Top Ten

July 3, 2018

University mergers could provide critical mass for intellectual pursuits

“Should two, three or more Halifax or Nova Scotia universities merge to form a single institution?” asks Saint Mary’s University Professor Mark Mercer in an article on the benefits of university mergers. Mercer challenges the idea that amalgamating universities offers only financial benefits economics and is otherwise detrimental to an institution’s individual academics and culture. Instead, Mercer argues that merging universities could allow institutions to continue providing extrinsic benefits to society while preserving them as places where scholars and students gather to engage in study for its own sake. Chronicle Herald

BC universities celebrate $12M in scholarships to support grad students

Universities across British Columbia have announced new $180K graduate degree scholarships, funded by a $12M investment announced last month by BC Premier John Horgan. The funding aims to support STEM programs, Indigenous students, and regional programs, and BC states that it will also investing in women-in-technology scholarships. “This scholarship fund will help make graduate studies even more accessible,” commented Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon, “and allow us to continue to attract some of the best student researchers in the province, who will then apply what they learn to make positive change in our communities.” BC | Nation Talk (RRU) | TRU (TRU)

Humanities must change how it discusses vocation to save itself

Reflecting on a recent US study that found that nearly half of liberal arts BAs would pursue a different area of study if they could redo their education, Paul Corrigan writes: “If we want students to continue to enroll in our programs, they must not fear for their financial future.” Corrigan writes that neglect for graduate career training in the humanities has historically fallen to either a view of jobs as “crass utilitarianism” or an expectation that humanities provides enough broad skills for students to work out the details themselves. Deeming these views to be no longer useful, the author calls on those in the humanities to change how they think and teach about work and vocation, and provides a number of suggestions on how to do this. Chronicle of Higher Education

BHER produces research partnerships guides to aid collaboration between PSE, Industry

The Business/Higher Education Roundtable has released two guides to research partnerships intended to support postsecondary-industry partnerships. The Guide to Research Partnerships with Canada’s Colleges and Polytechnics and the Guide to Research Partnerships with Canada’s Universities were developed in partnership with Polytechnics Canada and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. “Finding ways to work more collaboratively with industry partners and helping those partners to better understand our research culture produces a win-win situation for all,” said BHER Co-chair and University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. UCalgary | BHER (1) | BHER (2)

Tamil organizations pledge $3M to UofT for Chair in Tamil studies

Tamil Chair Inc and the Canadian Tamil Congress have pledged $3M to create a chair in Tamil studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The full-time chair position would explore aspects of Tamil language, history, and culture through research and scholarship. “This commitment to establish a chair in Tamil studies is truly inspiring,” said U of T Scarborough Principal Bruce Kidd. “The Tamil language, history and culture are such an important part of the human experience and the story of immigration and refugee settlement in Toronto, that we are delighted to be able to strengthen Tamil studies at UTSC in this way.” U of T

UAlberta celebrates opening of $25M Aga Khan Garden to public

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden has celebrated the opening of the Aga Khan Garden, a 4.8-hectare Mughal-inspired landscape funded by a $25M donation from the Aga Khan. “We have an unstated mandate here, that no person leaves unchanged,” said UAlberta Botantic Garden Director Lee Foote. “Like good poetry, the best images of the garden evoke different things for different people. There’s not a set script.” The location has also received a new entry plaza, parking lots, sewage treatment system, shuttle service, and wi-fi system. CBC | Edmonton Journal

Durham, SCMAO partner to provide students with advanced standing

Durham College and the Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario have signed an agreement to make the path to the certified Supply Chain Management Professional designation more efficient for graduates. Recent alumni and current students of Durham’s Materials and Operations Management - Business Administration program will receive advanced standing toward the SCMP designation. The designation is an internationally accredited certification of strategic supply chain leadership. Durham

UWinnipeg introduces biomass heating as part of sustainability strategy

As part of its new sustainability strategy, the University of Winnipeg has introduced biomass heating to campus. “Some of the biggest challenges for us are the misconceptions surrounding biomass,” explained Kyle Macdonald, UWinnipeg’s director of Energy Management and Special Projects. “A lot of people imagine stoking a fire, but this is all automated and because it’s so efficient you’re not going to get many particulates or emissions.” The project was made a reality through a partnership with Manitoba Hydro, which views biomass as an up-and-coming fuel source, and has contributed significantly to UWinnipeg’s goal to have 5% of the energy used on campus come from unconventional renewable resources. UWinnipeg

Grappling with IoT Growth on Campus

As campuses take advantage of the Internet of Things to gain efficiencies, writes David Raths, some institutions are experiencing growing pains from the adoption of the new technology. “It all comes down to scalability and sustainability,” explained Gerry Hamilton of Stanford University. “We have found there is an exponential growth of effort that happens every time you deploy one more system.” The article goes on to highlight the experiences of several different institutions in adopting and adapting to new technology and new data sets on campus. Campus Technology

CNC announces new, expanded programming

The College of New Caledonia has announced the launch of a new Trails Design and Maintenance Program at its Quesnel campus. CNC explains that the program was designed to help the region design, build, and sustain recreation trails; and that students will receive training in trail assessment, design, troubleshooting, sustainability, mapping, and safety. CNC also recently showcased its expanded programming in Burns Lake, including a new Associates of Arts Degree - Aboriginal Studies on all community campuses and a practical nursing program in Burns Lake. CNC (1) | CNC (2)