Top Ten

May 16, 2018

AB postsecondary institutions consider cannabis regulation

With the legalization of cannabis on the horizon, Alberta postsecondary institutions are thinking about how they should approach substance use on campus. Les Hagen, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health, told the Calgary Herald that her group would like to see a campus-wide prohibition on cannabis, tobacco, and vaping throughout the province. Alberta Health Services’ Tobacco Reduction Program Medical Officer of Health Brent Friesen added that the 20-24 year-old demographic is particularly vulnerable to cannabis. “We know that cannabis affects the developing brain until mid- to late-20s,” said Friesen. According to the Herald, Bow Valley College and Burman University have already banned smoking and vaping on campus. Calgary Herald

QC Minister “extremely disappointed” by UQTR lockout

The ongoing lockout of 440 teachers at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières has continued in spite of an ultimatum by Minister of Higher Education Hélène David, reports the Montreal Gazette. The Syndicat des professeurs de l’UQTR reportedly concluded that they could not extend their collective agreement and asked instead to continue negotiations with appointed mediator Gilles Lachance. The Gazette states that UQTR administration imposed a list of conditions in response to the union’s request to end the lockout. Faculty workloads and the number of available positions are said to be the union’s biggest concerns. Montreal GazetteLa Presse

SLC, Reliable Controls announce 10 year partnership 

St Lawrence College has announced a ten-year partnership with Reliable Controls that will reportedly secure access for the SLC community to industry standard equipment, training, and upgrades provided by the company. “St. Lawrence College is excited to form a partnership with an innovative Canadian company that shares our dedication to educating and training the next generation of skilled technologists to master the complex world of integrated building systems, including green and traditional energy solutions,” said SLC President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt. In addition to providing a reported $200K in equipment to date, SLC states that Reliable will provide training and placement opportunities for graduating students. SLC

SK student aid has dwindled by nearly $19M in six years

CBC has learned that the Saskatchewan government has allocated $21M for the Saskatchewan Student Aid fund, $18.6M less than its 2011-12 amount. University of Regina student Julian Wotherspoon told CBC that the province is “squeezing [students] with financial aid and then they're squeezing the university with operational grants and other funding.” The SK Ministry of Advanced Education stated that it continues to offer the Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program, which reportedly provides income tax credits for up to $20K in tuition fees. CBC

Durham opens TeachingCity Hub

Durham College, in collaboration with the City of Oshawa and several research partners, has opened the TeachingCity Hub. The Hub reportedly provides shared access to facilities, resources, and equipment; as well as providing office, classroom, and open lab spaces. “By providing a physical space for learning and exploration, we will be able to continue helping the City of Oshawa address urban challenges and issues while also creating even more opportunities for our students to engage in applied research and innovative experiential-learning activities,” stated Durham President Don Lovisa. At the opening Durham reports that Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area joined TeachingCity through the signing of an MOU. Durham

City, NB dive in to keep UNB pool afloat for three more years

Fredericton’s City Council has reportedly announced that it will fund the University of New Brunswick’s Sir Max Aitken pool for three years. The agreement, which will reportedly cost the city $140K annually, also includes provincial support of $260K per year. "This is significant, this is really, really big tonight," said Chris Ramsey, a spokesperson for local pool users. Mayor Mike O’Brien stated that the city sought a multi-year deal that would guarantee “good value for the taxpayers of Fredericton.” According to CBC, City Council instructed its staff to seek out partnerships, locations, and design options for a new aquatic facility. CBC

SaskPolytech, CAE, Moose Jaw explore drone development

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CAE and the City of Moose Jaw to explore the development of a drone program on SaskPolytech’s Moose Jaw campus, according to a news release. Moose Jaw mayor Fraser Tolmie explained that the city is hopeful that a drone training program could “take flight in Moose Jaw.” “In just a few short years we have seen tremendous advancements in how drones are used, which have opened doors to a number of commercial applications,” added SaskPolytech President and CEO Larry Rosia. “It is clear that drone usage will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.” SaskPolytech

Keys to success for university presidents

Emphasizing willingness to compromise and empathy as crucial characteristics of university presidents, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Francine Trachtenberg write that “[t]hose who succeed as presidents in the modern era most often have management styles that exhibit balance, judgement, patience and principle.” In light of recent heightened political tensions on campus, they add, sound judgment can foster diversity under conditions of duress. Additionally, the authors write that effective presidents will present budgets not as “arithmetic tables,” but “philosophical” arguments that cogently reflect long-term programmatic strategies. Times Higher Education

Loyalist, Entomo Farms continue partnership for edible cricket powder

Loyalist College’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis has extended its  project with Entomo Farms for an additional year. The collaboration involves research that will facilitate the global distribution of a nutritional supplement made from crickets. “Entomo Farms is changing the way people think about insects as protein and nutrient-rich food sources, which have the potential to improve global food security while preserving biodiversity,” said Loyalist President Anne Marie Vaughan. “As eating insects is still a relatively novel concept, the findings of this project will be particularly important in informing society’s approval and adoption.” Loyalist

MSVU draws controversy for assigning non-Indigenous prof to residential schools course

Mount Saint Vincent University has seen controversy arise around the assignment of a non-Indigenous professor to a course about Canada’s residential schools, CBC reports. While the decision initially attracted intense criticism on social media from activists who asserted that only Indigenous scholars should teach Indigenous courses, the National Post states that the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship has countered that a professor’s merit must be considered on academic grounds alone. Sherry Pictou, a Mi’kmaq professor, told CBC that she supports settler allies who teach Indigenous courses, adding that the work of decolonizing the university "cannot fall just on the backs and labour of other Indigenous academics." National PostCBC (1) | CBC (2)