Top Ten

May 24, 2018

CBU introduces interdisciplinary program for Mi’kmaw students

Cape Breton University will launch an interdisciplinary program in science, technology, and business for Mi’kmaw students in September of 2018. Nation Talk reports that Indigenous graduates of CBU have historically completed Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts Community Studies, and that Mi’kmaw leaders requested the new program to introduce Indigenous students to a more diverse array of course and career options. “The world is a much better place with diverse perspectives and providing Mi’kmaw students the opportunity to study in fields that they have historically not been encouraged to, will ensure that their valuable experiences and perspectives are accounted for as these fields grow and evolve,” said CBU President David Dingwall. Nation Talk

Suzuki responds to degree controversy

In an op-ed for the The Province, David Suzuki responds to the controversy around the University of Alberta’s decision to award him an honorary degree. “If nothing else, it’s good that a healthy debate about corporate influence over academic institutions and issues around climate-disrupting energy sources has emerged from it,” Suzuki writes. However, the author adds, the debate should not be derailed by personal attacks or misinformation. Suzuki goes on to rebut characterizations about his attitude toward economics, arguing that economists have long informed his thinking. The Province

Teaching evaluations due for an overhaul: Flaherty

According to Colleen Flaherty, a growing body of peer-reviewed evidence finds that student evaluations of teaching are biased against non-white, non-male professors. Furthermore, Flaherty notes, quantitative evaluations of teaching translate into rankings that do not necessarily improve the quality of education. In light of these findings, Flaherty highlights several US institutions that have implemented more nuanced tools to measure teaching success on a holistic scale that emphasizes learning outcomes. Flaherty also finds that faculty have long requested comprehensive approaches to classroom evaluation that match the rigour of peer-review for research. Inside Higher Ed

Carleton faculty vote in favour of strike mandate

The association representing 850 faculty, librarians, and instructors at Carleton University has voted 73% in favour of a strike, Global News has learned. The vote does not mean that the union will strike, Global adds, but it does give its members the authority to do so. “It shows that our membership is serious about wanting to reach a fair deal,” said Communications Assistant Josh Horton. A Carleton spokesperson told Global that a strike mandate is common during negotiations. Global also reports that Carleton has denied allegations by the union that the university’s decision to apply for conciliation in early May suggests an impending lockout. Global

UFV to offer first-year courses at Chilliwack campus

The University of the Fraser Valley is set to offer several first-year Bachelor’s Degree courses at its Chilliwack campus, according to a release. The announcement follows UFV’s decision to expand its programming in Chilliwack. “We recognize the value in giving students the option of studying in their home community for at least the first year of their degree programs while they adjust to post-secondary studies,” said UFV Associate Dean of Arts Alisa Webb. “The City of Chilliwack has been a proud community partner with UFV since its inception and we applaud programming choices that seek to address the needs of students in our community,” added Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. UFV

SNP launches tuition-free welding course for women

Six Nations Polytechnic has launched a tuition-free welding program for low-income women. CBC reports that “he program, which is designed to meet a reported shortage of welders in the region, will also include modules on resume building, soft skills, and trades math. "Together, with community, industry and academic partners, this project will offer workshops and a speaker series to help women begin a career as a welder,” said Linda Parker, Acting Director of Operations and Advancement at SNP's Brantford campus. CBC adds that students will conclude the 28-week course with a paid work placement. CBC | Education News Canada

UPEI approves 2% tuition increase for 2018-19

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Board of Governors has approved a 2% tuition increase for the 2018-19 academic year, CBC reports. The increase is said to be marginally below the current rate of inflation, indexed by CPI at 2.2%. In a release, UPEI Student Union President William McGuigan stated that the “Student Union has, for the past several years, advocated for the tuition increases to be indexed according to the CPI. We hope this practice is further echoed in future budget.” CBC adds that UPEI increased tuition by 3% last year, nearly double the inflation rate of 1.6%. CBC

Recruitment of player facing sexual assault charges “wrong decision”: USask

The University of Saskatchewan has fired Brian Gavlas, a volleyball coach who knowingly recruited a player who was on bail for sexual assault, CBC has learned. Chief Athletics Officer Shawn Burt stated that if USask officials had known of Glavas’ decision beforehand, “[h]e would have been told absolutely not. A complete non-starter.” According to CBC, Gavlas said that people in his position should “give young adults and teenagers an opportunity to grow and develop and improve on their character and improve on their choices and improve on their lifestyles, whatever the case is.” Burt added that Gavlas’ decision to not inform USask officials about the charges against the player factored into his firing. CBC | Star Phoenix

Student association, union boycott UQO consultation on sexual violence

The Université du Québec en Outaouais’ student association and union have boycotted the university’s survey for an updated sexual assault policy, reports QMI Agency. The Act to Prevent and Combat Sexual Violence in Higher Education Institutions mandates that universities and colleges must include input from student associations and unions for sexual assault policies, something that UQO has not done, according to Marie-Josée Bourget, President of the syndicat des chargés de cours de l’UQO. UQO leadership, however, states that it has engaged in an extensive consultation process with the entire university community. Le Journal de Montréal

CNA engineering programs continue accreditation through 2020

A release from the College of the North Atlantic states that the college’s engineering programs have received renewed accreditation through 2020. The review process, which began in 2017, included site visits, as accredited programs require periodic inspections prior to renewals. “I would like to acknowledge the significant effort that faculty members within these engineering programs made to ensure respective site visits went smoothly. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the high level of professionalism and dedication that all faculty and staff displayed during these respective visits,” said Brent Howell, CNA’s Dean of Engineering Technology & Natural Resources. CNA