Top Ten

May 8, 2018

UoGuelph receives $6M for sustainable projects

The University of Guelph has received a commitment of $6M from the Government of Ontario to support two engineering projects that will aim to turn waste into new products and technologies. A UoGuelph release states that a team led by engineering professor Manju Misra will receive $3.8M for a sustainable packaging initiative, while professor Sheng Chang’s initiative to convert organic food waste into valuable resources has been awarded $2.3M. “Not only is this research innovative, but it also reduces landfill waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, improving life for all Canadians,” said UoGuelph VP of Research Malcolm Campbell. Both projects reportedly involve industry partners and collaborations with several Ontario universities. UoGuelph

Carleton union, administration “far apart” as faculty anticipate lockout

The Carleton University Academic Staff Association is preparing for a lockout after the administration asked the province for a conciliator to assist with bargaining talks, CBC has learned. A CUASA statement called the university’s conciliation request a “procedural ambush.” “In some ways, it isn't altogether that surprising given that a few months ago the same individuals thought this was the way to go,” CUASA President Root Gorelick told CBC, in reference to the five-week CUPE strike that ended in April. Carleton’s Public Affairs Manager Beth Gorham said that the university does not plan to lock out the union. According to CBC, the union is expressly concerned about salary increases, pension language, instructor workload, and a gender pay gap. CBC

Indigenous leaders call on Lakehead to rescind appointment of interim Law dean

Following Angelique EagleWoman’s resignation from Lakehead University’s law school, CBC reports that Indigenous leaders are speaking out against Lakehead’s decision to appoint Justice George Patrick Smith as the interim Dean. Smith reportedly sentenced Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris and five Councillors to six months in jail for their refusal to grant the mining company Plantinex access to their territory ten years ago. Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox told APTN that the law school’s Indigenous partners should have been consulted about the appointment. “He's definitely not an expert in Aboriginal issues,” Morris added. Lakehead stated that it will not comment until it reaches out to Indigenous leaders about the appointment. CBC | APTN

Algonquin unveils multidisciplinary DARE District

Algonquin College states that it has officially opened the DARE district, a multidisciplinary space for students, faculty, researchers, and business. The $45M facility was reportedly supported by a $21.9M investment from the federal government and an additional $2.9M from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ Facilities Renewal Program fund. “It’s revolutionary in terms of educating students … (about) the reality of what they’ll face in the workplace,” said retired Algonquin instructor Tom Shoebidge. DARE reportedly includes smart rooms, an Indigenous Commons, a Cybersecurity Centre, an Energy Research Lab, a Data Analytics Centre, and makerspaces. Algonquin

NBCC, SaskPolytech sign five-year partnership for online learning

New Brunswick Community College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have signed a five-year partnership for online training programs in construction and transportation, according to a SaskPolytech release. The agreement reportedly facilitates the shared delivery of certificate courses in Parts Management, Warehouse Work, and Leadership Skills. SaskPolytech adds that the agreement leaves open the possibility of shared apprenticeship courses as well. “Sask Polytech is known for our online learning programs and the training we offer will give students the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers in fields with competitive wages. NBCC will be a local resource for students and provide them with their credential upon completion of the program,” said SaskPolytech President Larry Rosia. SaskPolytech

Conestoga receives $5.2M from ON Retrofit Fund

Conestoga College has received $5.2M from the Government of Ontario to reduce emissions at its Fountain Street campus in Cambridge, according to the Cambridge Times. Conestoga will reportedly use the investment, part of the province’s Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofits Program, for thermal energy and renewable electricity systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.  Conestoga President John Tibbits cited sustainability as a “strategic priority” for the college. The Times added that the school’s Waterloo campus is also being upgraded with solar photovoltaic cells, chilled water storage, LED lighting, and low-flow water fixtures. Cambridge Times

Canadian Space Agency announces winning projects for CubeSat initiative

The Canadian Space Agency has announced the disbursement of 15 grants worth $200-$250K each to 22 postsecondary institutions to support engineering projects for miniature satellites called CubeSats. 15 teams from partnering institutions based in Canada and around the world will work on the project, the CSA states. “The CubeSat project is training Canada's next generation of innovators, engineers and astronauts,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains. “These students are learning critical skills that will help them get the middle-class jobs of tomorrow.” The CubeSats will reportedly be scheduled for launch from the International Space Station in 2020-21. Canadian Space Agency

U of T introduces School of Cities

The University of Toronto has announced the creation of a new School of Cities that will draw on researchers from diverse disciplines to address the “myriad challenges facing the world’s urban areas.” The program reportedly grew from consultations and input from a steering committee that consisted of faculty from all three of U of T’s campuses. U of T President Meric Gertler stated that in addition to potentially forging new community partnerships, the program will foster the expansion of existing internship and co-op programs. U of T states that the School will begin operations in July. U of T

University food banks see higher numbers of empty bellies, bare shelves

Rising tuition costs, inadequate loans, and the high cost of food have driven many students to their institutions’ food banks, reports CBC. “We usually empty out before we get our next supply in,” said Dalhousie University food bank manager Michael Davies-Cole. “We cannot keep up with what is demanded by the students. We have too many students and we just don't get enough donations.”  The Canadian Federation of Students says that reduced tuition is the only way to get students out of food banks, and has called on the provincial government to force universities to reduce tuition fees. CBC

Maintaining the role of both professor and dean

In light of the stark divide between faculty and administration, David Perlmutter discusses a number of ways that deans can “retain some sense of faculty self-identification” in their role. To this end, Perlmutter recommends engaging with faculty members in meaningful ways that are not simply administrative, such as learning about their research and keeping in touch with students through guest lectures and meetings. The author also recommends staying involved in research to some degree, such as through mentorship of other academic pursuits. “As much engagement with ‘the other’ as you can muster is always beneficial, for ourselves and for higher education itself,” concludes Perlmutter. Chronicle of Higher Education