Top Ten

April 9, 2018

Queen’s receives $5M for wellness centre

Dennis Sharp and Helen Côté Sharp have donated $5M toward a new health and wellness centre, Queen’s University has announced. “As one enters the Côté Sharp Wellness Centre, there's every reason to expect a welcoming presence and, hopefully, once it's up and running, an absence of bureaucratic barriers,” said Sharp. “We wish to encompass a support mentality, not one that creates barriers, intimidation or elevates frustration and anxiety.” Côté Sharp added that the decision to donate the money was an “easy choice,” as the project resonated with her career in the human sector.  According to a Queen’s release, the centre will feature medical and counselling staff, as well as a full complement of social workers and psychologists. Kingston Whig-Standard | Queen’s

New program at Loyalist to fill demand for occupational therapist, physiotherapist assistants

Loyalist College reports that it has launched a two-year Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant diploma program. In addition to classroom training, the program will include a work-integrated learning component that consists of three clinical placements, as well as a diploma-to-degree pathway for advanced entry into University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Kinesiology and Bachelor of Allied Health Science degree programs. Loyalist Dean of Health, Human & Justice Studies June MacDonald-Jenkins adds that the program meets local demand for occupational therapist and physiotherapist assistants through “technology simulated modalities and more than 500 hours of fieldwork in health care settings such as rehabilitation centres, home care services, social services agencies, long-term care facilities and community hospitals.” Loyalist

UWaterloo announces new School at Stratford campus

The University of Waterloo has announced that its Stratford campus will be home to the new Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. For the last six years, the Stratford campus has reportedly grown at a rate of 20% per year, featuring programs that include the Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts and the Master of Digital Experience Innovation. UWaterloo adds that these two programs will form the core of the new School. “As a School and a new unit in the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts, we will be well placed for further growth and excellence,” said Stratford Campus Director Christine McWebb. UWaterloo

UMontréal’s new science complex to double as neighbourhood hub

The Université de Montréal recently unveiled its new science complex, the first phase of its new campus in the Outremont neighbourhood, reports the Montreal Gazette. According to the Gazette, the 60,000-square-metre facility will accommodate 2K students, 200 teachers, and several hundred support staff while providing much-needed research facilities for UMontréal’s expanding programs. The Gazette adds that the complex will link several métro stations, and that new streets and a park will surround the building. The university has reportedly bought land for eight more buildings, but has not yet finalized construction plans or timelines. Montreal Gazette

Confederation receives $2M for new Technology Hub

Confederation College has learned that it will receive $2M from the Ontario government for a Technology Education and Collaboration Hub. According to a Confederation release, the Hub will provide technology and tools to “enable innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration.” Confederation adds that the provincial support has also helped foster a fund development campaign to equip the Hub with “state-of-the-art equipment needed to best facilitate student learning and community access.” Confederation

TRU celebrates groundbreaking on new nursing building

British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark joined faculty, staff, and students at the groundbreaking of the new Nursing and Population Health Building at Thompson Rivers University last week. According to a TRU news release, The 4,550 square-metre facility will be home to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Health Care Assistant, Master of Nursing, and several upcoming programs reported to be in development. TRU adds that the new facility will help meet the province’s demand for nurses, of which there will be a reported 5,000 openings in the region over the next 10 years. Construction is forecasted for completion by late 2019, with classes expected to begin in January 2020. TRU | BC

Research into “human-skills” training an imperative: Evans and Frank

In response to RBC President Dave McKay’s recent call to prioritize “human-skills” in higher education, Greg Evans and Brian Frank argue that research into the efficacy of those skills must also be implemented. Evans and Frank add that they agree with McKay’s position, stating that “[p]rofessional competencies such as communication, team skills, leadership, management and entrepreneurship” have become crucial components in their respective Engineering faculties. Finally, Evans and Frank find that the shift to a “learning-based society” from a knowledge economy will necessitate shifts in training. The authors also state that research streams for STEM disciplines remain badly underfunded in Canada. Globe and Mail

Law schools should avoid becoming combatants in culture wars: Pardy

“Yes, the law is political,” writes Queen’s University Law Professor Bruce Pardy, “but that does not mean that law schools should be.” Responding to an editorial written by two of his colleagues at Queen’s, Pardy argues that while it is true that law school should teach students to critique the political foundations of a society’s laws, “that is quite a different thing from law schools advocating an ideology and telling students what to believe.” Pardy argues that while individuals have political convictions, “a law school does not ‘believe’ something even if a majority of its professors do. Its role is merely to house its faculty and to facilitate their individual research and teaching.” For this reason, Pardy concludes that law schools should avoid becoming “combatants in the culture wars.” National Post

UManitoba’s sexual violence survey draws criticism

A survey on sexual violence administered by University of Manitoba has sparked concern among students and faculty for allegedly including statements that reinforce dangerous myths about sexual assault. The survey states that students’ answers will be used to identify areas of need on campus and help determine where to deploy services going forward. One particular section that contained agree/disagree statements is reportedly the cause of greatest concern. “They're all loaded, they're all loaded with misinformation, myths, stereotypes that are hostile to women,” says UManitoba Ethics Professor Arthur Schafer. Yet the survey’s designer, UManitoba Sociology Professor Tracey Peter, says that the results will help the university better respond to the issue on campus. “The reality is that a lot of people still believe these things,” says Peter. “The whole goal of this survey was to have a better sense of our campus community.” CTV News

FOI documents paint clearer picture of pressures facing WLU during Shepherd episode: Chiose

New documents relating to the case of Wilfrid Laurier University Teaching Assistant Lindsay Shepherd reveal more about the internal and external pressures faced by the university last November, reports Simona Chiose. Emails accessed through a freedom of information request show that the university received criticism from the public over the way Shepherd was treated by faculty and staff after showing a clip of University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson in her class. The documents show that the university’s support centre for LGBTQ students also became the target of hateful messages during the episode. Finally, Chiose writes that these documents also “raise renewed questions about how the university’s policy dealing with sexual violence was applied to the case.” Globe and Mail