Top Ten

February 14, 2019

McGill receives $200M from advertising magnate

John and Marcy McCall MacBain have donated $200M to McGill University. The Montreal Gazette reports that the gift, which McGill has called the largest donation to a university in Canada’s history, will support a scholarship fund to cover living costs and university fees for 75 students each year. “As graduates of Canada's publicly-funded university system, Marcy and I know first-hand how universities like McGill can reduce social barriers and foster talent at the highest of levels,” said McCall MacBain. CBC reports that John McCall MacBain is the founder of Trader Classified Media, one of the largest classified ad companies in the world. Montreal Gazette |CBC |LaPresse (QC)

Barnard to step down in 2020; UManitoba Board rejects proposal for open search

David Barnard will step down as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba in the summer of 2020, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. UManitoba Faculty Association President Janet Morrill told the Free Press that the Board of Governors has turned down Senate’s request to conduct an open search for the next president with public presentations by short-listed candidates. The Free Press adds that Senate has tabled a new proposal for candidates to be questioned in a closed session, with Senators passing on their recommendations to the Board. “This is a public institution, and it is a privilege to lead the university,” Morrill said. “We think the good for the institution outweighs the unpleasantness (of questioning) to the candidates.” Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

From “monastic” to “middle-manager”: Newport investigates how email has changed the professoriate

The constant demands created by email have become “a kind of digital water torture for the scholar struggling to think without interruption,” writes Cal Newport. The author charts the history of email, which first spread to campuses in the late 1970s as a tool that could simplify crucial tasks like communicating across vast distances. But as its ubiquity grew, Newport adds, “it became a public portal through which the world beyond close colleagues could make increasing demands on a professor’s time and attention.” A growing list of administrative demands being placed on high-skill professionals is also a part of this trend, which has resulted in professors now spending as much as 30% of all work hours in meetings or answering emails, according to some studies. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

UCalgary receives $1.2M for unique dating violence prevention program

The University of Calgary has received $1.2M from the federal government for a teen and youth dating violence prevention program for males. According to the Daily Hive, the WiseGuyz program—which was created in 2010 at the Calgary Centre for Sexuality—consists of modules on human rights, sexual health, gender, and positive relationships to teach boys how to create and sustain a healthy relationship. “Educating young men about the connections between negative gender norms, sexuality, and teen dating violence is important to fostering healthy, positive relationships. We hope to break down barriers to gender equality and address some of the roots of teen dating violence by exploring these issues through a cultural and feminist lens,” said Canada's Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Daily Hive (AB)

Hanlon: The trouble with setting ideal teaching loads

“How many courses should professors teach? It’s an important topic, not just for faculty recruitment and retention, but for student learning and experience,” writes Aaron Hanlon. The author suggests that elite, research-oriented institutions with low teaching loads tend to have undue influence on the policies and practices of higher education, setting the standards that others try to follow. Additionally, different valuations of teaching and research in different academic fields can create tensions within institutions. Hanlon concludes by suggesting that departments consider which loads encourage the best teaching, rather than which loads free up the ideal of amount of time for professors to be away from students. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

Trent makes university lands, nature areas a key priority in strategic planning

Trent University is working with members of the Trent and Peterborough communities to update the plans for the university’s lands and nature areas. “Trent’s nature areas are highly valued by the campus and local community, and the Board of Governors want to ensure the integration of the Nature Areas Stewardship Plan as a priority within our campus master plan,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. Trent VP External Relations & Advancement Julie Davis added that the plan is also “an opportunity to renew our relationships with the Indigenous community with a process that is inclusive, respectful and meaningful.” Trent (ON)

UNBC program celebrates student research culture

A new program at the University of Northern British Columbia aims to highlight student research carried out at the institution. A UNBC release states that the Research Ambassadors program consists of three undergraduate and three graduate students from a variety of disciplines who deliver public talks, workshops and orientation activities informed by their academic work. “These Research Ambassadors will create new and exciting connections across our research community, developing new pathways for experiential learning opportunities.” said UNBC President Daniel Weeks. UNBC adds that the Research Ambassadors will mentor their peers while dispelling the myth that only faculty may conduct research that makes a real contribution to their field. UNBC (BC)

Ryerson Student Union President impeached, VP Operations suspended after allegations of misspending

The President of the Ryerson Student Union has been impeached and its VP Operations suspended amidst a pending investigation intooverspending by the union, reports CBC. Former RSU President Ram Ganesh came under fire after Ryerson’s student newspaper, the Eyeopener, discovered $250K worth of questionable expenditures charged to the union’s credit card. CBC states that PricewaterhouseCoopers will conduct a forensic audit of the union’s expenses from the last year, and an audit committee will handle legal issues. RSU VP Maklane DeWever has been elected President in Ganesh’s place, adds CBC. CBC (ON)

New partnership with SaskPoly helps keep care assistants on reserve at Mistawasis Nêhiyawak

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak Nation have signed an agreement that will see SaskPoly’s Continuing Care Assistant program delivered at the Iron Buffalo Centre in Mistawasis Nêhiyawak. A release states that courses will take place at the Centre, with lab training at SaskPoly’s Prince Albert campus. “Continuing care assistants are needed in our community and this will help keep them on-reserve for the education portion of the program and eventually have them working here at Mistawasis Nehiyawak,” said Chief Daryl Watson of Mistawasis Nêhiyawak. The release adds that the one-year certificate program trains students in gerontology, dementia management strategies, long-term care philosophies, promoting independence, nutrition, the provision of safe client care, and addressing psychosocial needs. Nation Talk (SK)

UBC to change sports schedule after women’s hockey player calls out gender bias

The University of British Columbia will change a longstanding tradition of scheduling women’s hockey games before men’s games after being called out for gender discrimination, CBC reports. Mikayla Ogrodniczuk, a defender for the Thunderbirds women’s team, tweeted to UBC President Santa Ono that the men’s team will enjoy top-billing despite the fact that the women’s team finished with the better record. UBC athletic director Gilles Lepine said that after meeting with coaches and players, the university will change its policy of automatically scheduling women’s games earlier in the day. CBC explains that evening games are considered better because more people can attend. CBC (BC)