Top Ten

August 10, 2018

St Clair receives $5M from local philanthropist for business and technology school

St Clair College will name its new business and technology school after the Zekelman family after they made a $5M donation toward the facility, reports the Windsor Star. “There is no better way to secure the future than ensuring quality post-secondary education that prepares the next generation for leadership,” said Barry Zekelman, CEO of Zekelman Industries. According to the Star, the 30,000 square-foot Zekelman School of Business & Information Technology will offer programs in data analytics for business, international business management, and a new Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Information Communication Technology) degree. CBC states that this is the first time that St Clair has given naming rights to a building or program.

St Clair | Windsor Star | CBC 

UMontréal receives $4M from QC, Ottawa for astrophysics research

Université de Montréal has received a joint $4M from the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada for ongoing astrophysics innovation and maintenance at Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic. "This financial commitment consolidates the government's commitment to making Quebec one of the most innovative and creative societies in the world. Over the next few years, the OMM's activities will help develop innovative capacity in the area, which is transferable provincially, nationally and globally," said Deputy Premier Dominique Anglade. A news release states that the OMM also has experimental astrophysics labs on the campuses of UMontréal and Université Laval.


Canadian law schools embrace technology with new courses, training

According to a recent survey, Canadian law schools are increasingly offering technology-related training. Law schools at institutions such as Dalhousie University, Windsor University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Manitoba, for example, have offered course offerings on topics such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybercrime, and app development. With respect to teaching methods, however, UManitoba Communications Officer Christine Mazur reported that students value personal interactions with professors over online training methods, and that students are typically more technology-savvy than their professors. The Lawyer’s Daily adds that the survey results indicated a general acknowledgment that law schools must address how changes in technology present ongoing challenges to the structure of law.

Lawyer’s Daily

YorkU, Carswell Family Foundation make joint $3M investment in astronomy

York University will use a $3M investment made in partnership with YorkU Professor Emeritus Allan Carswell and the Carswell Family Foundation for the creation of the Allan I Carswell Chair for the Public Understanding of Astronomy in the Faculty of Science. The funds will also benefit students and the public, and support the York Science Communicator in Residence program. "With this generous gift to the Faculty of Science from Allan Carswell and the Carswell Family Foundation, York University will enhance the exciting educational opportunities in astronomy that we offer our students, while also growing our community outreach initiatives as part of our institutional commitment to public service,” said YorkU President Rhonda Lenton.York

The pitfalls of celebrating failure

While failure is normal, celebrating it can do more harm than good, writes Jessica Riddell. As the author describes her own experiences with failure, and of her exchanges with students, she finds that the recent rush to embrace failure in the academy and the business world perpetuates a narrative of failure as a condition of success. According to Riddell, this narrative ignores the real costs of failure, as well as the ways that failure can reveal systemic issues that must be addressed if we are to live in a fair and equitable society. University Affairs

Laval med school switches to pass-fail system

Université Laval has announced a pilot project that will see students in the first few years of a medicine program receive a pass or fail rating instead of a grade. Laval spokesperson Andrée-Anne Stewart explained that the pass-fail system will help promote a culture of student collaboration and support a climate of learning. The faculty-wide adoption of the system will reportedly be a first at Laval, and Stewart explained that the process is going well.

Journal de Montréal

The new role of the promotional professor

In addition to teaching and research, the professor is now asked to promote classes, departments, colleges, and themselves, writes Jeffrey Williams. While noting the benefits of promotional activities such as circulating one's scholarly work or networking, Williams argues against the trend towards promotion that supersedes the pursuit of knowledge. The article discusses the history of the public intellectual and closes with a call for "critical intellectuals" who are able to publicly and independently provide criticism on society, culture, and politics. Chronicle of Higher Ed

Confederation receives $1M for TEC Hub

Confederation College has received $1M from the Government of Canada to support its new TEC Hub. Confederation President Jim Madder told CBC that the money “allows us to add in top-end CNC (Computer Numerical Control) equipment for computer-based manufacturing, top-end prototyping equipment, a whole variety of makerspace equipment that'll actually allow us to have high school students be able to come in." Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour Patty Hajdu stated that the TEC Hub will give students hands-on experience with the same equipment they will use in the workforce.

CBC | Confederation

Why faculty should do away with extra credit for attendance

Non-performance-related variables, such as attendance, contributions to class discussions, or participation in outside events should not be factored into student grades because they can skew learning outcomes assessments, writes Jay Sterling Silver. While acknowledging the potential value of such incentives, the author argues that those who meaningfully benefit from them reflect their engagement with the course through their written assignments. Silver then addresses issues of professor bias in marking and discuss whether an administrative ban on bonus marks would impinge upon academic freedom. Inside Higher Ed

Hospitals prepare to lose medical residents

Canadian hospitals are bracing themselves for the loss of hundreds of medical residents following Saudi Arabia’s sudden decision to pull all of its postsecondary students out of Canada, reports the National Post. According to the Post, the residents’ positions are paid for by the Saudi government and are over and above those provided by the provincial government. As a result, hospitals will be left scrambling to compensate for shortages. “We’re in the process now of really sitting down with our hospital partners, site by site, and program by program, and figuring out what the impact will be if September 1, these folks aren’t around,” said Salvatore Spadafora, Vice-Dean of post-MD Education at the University of Toronto.National Post