Top Ten

February 19, 2019

Dobbie, Sabra: Fostering collaborative leadership in higher education is not easy, but it works

Collaboration, collegiality, and community make up the essence of great leadership, write Amanda Dobbie and Samah Sabra of Carleton University, so why isn’t collaborative leadership happening more frequently? This was the challenge that Dobbie and Sabra sought to address by working with their school to develop Carleton Leader, a formalized leadership development that focuses on leadership as a collective practice. The authors go on to describe how they worked with their school to create a “banquet hall” leadership event for their school’s faculty and staff to move between tables connect, challenge one another, truly listen, and take risks. University Affairs (National)

U of T Scarborough student politician faces verbal attacks, petition her removal over advocacy 

The newly-elected student union president at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus has faced extreme criticism and verbal attacks for her long-standing advocacy for Tibetan independence. Chemi Lhamo, a Canadian citizen of Tibetan descent, had not been long in her new post before a petition demanding her removal appeared online, followed by a “torrent of online abuse,” according to the National Post. Lhamo told media that she believes at least some of the hate directed toward her has been coordinated by the Chinese government. U of T Spokesperson Don Campbell said the institution is in touch with the new student president to make sure she feels safe. National Post Hamilton Spectator CBC (ON)

SMU partners with Yale for experiential learning on conflict resolution in Northern Ireland

Students from Saint Mary’s University and Yale University will have the opportunity to collaborate through a program aimed at studying and fostering conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program will provide unique experiential learning for students in SMU’s Faculties of Arts, Science and Commerce, and will this year also connect these students via technology to an undergraduate Yale class studying political science. “Yale is interested in the model we use to engage with schools and communities, and has an interest in replicating our efforts in the promotion of peace education and exploring the various connections we’ve developed with schools, ex-combatants, community leaders and academics over the past 14 years,” said Bridget Brownlow, SMU’s Conflict Resolution Advisor and President of Peaceful Schools International. “We anticipate developing a long-term, meaningful partnership.” SMU (NS)

Laurentian faculty association raises concern about senior admin deals, transparency 

The Laurentian University Faculty Association has stated that it is concerned by the alleged “special deals” it says have been made for senior administrators at the school and is calling for more transparency in the practices of the university's board of governors. LUFA president Fabrice Colin says the union discovered the details regarding the former president of the university, Dominic Giroux, when an arbitration decision was released. Colin adds that the union has since learned more about senior administrators’ compensation and benefits through freedom of information requests. Laurentian has responded that its practices are in keeping with “highly regulated by compensation restraint regimes” and will not comment on the specifics of individual contracts. CBC | Sudbury Star (ON)

Dal's Ocean Frontier Institute announces investment of $16M in climate research

The Ocean Frontier Institute, led by Dalhousie University, Memorial University, and University of Prince Edward Island, has announced that it plans to invest $16M in projects examining climate change and the impact of changes to the North Atlantic on coastal communities. “OFI is all about transformative research,” says OFI Scientific Director Anya Waite, “and such research, when tackled in a collaborative fashion has the ability to resolve many of the challenges facing our one, common ocean.” Dal states that the OFI currently has 16 large research projects underway that are each expected to be completed in 2022. In its second phase of research, the institute plans to take on two-to-five projects, which are expected to run from late 2019 to 2023. Dal (NS)

VIU launches $5.5M Imagine VIU campaign to complete new buildings, support students 

Vancouver Island University has announced the Imagine VIU campaign, which aims to raise $5.5M to complete and equip three new facilities at the Nanaimo Campus. VIU states that the Centre for Health and Science; the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex; and the District Geo-Exchange Energy System are currently open, but that the institution is looking to equip the spaces with the tools and technologies that students need, as well as funds to support students learning in the new facilities.  “This is an opportunity to give VIU students – the future workforce – the best education possible,” says VIU student Brandon James Mason. “I hope people see this as an investment that will later get their car on the road or keep their children healthy.” VIU (BC)

Adam: New rankings could create “sense of urgency” for institutions to up their game on sustainability 

“A new global university ranking looms on the higher education horizon, and universities might need to start considering how to deal with what could be the beginning of a global rankings 2.0 generation,” writes Edmund Adam, University of Toronto OISE PhD candidate. Adam explores the methodology and rationale behind the UK-based Times Higher Education’s recent announcement that it intends to publish the world’s first university impact ranking in April of this year. The new system will measure universities’ contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adam notes that there are legitimate criticisms to be directed at institutional rankings, yet adds that these new rankings will likely “fix governments’ gaze even further on how higher education can help to address the complex social, economic and environmental challenges ahead for their nations.” University Affairs (International)

UWaterloo’s Conrad Grebel embarks on kitchen, cafeteria renovations

The University of Waterloo’s Conrad Grebel University College will begin the construction of a $6.8M kitchen and dining hall renovation this spring. The Record reports that the kitchen and residence have not been updated since the school was built in the 1960s, beyond a small renovation in 1991. The new space will accommodate 300 people, have improved accessibility, feature an expanded kitchen, and include a green roof to divert over 34,000 litres of rain water from the sewer each year. “It's huge,” said Conrad Grebel Director of Operations Paul Penner. “A green roof is one of these things when you're doing the design — it's in the nice-to-have (category).” The Record (ON)

UoGuelph’s new makerspace offers low-pressure opportunities for experiential learning, idea testing

The University of Guelph recently opened the John F Wood Centre MakerSpace, which is equipped with everything from Lego bricks to 3D printers in order to support collaborative problem solving. 3D Printing Ambassador and UoGuelph student Bilal Ayyache stated that the maker space offers a unique opportunity to connect with other students and take part in experiential learning without the pressure that comes from coursework. The space is named for WC Wood Co President John Wood, who donated $7M to the institution’s college of business and economics last year. “We’re sort of the entry point for just any student who is curious and wants to learn,” said program co-ordinator Mairin Scannell. “We have students who just come in here for fun.” Guelph Mercury (ON)

Arctic College, MUN establish 10-year partnership to build capacity, strengthen education in NWT

Nunavut Arctic College has partnered with Memorial University to build capacity at the college and strengthen university education across the territory over the next decade. MUN states that this is the first time that a northern college has opted to work with one university in order to increase academic capacity and eventually transition to university status. “The college supports one of the largest post-secondary service areas in the world located in a region of major research interest,” said MUN Marine Institute Associate Vice-President (Academic and Student Affairs) Rob Shea. “With Memorial’s strong focus on cold oceans, northern and sub-Arctic research, the possibilities are endless.” Shea noted that the partnership also offers a “critical” opportunity to learn from partners at Arctic College as the university moves forward in responding to the TRC call to action. MUN (NL)