Top Ten

June 18, 2018

Supreme Court allows law societies to deny accreditation to TWU

Trinity Western University has lost the legal battle over accreditation for a planned new law school, stating that it's “proportionate and reasonable” to limit religious rights in order to ensure open access for LGBT students. The majority judgement pointed to concerns that TWU’s community covenant would deter LGBT students or pose risk of significant harm to those who enrolled in the program. The Court stated that it was in the public interest of the law profession to ensure equal access, support diversity within the bar, and prevent harm to LGBT students. TWU Professor Janet Epp Buckingham said that the university will take time to process the judgement before deciding on next steps. The Province CBC

Salamander Foundation gifts $1M to WesternU

Western University has received $1M from the Salamander Foundation in support of the Salamander Chair in Environmental Engineering. A Western release states that the Chair oversees research in wastewater treatment, resource recovery from municipal wastewater, and the treatment of organic waste. Western has matched the donation, boosting the existing fund to $3.4M. “The resulting endowment will really give the Chair the strength it needs and support the extraordinary work being accomplished by Dr. Nakhla and his team in environmental engineering,” said Salamander Foundation Founder and President Nan Shuttleworth. WesternU

PCs likely to cut PSE spending and exacerbate precarity, classroom overcrowding: OCUFA

According to an OCUFA analysis of the Ontario PC, Liberal, and NDP parties during the recent election, the incoming PC government did not provide a plan for PSE in Ontario. OCUFA adds that the PCs also said nothing about underfunding, workplace precarity, or the need for a faculty renewal strategy, although their platform emphasized the party’s belief that the province has a “spending problem.” “Such a statement should be of grave concern when it comes to public funding for all public services, including postsecondary education,” the authors write, noting that silence on the topic of PSE suggests that the government will further cut PSE spending to implement its overall mandate of cost-cutting. OCUFA

NB investment to support workforce development for youth

New Brunswick’s Post-Secondary Education Minister Roger Melanson announced that the province will invest $18.4M in workforce development for youth. “This funding for experiential learning will allow students to foster connections to New Brunswick’s employers, develop new skills and discover their career path in our province,” Melanson stated. A provincial release adds that $15M will support work placements in areas such as nursing, education and nutrition. The remaining $3.4M has been set aside for experiential learning opportunities in the humanities and social sciences. According to the release, underserved groups such as Indigenous and first-generation students will be prioritized. Nation Talk (NB)

Academia should not treat a workload crisis as a mental health crisis: Krause

“If we really want to tackle mental health issues in higher education and prevent suicides among staff and students, we have to change what is making us sick,” writes Grace Krause. Growing university workloads and the increasing casualization of the workforce, the author adds, are putting unreasonable pressure on PSE employees. “No amount of counselling will make you resilient enough to be able to mark 418 exams in 20 days without experiencing immense suffering,” adds the author, concluding that talking about the issue as one of mental health, while important, blames the problem on the individual when the true problem lies with the “inevitable consequences of universities being run like businesses.” Times Higher Education

BC government invests $1.5M into career programs for students with disabilities

The BC government has announced $1.5M in funding for career programs for students living with disabilities. According to a press release, PSE institutions will receive one-time funding of $75K to develop programs for students with cognitive, mental-health or physical disabilities in trades and technology programs. Some institutions will provide job-specific training in trades, technology, culinary arts and horticulture, the release adds, while others will build on mental health infrastructure for students and faculty. BC

Carpentry building to be ready in time for Fall as Selkirk renovations near completion

Selkirk College has announced its new Carpentry Building will be complete in time for the Fall 2018 semester as its $22M Silver King campus renovation nears completion. “With the increased space and no columns on the shop floor, students will be able to use the tools and benches to their full potential,” said Carpentry instructor Dan Brazeau. A Selkirk release states that Welding, Metal Fabricator, Millwright/Machinist and Plant Operator shops opened earlier this year. The renovation was funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Columbia Basin Trust, and industry partners. Selkirk

Kawartha school district, Trent partner on first public research school

The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board has partnered with Trent University to establish Canada’s first public research school, reports Global News. The project, to be located at Roger Nielson Public School in Peterborough, will give researchers and educators the opportunity to learn how youth learn while working on best practices for teaching and learning. “Roger Neilson will be a place where educators and their research partners from our School of Education can collaborate on projects of mutual interest,” stated Trent Provost Jackie Muldoon. Global News

UoGuelph to divert single-use plastic from landfills with plastic straws, bag ban

The University of Guelph’s hospitality services department has announced that it will no longer offer single-use plastic products at most of the university’s restaurants and shops. The change will reportedly affect 17 of the 22 food service locations on the campus, but will not apply to five franchisees operating on the grounds. Hospitality services executive director Ed Townsley, says that the change should divert about 175,000 straws and 155,000 bags from landfills. The ban comes amidst a growing trend in social media campaigns encouraging people to stop using single-use plastic products. University Affairs