Top Ten

January 16, 2019

Polytechnic in Yellowknife would be worth the $80M price tag: report

proposed polytechnic universityin Yellowknife could cost as much as $80M to build, but a report commissioned by the Yellowknife City Council states that the social benefits would justify the expense. According to CBC, the 89-page study recommends the creation of a polytechnic under a “federated model,” in which it would co-operate with other post-secondary institutions already working in the Northwest Territories, such as Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, Collège Nordique, and Wilfred Laurier University. CBC adds that the study listed several benefits of creating the polytechnic, which would include building up the NWT's skilled labour force, attracting international students to the city, and attracting research dollars to help address NWT-specific challenges. CBC (NWT)

Canada commits $1.9M to l’Université de l’Ontario français

The Government of Canada has announced that it is committing $1.9M to support L’Université de l’Ontario français, despite the Government of Ontario’s announcement that it is cancelling funding for the project. Federal Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Mélanie Joly said that the funds will “support the work done by the team currently in place up to January 2020.” Dyane Adam, Chair of the university’s Board of Governors, thanked the federal government for their “strong commitment to the Franco-Ontarian community and their support for an institution essential to its vitality.” The Starreports that provincial funding for the project expired on January 15, with ON Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities Merrilee Fullerton stating that no further funding would be provided. Ottawa Citizen The Star (ON)

MUN must take funding shortfalls into account before opening law school: Critic

Some critics are expressing reservations about Memorial University’s decision to open a law school in light of funding shortfalls, reports CBC. “We should have a much more open debate about where our institutions are spending the government's money,” said Larry Short, a Chartered Professional Accountant. Short added that although he is not opposed to the law school in principle, he pointed out that MUN is already struggling to cut costs amidst aging infrastructure and a pension fund liability. Others, however, support the school. Retired provincial court judge James Igloliorte told CBC that a new law school could positively impact the region’s Indigenous populations. CBC (NL)

RRU, Indian college group sign MOU for program pathways

Royal Roads University and the St Soldier Group of Institutions in India have signed a new memorandum of understanding. The MOU will enable students from the group’s 19 colleges to apply their diploma credits towards an undergraduate degree in business administration, international hotel management, or global tourism management at RRU. “St Soldier Group of Institutions has always remained a pioneer in extending opportunities for the students of this region,” said St Soldier Chairman Anil Chopra. “Seeing the trend of students willing to study in Canada, we have started Canada Pathway Programs with Royal Roads University (…) in which students can start study in India and can complete in Canada.” RRU |St Soldier Group (BC)

Wage gap persists as Canadian universities strive for gender parity: Momani

In an op-ed for the Globe and Mail, Bessma Momani reports that the pay gap between men and women widens as females enter senior administrative roles, and that the discrepancy is most glaring in U15 universities. The author goes on to debunk the widely-held assumption that the shortage of women in STEM contributes to the problem, as wage gaps appear across faculties. According to Momani, Ontario universities are among the worst offenders in the province for pay inequity, behind only health care and the judiciary. Although Canadian universities are working to level the playing field, Momani concludes, they have yet to sufficiently account for the wage gap. Globe and Mail (National)

VIU looks to create healthier fish with new lab

Vancouver Island University has launched the Centre for Innovation in Fish Health. The Government of British Columbia states that the laboratory will meet federal regulations that enable researchers to investigate a broad range of diseases relevant to fish in BC while maintaining high standards of safety. “This investment in Vancouver Island University will support our continued leadership in fish and shellfish research,” said VIU President Ralph Nilson. “This new laboratory, and the advanced environments it can simulate, will foster partnerships between researchers, industry and concerned communities throughout B.C.” The laboratory has received funding from BC for equipment and renovations, and to support strategic partnerships. BCVIU (BC)

Durham AI Hub partners with marketing, analytics company

Durham College’s AI Hub has partnered with MobileXCo, a marketing services and analytics company. Over the course of four phases, Durham faculty and student-research assistants will work with MobileXCo’s team to learn about advanced AI technologies. “We see our commitment to building a data-centric, AI-powered approach to shopper marketing as a strategic move to help propel MobileXCo into the future and the DC team is playing a key role in making that happen,” said MobileXCo CEO Andy Bruce. “Our initial excitement and optimism for the project has been validated and continues to strengthen as we move through the project phases.” Durham (ON)

Triplett: How to avoid academia’s “sassy club”

Reflecting upon her experiences from junior faculty member to tenured professor, Elizabeth Triplett suggests that a good deal of the negativity that mires the academy grows out of an unfulfilled need for validation. The author finds that as academics progress through their careers, the combined demands of research outputs, service, and teaching—exacerbated by the inherent competitiveness of academic research—edge out the meaningful intellectual exchanges that make academic work fulfilling. To avoid membership in the “sassy club” of jaded academics, Triplett asserts that faculty members at all stages of their careers should seek positive validation from their support networks. Inside Higher Ed (International)

URegina launches PhD program in artistic research

The University of Regina has launched an interdisciplinary PhD program in Media and Artistic Research. According to a URegina release, the program will facilitate new forms of knowledge production built on the premise that artistic practice and production constitute research and critique. “In the last 40 years, the expansion of general public knowledge through the arts, through the hands on making of things and the intellectual rigour that goes along with it, is seen as something that produces new knowledge,” said Kathleen Irwin, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance. Irwin added that Indigenous methodologies will find a comfortable fit within the new PhD, in particular through what is commonly called “embodied and grounded research – research that happens in the body and literally on the ground.” URegina (SK)

MHC launches BBA internship program

Medicine Hat College’s business department and student employment and career centre have launched a new Bachelor of Business Administration internship program. The program is open to students who have completed a two-year business diploma program and are enrolled in the first year of the collaborative BBA program offered through Mount Royal University. “Our goal is for students to gain first-hand experience in their respective fields and apply the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to a professional setting,” explained MHC Associate Dean of Business Karl Schwonik. “The business community has always been very supportive of our students and we look forward to the possibilities this internship program will create.” MHC (AB)