Top Ten

April 16, 2018

Lakehead law school dean steps down, citing systemic issues

Lakehead University Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Dean Angelique EagleWoman has announced that she is stepping down from her position. “I have been the victim of systemic discrimination at Lakehead University,” EagleWoman wrote in a letter to the law faculty’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee. The Toronto Star reports that EagleWoman was told by the school that she was focusing too much on the school’s Indigenous mandate. EagleWoman had also reportedly taken on the job of teaching all mandatory Indigenous courses in addition to the demands of being a dean. In an emailed statement, Lakehead emphasized its “unwavering” commitment to its core pillars, and stated that it will not comment on personnel matters beyond confirming the resignation. Toronto Star | CBC

Duncan announces $42M investment in science infrastructure

Last week, the Federal Government announced $42M in funding for infrastructure projects at universities across Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R Evans Leaders Fund. According to a CFI news release, the $42M investment is part of a $763M package that will provide scientists, scholars, and students with cutting-edge tools. “I want to congratulate all of today’s recipients who will now have access to state-of-the-art tools and research infrastructure that will allow them to explore some of our most pressing questions,” said Kirsty Duncan, Federal Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “The answers they find contribute to the evidence our government needs to build a stronger economy and a more prosperous future for all Canadians.” CFI

Dal, MUN, UPEI receive $25M for ocean research

The Ocean Frontier Institute has reportedly invested $25M in ocean research projects to be conducted at Dalhousie University, Memorial University, and the University of Prince Edward Island. A Dal release states that the projects will include improved storm prediction and mitigation, research into ocean change, and advancements in aquaculture and fisheries. “The global ocean economy is projected to double in size over the next 15 years,” said OFI CEO Wendy Watson-Wright. “The ocean is our new frontier and there’s an ocean of opportunity for us to unlock through research.” Dal

URegina will video-record exams in bid to deter cheaters

In response to a number of high-profile allegations of cheating, the University of Regina told CBC that it will set up video cameras during final exams. In an email to students, URegina Registrar James D’Arcy stated that “[i]t is a fact that the number of students who engage in academic misconduct is relatively small; however, the impact of their actions is far reaching.” D’Arcy emphasized that URegina’s policy complies with the Saskatchewan Local Authority Freedom of Information and Privacy Act. He added that students who refuse to write an exam because of the cameras will not be accommodated. According to CBC, URegina has witnessed a 56% increase in cheating over the last two years. CBC

Algonquin’s $25M pay equity bill the highest in Ontario

Algonquin College has been saddled with a $25M bill for pay equity following the implementation of Bill 48, which requires employers to pay employees who do the same job at the same rate, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Algonquin VP of Finance Duane McNair stated that Algonquin’s bill is the highest in ON because it has historically provided its contract instructors with lower wages than other colleges in the province. According to the Citizen, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has applauded the new bylaw, and Algonquin’s senior administration is also in favour of pay equity. However, Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen added that the college will have to make cuts elsewhere to redistribute instructor salaries. Ottawa Citizen

10 tips for college presidents

Following the high-profile resignation of a college president in the US, Liz DiMarco Weinmann offers 10 tips for presidents who may find themselves in a precarious situation. In addition to maintaining a steady hand that ensures institutional stability, especially at times of perceived crisis, Weinmann states that presidents “must comport themselves in a manner that is beyond reproach, as consummate people champions, collaborators in chief, and exemplars of excellence” both online and in-person. Weinmann also emphasizes that presidents should speak for the institution, and not themselves, while upholding its “vision, mission, and values.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Cater reflects on strategic plans during market uncertainty

In an op-ed for Times Higher Education, John Cater offers some reflections on how strategic planning has changed since the 2008 financial crisis. Following a brief overview of the way management theory has influenced administrative decision making, Cater asserts that “vision” is paramount for an effective plan. For Cater, “[t]he best leaders are ‘grounded optimists,’ neither delusional, promising the earth 10 years hence, nor arch-pessimists who sap the energy and enthusiasm from all they come into contact with.” He adds that strategic plans, in the face of turbulent markets, must stay “committed,” “solution focused,” and “team oriented” to maintain sustainability. Times Higher Education

UOttawa to offer Canada’s first courses on cannabis law

The University of Ottawa has announced two new courses in cannabis law, reportedly the first of their kind in Canada. One will investigate the regulatory framework of both medical and recreational cannabis use in Canada, while the other, a French-language course on the regulation of cannabis in Canada, will be taught by Diane Labelle, General Counsel, Health Canada Legal Services. “The legalization and regulation of cannabis will impact many areas of the law, and we are proud that our students will be able to study these issues in real-time, as the regulation of cannabis unfolds,” stated UOttawa Dean of Law Adam Dodek. UOttawa

All-hours Bitcoin machine installed in UAlberta residence

A new Bitcoin teller machine has appeared on the University of Alberta’s North Campus in Edmonton. According to the Edmonton Journal, the machine appeared near the entrance of the university’s Rutherford Library last Monday with neither ceremony nor signage, bearing only the onscreen message: “Seriously, right across from the BMO ATM. A little on the nose, right?” James Gray, a local IT professional who owns the BTM, says he installed the machine to show that people are ready to manage their finances outside of regulated currency. “It was a good place to attract a younger, more tech-savvy crowd who could see the benefits of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies,” Gray said. “Most all other BTMs in the city are located in coffee shops, bars or convenience stores. It’s got to be more accessible to people.” The Star Edmonton

ON government launches inquiry commission into YorkU strike

The Ontario government has launched a commission to examine the contract faculty strike at York University, reports Global News. ON Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says an industrial inquiry commission will examine the remaining issues in the dispute and report on any steps that can be taken to address them. Global reports that more than 3,000 YorkU graduate teaching assistants, contract faculty, and graduate research assistants walked off the job March 5th in a dispute over wages and job security. All three bargaining units of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3903 rejected the university’s latest offer in what the union called a “forced ratification vote” earlier this month. Global News