Top Ten

September 14, 2018

UCalgary veterinary program receives $7.2M

The Government of Alberta is investing $7.2M in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. A UCalgary release states that the program will increase its enrolment from 30 students to 50 in 2020, resulting in a total of 80 additional students by 2023. "This increased funding from the provincial government will allow more Albertans to study and train in their home province, as well as ensure that we meet the growing needs of rural and remote communities,” said UCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon. The investment will also help cover the costs of new equipment, lab and surgery suites, and expanded student spaces. UCalgary

BVC launches Strathmore campus

Bow Valley College has officially opened its Strathmore campus. The 4,500 square foot learning hub offers career programming, academic upgrading, essential skills training, and an Entrepreneur Centre. “By offering post-secondary education and entrepreneurship training at the Strathmore Campus, Bow Valley College has expanded beyond the classroom and into the business environment and community at large,” said BVC VP Academic Misheck Mwaba. “We’re able to nurture this need by offering courses, programs, and globally recognized certifications that give them practical and theoretical skills that can produce results now and in the future.” BVC adds that a federal grant of $393M helped fund the new campus. BVC

Canada’s science and innovation agenda “paramount”: Hewitt

“Reinvigorating the research ecosystem is now more important than ever,” states Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council President Ted Hewitt in a recent article for ResearchLIFE. To that end, the federal government has created the new Canada Research Coordinating Committee. Hewitt states that the CRCC is mandated to improve coordination between SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR in collaboration with the Canada Innovation Foundation. Hewitt adds that CRCC members have prioritized equity and diversity in research and increased capacity for Indigenous research initiatives, and that they plan to offer better supports for the next generation of scientists and scholars. SSHRC

UNB, Indspire, CIBC launch bursaries for Indigenous students

Indigenous students enrolling in the University of New Brunswick will have access to a special bursary program, thanks to a $500K gift from CIBC. The CIBC-University of New Brunswick Indigenous Bursaries, which will be managed, leveraged, and awarded by Indspire, will support undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Students enrolled in Bachelor of Business Administration programs will receive preference. “These bursaries will make our programs more accessible to Indigenous students and more diverse, contributing to an inclusive academic environment that benefits everyone at UNB,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. Nation Talk | UNB

Bridging the gap between anti-intellectualism and higher education

Despite denunciations of trigger warnings and microagressions from some conservative corners, college and university campuses remain bastions of intellectual rigour and the free exchange of ideas, writes one American college president. The author adds that the notion of social mobility as a key value in North American society includes a responsibility on the part of higher education to foster critical thought and debate as campuses embrace students from different class and ethnic backgrounds. “A bit of perceived silliness around the edges does not negate that, and to imply otherwise is disingenuous at best,” concludes the author. Inside Higher Ed

UQAM partners with Software Heritage to promote software preservation, distribution

Université du Québec au Montréal has partnered with Software Heritage on a software preservation project. According to Software Heritage Founder and Director Roberto di Cosmo, the project creates the necessary infrastructure for Open Access software preservation, research, and distribution. UQAM adds that the project also provides source code to make the technology more transparent and accessible. According to UQAM, Software Heritage has received support from Microsoft, Intel, and Google to archive more than 84 million pieces of software. UQAM

Rupertsland, Métis Education Foundation announce gift for Métis students at Lakeland, NLC, MHC 

The Rupertsland Institute and the Métis Education Foundation have announced major gifts to support Métis student success at Lakeland College and Northern Lakes College. At NLC, the two parties agreed to create a $375K endowment in perpetuity. “Removing barriers to education is a cornerstone of the Northern Lakes College vision,” said NLC President Ann Everatt. The two parties also provided $287K to Lakeland College. “We are honoured to have the support of the Métis Nation of Alberta and its affiliates,” says Lakeland President Alice Wainwright-Stewart. “Together we are able to invest in our Métis students and help them to achieve their educational goals and grow as leaders.” Medicine Hat College also received a $100K contribution from the organizations to support the Métis student body. MHC contributed an additional $30K to create a $130K endowment.  Rupertsland (Lakeland) | Rupertsland (NLC) | Medicine Hat News (MHC)

Algonquin sustainability initiative expands to campuses across Canada

The World Wildlife Fund will expand Living Planet @ Campus, a sustainability initiative piloted at Algonquin College, to campuses across the country. An Algonquin release states that 11 postsecondary institutions, in partnership with the WWF and support from HP Canada, helped to spearhead the program. “Our Living Planet @ Campus program provides students with opportunities to take action on sustainability, be leaders for nature and earn certification to take into the professional world when they graduate,” stated Sarah Winterton, Director of Nature-Connected Communities at WWF-Canada. Algonquin adds that the pilot program included tree planting along the Tay River watershed in Perth and a multi-campus competition held at the WWF Office in Toronto. Algonquin | WWF

Acadia fires controversial professor

CBC reports that Acadia University has fired Rick Mehta, a tenured psychology professor whose views on multiculturalism, Indigenous issues, and gender sparked controversy in the classroom and on social media. Acadia confirmed Mehta’s dismissal, but spokesperson Scott Roberts refused to disclose specifics to CBC. "The termination of a tenured professor is very serious, and AUFA has filed for arbitration while its senior grievance officer and legal counsel examine the administration's disciplinary procedures and evidence," wrote the Acadia University Faculty Association in a release. Mehta called the university’s decision “disappointing.” CBC | Montreal Gazette

BC cannabis policies will vary by campus

Universities throughout British Columbia will take varying approaches to recreational cannabis use, from designated smoking areas to outright bans, reports the Vancouver Sun.  According to the Sun, the University of Victoria is expected to develop designated cannabis smoking areas for users aged 19 and over, while Langara College in Vancouver has prohibited any cannabis use on campus. UBC will release its new cannabis policy pending review by its Board of Governors, the Sun adds. Meanwhile, Simon Fraser University spokesperson Justin Wong told the Sun that the university is concerned about how cannabis use might create unsafe working conditions. Vancouver Sun(Times-Colonist)