Top Ten

June 21, 2018

YorkU, TDSB partner on creation of new Wabaan Indigenous Teacher Education

York University and the Toronto District School Board have partnered on the creation of a Bachelor of Education with a focus on Indigenous worldviews. The Wabaan Indigenous Teacher Education program will prepare the next generation of teachers to address the needs of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, families, and communities. “Wabaan, which is an Anishinabe (Ojibwa) word meaning ‘it is tomorrow’, draws on the wisdom of ancestral teachings and contemporary leaders to put Indigenous futures into Indigenous hands,” said YorkU Faculty of Education Professor Susan Dion. YorkU | Nation Talk

QC set to implement changes to Operating Grants

While provincial Operating Grants for Quebec universities are set to rise by 11.3% for the coming year, changes to the funding structure will affect how the grants are calculated, writes Jean-François Venne. According to Venne, there will also be changes to the way international student tuition is managed between universities and the government, resulting in $12.8M in savings for the province. Rectors of Francophone universities expressed concern to Venne that the budget reallocations might favour Anglophone universities that boast greater recruitment capacity. Venne adds that new rules will also regulate compensation for rectors. University Affairs

Nanotech installs $4.5M electron beam lithography system at SFU

Simon Fraser University and Nanotech Security have commissioned a $4.5M electron beam lithography system for SFU’s 4D LABS. According to a release, the system can create nanotechnology that is 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. “The new system will enable new research and insights in nanotechnology,” said Neil Branda, Scientific Director of 4D LABS. “This initiative proves that when industry and academia work together, a whole is produced that is greater than the sum of its parts.” SFU adds that the collaboration is the latest in a partnership with Nanotech that started in 2009. SFU

St Clair expands downtown campus

St Clair College has announced that it will add nearly 32,000 square feet of classroom space for its downtown campus, reports the Windsor Star. According to St Clair’s VP Academic Waseem Habash, the expansion will accommodate students in the two-year general business diploma, data analytics graduate certificate, and freight forwarding program. Habash added that the college expects to enroll over 5,000 international students in the fall. In response to aCBC report that found the city struggled to house the influx of international students, Habash stated that the college has sufficient housing for the new enrolments. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens told the Star that the city is in ongoing talks with St Clair about a mixed-use downtown facility. Windsor Star | CBC

UBCO to launch Okanagan School of Education

UBC Okanagan has announced the establishment of the Okanagan School of Education following a merger between UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver Faculties of Education. “This new arrangement will help optimize resources and create stronger connections between faculty members on both campuses in what is an especially multidisciplinary academic discipline,” said UBC Faculty of Education Dean Blye Frank. Susan Crichton, Associate Dean of the UBCO Faculty of Education, added that the merger has the potential to provide teacher candidate with greater access to practicum locations throughout the province. UBCO

URegina eliminates gender-based violence prevention office

The University of Regina is merging the duties of the liaison for gender-based violence and the university’s Personal Safety Co-ordinator into a single role, CBC reports. “One person can't possibly take care of all of those things,” said Jill Arnott, Executive Director of the University of Regina's Women Centre. URegina Provost and VPA Thomas Chase told CBC that budgetary restrictions necessitated the restructuring. The gender-based violence prevention office was created in light of recommendations from an assessment report on gendered violence at URegina. CBC adds that a task-force is currently at work on how to implement the remaining nine recommendations from the report. CBC

UoGuelph gives raises to all full-time women faculty

All full-time female faculty at the University of Guelph will receive a $2K raise, reports the Canadian Press. UoGuelph Provost Charlotte Yates told CP that the decision follows a review that looked at gender, age, experience, hiring date, and performance data at the school. The review revealed that female faculty were paid less than their male colleagues despite similar qualifications. Yates stated that UoGuelph intends to ensure that women are equally represented in senior leadership roles and for prestigious awards, adding that she hopes to address race and disability in future studies. Ottawa Citizen (CP) | UoGuelph Salary Analysis (PDF)

SaskPolytech to implement Indigenous content in all programs

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it plans to have Indigenous content in every single one of its 150 programs by 2023. “Our education system has been the most inclusive when we talk about Indigenous people from that history [of residential schools' impact],” said SaskPolytech Director of Indigenous Strategy Jason Seright. “We need to know that our Indigenous students are coming from a different place and understand that.” Seright explained that Indigenous students make up 19% of the institution’s student body, and that the new strategy is aimed at addressing issues with the education system. CBC

Carleton breaks ground on Nicol Building

Carleton University has officially broken ground on the Nicol Building, which will house the Sprott School of Business. The building is named for the late Wesley Nicol, a Carleton Alumnus whose family kickstarted funding for the building with a donation of $10M in 2014. The 100,000-square-foot building will have a sustainable design and will include flexible classrooms, event and meeting spaces, a campus-wide venture accelerator space, and additional space for experiential student initiatives. Carleton

Peer reviews of teaching often lack expertise, objectivity

Peer reviews of scholarship and creative work can bring expertise and objectivity to the table, writes Pamela E Barnett, but “peer reviews of teaching often suffer from the lack of both.” To this end, Barnett discusses a number of the issues facing teaching reviews and examines the way that the system can be made more objective and useful. “If we value teaching, we should evaluate it with both objectivity and expertise and reward those who demonstrate excellence,” Barnett concludes. “Our current systems are substandard. But we have the knowledge we need to create better processes.” Inside Higher Ed