Top Ten

January 29, 2019

McMaster receives $15M donation for commerce program redesign

McMaster University has received a $15M donation from financier Paul McLean and his family, which will go towards an ambitious redesign of undergraduate commerce education at the university. The donation will be spread out over several years, and will go towards the construction of a $50M building that will house undergraduate business education at the school. The proposed curriculum, which involves interdisciplinary collaboration as a defining feature of students’ respective programs, was described by McMaster President Patrick Deane as “potentially revolutionary.” McLean added that “I think [the focus on] interdisciplinary is going to teach us how to team-build, how to work together and how to share ideas. That is the whole idea of collaboration.” McMasterGlobe and Mail (ON)

UBCO looks to transform teaching, learning with opening of The Commons

The University of British Columbia Okanagan campus has celebrated the opening of The Commons, a $35M multipurpose facility. The building is outfitted with modern classrooms, technology labs, and collaborative study areas. “The Commons at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan provides students with a phenomenal teaching and learning facility,” said UBC President Santa Ono. “It will also benefit everyone through the cutting-edge research and highly trained graduates we'll need to power our strong and innovative economy.” UBCO students agreed to an annual levy that contributed $9.8M to the construction costs of the centre. The university campus has also celebrated the completion of $5.8M in environmental and sustainability upgrades. BC (BC)

UWinnipeg collaborates with Indspire, school division for Indigenous teacher training

CBC reports that the University of Winnipeg has partnered with Indspire and the Winnipeg School Division to launch Build from Within, a training and recruitment program for Indigenous teachers. The program’s first cohort of 30 students will complete an educational assistant diploma in their first year, after which they will attend UWinnipeg for an integrated Bachelor of Arts and Education. “In talking with elders [they said], we need to find from within our division future Indigenous teachers, instead of trying to find them from everywhere else to come in,” said Build from Within Project Manager Shane Bostrom. CBC (MB)

UQAM to launch hockey program with Molson family donation

The Université du Quebec à Montréal has received $1M from the Molson Family Foundation to create a hockey program. The funding will go towards the establishment of the first French men’s university hockey team in Montréal, according to UQAM Rector Magda Fusaro. UQAM Sports Center officials have announced that they anticipate needing a total investment of $2.5M over 5 years to ensure the team’s sustainability. The team will be funded exclusively by revenues generated by corporate donations and agreements with Citadin partners, with no money coming from UQAM’s operating budget or student fees. UQAM (QC)

Curriculum overhaul, rightsizing, and other means that small US colleges are using to stay viable

In the wake of another university closure in the US, a number of institutional leaders are stepping forward to share the strategies that have helped their schools remain viable, reports Colleen Flaherty. One of these strategies is rightsizing, or the strategic shrinking of enrolments with the goal of becoming a smaller and more selective institution. One university president remarks that doing so has required a slate of changes that include changing his school’s athletics teams, offering new majors, trimming overall program offerings, and approving a new retirement initiative to reduce the size of the school's faculty. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UoGuelph part cancer research team awarded $25M

A University of Guelph has announced that researcher Emma Allen-Vercoe fo the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is part of an international research team that has received a $25M award. The OPTIMISTICC (Opportunity to Investigate the Microbiome’s Impact on Science and Treatment in Colorectal Cancer) research team is investigating the connections between microbes in the body and cancer. “U of G now counts among some of the top institutes in the world that have received Cancer Research UK funding to date,” said Allen-Vercoe. “There is a real sense of excitement in the air. We are all feeling impressed by CRUK’s commitment and pledge of support for helping us to grow networks, to disseminate our results and to continue to raise funding.” The project also involves the BC Cancer Agency and post-secondary institutions from the US and UK. UoGuelph | VHIO (ON)

URegina partners with CMC-Canada

The University of Regina and the Canadian Association of Management Consultants have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will help URegina Levene Graduate School students achieve their Certified Management Consultant designation. “Our new agreement with CMC means Levene graduates complete their degrees just steps away from an additional designation,” explained Gina Grandy, Dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business. The agreement focuses on long-term research and educational collaboration, with an initial focus on educational preparation for the CMC designation. URegina (SK)

Ryerson Faculty of Arts launches institute for future politicians

The Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University has launched the Institute for Future Legislators Ryerson (IFLR), which the university says will provide Ryerson students and members of the community both mentorship and practical training for future politicians. A Ryerson release notes that the program was initially developed by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and is now being brought to Ryerson thanks to a collaboration between the two universities. “With heightened concerns about the political climate in Canada and beyond, we are witnessing strong efforts to mobilize for change through longstanding as well as new and diverse forms of democratic engagement,” said Ryerson Faculty of Arts Dean Pamela Sugiman. Ryerson (ON)

RRC cuts 75 seats from nursing school

Red River College has eliminated 75 spots in its nursing school, bringing enrolment from 225 to 150. CBC states that the reduction is part of a larger array of cuts implemented by RRC in the wake of rising operating costs and reduced funding from the province in 2018. “With the approval from the province, we made a small adjustment to the number of seats [in nursing] with no HR impacts and no impact to students who are pursuing studies,” said RRC spokesperson Conor Lloyd. The Manitoba Nurses Union has expressed concerns that the cuts will exacerbate the province’s nursing shortage. CBC (MB)

North West College introduces Psychiatric Nursing program to meet new demand

Saskatchewan's North West College will offer a Psychiatric Nursing program in the Fall of 2019, reports the Battlefords News-Optimist. The two-and-a-half year diploma program will be delivered in-person and online via labs, class work, and practicums. “With the completion of the new Saskatchewan Hospital in the Battlefords, the health care profession will continue to need clinically astute nurses that have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to care for those in need,” said North West  President Jay Notay. The News-Optimist adds that the program will provide training in health assessment and interventions, mental health challenges, counselling models and therapeutic relationships, family and community partnerships, psychotropic pharmacology, and addictions and forensics. Battlefords News-Optimist (SK)