Top Ten

June 27, 2018

COTR announces new trades building name, receives $1M donation

College of the Rockies has announced that it will name its new trades training facility Patterson Hall in honour of COTR founder James Patterson. “His initial dream was to have apprenticeship training available for young people throughout the region,” said COTR President David Walls. “Though the College has evolved to offer a full range of academic and trades programs, it is fitting to have the new trades building bear his name.” COTR also recently received a $1M donation from Teck. The donation will go towards the construction of the new trades training facility, the revitalization of the Fernie campus, and the establishment of a scholarship fund for trades students. COTR (1) | COTR (2)

SMU, Canada partner on coastal habitat project

Saint Mary’s University and the Government of Canada have created a $1.8M partnership to create new coastal habitat and combat climate change. The two parties will work together on a project that seeks to restore over 75 hectares of tidal wetland habitat in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. “At Saint Mary's, community is at the heart of what we do, and that extends to our research,” said SMU President Robert Summerby-Murray. “Dr. van Proosdij’s project shows our commitment to using our knowledge and expertise to address challenges facing our region and the world.” Aspects of the project will also include Queen’s University and Dalhousie University. SMU

Training centre launches at Collège de Maisonneuve

Collège de Maisonneuve has launched the Centre ESPA-Montréal, a collaborative research, innovation and training centre that will provide internships for nursing students from nine CEGEPS, two school boards, and continuing education programs at two integrated university health and social services centres (CIUSSS). “The nurses and various health care professionals who will graduate after performing an internship at ESPA-Montréal will have developed skills of exceptional quality. This will certainly contribute to improving the care and services offered to the population,” said Frédéric Abergel, Chief Executive Officer of the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal. Collège de Maisonneuve says that the project received $2.7M in federal and provincial support. Collège de Maisonneuve

Sexual assault victim sues Queen’s

A former Queen’s University student who says that she was sexually assaulted by a Residence Advisor and a House President in a campus residence room is suing the university for $950K, reports the Queen’s Journal. According to the plaintiff’s statement of claim, Queen’s did not have adequate policies in place to protect victims of sexual assault. “From my perspective, Queen’s needs to take responsibility for their students,” said the student. According to the Journal, one of the defendants was found guilty of sexually assaulting the plaintiff in 2016. None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in a court of law, adds the JournalQueen’s Journal

“They’re eating our lunch”: Board of governors urge BrandonU to be more assertive with programming

Board members at Brandon University are pushing the university to take a more assertive stance with programming in light of Assiniboine Community College’s recent partnership with Cape Breton University for a joint-MBA program, reports the Brandon Sun. Assiniboine and BrandonU had broached the idea of a joint-MBA in 2015, the Sun states, but talks broke down shortly thereafter. “I think clearly, ACC took the opportunity to do it outside. You can’t blame them,” said Meir Serfaty, Acting VP Academic and Provost, who was hopeful that a new president would instill a “full-fledged academic plan.” Some Board members have said that they should not wait for the installation of a new president to implement programming and other initiatives. Brandon Sun

Humber, Orangeville extend partnership to 2024

Humber College and the Town of Orangeville have formally extended their partnership in 2024. Under the agreement, Humber will provide $150K to expand operations and access to programming at the Alder Street complex. “As a proud and active community member since 2005, Humber is continually looking for ways to improve the programs and initiatives that we offer at our Orangeville campus,” said Joe Andrews, director of Humber Orangeville. “Our new agreement includes enhanced programs in continuing education and corporate training that will meet the needs of Dufferin-Caledon residents and will be a source of future growth.” Orangeville

How polytechnics and colleges are responding to the “digital economy”

In a review of Joseph Aoun’s book, Robot Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Daniel Komesch writes that the world’s current economic and social landscape is undergoing a shift from an industrial to a digital economy that relies increasingly on machine labour. According to Komesch, a digital economy requires skills based on creativity, collaboration, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and communication. Colleges and polytechnics in Canada facilitate skills development in these areas through a combination of internships, field experience, work placements, practicums, and co-ops, writes Komesch. The author adds that the digital economy has also created a demand for lifelong learning, as rapid advances in technology require workers to continually upgrade their skills. iPolitics

Former UOttawa hockey players acquitted of sexual assault

The Canadian Press reports that two former University of Ottawa hockey players have been found not guilty of sexual assault, an accusation that resulted in the suspension of UOttawa’s hockey program and the firing of its coach in 2014. According to CBC, Justice Chantal Brochu acquitted the men because the complainant’s testimony appeared to lack credibility. “What Justice Brochu had specified is that obviously they might not have been on their best behaviour that night, but there was certainly no criminal behaviour,” said Boucher’s lawyer, Celina Saint-Francois. The fired hockey coach and a former player also testified at the trial, CBC states. National Post (CP) | CBC

Leaders in Fort Smith, NWT question “mistaken and misleading” Aurora College review

The mayor and council of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories have created a special committee to respond to the territorial government's Aurora College review, which they say is based on poor methodology and flimsy statistics. The review in question recommended that Aurora be converted into a polytechnic institution and moved to Yellowknife. However, Fort Smith Mayor Lynn Napier-Buckley raised questions about the accuracy of the report, given that only only 15 of the 1,421 administered surveys were completed. “There's a very small sample group of where they're getting their information from,” she said. “We don't know what data they have that has been verified and if it's correct or if it's just hearsay.” CBC | Cabin Radio

Students unclear about course completion in wake of YorkU strike

Students at York University have lingering questions about how they will complete their studies now that contract faculty at the school have returned to work, reports Maclean’s. YorkU has set July 23 to August 20 as the remediation period when students who have not dropped or received a grade for their winter courses can complete their studies. Students, however, have expressed concern about whether they will be able to fit their new class times into their work schedules. “The university has set those dates, but they haven’t been exactly clear what those dates will entail,” says student Victoria Silman. Maclean’s