Top Ten

November 30, 2018

UWindsor law school to stay on campus with over $15M renovation

The University of Windsor has announced that it will renovate and expand its Faculty of Law building. The decision follows years of discussions about potentially moving the faculty to the Paul Martin building in Windsor’s downtown core. Faculty of Law Dean Chris Waters said he expects classes to continue during the “staged reconstruction” of the facility, but that some programs may be shifted out of the law school. He added that the cost of the improvements will range between $15M and $25M. “We're looking at a full year of design and consultation and then the construction would take place after that,” said Waters. “It's a modernist gem, in many ways. But things like accessibility, natural light in the teaching spaces, flexible learning spaces ... those kinds of things weren't there in the building.” CBC | UWindsor (ON)

UAlberta lifts cap for Indigenous med students

The University of Alberta’s medical school is lifting a three-decade-old quota system that capped the number of reserved seats for Indigenous students at five, reports the Edmonton Journal. Tibetha Kemble, Director of the Indigenous Health Initiative Program in UAlberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry said that five seats offered a meaningful measure 30 years ago, but worsening health crises amongst Indigenous populations and calls to action following the TRC have rendered the quota inadequate. The Journal adds that UAlberta will introduce four new full-tuition scholarships for incoming Indigenous medical students. Edmonton Journal (AB)

CAUT investigation into Potter case finds McGill violated academic freedom

The Canadian Association of University Teachers reports that an investigation into the resignation of Andrew Potter from the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada found that McGill failed in its duty to protect Potter and that the university’s justification undermined the academic freedom of all academic staff. “The central academic freedom issue in this case arose from the McGill administration’s claim that academic administrators do not enjoy the same protections as academics without administrative positions,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson, who added that the pursuit of knowledge “requires an environment free from institutional censorship against any academic.” CAUT (QC)

UWinnipeg formally recognizes Global College as academic unit

The University of Winnipeg has received senate approval to formally recognize the university’s Global College as an academic unit. The Global College offers programming in human rights, which builds a platform for student engagement, community partnerships, and international and research opportunities. “This decision is fundamental to Global College moving forward and building a solid core faculty in human rights and global citizenship,” said Global College’s Acting Executive Director Jan Stewart. “Now more than ever our students need to learn about ways that they can be advocates and supporters to those who are working to combat social injustice, violence and the marginalization and oppression of people and groups.” UWinnipeg (MB)

French culture and heritage is a foundational Canadian value: UMontréal rector

The Government of Ontario's decision to cut funding for a proposed francophone university “is a blow to the Canadian ideal of research and transmission of knowledge in both languages,” writes Guy Breton. Although francophone teaching and research remains a niche area in English Canada, Breton vows that if the architects of the project continue to pursue a francophone university in Ontario, Université de Montréal will be there to help. The author concludes that a strong francophone presence is vital to Canada’s postsecondary sector because the relationship between English and French is central to Canada’s identity as a multicultural nation. The Star (ON)

Conestoga opens new student wellness space

Conestoga College has celebrated the opening of a new Student Wellness Space. The space provides a calm, quiet area with individual peer support, peer group workshops, and private “recharge” rooms for meditation and relaxation. “Everyone who has come in to the student wellness space has commented on how welcoming and relaxing the space is, and how much it is needed at Doon,” said Student Wellness project manager Heather Callum. “With students juggling coursework, employment, relationships and other responsibilities, having a space to de-stress and connect with peers is very valuable.” Callum added that the program may be expanded to other campuses, depending on student needs and response to the services. Conestoga (ON)

UCalgary iconic ballroom to undergo renovations

MacEwan Hall, the University of Calgary’s iconic ballroom, will undergo a five-month renovation. A UCalgary release states that the renovations will maintain the ballroom’s original look and feel while upgrading its acoustics and safety features. “Because the ballroom is a busy space that must perform well in a multitude of ways, designing the renovation required some special care and we took our time to make sure we did everything right the first time,” said Kevin Dang, the UCalgary Students’ Union’s VP of Operations and Finance. UCalgary adds that the ballroom has hosted an array of artists throughout its 50-year history, including Radiohead, the Tragically Hip, and Behemoth. UCalgary (AB)

CEGEPs receive approval to offer cannabis processing courses, highlight industry needs

Cégep de l'Outaouais, John Abbott College, Cégep Gérald-Godin, and Collège de Valleyfield have received approval to offer a new course focused on cannabis processing. CBC states that the CEGEPs will still need approval from the ministry on a detailed curriculum, approval for funding to buy equipment, and agreements with cannabis producers. Cannabis company LiveWell stated that it has been in discussions with CEGEPs related to student internships and research opportunities and estimates that it will need up to 200 new employees within a year. Outaouais spokesperson Simon Desjardins explained that the CEGEP is currently considering two possible admission requirements: one where students must be of legal age when they enrol in the course, and another requiring them to be of legal age by the time of completion. CBC (ON)

Panel shares perspectives on graduate funding models in science

In response to this year’s historic boost in federal funding for scientific research, the Canadian Science Policy Conference recently featured an expert panel that discussed funding models for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Canada and the US. University Affairs reports that the panel focused on direct awards such as the Banting and Vanier fellowships, funding to institutions that gets passed on directly to students, and funds through researcher operating grants to support most graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Canada. Kay Lund, a Director at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, emphasized the importance of career development in the structure of research training awards. University Affairs (National)

Queen’s launches apprenticeship program for new graduates

Queen’s University has launched an apprenticeship program for graduates in the Kingston area. The Queen’s Gazette explains that employers who sign up for the program will receive reimbursement for up to $4K of salary per month, with the goal of securing long-term employment for apprentices. “These students are talented, and Kingston businesses can benefit from keeping them here and helping them launch their careers.” stated Allan Rottenberg, a benefactor for the program. ”The pilot proved a great partnership that delivered amazing results and that is why we are ready to make it even bigger this year.” The program will provide funding for 35 apprenticeships in 2019, the Gazette adds. Queen’s Gazette (ON)