Top Ten

April 18, 2018

Political party-in-residence an “experimental laboratory” at Concordia

In a reported first, Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts will host a political party-in-residence. According to Concordia, the faculty’s partnership with Denmark’s The Alternative will consist of a year-long project that provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in political policy and decision-making in the arts. Uffe Elbaek, The Alternative’s founder and leader, emphasized the timeliness of the initiative. “Climate change, mass migration, political strongmen rising across the world — solving these challenges will require every ounce of insight and creativity from all of our youth,” Elbaek stated. Rebecca Duclos, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, said that the project will focus on “abandoned and underutilized architecture” in Montreal. Concordia

Over one-third of ON university boards seats occupied by corporate leadership: study

A recent analysis by PressProgress shows that corporate leaders hold over one-third of all seats on university boards in Ontario. PressProgress states that students, staff, and senate comprise an additional 30%, with 28% consisting of other external members. Ex officio presidents and chancellors reportedly make up the remaining 7%. Queen’s University Board of Trustees chair Donald Raymond stated that he is “unaware of any concerns” about his board, adding that it is “very effective in meeting the financial management and academic needs of the university, its students, academics and staff.” According to PressProgress, overrepresentation from the private sector risks making universities less accountable to public interests. PressProgress

RRC acquires aviation campus thanks to $8M loan

Red River College has announced the acquisition of its Stevenson Aviation Campus from the property's former landlord after the provincial government approved RRC’s request to borrow $8M for the acquisition. “Now that we own it, we can grow it, we can add to it, we can change it,” said RRC President Paul Voigt. RRC added that it will save $1M over the length of the 25-year mortgage. The Stevenson Campus reportedly provides training for aircraft maintenance engineers, aerospace manufacturing technicians, and gas turbine engine repair technicians. RRC | Winnipeg Free Press

U of T renames Department of Civil Engineering to reflect interdisciplinarity

The University of Toronto has renamed its Department of Civil Engineering to the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, according to a university news release. The change in name reportedly reflects the department’s interdisciplinarity and the breadth of its faculty. “Interdisciplinary research and education is becoming a hallmark of our Faculty,” said U of T Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Cristina Amon. “This renaming acknowledges the synergistic collaboration between traditional disciplines that is integral to the Department’s vibrancy.” U of T added that the renaming does not reflect any changes to the department’s structures or programs. Instead, it “solidifies ties with all alumni and deepens the Department’s relationships with industry and employers.” U of T

TRU, CWI announce international transfer credit agreement

Thompson Rivers University and the College of Western Idaho have announced two new transfer agreements that will allow CWI students to transfer their arts and sciences credits into TRU’s Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. CWI Executive Vice President of Instruction and Student Services David Shellberg applauded TRU’s commitment to the agreement, stating: “we are especially impressed by how well TRU understands and appreciates our graduates and how it has made American community colleges a major emphasis in its recruitment efforts.” According to TRU Associate VP International Operations Baihua Chadwick, TRU is CWI’s first Canadian partner institution. TRU | CWI

UQAR partners with Argentina, France on marine project in Tierra del Fuego

The Université du Québec à Rimouski has reportedly partnered with the Université de Bretagne Occidentale in France and the government of Argentina for a research project that focuses on marine science and climate change in Tierra del Fuego. A UQAR news release states that the project, is part of a longstanding partnership between the three parties. The idea for the project reportedly stems from a seminar that included representatives from Argentina, the Centre Austral des Recherches Scientifiques, and UBO. Ariane Plourde, Director of l’Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski at UQAR, stated that the development of a research agenda will make up the project’s next phase. UQAR

Campus Wi-Fi “as essential as light and water”

Colleges and universities are struggling to meet student demand for fast, free, and ubiquitous Wi-Fi access on campus, writes Lindsay McKenzie. Part of the challenge, McKenzie finds, is the furious pace at which advances in Wi-Fi technology coincide with higher bandwidth requirements. McKenzie looks at how several US institutions maintain and upgrade their Wi-Fi infrastructure. In the latter part of the article, the author weighs in on the extent to which Wi-Fi shapes the student experience in the specific realms of learning, athletics, and residence. Inside Higher Ed

Indigenizing MOOCs a work in progress: Stranach

Matthew Stranach writes that “Indigenous Canada,” a MOOC offered through the University of Alberta that boasts the highest enrolment total in the country, has brought Indigenous content to a massive audience. However, Stranach also notes that there persists the question of “how to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing and relating” into MOOCs. Stranach suggests that because MOOCs are based on hierarchical methods that involve little to no interaction between instructor and students, they do not necessarily align with Indigenous pedagogy or cultural values. Additionally, the author finds that MOOCs might not adequately address the complexity and cultural specificity of different Indigenous groups. Bearing these challenges in mind, Stranach concludes by reiterating that MOOCs have the potential to improve access to Indigenous epistemologies. The Conversation

Centennial, student association partner to provide feminine hygiene products at no cost

Centennial College and its student association have worked together to introduce a new policy that will make feminine hygiene products available for free in women’s washrooms across the college’s Toronto campuses. As part of an initiative called Free the Tampon, the freely available products will be paid for through the association's student activity fees. “Free the Tampon is the result of considerable debate on North American campuses regarding equitable access to personal hygiene products in washrooms,” reads a Centennial release. “Centennial is believed to be the first public college to provide the products at no cost.” Durham Radio News | Toronto Star  |  thebeat925 | Centennial  

Highlighting the benefits of NS’s university sector

Nova Scotia’s university sector is “worth its weight in gold,” writes Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents Executive Director Peter Halpin. The author notes that in addition to educating the next generation of citizens, universities are essential to three core aspects of NS’s ongoing prosperity: talent attraction, retention, and population growth; R & D and innovation; and the generation of export revenue. On this last item, Halpin notes that many often forget that NS universities make up the third largest export revenue sector in the province. Finally, Halpin notes that universities are essential to the health and wellbeing of the province’s youth. Chronicle Herald