Top Ten

May 17, 2018

Provincial funding for UWindsor law campus “completely out of the blue”

The Government of Ontario will reportedly contribute $20M towards the conversion of a downtown building into a new campus for the University of Windsor’s law school. UWindsor President Alan Wildeman, who told the Windsor Star that the university had abandoned plans for the downtown campus last year after lobbying efforts with the province had failed, called the investment “completely unexpected.” Larry Horwitz, Chair of the Downtown Windsor Business Association, added that the law school will “become an economic generator.” According to CBC, the city had also lobbied the province for funds to convert the building. CBC | Windsor Star

UMoncton, student federation launching lawsuit over “atrocious” failure rate of Francophones

The Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick and the University of Moncton’s student federation are reportedly launching a lawsuit against the Nurses Association of New Brunswick over the high failure rate of Francophone nursing graduates who take the licensing exam. More than half of UMoncton’s graduates have reportedly failed since a new licensing exam was introduced in 2015. Katherine d'Entremont NB’s Commissioner of Languages, told CBC that the exam puts Francophone students at a disadvantage because of a dearth of French preparatory materials and poorly translated exams. The Nurse’s Association declined to comment. CBC

USask introduces Gladue database for Indigenous offenders

The University of Saskatchewan has reportedly launched a first-of-its-kind database to ensure the Gladue rights of Indigenous offenders are “fully accounted for during sentencing.” The Saskatoon Star Phoenix states that Gladue reports detail how an Indigenous offender might have suffered from settler colonialism and physical or sexual abuse, in addition to providing the individual’s residential school history. “This database will permit report writers and defence counsel to efficiently and effectively acquire information that can be submitted for judicial notice as part of sentence submissions,” said Craig Goebel, CEO of Legal Aid Saskatchewan. The Phoenix adds that the database will provide access from over “500 academic works related to Saskatchewan’s colonial history.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix

UQO, non-profit partners launch Centre d’excellence en cybersécurité

L’Université du Québec en Outaouais has announced the launch of the upcoming Centre d’excellence en cybersécurité. The Centre, which will receive $750K from the province, is part of an initiative by a non-profit initiative consisting of 23 partners in digital technology research and innovation. UQO Rector Denis Harrisson stated that the Centre accompanies the university’s efforts to expand its research and teaching in the area of cybersecurity. The growing demand for cybersecurity in the public and private sector has introduced new opportunities for training and careers in the tech sector, he added. UQO

MacEwan University launches Social Innovation Institute

MacEwan University has announced the launch of  the Social Innovation Institute, a cross-disciplinary initiative that will reportedly engage students in “initiatives and opportunities that have impact locally, regionally and globally.” A MacEwan release adds that the Institute will work in collaboration with Roundhouse, a campus space dedicated to collaboration and innovation in the realm of social change. Leo Wong, the Institute’s Founding Director, stated that the Institute will also seek out partnerships with the community. “We are looking to work with people, from within the university and the community, who have a seed of an idea for a project or business start-up that has a social or environmental angle to it,” he said. MacEwan (1) | MacEwan (2)

Canadian universities drawing more American students

The number of American students heading to Canada has grown steadily since 2015, according to Susan Donaldson James. While the “Trump-effect” has reportedly contributed to upticks in American enrolments in Canada, undergraduate students have also cited affordable tuition and better career opportunities as motivating factors to cross the border. “Canada provides for you in the way that the US used to, but doesn't anymore, ” stated computer science student Jacob Klemmer. According to educational adviser Ted de Villafranca, however, American colleges still command the most applicants. “What has shifted is that now students are willing to think about North American options rather than just U.S. options,” he said. Pacific Standard

Public, private donations make Trades Training House a reality at Okanagan

Okanagan College has officially opened its new Trades Training House. In addition to providing a space for carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters, and electricians, the facility will reportedly serve the college’s Residential Construction, Sheet Metal Worker, Women in Trades Training and Aboriginal Gateway to the Building Trades programs. “The beauty of the Trades Training House is that it will benefit students across so many programs and stages of training, while offering us the flexibility to offer new programming as industry needs change locally, across the province and beyond,” said Okanagan President Jim Hamilton. In addition to federal investments, the College reportedly received $384K in donations and in-kind gifts for the facility. Okanagan

UNB, Canada House Wellness Group sign MOU for medical cannabis research

The University of New Brunswick has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada House Wellness Group, according to a release. The MOU will reportedly foster opportunities to pursue research on the health benefits of cannabis. “Our faculty and staff, combined with CHWG’s professionals, will lead the way in developing and executing multiple shared projects that will be at the forefront of this type of research,” stated UNB VP of Research David MaGee. UNB adds that the MOU will potentially facilitate additional areas of collaboration such as plant research and genomics, technology platforms, and education. UNB

MRU slashes spending in spite of $2M from AB NDP

Despite a $2M influx from the provincial NDP to offset Alberta’s tuition freeze, Mount Royal University reportedly plans to reduce spending for the 2018-19 fiscal year. According to CBC, an MRU draft budget includes a 4% cut for administration and 2.25% decline in academic spending. The student affairs and campus life portfolio, meanwhile, will undergo a 3% reduction. In a statement, the university said that the proposed budget “strengthens our long-term sustainability.” Mount Royal Faculty Association President Marc Schroeder expressed concern about the budget’s transparency. CBC adds that MRU’s Student Union stated it would like a more direct role in budget discussions. CBC

Precarious employment for instructors impacts students

Administrators and tenured faculties must acknowledge how the departure of non-tenured professors impacts students, writes Erin Bartram. The author discusses the practical and personal issues that can arise upon a non-faculty members departure, and debunks the myth that undergraduate students do not understand the difference between tenure and non-tenured professors. Precarious employment can have negative consequences for students as well as instructors, adds Bertram, as non-tenured faculty cannot supervise honours theses or provide reference letters for capable students. Chronicle of Higher Ed