Top Ten

January 30, 2019

UQAR completes $12M revamp of research spaces

Université du Québec à Rimouski has completed a $12M redevelopment project that will increase training and research synergies, create more spaces dedicated to graduate students, improve safety in the laboratories, and boost functionality through common laboratories. UQAR adds that new, state-of-the-art laboratories have been created for the Réseau Québec maritime and l’Institut France-Québec pour la coopération scientifique en appui au secteur maritime. The school's chemistry, geography, social work, and psychosociology departments have also received new facilities. In addition to the new spaces, UQAR adds that it has also expanded its animal facility. UQAR (QC)

Ryerson student union executives suspended over allegations of misspending

The President and VP Operations of Ryerson University’s student union have been suspended over allegations of fiscal mismanagement, reports the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. A credit card statement for the Ryerson Students’ Union shows $250K in expenses, including several thousand dollars for night clubs, bars, and liquor stores. The Toronto Star explains that the statements were posted on the Facebook pages of the Eyeopener, Ryerson’s student paper, and a campus political group. According to CBC, Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi has requested a meeting with the RSU Executive to discuss the matter, but any possible actions by the university are yet to be determined because the RSU operates independently from university administration. StarPhoenix| CBC | Star (ON)

No correlation between presidential pay, ability to raise funds: US study

There are many reasons why a post-secondary institution might wish to pay its president a high salary in order to attract top talent, but a new study from the US says that any supposed return on investment through fundraising or revenue generation is not one of them. “There are folks out there saying we need to go out and spend all this money on a president because of this revenue argument,” said the study’s lead author, James M Hunt, who is director of institutional research at Florida State University. “There’s just no correlation there. That argument is sort of nullified.” The study analyzed a sample of 119 public four-year institutions over a seven-year period starting in 2007 and ending in 2013. Inside Higher Ed (International)

McGill introduces Rossy Student Wellness Hub

McGill University is taking a new approach to mental health services thanks to the Rossy Student Wellness Hub. A McGill release explains that the $14M initiative integrates existing campus services across the university, with the Hub acting as a “one-stop shop” for all of McGill’s Student Services’ health-related resources, including the Student Health Clinic, Counselling Services, and Psychiatric Services. “Student mental health and wellness is very important for the university,” said Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic. “We are committed to engaging in authentic and stigma-free mental health dialogue and to building a new structure for increased access to services and information.” McGill (QC)

CNC collaborates with top Australian university for Indigenous initiative

The College of New Caledonia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Western Sydney University that will mobilize programs and activities for Indigenous communities in Canada and Australia. "CNC has vast experience working with First Nations communities," said CNC President Henry Reiser. "This MOU is an opportunity to work with WSU on enhancing the educational experience of Indigenous students in both countries." In addition to this being CNC’s first MOU, the Prince George Citizen states that the partnership is significant because it links Indigenous engagement in Northern British Columbia and Australia with one of the world’s top universities. Prince George Citizen (BC)

Demonstrators demand reforms to UAlberta sexual assault appeal hearing process

About 40 demonstrators interrupted a summit at the University of Alberta’s Lister Centre last Friday to demand that the school’s administration reform its sexual assault appeals process, reports CBC. Sam Pearson, Director of the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre, presented a list of demands, calling on administration to reform the University Appeal Board. The demands included pass/fail training for members of the board and assurance that an advocate be present for all complaints. UAlberta Deputy Provost Wendy Rogers addressed demonstrators and pledged that administration would review the demands and immediately put in place sexual violence training. CBC (AB)

“These relationships are crucial”: Niagara partners with Town of Lincoln for agri-business initiative

Niagara College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Lincoln to support the local agri-business sector. A Niagara release states that the agreement will facilitate joint research projects, seminars and lectures, community advancement initiatives, and student placements aimed at supporting economic development while providing hands-on experience for students. “These relationships are crucial to municipalities creating sound public policy grounded in research and evidence. The learning and outcomes are mutually beneficial, creating opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and Council,” said Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. Niagara adds that construction is nearly complete for its Marotta Family Innovation Complex, a research and innovation hub that focuses on agri-food. Niagara (ON)

UNB issues warning after emails, passwords compromised in major data breach

The University of New Brunswick was one of several targets in the “Collection #1” breach this month, which saw millions of email addresses and passwords posted online. CBC reports that only 40% of the 4,500 UNB email addresses in the collection are still active. “It's good for us to let people know to be safe because once you're compromised in some fashion, it gives the impression to the hacker that all these people may be more susceptible or less aware of what's going on out there,” said UNB Senior Cybersecurity Officer Erik Denis. “So they sometimes become more of a target.” Denis lists a number of ways that people can improve their security online. CBC (NB)

Eswara: How grad students can improve their teamwork skills to attract employers

“How can a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher develop good interpersonal skills and then demonstrate that they possess them?” asks Pallavi Eswara, who adds that the ability to work with colleagues toward a common goal or project is an important skill to learn and demonstrate for career advancement. While some disciplines offer graduate students the ability to work in teams, the author notes, other programs offer few of such opportunities. After providing a breakdown of key teamwork skills, the author advises those with few team-based opportunities to consider serving on committees within their department, graduate program, or student associations. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UOttawa reaches tentative deal with part-time professors

The University of Ottawa and the union that represents part-time professors at the school have come to an agreement in principle on a new contract, reports CBC. The details will not be released until UOttawa’s Board of Governors and members of the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa conduct a vote and approve the proposed deal. CBC adds that the union will go ahead with a strike vote. “Our main request during this bargaining round [is] to improve the quality of education at the University of Ottawa,” said Jean-Sébastien Daoust, Administrative Director with APTPUO. “[We want] to provide good courses and to be able to deliver what the students are expecting at the university.” CBC (1) |CBC (2) (ON)