Top Ten

October 18, 2018

Queen's-based Lyme disease research network receives $4M from Canada

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Government of Canada have announced the investment of $4M into a multidisciplinary network at Queen's University focused on Lyme disease research, prevention, and treatment. “Our network, based at Queen’s University, will collaborate with patients and our many academic and government partners to protect the health of Canadians from coast to coast. We will provide the national capacity to have a coordinated, integrated, and multidisciplinary response to the emerging infectious disease threat of Lyme disease,” said Queen's Professor Kieran Moore. A Queen’s release states that the investment is part of the federal government’s commitment to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Queen’s

First Nations athlete calls for name change for McGill's Redmen

An athlete from Kainai First Nation on McGill University’s rowing team is calling on the university to change the Redmen team name. “Listening to the experiences of other varsity athletes throughout the university and other Indigenous students on campus, I thought it was important to orchestrate a movement where we could demonstrate our discontent with the continued usage of the Redmen name,” said McGill student Tomas Jirousek. McGill interim Student Life and Learning Deputy Provost Fabrice Labeau explained that the name refers to the team’s colours, but that the media and fans have since introduced Indigenous connotations and unofficial nicknames. McGill is reportedly examining issues linked to naming or renaming assets, teams, or programs. CBC | Montreal Gazette

Innovate BC provides nearly $1M to SFU, UBC for research

Innovate BC has awarded nearly $1M through its Ignite Awards program to fund four research projects in the province. Researchers at Simon Fraser University received two $300K awards to support research in clean technology and transportation/mechanical engineering. Researchers at the University of British Columbia received a $241K award and a $103K award to support projects in agriculture/biotechnology and forestry/biocomposites, respectively. “The hard work and innovation that goes into these projects has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people,” said BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston. BC Business

ON must invest in faculty: OCUFA president

Increasing reliance on tuition and the contraction of full-time faculty has significantly strained Ontario’s postsecondary system, which already receives less provincial funding per-student than the rest of the country, writes OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. The author describes how an increased reliance on contract faculty compromises teaching and research, explains the postsecondary sector’s vital importance to Ontario’s economic health, and concludes with an appeal to ON to implement a concrete plan to address its current fiscal challenges. “In sum, a robust faculty renewal strategy requires three pillars: hiring additional full-time faculty, replacing retiring full-time faculty, and supporting pathways for contract faculty into secure full-time positions,” Phillips concludes. OCUFA (PDF)

NWT Education Minister says she is not qualified to decide social work program’s fate

Northwest Territories’ Education Minister Caroline Cochrane told the Legislative Assembly she is not qualified to make any decisions about Aurora College’s social work program, CBC reports. Instead, she will leave the decision to a yet-to-be appointed associate deputy minister, who is expected to be hired by the end of October. In 2017, then-Education Minister Alfred Moses announced that the government would shut down Aurora’s teaching and social work programs. In light of public backlash, the social work program was placed on hiatus, pending a recently completed review. The review was made public by MLA Julie Green, who countered Cochrane's statements by arguing that cutting the program is a political decision based on budget cuts. “The minister is hiding behind the bureaucracy, saying it's their decision to restore it,” argued Green. CBC

UPEI international students want more support services

International students at the University of Prince Edward Island are concerned that a recent federal and provincial grant earmarked for the university’s international program might not help students who are already there, CBC reports. “We are concerned that the responsibilities the university has to its current international student population may end up forgotten in the midst of increased recruitment efforts,” said Caroline Simoes Correa of the UPEI International Student Association. UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz told the Guardian that half the money will support the university’s international recruiting efforts, while the other half will support Study and Stay programming. The federal and provincial governments distributed $1.5M to UPEI and Holland College for international recruitment and retention. CBC | The Guardian

NorQuest celebrates end of $20M campaign

NorQuest College has officially closed its NorQuest Campaign after exceeding its goal and receiving $21.2M in philanthropic gifts. The donations came from individuals, businesses, and charitable foundations. The campaign funds will support student access to education, increase funding for college workforce-relevant programs, and fund the college’s campus expansion and the construction  of the Singhmar Centre for Learning. “You have chosen to invest in the future of NorQuest and the future of all those whose lives we touch,” NorQuest President Jodi Abbott said to the donors. “You have shown us the power of philanthropy.” NorQuest

UQAM, MBAM partner to provide graduate students with privileged access

Université du Quebec à Montreal’s Faculty of Arts and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal have signed an agreement that will provide privileged access to the museum to over 600 UQAM graduate students. Faculty Dean Jean-Christian Pleau explained students would be able to access the museum’s collections, attend special events and conferences, and receive a free copy of the museum’s magazine. The agreement will also see the MBAM provide free teaching spaces to UQAM faculty, and Pleau will serve on MBAM’s education committee as a representative of the academic community. UQAM

KPU new campus in Surrey’s City Centre to focus on “new ways of teaching and learning”

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s fifth campus will soon be opening in the downtown core of Surrey, British Columbia, and KPU Provost Salvador Ferreras states that it will be a very different campus from the institution’s other four. The campus will occupy five floors of the new Civic Hotel and provide space for 300 to 400 students. The programming offered at the campus will focus on new ways of teaching and learning and will target adult learners who want to revitalize or change their careers. “We all have different programs but we want to be part of that part of Surrey,” said Ferreras. “We’re very much dedicated to being that place where community intersects the university.” Surrey Now Leader

Student party culture: “Everyone wants to see something funny”

After at least 52 students were taken to the hospital for injuries related to a “fake homecoming” celebration in London, Ontario, CBC spoke to students about the increasingly risky behaviour at student party culture. “I think it's because everybody is watching [the students],” said Western student Mel Nolan, adding that “they just want to show what people want to see.” CBC noted that one of the factors encouraging this behaviour can be attributed to websites such as Canadianpartylife, which allows students to post videos of party activities captured on cell phone cameras. CBC