as a second language, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Director Carey Nelson stated that the School may soon offer courses in Korean. The new programs follow a UQAM survey in which many respondents expressed a desire to become bilingual. UQAM

Researcher challenges conventional wisdom on college internships

College internships need extensive reform before postsecondary institutions can justify making them mandatory for undergraduates, writes Matthew Hora. Citing internships as “the Wild West in higher education,” Hora includes lack of payment, low demand, and irrelevance of a given degree's specialization as a few factors that universities must overcome before implementing an internship program. Additionally, Hora finds a dearth of research on college internships, and notes that without adequate resources and evidence in-hand, postsecondary institutions should “hit the pause button on internship mania.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Things to consider when reforming your school’s curriculum

“Any college leader considering a curriculum change for his or her institution has a lot of questions to ask and answer,” writes Alexandra Logue. The author notes that one must determine the goals of curriculum reform before moving forward. Once these are defined, the author adds, a school must gather the best possible data to inform its curriculum decisions. Such data is not always available inside the school, Logue adds, but is obtainable only by going to third parties in order to learn more about the efforts being undertaken at similar schools, and whether these efforts have resulted in identifiable success. Once such data is accessed, Logue concludes, “these administrators will be in a better position to make decisions about when and how to revise the curriculum, and that can only benefit students.” Chronicle of Higher Education