Top Ten

March 21, 2018

MB moves toward performance-based funding for college sector

Manitoba’s colleges will soon be subject to enhanced accountability measures as the province considers implementing performance-based funding, according to MB Education Minister Ian Wishart. The announcement came following the release of a new report that found that MB had the lowest PSE participation and graduation rate in the country, with only 62% of its college students graduating. The report recommended changing the province’s funding formula to a more performance-based model in order to make the colleges more accountable. Red River College Spokesperson Conor Llyod said that the proposed funding model has caused “serious concerns” at the college, since the school believes the proposed model “would require more resources to administer (likely both at the province and at the colleges) and even more peculiarly, would apply to only 28 per cent of the post-secondary sector.” CBC | Brandon Sun (1) | Brandon Sun (2) | Brandon Sun (3)

Seven Atlantic colleges sign MOU for online apprenticeship collaboration

Seven public colleges in Atlantic Canada have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding to improve online training for apprentices, states College of the North Atlantic. Under the MOU, the colleges will reportedly participate in a cost-sharing agreement with the federal government. “As educational institutions that aspire to deliver quality apprenticeship technical training on behalf of the provincial apprenticeship authorities, engaging in this co-ordinated effort to increase the availability of online training options across the region is a reflection of our commitment to the economic and social development of the Atlantic provinces,” said CNA President William Radford. CNA

Minister rebukes UAlberta for fee hikes, president’s salary

Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt criticized the University of Alberta for hiking student fees while its president, David Turpin, remains one of the highest-paid administrators in the country, CBC reports. “When it comes to getting money in the university's budget, he goes rummaging in the pockets of students and doesn't reach into his own pocket,” Schmidt said. Michael Phair, Chairman of UAlberta’s Board of Governors, expressed surprise at the Minister’s remarks. According to Phair, the university relies too heavily on short-term investment income to fund its operating costs. Phair added that the university cannot use domestic tuition or government grants to subsidize international fees, or residences and meal plans. Phair also stated that Turpin is compensated “competitively.” CBC | Edmonton Journal

Carleton’s new Chair in “conjuring arts” to investigate logic of deception

The Ottawa Citizen reports that Carleton University is looking for a resident magician to chair a new program in the “conjuring arts.” “It is a very opportune time to have somebody like this because we’re experiencing people doing all kinds of things that are deceptive, you know,” said Carleton Interim President Alastair Summerlee. The new Chair, named after Allan Slaight, is expected to demonstrate expertise in the history of magic, the history of perception, and to investigate the relationship between deception and perception. Ottawa Citizen

Concordia failed to address sexual harassment: student

A former philosophy student has reportedly filed a human rights complaint against Concordia University for failing to take adequate action after reporting sexual harassment from a professor. According to the Montreal Gazette, the Department Chair rebuffed the student’s request for academic accommodation for stress related to reporting the professor, and reportedly added that it would “be best not to mention the harassment case” to other faculty members. Mary-Jo Barr, a spokeswoman for Concordia, stated that “Concordia has done much work in recent years to ensure survivors have a safe environment and feel well supported to bring forward and disclose cases of sexual violence.” CBC adds that at least six former Concordia students have filed complaints with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. Montreal Gazette | CBC

Late engineer’s $1M gift to fund entry scholarships at Ryerson

The George and Helen Vari Foundation has donated $1M to Ryerson University’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. The money will help fund the Faculty’s entrance awards. “Awards change lives,” notes Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi, himself an engineer and a recipient of scholarships as a student. “They allow students to realize their potential and to fully contribute to Canadian society. The Vari name brings with it distinction and honour, and recipients of these new awards will feature it with pride on their developing resumés.” Vari, a civil engineer, emigrated to Canada with his wife Helen after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and away in 2010. Ryerson

Sudbury researcher receives $2M for Indigenous children’s healthcare

Laurentian University's Nancy Young, Research Chair in Rural and Northern Children's Health, has reportedly received a $2M grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Young researches barriers for health care amongst rural Indigenous children, and her current project consists of a partnership with eight local communities. “I'm extremely grateful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for this grant,” Young said. “This research is very important for children living in remote communities where health services are locally planned and delivered.” The Star adds that the project will also evaluate the effectiveness of the Holistic Arts-based mindfulness program, as well as the Right to Play program Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY). Sudbury Star

Ombudsperson to investigate harassment complaint against UPEI Student Union president

CBC states that the UPEI Student Union’s ombudsperson will investigate a complaint forwarded against former student union president Hammad Ahmed. Ahmed reportedly resigned as Student Union President in January. UPEI Vice-President of Student Life and complainant Megan Rix expressed concerns with how the situation was handled after she filed a formal complaint with the UPEI Student Union. “The SU's HR policies and procedures are flawed and I know this because I had to work with someone who made me feel scared and uncomfortable for three months before something was done,” stated Rix. “When something was done I had to go to him myself and express to him my vulnerabilities and why I felt as though he should resign.” CBC

Employer branding can secure top-talent in PSE sector: Zinkan

“A brand is what you stand for in the minds of the people you’re trying to reach, influence, and move to action, and that perception is shaped by every single experience a person has with your organization,” writes Rob Zinkan. In the context of the postsecondary sector, he adds, an employer brand influences how staff, faculty, and administrators perceive their institution, and a good employer brand is crucial to attract and retain top talent. Zinkan outlines three tactics to improve an employer's brand: synergize HR and the institution’s brand to build a recruiting-oriented approach; ensure that internal communications are consistent with the institution’s overall brand strategy; and advocate for maximized engagement to ensure that employees thrive in the workplace. Inside Higher Ed

MUN sees success in efforts to attract Indigenous medical students

Memorial University of Newfoundland says that its efforts to increase Indigenous enrolments in its medical school are working, as the school now has as many of these students currently enrolled as its total number of Indigenous graduates. The increase can be attributed to MUN’s Aboriginal Health Initiative, says Carolyn Sturge-Sparkes, who works with the program. “Nationally, Indigenous youth are under-represented in the medical profession,” said Sturge-Sparks. “I think close to 4.9 per cent of the Canadian population is now identified as being Indigenous, and under one per cent are represented in the medical profession.” CBC