Top Ten

July 13, 2018

Lethbridge to launch entrepreneurship program for agricultural innovation

Lethbridge College will launch its Agricultural Entrepreneur in Residence program this September by pairing students with local industry partners, reports the Lethbridge Herald. Participants in the program will receive industry mentorship as they develop and test solutions for present-day challenges. “Our AgENT participants will focus on idea generation and outside-the-box thinking,” said Program Co-ordinator Megan Shapka. “We’re providing opportunities to develop foundational skills and inspire entrepreneurial spirit.” Kenny Corscadden, Associate Vice President of Research and Dean of the Centre for Technology, Environment and Design told the Herald that the program’s solutions-based focus will benefit students from a wide range of disciplines. Lethbridge Herald

RRU inks transfer agreements with RDC, Victoria Academy of the Dramatic Arts

Royal Roads University has signed transfer agreements with Red Deer College and the Victoria Academy of the Dramatic Arts. According to a release, graduates from RDC’s Media Studies and Professional Communication Diploma may transfer into the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program at Royal Roads, while Justice Studies Diploma Graduates may enrol in the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies. Victoria Academy graduates with 60 or more credits in the Acting for Film and TV program are now eligible to enter RRU’s Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies or the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication. RRU

UBC student sues university for slashing attack

An international UBC student who was slashed in her dorm room by a fellow student experiencing a psychotic episode is suing the university, CBC reports. In a notice of civil claim, the student states that the attack has left her with “anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.” “UBC knew or should have been aware of the risk of forced entry into rooms and assaults and/or persons entering student residence rooms,” the lawsuit reads. According to UBC, Hare’s attacker was found criminally not responsible by reason of mental disorder in 2017. None of the allegations in the civil claim have been proven in court. CBC

Self-help’s role in the future of the university

Debates about the corporatization of the university tend to focus on a culture obsessed with efficiency, performance, and competition, writes Beth Blum, but what is equally involved in this trend is the language of therapy and self-help. The author argues that bulletin boards on any university campus today typically feature seminars on mindfulness, relaxation, or self-care. But what many seem to miss, the author adds, is that these offerings are themselves stop-gap solutions for deeper structural problems like intensifying competition, a fractured tenure system, racial inequity, and ever-expanding job precarity. The author concludes, however, that it is not always easy to distinguish self-help’s more benevolent, therapeutic side from its tendency to become a Band-aid for a broken university culture. Chronicle of Higher Education(Subscription Required)

Edmunston contributes $500K to UMoncton’s campaign

The City of Edmunston has donated $500K toward l’Université de Moncton’s Évolution campaign. According to a UMoncton release, half of the donation will support scholarships and professional development for students at UMoncton’s Edmunston Campus. The remaining funds have been earmarked for joint initiatives between community and industry partners to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development. UMoncton (Fr)

Faculty of Mathematics brings elliptical pool table to UWaterloo

The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics has unveiled an elliptical pool table on which students play a game called Loop. Unlike conventional pool, Loop players attempt to sink balls into a hole that sits in the centre of the table by banking them off of its curved edges, and the balls travel in an elliptical direction rather than at straight angles. UWaterloo Faculty of Mathematics Dean Stephen Watt told CBC that the table was designed by Alex Bellos, a math writer from the UK. “It's a lot harder than it looks because you have to bring all of your mathematical geometry into play,” said Watt. “It's the perfect game to install at the Faculty of Mathematics.” CBC

Innovation in higher ed cannot happen without collaboration: Givens

“Perhaps one of the most important things that I’ve learned in my time as an academic administrator is the importance of collaboration,” writes Terri E Givens, yet “external mandates and the need to focus on compliance issues related to accreditation have stymied innovation.” The author notes that any new innovations need to be brought to a university in a spirit of collaboration; if faculty are not brought into the process early, effective change will not happen. “There are often unintended consequences when actions are taken without input from all who may be affected,” the author concludes. “It will take a collaborative approach, working with accreditors, to find a path that helps us all provide the best education for our students.” Inside Higher Ed

Ryerson professor to study impact of childhood disability with $2.5M in support

A Faculty of Community Service Professor at Ryerson University will lead a team of 30 researchers and 16 partner organizations to examine the institutional response our society has to disability in early childhood, from the standpoint of families. Supported by a $2.5M federal grant, the research team will interview 120 families across Canada and gather data about their interactions with institutions that intend to serve their child with a disability, while following the children from a previous study as they age into the school system. Ryerson

UCN announces administrative staff reductions

University College of the North has announced the elimination of three administrative positions in order to meet a 15% resource reallocation target mandated by the Manitoba government. The Dean of Trades and Technology, Director of Career and Workforce Development, and Human Resources and Training Coordinator positions have all been cut, with the Dean and Director duties to be absorbed by other administrative positions. “UCN fully supports directing resources to delivery of programming and services for students,” said Tom Goodman, Chair of UCN’s Governing Council. “I am pleased that UCN achieved this important objective in a manner that respected the outstanding service provided by the former incumbents in these positions.” UCN (PDF)

Can a school shrink its way to success?

“I like to say that I’ve never seen a college shrink its way to greatness, and that’s true. But just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened,” writes Matt Reed. The author notes that while some schools have been able to navigate a planned contraction with success, “the more common case involves sustained incremental cutting and watering-down.” Once the process of cutting has begun, writes Reed, “the decline tends to outpace the incremental cuts, and the college has to resort to layoffs.” Reed maintains that layoffs lead to decreased quality in an ongoing cycle. The author ends the piece with a call to peers for examples of transferable solutions for the problem of institutional decline. Inside Higher Ed