Top Ten

April 4, 2018

Carleton, CUPE reach tentative agreement

Carleton University and CUPE 2424 have reached a tentative agreement to end a nearly month-long strike, according to a university press release. Union president Jerrett Clarke stated that the two sides arrived at the tentative agreement on Monday night with the help of an external mediator. The Ottawa Citizen reports that the details will remain confidential until the union ratifies the agreement, but concerns from CUPE about the wording of the pension plan have remained the most contentious issue in the dispute. Clarke added that if the union votes favourably, members will return to work on Wednesday at the earliest. CBC | Ottawa Citizen | Carleton

UManitoba Head Archivist dismayed by restructuring of Head Librarian position

In the wake of Brandon University’s proposed spending cuts, the University of Manitoba's Head Archivist Shelley Sweeney expressed her concern to the Brandon Sun about senior administration’s decision to replace the Chief Librarian position with that of Chief Information Officer. “I can appreciate that perhaps the government wants the universities to cut back,” Sweeney stated, “but it just seems kind of extreme.” BrandonU Interim President Steve Robinson acknowledged concerns from students and staff about the Board of Governors’ decision to amalgamate the roles of Chief Librarian, Director of Information Technology Services, and Director of Institution Data and Analysis into a single Chief Information Officer, adding that the new CIO will be “well-prepared” to manage all three of those areas with “knowledge and sensitivity.” Brandon Sun

Métis Nation BC, UFV launch Community Support Worker Program

Métis Nation BC, in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley, recently announced the launch of the Métis Community Support Worker Program. In addition to providing adult upgrading and postsecondary courses with a foundation in cultural elements and Elder supports, the program will also include a community support worker certificate. The program is part of a $21M funding package from the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program, which will reportedly be distributed to more than 40 British Columbia First Nations for postsecondary education and training. UFV

Trent, Fleming renew degree pathways in environmental and natural resource studies

Trent University and Fleming College have announced a renewed agreement in which Fleming students enrolled in Environmental Technology, Ecosystem Management Technology, and the Fish and Wildlife Technology advanced diploma may apply their credits toward a Bachelor of Science at Trent. “This agreement provides our students with the opportunity to combine the applied, hands-on learning available in our programs with theoretical learning available at Trent, in a shortened time-frame, which is attractive to students,” said Brett Goodwin, Dean/Principal, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences at Fleming’s Frost Campus. The renewal is reportedly part of a comprehensive set of degree pathways between Fleming and Trent in fields such as business, law, and computer science. Fleming

Provincial grant to help Western reduce greenhouse emissions

Western University has received $11.6M from Ontario’s provincial government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Global News reports. The grant, part of an $85.2M funding package disbursed through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program, will enable Western to divert wasted heat from its power plant to other buildings, and to implement low-temperature heating systems in others. “Once this project is completed, heat recovery technology and renewable energy systems will be integrated throughout our campus, dramatically reducing our future carbon emissions,” said Paul Martin, Director of Business Operations at Western. According to a university press release, the grant will help Western reduce its emissions by 12% from 2016 levels, with an estimated savings of $1.6M. Global News | Western

Historians must introduce new methods of assessment, evaluation

“Historians aren’t great at tracking what students learn,” write Sam Wineburg, Joel Breakstone, and Mark Smith. The authors reflect on Bancroft Prize winner Anne Hyde’s article on the failure of history professors at her institution to document student learning. The authors go on to discuss a brief exercise they developed to evaluate university history students’ critical thinking skills, and how they found that many seasoned college juniors and seniors had similar success rates to those of high school students. “Historians offer evidence when they make claims about the past,” the authors conclude. “Why should it be different when they make claims about what’s learned in their classrooms?” Inside Higher Ed

Brock to undergo fitness centre expansion following student referendum

A recent referendum held by the Brock University Students’ Union has seen students vote in favour of funding the expansion of Brock’s fitness centre to three times its current size. The expansion, quoted at $6M to $6.8M, will be funded through additional student fees and is expected to be completed in September 2020. “I was more anxious about this referendum than I was about my own election for president,” said BUSU President Faisal Hejazi, who noted that Brock’s fitness centre is the smallest in Ontario. “This is about providing future generations with something that will positively affect their mental health and overall Brock experience.” Brock

UCalgary Werklund School blended MEd addresses needs of MB Indigenous students

The University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education has joined with Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre in what it calls a first-of-its-kind partnership to offer a blended Master of Education in School and Applied Child Psychology. UCalgary reports that Manitoba faces a shortage of Indigenous child psychologists in schools. “Coming from an isolated community, opportunities to pursue a higher education are not always available and normally require that we relocate,” said MEd SACP student Tanya McDougall, who currently works as a full-time school administrator in northern MB. The program is offered in a blend of online and in-person programming, with the cohort meeting on occasion at the UCalgary and Werklund School instructors teaching MB throughout the year. MFNERC will support the cohort, help monitor student progress, and build measures to ensure student success. UCalgary

RCMP investigating missing cash from North West College, SaskPolytech

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating after a loss report covering the period from July 1 to December 31, 2017 found that $11.3K in cash was missing from North West College and that $1.5K was stolen at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The report explains that in the case of North West College, “cash payments were not deposited,” and the college has reportedly made changes to its procedures. At SaskPolytech, over $1.5K in cash in the form of “payment for merchandise sold was received by non-financial services staff and went missing before it could be deposited.” A thief was not identified and no charges could be laid, and the report states that non-financial services staff at SaskPolytech no longer accept payments. CBC

UOttawa students start petition to postpone residence move-out day

Students at the University of Ottawa have created a petition to push back the university’s move-out date from April 27th to May 1st. “We realized that the resident contract states that we have to move out by April 27, even though our lease, as do most leases in the Ottawa region, and in Ontario start on May 1,” said UOttawa student Lucie Atangana, who spearheaded the petition. Atangana stated that Housing Service has not given a reason for the early move-out date, and did not respond to the submitted petition. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa has requested a meeting with Housing services within the next week. The Fulcrum