Top Ten

April 17, 2018

CMU unveils Centre for Environmental and Economic Resilience

Canadian Mennonite University has unveiled its $1.7M Centre for Environmental and Economic Resilience. According to a provincial news release, the federal government contributed $745K toward the project, with the Province of Manitoba reportedly chipping in an additional $418K. “This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive,” stated Doug Eyolfson, MP of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley. The Centre will house incubator facilities to support community-based industry and green initiatives. MB | CMU

YorkU’s striking workers “oblivious” to economic reality: Cohn

By vigorously attacking York University’s administration, striking workers are putting their own future at risk, argues Regg Cohn. The author adds that YorkU’s fifth strike in 20 years also reveals a persistent pattern of dysfunction between the union and the administration that has been augmented by a provincial inquiry into the dispute. Citing fiscal malfeasance by CUPE 3903 in 2009, Cohn criticizes the union for reportedly shouting down YorkU President Rhonda Lenton during a speech. Finally, the author asserts that future YorkU students who “might have been tempted to apply for admission ... may now be inclined to take their business elsewhere.” Toronto Star

How international students can survive, thrive while studying in Canada

Studying as an international student in Canada can be extremely rewarding, but requires “nerves of steel,” writes Prajwala Dixit. Reflecting on her experience as an international student, the author notes that social isolation, culture shock, and xenophobic experiences remain significant challenges to international students during their studies. Further, barriers to gaining permanent residency create difficulties for those who graduate from Canadian PSE. To help address these barriers, Dixit recommends that international students improve their chances at a bright future in Canada by volunteering, building a resume, learning French, and a getting a part-time job. CBC

Deadline stalemate jeopardizes RRC construction project

The Winnipeg Free Press states that a six-week impasse with Ottawa continues to delay a $95M construction project at Red River College. According to the Free Press, RRC suspended construction on its Innovation Centre in March when it realized that it could not complete the project by the government’s deadline of November 30th, 2018. $40M of federal funding is reportedly at risk because of the delays. The federal government tells the Free Press that it supports the Centre, but cannot justify an extension, as it would set a bad precedent for other construction projects across the country. Winnipeg Free Press

UCalgary announces launch of $2M Chair in cattle health

The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has announced the launch of the Simpson Ranch Chair in Beef Health and Wellness. The Simpson family reportedly donated $2M toward the establishment of the Chair, which will prioritize research on antimicrobial resistance, disease control, reproduction, lameness, and beef quality and safety. “To have a partnership with veterinarians who can speak for the industry in a completely unbiased, completely science-based research-based approach is a huge benefit to the industry,” said donor Christie Simpson. Edouard Timsit, who will sit as the inaugural Chair, added that the partnership will also incorporate community outreach to train cattle producers. UCalgary

UQAT, Fonderie Horne form first-of-its-kind partnership

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue has formed a first-of-its-kind partnership with la Fonderie Horne that will support a tailings park renaturalization project. Valued at $500K over five years, the project will focus on the environmental rehabilitation of Horne’s Quémont 2 site located in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. A UQAT release notes that the project will allow the school to pool the resources and expertise of its Institut de recherche en mines et en environnement (IRME) and the Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF). UQAT Rector Denis Martel noted that the partnership will fulfill the dual goals of establishing research groupings on interdisciplinary themes and developing partnerships with the community. UQAT

Plumbing program at Boreal anticipates labour shortage

College Boreal has launched a new plumbing technician program in response to an aging workforce, the Sudbury Star reports. “Before launching a new program, we make sure to conduct a comprehensive analysis of market trends and employability rates,” said Tina Montgomery, dean of the School of Trades and Applied Technology at College Boreal. “The average age of a tradesperson in Canada is 40-50. By 2020, the country is predicted to have a shortage of one million tradespersons.” The Star adds that the program will offer training in French, a first for plumbing programs in Ontario. In celebration of the program’s inaugural year, Boreal will provide students who enrol for the Fall semester with a $1K scholarship. Sudbury Star

Should academic couples think of their jobs as part of a single academic career?

For academics in a committed relationship, it might be beneficial to think of their individual jobs as part of one combined academic career, writes Joshua Kim. The author notes two major factors that might drive this situation: the massive gap between tenure-track and part-time employment, and the mismatch between supply and demand for PhDs. Kim then suggests that, as landing two well-paid academic positions becomes increasingly rare for couples, these same couples might need to begin thinking of their professional aspirations within the context of a combined academic career. Inside Higher Ed

Dal‑led immunotherapy project awarded $3.2M from US-based National Cancer Institute

A Dalhousie Medical School cancer immunologist has received $3.2M in research support from the National Cancer Institute in the United States. Dal Assistant Professor in Pathology Shashi Gujar is working with University of North Carolina Professor Sherri McFarland to develop new immunotherapies for advanced melanoma. The project will specifically work to develop an immunotherapy treatment for advanced melanoma that would work similarly to a vaccine, a Dal release notes. “The success rate for this competition is often around 10 to 12 per cent,” says Gujar. “So of course, we are ecstatic.” Dal

All university stakeholders must be responsible for cybersecurity: Bechkoum

Universities will never be 100 per cent secure because no one is completely safe when it comes to cyber security, writes Kamal Bechkoum. The author adds that it is essential to train not only staff, but also students in the basic skills of cybersecurity. Bechkoum also notes that as the frequency and stakes of cyberattacks continue to rise, governments will likely begin to hold schools more accountable for data breaches, with fines for breaches potentially taking up as much as 2% of schools’ operating budgets. “This matters because we can all be victims (or at least targets) and cyber security cannot, and should not, be delegated,” the author argues. “While you are busy thinking ‘it’s not going to be me, I’m not important,’ that is when you leave yourself vulnerable.” Times Higher Education