Top Ten

May 28, 2018

STU takes NB to court over funding details

Administrators at St Thomas University believe that the institution receives $1.4M less than other NB universities, reports CBC. After a protracted attempt to secure funding details from the province for the University of New Brunswick, the University of Moncton, and Mount Allison University, STU now plans to take the province to court. Citing a provincial commission that was undertaken ten years ago, STU Spokesperson Jeffrey Carleton added that STU students are comparatively underfunded. “We have more female students, we have more Indigenous students and we have more first-generation students and we’re perplexed that the government won't recognize this anomaly in their funding formula and take steps to correct it,” said Carleton. CBC

Durham vows to revise policy on political activity

The Toronto Star has learned that Durham College intends to revise and amend its policy on political activity for its employees. The announced change follows accusations from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union that Durham violated academic freedom and democratic rights in an email that ostensibly forbade employees from engaging in political activity, either on-campus or off. “You would think a college president would be more careful to respect and protect academic life on campus,” said RM Kennedy, OPSEU’s College Faculty Division Chair. In a statement, Durham responded that it “unequivocally supports the rights of students and employees to participate in the democratic process — more than that, it is encouraged.” Toronto Star

ON Student voters want debt relief, mental health supports

With Ontario’s provincial election looming, tuition remains a top concern for student voters, the Toronto Star reports. According to the Star, 435,000 students received financial support from the Ontario Student Assistance Program in 2017-18. Although the current Liberal government has sought to reduce student debt loads with grants and loan forgiveness programs, many students still struggle financially after they graduate. The Star adds that the NDP has promised to replace loans with grants to all students who qualify for OSAP, while Doug Ford’s PCs have not yet discussed their plans for tuition. Improved mental health supports have also become a priority for students. Toronto Star

Commissioner recommends changes to URegina cybersecurity after hacks

The University of Regina has strengthened its cybersecurity safeguards after expelling a student for changing the grades of 31 engineering students, but Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner would like to see more changes, the Regina Leader-Post states. A report issued by Commissioner Ronald Kruzeniski concluded that the university responded to the breach appropriately, but also recommended a minimum number of assigned PIN characters, random audits of the mark entry system, and mandatory privacy training for employees. URegina, in an internal report, stated that the breach “resulted from the utilization of weak passwords, and failure of impacted faculty members to change password from the default.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix (Leader-Post)

RRU, Kitselas First Nation receive $700K for training partnerships program

Royal Roads University and Kitselas First Nation have received $700K from the provincial government’s Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships Program. According to an RRU release, the funding will support the Certificate in Cultural and Natural Resources Assessment Program, which is delivered in partnership with Kitselas. “The program is set up so that students will succeed,” said Debbie Moore, Kitselas’ Manager of Community Services and Post-Secondary Education. “My dream for each is that they achieve their employment goals or continue to work towards a degree.” Fifteen students are enrolled in the program, which launched in April of 2018. RRU

George Brown launches Career Development Practitioner Program

George Brown College has announced that it will launch the Career Development Practitioner Program in September of 2018. According to a George Brown release, the three-semester program will replace the previous diploma program in this area. “Employers said that they are looking for the degree or diploma plus the specialized training. So, we're trying to meet industry demands as the profession itself changes and becomes more credentialized,” stated Program Coordinator Gillian Johnston. In addition to focusing on career development, professional practice, ethics, and individual counselling and coaching, the program will incorporate training in social media and evolving communications technologies. The release adds that a work placement program will provide students with a pathway into the field. George Brown

George Brown launches Career Development Practitioner Program

George Brown College has announced that it will launch the Career Development Practitioner Program in September of 2018. According to a George Brown release, the three-semester program will replace the previous diploma program in this area. “Employers said that they are looking for the degree or diploma plus the specialized training. So, we're trying to meet industry demands as the profession itself changes and becomes more credentialized,” stated Program Coordinator Gillian Johnston. In addition to focusing on career development, professional practice, ethics, and individual counselling and coaching, the program will incorporate training in social media and evolving communications technologies. The release adds that a work placement program will provide students with a pathway into the field. George Brown

Carleton purchases church, plans concert venue

Carleton University has bought the Dominion-Chalmers United Church, reports CBC. Alastair Summerlee, Carleton’s Interim President, stated that the university will use the 1,000-seat church as a concert and event venue, as Carleton does not presently have a space with more than 400 seats. “Our purchase of Dominion-Chalmers United Church is perfectly aligned with the university's mission to play a central role in the cultural life of Ottawa,” Summerlee said in a release. CBC adds that the building was recently appraised at $7M-$8M, and that Carleton received a $5M contribution for the purchase from the provincial government. CBC | Ottawa Citizen

Carleton purchases church, plans concert venue

Carleton University has bought the Dominion-Chalmers United Church, reports CBC. Alastair Summerlee, Carleton’s Interim President, stated that the university will use the 1,000-seat church as a concert and event venue, as Carleton does not presently have a space with more than 400 seats. “Our purchase of Dominion-Chalmers United Church is perfectly aligned with the university's mission to play a central role in the cultural life of Ottawa,” Summerlee said in a release. CBC adds that the building was recently appraised at $7M-$8M, and that Carleton received a $5M contribution for the purchase from the provincial government. CBC | Ottawa Citizen

The benefit of co-presidencies in higher ed

In response to the recent surge of resignations by university and college presidents in the US, Brandy Forrest, Chris Forrest, and Karen Gross write that co-presidencies can be a viable alternative to the current leadership model. The authors offer two analogous scenarios of co-leadership—pilots in two-seat jetfighters and the co-regencies of Ancient Egypt—to “demonstrate the capacity of actual leaders to park their egos in place for the sake and safety of others and to provide guidance, stability and direction.” According to Forrest, Forrest, and Gross, university presidents, like fighter pilots and co-regents, strive toward a “higher goal” that can be best met by pairing leaders with differing skill sets and experience. Inside Higher Ed

Aurora receives $410K for Beaufort Sea project based on Indigenous knowledge

CBC states that Aurora College will receive $410K from the federal government over the next five years to research and restore the coast of the Beaufort Sea. The project investigates ground slumping on the coast due to permafrost thaw, and uses native plant species to mitigate its effects. “It's important to focus on the health of the Arctic environment now, so that Canada can assess changes and risks, and put plans in place to protect its long-term future,” Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod said in a statement. According to CBC, the project will rely on Indigenous knowledge systems to choose appropriate sites for the restoration. CBC

UPEI, Holland College announce degree pathway for environmental sciences

The University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College have established a degree pathway for Holland College’s Environmental Applied Science Technology program. According to a release, students will study for two years at Holland College and two years at UPEI to earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from PEI. “Students who combine the practical technical skills with an integrated understanding of the environment will have diversified their portfolio of employable skills,” said Carolyn Peach Brown, Director of UPEI’s Bachelor of Environmental Studies. The release adds that UPEI will accept courses from Holland’s Environmental Applied Science Technology diploma for up to 60 credit hours toward the degree. Holland College