Top Ten

June 15, 2018

Doug Ford plans to recall legislature to end YorkU strike

Ontario Premier-Designate Doug Ford has stated that he will recall the Ontario legislature next month for a brief summer session to end the York University strike, sources have told the Toronto Star. “We’re going to move forward relatively quickly. I’ll be back to you on that in the next few days,” Ford told reporters Wednesday at Queen’s Park. Ford’s government will officially take over from the governing Liberals on June 29th. Numerous sources have told the Star that a top priority for the government will be ending the four-month strike by 3,000 York University contract faculty and teaching assistants, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. 

Toronto Star

Former TA Shepherd files $3.6M lawsuit against WLU

Lindsay Shepherd is suing Wilfrid Laurier University. While a teaching assistant in 2017, Shepherd was reprimanded for screening a clip in which Jordan Peterson debated gender neutral pronouns without denouncing his views. Shepherd’s recording of the meeting prompted a public outcry, after which the university apologized to Shepherd. According to the Waterloo Regional Record, the lawsuit seeks $3.6M in damages, stating that attacks on Shepherd's character have left her unemployable in academia. “Wilfrid Laurier University has received notice of Lindsay Shepherd's statement of claim, which is one perspective of a legal matter issued in pursuit of a financial claim," the university said in a statement.

CBC | Waterloo Regional Record

ULethbridge receives largest donation in school history

The estate of Margaret Perkins Hess has bequeathed more than 1000 pieces of art valued at $4 to $5M to the University of Lethbridge. A ULethbridge release states that the collection includes work by a contemporary of the Group of Seven, as well as several hundred Indigenous works. "Marmie had a really good eye and she was ahead of her time with her strong interest in learning from Indigenous people and their art," said Gallery Director Josephine Mills. According to ULethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor, the bequest is “largest gift of art and cultural properties to the U of L in its 51-year history.”

ULethbridge | CBC | Calgary Herald

Concordia seeks to provide “new blueprint” for news with Institute for Investigative Journalism

This week, Concordia University launched the Institute for Investigative Journalism, which the school notes is the first of its kind in Canada. Led by Patti Sonntag, a former managing editor in The New York Times’ News Services division, the institute will be based in Concordia’s Department of Journalism and will host the National Student Investigative Reporting Network. Media partners on the current project include Global News, The National Observer, and the Toronto Star. Higher education partners on the Fall 2018-19 project include Carleton, Humber College, Mount Royal University, Ryerson University, University of King’s College, the University of Regina and the University of British Columbia.


UoGuelph business students offer consulting support to Campobello Island, NB

Eight students from the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics have served as business consultant to a small New Brunswick community as part of a new experiential program at the school. The Globe and Mail reports that the program saw these students work with the community of Campobello Island over two weeks to learn the academic principles of business consulting and apply them to the real-life challenges faced by the island. Last month, in preparation for a report to be presented this summer to island leaders, students travelled to the island to interview local residents and assess options for a sustainable future for the community.

Globe and Mail | CBC | UoGuelph

Dal inks student‑exchange pact with Paris-based École Polytechnique

Dalhousie University has signed an agreement with École Polytechnique in Paris to launch a new exchange program in the faculties of Science and Computer Science. A Dal release states that the program will provide participants with the option of completing either a research internship or coursework. “École Polytechnique is one of the most prestigious and selective schools in France,” said Alain Boutet, Executive Director of Dal’s Office of International Relations. “It’s a really elite institution where the best students are going.” École Polytechnique stated that Dal’s reputation for ocean science and computer science was a significant draw for the French institution.


Indigenous engineering student calls for greater Indigenous presence in STEM

According to Kaella Earle, the only Indigenous woman in Laurentian University’s Engineering Degree program, schools, business, and governments are making improvements toward incorporating Indigenous people into the sciences and boardrooms, but structural barriers persist. In an interview with Northern Ontario Business, Earle cited the chronic underfunding of public education as a key challenge. “It's a toxic cycle. Schools are not set up for Aboriginal students' needs,” she said. “To exist as an Aboriginal is a challenge.” The problem continues into universities, Earle added, because STEM disciplines do not attend to how treaties impact resource use. Earle also states that resource management companies could lobby governments for faster change while incorporating stronger understandings of Indigenous issues in corporate culture.

Northern Ontario Business

NorQuest opens ATB branch, keeps profits

NorQuest College has partnered with ATB Financial to open a banking location operated by college staff. “It’s a bit of a recycling machine,” said ATB CEO Dave Mowat. “Students pay their banking fees — who knows where their banking fees go to — but they know at this one, they kind of cycle their way back.” The Edmonton Journal states that Mowatt and NorQuest President and CEO Jodi Abbott did not have estimates about the bank’s projected revenues, but Mowatt cited another branch with a similar revenue sharing model that might make $100K per year after the branch matures. The NorQuest branch “could probably make more,” he said.

NorQuest | Edmonton Journal

UBC to welcome North Korean scholars for eighth straight year

UBC will welcome six North Korean university professors for an intensive, six-month immersion program featuring courses on business, trade, economics and finance, reports the National Post. UBC professor Kyung-Ae Park is said to have been running the program since 2011. “I do think educating those people who are making the real policies is ... important,” she said. A 2015 column in the Harvard International Review stated that although the aims of the program are laudable, such “academic diplomacy” is at odds with the Canadian government’s condemnation of the North’s record of human rights abuses. The Post adds that the Canadian government has kept a close watch on the program. National Post

Adjuncts face bleak prospect for retirement, if any

“With smaller paychecks and a lack of job security, adjunct faculty members face a host of difficulties planning for retirement,” writes Teghan Simonton. The author chronicles the story of Ellen Goodwin, who worked as an adjunct instructor for decades before filing for bankruptcy after paying for an emergency surgery without health coverage.  “I finally got to the point where I can breathe; I don’t have any debt. This is wonderful,” says Goodwin. “And then I looked at my birth certificate, and I’m 65 years old.” Adjunct Professor Caprice Lawless also notes that many adjuncts often work for decades in underpaid, part-time work because they put on “blinders,” hoping that some day, they might make it into a more full-time position.

Chronicle of Higher Education