Top Ten

August 9, 2018

U of T, Queen’s, UoGuelph to create joint pension plan for faculty and staff

The University of Toronto, Queen’s University, and the University of Guelph have collectively created a jointly sponsored pension plan. Angela Hildyard, Special Adviser to the President and the Provost at U of T explained that the Government of Ontario previously encouraged public sector companies to consider JSPPs in response to concerns about the long-term solvency of public sector defined plans. The article explains that the complexity of implementing a JSPP between universities created significant challenges, and that a number of universities left negotiations early on. Hildyard added that the JSPP should be running by 2021. Other universities will have the opportunity to join thereafter. University Affairs

UCalgary Psychology Department under review amidst allegations of lab rat mistreatment

CBC has learned that a national oversight group is looking into allegations that anesthetic given to lab rats during surgery was repeatedly 'mismanaged' at the University of Calgary’s Psychology Department. The lab was shut down in March, when the department’s head veterinarian responded to complaints from students. The Canadian Council on Animal Care stated that it has been in contact with UCalgary, and that there are presently “no animal welfare issues at play” because the lab has been shut down. The University has stated that the allegations are under review. CBC (1) | CBC (2)

Édouard-Montpetit centre gets $1.2M funding for state-of-the-art equipment

Thanks to funding from the provincial and federal government, the Centre de technologie en aérospatiale at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. The Centre has received grants totaling over $1.2M from the Government of Canada's CFI fund and the Government of Quebec's Ministry of Economy, Science, and Innovation. Managing director Pascal Désilets explained that the grants will help the centre meet its goal of developing effective and affordable automated applications for the use of local businesses. Édouard-Montpetit (FR)

Federal government invests in workforce skills training

Newfoundland and Labrador has signed agreements with the federal government that will see the province receive over $900M over six years in support of skills training. The Workforce Development Agreement will help the province to deliver training and services to its residents, while the Labour Market Development Agreement will enable the province to better support residents and employers through measures related to training, work placements, the labour force, research, and more. “The new Workforce Development and Labour Market Development agreements provide increased funding and flexibility, preparing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for the jobs of the future, including women, people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples,” said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Al Hawkins. Nation Talk

SAIT receives $2.5M in funding for steam research

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has received $2.5M in funds for steam research. According to a SAIT release, the Government of Alberta and Canada Foundation for Innovation each contributed $1M, and the Suncor Energy has kicked in an additional $500K. "We appreciate the investments made by government and our partners in SAIT and our applied research infrastructure," said SAIT President David Ross. According to SAIT, the funds will support the Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) program, which focuses on clean technologies such as alternative energy, water conservation, high-efficiency steam generation and water waste management. SAIT

Handling the split between faculty and admin duties

“[T]eaching is like sprinting, while administration is like distance running,” writes Matt Reed in a discussion of managing the divide between the two sets of duties. Reed encourages faculty administrators to continue asking "why" questions, embrace collaboration, and anticipate having their assignment treated as a "de facto audition." The author concludes with the assertion that those who are effective in these roles are rare, and that opportunities tend to follow for those who are successful. Inside Higher Ed

UOttawa Refugee Hub partners with donors on sponsorship fund

The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, Shapiro Foundation, and Jewish Family Services Ottawa have announced a new fund to sponsor 1,000 refugees identified by the United Nations Refugee Agency. According to a news release, the fund will cover the costs for qualifying Canadian groups who sponsor a refugee through the Blended Visa Office Referred program. "At a time of record high global needs and diminishing resettlement opportunities for refugees, these thousand spaces are more precious than ever,” said Ed Shapiro, Trustee of the Shapiro Foundation. Newswire

A review of college readiness initiatives for high school students

Although colleges and high schools have taken positive steps toward preparing students for postsecondary, a considerable number of high school seniors are still underprepared for college, write Elisabeth Barnett, Jennifer Zinth, and John Squires. The authors then consider how dual enrolment and readiness courses in the US can help high school students who are at different stages of preparedness for postsecondary. According to the authors, readiness courses help students graduate with basic competencies required for college. The authors highlight how dual enrolment offerings have been expanded to accommodate low-income students, students of colour, and first-generation students. Inside Higher Ed

UAlberta Dean of Science resigns, citing leadership decisions

Jonathan Schaeffer has resigned as the University of Alberta’s Dean of Science, reports the Edmonton Journal. “The university’s leadership has made decisions and taken actions that I cannot support,” wrote Shaeffer. “Therefore, the faculty of science would be better served by a different leader, one who is more in line with the expectations of the president and provost.” In a resignation letter, Shaeffer called the decision “difficult,” and did not refer to any specific decisions or statements in his letter.  Provost and VP Academic Steven Dew thanked Schaeffer for his service, and cited his achievements in a prepared statement. Edmonton Journal | CBC

Learning the craft of scholarly reading

"Scholarly reading remains an obscure, self-taught process of assembling, absorbing, and strategically deploying the writing of others," writes Joli Jensen in a reflection on the craft of scholarly reading. Jensen discusses how many scholars are left to learn for themselves how to read, understand, and make use of relevant literature in their studies. A clearer, more detailed understanding of how to read effectively would benefit many rookie and established scholars, she states. To this end, she describes the objectives, pitfalls, and method of the three phases of reading: Gathering, Engaging, and Deploying. Chronicle of Higher Ed