Top Ten

April 11, 2018

AB places new limits on university, college presidents’ pay

The Alberta government has announced that it plans to place new limits on salaries, bonuses, and other benefits paid to college and university presidents in the province. Starting April 15th this year, new pay bands will come into effect in the province. The province has also announced that existing contracts will have to be in line with the new guidelines by April 14th, 2020.  The Edmonton Journal reports that the practice of paying bonuses will also end, as will benefits such as free sports club memberships, signing bonuses, and executive allowances. The chairs of the University of Calgary and University of Alberta boards of governors have expressed concern about how the new pay guidelines will affect their efforts to recruit top talent. CBC

StFX receives $10M for wellness centre revitalization

Amelia and Lino Saputo have donated $10M to St Francis Xavier University, reportedly the largest gift in the institution’s 165-year history. According to a news release, the donation will go toward revitalizing the Oland Centre, StFX’s aging health and wellness centre. “StFX’s Oland Centre has been critical for maintaining community health and wellness since it opened in 1967,” stated StFX president Ken MacDonald. “In fact, of all the buildings we have on our campus the Oland Centre sees the highest use, which directly reflects its importance to our region and our communities.” StFX adds that the Oland Centre will be renamed the Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living in honour of the donation. StFX

UWaterloo, Cisco partnership to advance 5G technology

The University of Waterloo has announced that Cisco will invest over $1M toward 5G technology research at the school over the next five years. Catherine Rosenberg, who was named Cisco Research Chair in 5G Systems, stated that “5G will deliver better service to fixed and highly mobile users and scale to provide connectivity to millions of things,” as it will reportedly facilitate the ongoing development of the Internet of Things, improve autonomous vehicles, and further advance virtual reality technologies. According to UWaterloo, Cisco will also invest $500K in the Global Entrepreneurship and Disruption Initiative, as well as $100K in a new entrepreneurial innovation lab that fosters “an understanding of Cisco’s customers’ most significant business challenges.” UWaterloo | Waterloo Record

HEC Montréal, CHU Sainte-Justine partnership promotes healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship

HEC Montréal, in partnership with the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, has announced several new programs in innovation and entrepreneurship. According to an HEC Montréal news release, the programs will provide training for students seeking academic and professional careers in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, and for managers, professionals, and entrepreneurs who are currently active in the healthcare sector. An additional partnership with CHU Sainte-Justine, Hacking Health, the Prompt industrial research consortium, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec will include a residence program in healthcare that will reportedly be the first of its kind in QC. HEC Montréal

Union rejects YorkU’s latest offer

Contract workers have rejected York University’s latest offer, CBC reports. 72% of the union membership reportedly voted in the “forced ratification vote,” and according to the Globe and Mail, “three-quarters to two-thirds” of the three units represented by CUPE rejected the deal. "It was the same offer that we rejected five weeks ago,” CUPE 3903 Treasurer Suj Sriskandarajah told CBC. In a statement, YorkU said it was “deeply disappointed” in the result. “CUPE 3903 continues to maintain positions and proposals that are unreasonable, including wage increases of 3.5 per cent a year, proposals to limit academic excellence and over 30 other demands,” YorkU added. CBC | Globe and Mail | YorkU  

Canadore summer programming brings economic benefits to North Bay

Canadore College is finding new ways to generate revenue and provide an important economic contribution to its local community during the summer months, writes Rocco Frangione. The addition of new summer programming now allows Canadore to enroll 350 full-time students over the summer, a fact that Vice President of Enrolment, Management, Indigenous and Student Affairs Shawn Chorney says is crucial to the economy of North Bay, Ontario. “This snippet of summer activity adds about $5 million to the local economy,” Chorney told Moose News. “The students are here, some are also working and spending money.  And because we have several hundred exchange students, their families come for visits.” My North Bay Now

Researcher offers a skeptic’s guide to institutional brand-building

Although the higher education sector keenly understands the significance of branding, Eric Sickler relates that many senior leaders “remain skeptical about committing significant resources to brand clarification and management.” Sickler suspects that leaders express skepticism because branding strategies demand the reallocation of already scarce funds. He then offers an American college as a case study in brand “clarification and elevation.” Some of the key insights he gleans from this case include the importance of robust market research, a four-to-five year branding clarification strategy, and the importance of “authenticity” as a means of capturing the “essence” of an institution. Inside Higher Ed

Grad students should maintain relationships with those both inside, outside grad school: Barkely

“At some point, graduate school will be tough. And when the going gets tough, the wise lean on each other,” writes Danielle Barkely. The author notes that while graduate school often encourages autonomy and self-direction, these values can lead to the feelings of isolation and poor mental health that are common among graduate students. To help address this issue, the author advises graduate students to maintain strong interpersonal networks made up of people both in and outside of graduate school. Barkely also advises graduate students to look at their friends in graduate school as allies rather than competitors. University Affairs

UAlberta researchers receive $1M from ATB

Scientists and researchers at the University of Alberta will benefit from a new four-year, $940K partnership with ATB Financial, reports the Edmonton Journal. The partnership will reportedly drive three initial projects that are already underway between ATB’s data scientists and university scientists who are looking at real-time fraud detection, predictive analytics, and a recommendation system similar to Amazon focused around financial literacy and health. “All of the projects are designed to enhance human capabilities, allowing ATB to function more effectively, deepening their efforts in maintaining customer relationships,” said a release. The Journal reports that the money will also be used for student internships. Edmonton Journal

Students' unions “essential to institutions”: Vulliamy

Student unions do not challenge universities as much as they should, writes Ben Vulliamy in response to a recent editorial contending that student unions should have less of a voice in university decision-making. The author specifically argues against three common myths: that students are “barely adults” who do not know how to run and protect institutions; that the “partnership” between the university and students is unequal by definition; and that students, being transient by definition, cannot contribute to the university’s long-term goals. Times Higher Education