Top Ten

May 1, 2018

MUN Grenfell lays off administrative jobs in face of operating budget cuts

CBC reports that Memorial University's Grenfell Campus has laid off three positions: Director of Student Services, Manager of Marketing and Communications, and a Coordinator in the Office of Research. MUN Grenfell’s VP Jeff Keshen told CBC that the university had to cut $1M after the provincial government reduced MUN’s Operating Budget by over $5M for the 2018-19 academic year. “When you have a target like that, it's not just us. When you look at the province as a whole, so many are going through the same process. We have to be mindful of the services we provide,” Keshen said. According to Grenfell, students should not notice any disruptions in service delivery as other staff will absorb the laid-off administrators’ duties. CBC

USask WCVM accredited through 2024

The University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine announced that it has received full accreditation with minor deficiency through 2024. According to a WCVM news release, “minor deficiency” refers to “items that have minimal or no effect on student learning or safety and are typically resolved within one year.” The accreditation coincides with a recent announcement by the Alberta provincial government that it would divert $8M of funding from WCVM to the University of Calgary’s veterinary school. WCVM Dean Douglas Freeman expressed concern about the government’s decision, but remained hopeful that the college will find “creative solutions” to the cut with regional partners. Manitoba Co-operator

Expanding BC PSE system offers unique opportunities

In a response to the recently announced study focused on bringing a postsecondary campus to Vancouver Island’s west shore, former Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) vice-president Gary Bauslaugh reflects on the opportunities posed by postsecondary system expansions. In particular, Bauslaugh focuses on the often-missed opportunity to offer alternative and innovative approaches to education. “The establishment of a new campus devoted not to the establishment of more academic departments [...] but to the provision of a strong program of general and liberal education will not transform a broken world,” concludes Bausaugh. “But it would be a small step in the right direction.” Times Colonist

MedReleaf, Niagara sign MOU to support cannabis expertise

Niagara College states that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MedReleaf that will “foster the development of cannabis production expertise in Canada through its Graduate Certificate Program in Commercial Cannabis Production.” The MOU will reportedly incorporate opportunities for program development; merit-based entrance scholarships; work integrated learning; graduate placements; and applied research projects. Vivian Kinnaird, Niagara’s Dean of Business, Hospitality and Environment, expressed gratitude to MedReleaf for its “commitment to student scholarships, which will assist students who might otherwise be unable to pursue their educational goals.” Cision

New research platform funding enables Sept-Îles to offer technological expertise to region

Cégep de Sept-Îles has received an investment of $900K over three years to install a new research platform. Hussein Ibrahim, director of Sept-Îles’s entrepreneurship and innovation development center, stated that platform will enable Sept-Îles to broaden the expertise of organizations throughout the Côte-Nord region. The research platform will be completed as soon as this summer, according to Radio Canada, and Ibrahim added that the school will begin hiring and outreach to make companies and partners aware of the new expertise in the area. 

Radio Canada

Addressing the impact of controversy on collaborators, co-authors, students

Masha Fedzechkina writes about her experience with having a long-term collaborator and adviser accused of sexual harassment, and the impact on her career. In the months following the public coverage of the accusation, Fedzechkina reflects on the pressures to publicly address the issue or obscure her association with her collaborator. The author goes on to discuss the increased impact on graduate students working under the accused’s supervision. While commending the industry for its focus on sexual harassment, Fedzechkina calls on the sector to “also talk about the people we often don’t talk about [...] and how we can make sure that their careers do not become collateral damage because of such events.”

Inside Higher Ed

Union challenges remarks made by TÉLUQ, subcontractor agreement

Following a press conference of the Syndicat des tuteurs et tutrices de la Télé-Université, the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec is responding to alleged remarks by Université TÉLUQ regarding the tutors. FNEEQ-CSN states that TELUQ disavowed the role of tutors, stating that they are not teachers, while the union argues that tutors play a key role in individualized supervision and student success. The article reports that FNEEQ-CSN is also currently challenging the legality of the TÉLUQ-MATCI agreement, which is associated with subcontracting work to the Institut MATCI Montréal. Newswire | Huffington Post

BrandonU’s Downtown project hinges on next president’s “vision”

Outgoing Brandon University Student Union President Nick Brown told the Brandon Sun that the university’s proposed project for a mixed-use downtown facility depends on BrandonU’s next president. “Once the new president of the university comes in, it’ll be their vision, and if they are strong-willed towards completing the downtown project, it will get done and the money will come in for that,” Brown said. “But if the person who comes in is not interested in that project, it will die right here.” According to the Sun, early plans for the project included a child-care centre, black-box theatre, and retail space, but project consultants advised BrandonU’s Board of Governors to re-evaluate the project’s scope. Brandon Sun

Improved accommodation of part-time students needed to foster success

A recent study has found that community colleges in the US must foster part-time student success in order to close the achievement gap for ethnic minorities, reports Inside Higher Ed. The study further noted that part-time enrolment negatively affects students’ ability to graduate. According to Christina Hubbard, Director of Strategic Research at EAB, shifting to full-time status is not necessarily an option for ethnic minorities. “Underrepresented minorities and low-income students, they're more likely to be working,” Hubbard stated. “So, to expect them to go 15 credits at a time is setting them up to fail.” The article highlights several colleges that have adjusted their part-time requirements to improve graduation rates. Inside Higher Ed

FQPPU promises improved, transparent process for student victims of sexual violence

The Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université has reportedly drafted a statement to better address student claims of sexual assault by professors. The release explains that the statement prohibits sexual relationships between professors and students while calling for an independent and impartial review of any complaints. FQPPU adds that the complaints process will include a full disclosure of the investigation to victims. According to the news release, the statement is in compliance with the 2017 Act to Prevent Sexual Violence in Higher Education Institutions. FQPPU