Top Ten

February 4, 2019

What it might look like to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into the academy

“Indigenous knowledge systems have endured for millennia, but they’ve yet to be fully embraced by mainstream academia,” reports TVO as part of an interview with Melanie Goodchild, an Anishinaabe PhD candidate in the University of Waterloo’s social and ecological sustainability program. Goodchild speaks specifically about Anishinaabe Gikendaasowin, an Anishinaabe concept that means “our knowledge and way of knowing.” Goodchild offers examples of how knowledge encoded directly in Anishinaabemowin does not translate easily into knowledge systems expressed in English, but notes that she will continue to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into her academic discipline while encouraging others to do the same. TVO (ON)

Dal students accuse interim President of supporting blackface

CBC reports that approximately 20 students protested interim Dalhousie President Peter MacKinnon’s welcome reception, claiming that he defended blackface in a recently published book. MacKinnon told CBC that anyone who reads his book will see that he does not support blackface. According to CBC, MacKinnon argues that conflating racially-charged Halloween costumes with cultural misappropriation dilutes the severity of racial violence, discrimination, and intolerance. David Westwood, President of the Dalhousie Faculty Association, said that his group does not object to MacKinnon’s hiring, although they have expressed concerns about the opacity of Dal’s hiring process. CBC  | Saskatoon StarPhoenix (NS)

Hayashida: How student affairs professionals can avoid being in constant crisis

Some student affairs officers wear the number of crises they have dealt with as a badge of honour, writes Marcelle Hayashida, “[b]ut the truth is that outdoing our peers with our crisis tales is a sad commentary on the current state of student affairs.” The author highlights a number of common “crises” that occur at university campuses, such as a visit from a controversial speaker, and notes that these situations have become so commonplace that they should not be considered crises anymore. Hayashida adds that the forces driving these conflicts are not going to disappear, so professionals must learn to treat them as part of the new normal. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UQAM receives $1M donation for earth sciences

Geologist Robert Wares has donated $1M to support and promote training in the Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère at the Université du Quebec à Montréal. The funds will help create the Gauthier-Jébrak Scholarships, a tribute to retired UQAM professors, and provide Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral students studying earth and atmospheric sciences with $5K each. UQAM President Magda Fusaro stated that the donation will benefit students who wish to pursue a career in Earth Sciences. UQAM (QC)

Should a president teach?

“A few hours in the classroom, doing what you love, can restore a sense of clarity and remind you why your job – helping institutions survive, evolve and thrive – is noble and essential,” writes John Kroger on the question of whether senior administrators should teach. To further build his case, the author argues that teaching can stave off the pressures that contribute to burnout, or even cynicism amongst university leaders; build bridges between the front-line work of teaching and behind-the-scenes decision-making; and sharpen the interpersonal skills necessary for working with donors, alumni, accreditation bodies, and government. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UWindsor students’ experiential learning opportunity “as good as it gets”

The Centre for Human Performance and Health at the University of Windsor has partnered with Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie St Clair Regional Cancer Program on a fitness program tailored for cancer patients. A UWindsor release states that the RENEW exercise program helps patients build strength, enhance flexibility, improve balance and increase self-confidence through their journey with cancer. “Our students will be delivering this program on-campus at the St. Denis Centre, with direct connection to the patients,” said UWindsor Recreation Coordinator Sandra Ondracka. “In terms of high-impact student experiential learning opportunities, this is as good as it gets.” UWindsor (ON)

Vancouver Career College to shutter Kelowna campus

Citing the current economic climate and declining enrolments, Vancouver Career College announced that it will closes its Kelowna campus later this year “Our first priority is to protect the education of our current students by teaching out all programs,” said Todd Maki, Regional Director of Operations for BC. “This means we will not cease operations until all of the current students have had the opportunity to complete their studies and their practicums. The campus will remain in operation until the end of all classes.” InfoTel adds that the building in which the college is situated was sold in 2018 for $3.8M, although its assessed value was marked at $2.5M. InfoTel (BC)

Northern and Algoma nurture partnership for homegrown talent

Representatives from Northern College and Algoma University signed new Academic Pathway and updated Joint Admission agreements to enhance student opportunities in Northern Ontario. The Timmins Daily Press reports that the agreement enables Business and Computer Sciences students to earn both diplomas and degrees from the two institutions. Algoma President Asima Vezina added that the new pathways expand upon an earlier articulation agreement for students in the institutions’ respective social work and community social development programs. Both Vezina and Northern President Fred Gibbons agreed that the pathways will support local communities and help retain talent in Northern Ontario. Timmins Press |Northern (ON)

Holland College to offer monthly apartment rentals during summer

Holland College will rent out its new residences throughout the summer, reports CBC. Brodie Coffin, Manager of Ancillary Services at Holland College, said that the residence’s two-bedroom, fully furnished unit with kitchenette, parking and all utilities including internet will rent for $1,800 per month, with three-bedroom units priced at $2K. “Traditionally in the past with our old residence we've always transitioned into summer and nightly rentals so it operates more like a hotel,” said Coffin, adding that the university hopes the monthly option presents an affordable solution for visitors to Charlottetown during the summer months. CBC (PEI)

Laurentian cancels Commerce students’ trip to Russia

Citing security concerns, Laurentian University has canceled a scheduled trip to Russia for six Commerce students. Fourth-year student Moe Alaeddine told CBC that international tensions might make it difficult for students to acquire international experience in countries such as Russia and China. “It seems like the options are closing down, but there's still a lot more stuff we can do, especially when we have Laurentian backing us,” he said. “Obviously [school officials] are not looking to put us in any harm.” CBC adds that the students are looking at other options, and that Laurentian will invite their proposals for international experience elsewhere. CBC (ON)