Top Ten

May 15, 2018

UAlberta, premier look to mend fences: Board Chair

University of Alberta’s Board of Governors Chairman Michael Phair says that the Alberta Premier’s Office is “very interested” in “moving forward (and) restoring the relationship between the university and the government.” Phair reportedly added that a public apology might be in the offing. Earlier this year, AB Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt rebuked UAlberta President David Turpin for increasing student fees and cutting teaching and research funding before reducing administrative costs. “We’ve been assured that the additional money we’ve again provided to the U of A will be used to support students, staff, and faculty this year, as we’ve made very clear was our expectation,” Schmidt wrote in an emailed statement to the JournalEdmonton Journal

UManitoba apologizes, pays fine to Faculty Association

The University of Manitoba has issued a formal apology to the university’s Faculty Association for bargaining in bad faith during a 2016 faculty strike, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. UManitoba will reportedly pay a $2.4M fine issued by the Manitoba Labour Board as well. CBC reports that the fine will be distributed as individual allotments of $2K to each faculty member. UMFA President Janet Morrill told the Free Press that the apology will help rebuild relations between the faculty and university, but she added that “[t]he amount of fines is still less than the amount they saved during the strike. It's still money that's sat in their bank account they didn't have to pay.” Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

Aurora partners with local airlines to open flight school

Aurora College has partnered with Northwestern Air and North-Wright Airways to establish an aviation school, reports CBC. The partnership has emerged in light of a shortage of pilots reportedly precipitated by increased regulations, more passengers, and the expense of acquiring a license. Susan Wright of Northern-Wright Airways told CBC that local youth are not always encouraged to fly. “We want northern youth to be flying the skies,” she said. “No one knows the land, the weather and the people like the youth that are from the North.” Trevor Wever, VP of Air Tindi, added that a flight school “probably wouldn't solve the problem 100 per cent, but it would help.” The school is reportedly scheduled to open in 2019. CBC

Wrestling often the first to go amidst PSE budget shortfalls

Following news that the University of Regina will scrap its wrestling program and men’s volleyball team, CBC reports that wrestling is often the first sport to go when an athletics program faces a budget shortfall. “I think it's the least understood sport in terms of it's not always in the public eye. It's usually done in gymnasiums and it's not on TV a lot,” says University of British Columbia wrestling coach David Wilson. In addition to a $500K athletics deficit, URegina Dean of Kinesiology Harold Riemer stated that the decision to cut wrestling involved a “lack of community engagement,” a claim that the wrestling community reportedly contests. CBC

Conestoga receives $2.1M to continue research for seniors’ care

Conestoga College will receive $2.1M through 2022 to continue research on improving the quality of care for seniors, reports the Waterloo Region Record. Schlegel Village, a local care home operator that features “living classrooms” for Conestoga students, will reportedly contribute $500K to the initiative. As the region’s population ages, the need for quality care will grow more pressing, stated CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair Veronique Boscart. “Not all their care stories and experiences are that great,” she added. The Record

More women engaging in university philanthropy  

In light of a recent fundraising campaign by a major American college that targets women donors, Marjorie Valbrun writes that many institutions have recently started to follow suit. Surveying a number of fundraisers across the US that are oriented toward women, the author finds that a smaller wage gap, a greater variety of philanthropic interests amongst women than men, and the greater prevalence of women with degrees explains the relatively recent boost in women donors. Dartmouth graduate Elizabeth Cogan Fascitelli stated that large and small donations are encouraged, adding that “the point is to get women in general interested in becoming givers.” Inside Higher Ed

Durham, Ample Organics sign MOU focused on learning, corporate training

Durham College and Ample Organics have signed a memorandum of understanding that formalizes collaboration on postsecondary learning and corporate training opportunities related to the medical and recreational cannabis industry. The agreement will see Ample Organics provide expertise related to the development of cannabis-related courses and programs to Durham, while also augmenting Durham’s existing educational offerings. Durham students will also experience Ample Organic’s seed-to-sale software and gain opportunities for experiential learning in the field. Under a separate related agreement, Durham’s Corporate Training Services department will develop learning for the company. Durham

Humber, Cisco team up for IT innovations

Humber College and Cisco have reportedly teamed up in a $4M IT infrastructure initiative. A Humber release states that in addition to internships and employment opportunities, the partnership will support the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation. The Centre will help small- and mid-level businesses incorporate automation technologies and data exchange into manufacturing. “By working with Cisco, our students will benefit from access to the latest equipment and expertise in networking and connected infrastructure, helping to ensure they are career-ready,” said Humber President Chris Whitaker. The release adds that the partnership will also facilitate the Cisco Innovation Centre in downtown Toronto, where Humber will “display how technology is transforming its approach to education and training.” Humber

UWindsor receives $5.5 M NSERC grant to solve “real-world” industry problems

The University of Windsor has received a $5.5M grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to solve “real-world” industry problems, CBC states. UWindsor’s Institute of Diagnostic Imaging Research has reportedly teamed up with five industry partners, including Bombardier, Ford, and EnWin to conduct research. “The institute is one of the leaders nationally and internationally in the development of quality control of various joining, like welding and adhesion and riveting and some other stuff,” said Institute Lead Roman Maev. CBC

Federal, provincial governments help Langara reduce its carbon footprint

Langara College has reduced its carbon footprint thanks to two ventilation fan upgrades funded by a $1.5M investment from the federal and British Columbia governments, a BC news release states. The Government of Canada reportedly chipped in $1M from its Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund while the province contributed $584K. “The new ventilation system at Langara College will not only improve everyday life for students, faculty and staff, it is more energy efficient – lowering costs and reducing Langara’s environmental footprint,” stated MLA George Chow. The Strategic Investment Fund reportedly modernizes Canadian research facilities, improves their energy efficiency, and reduces their environmental impact. BC