Top Ten

March 13, 2019

Assumption to review Rosica’s published work following admission of plagiarism

Assumption University has stated that it will review any published work by former president Thomas Rosica following Rosica’s admission to plagiarismin his published articles, books, and speeches. Rosica served as president at the university from 2011 to 2015. “Insofar as Fr. Rosica has admitted that his published work has included unattributed material originally published by others, it is possible that what he published as President contained similar material,” said Assumption President Richard Corneil. “We will endeavour to determine if this is the case.” In addition to his resignation from the University of St Michael’s College in Toronto, Rosica has reportedly resigned from the governing boards of St John Fisher College in New York and the University of St Thomas in Houston. Catholic News Agency | Windsor Star (ON)

AB anesthesiologist suspended for inappropriate touching

CBC reports that Subrata Chakravarty, an anesthesiologist working in St Albert, has lost his license for six months after admitting to inappropriately touching a medical student and inviting her to sleep in his bed in 2016. The charge was not the first against Chakravarty, who in 2016 was found to have inappropriately touched a student in 2014. After Chakravarty’s new suspension is lifted, he is prohibited from overseeing or being involved with students, residents, or other health-care professionals-in-training for up to five years and possibly longer. He has also been fined $28K to cover the costs of the investigation. CBC |Edmonton Journal (AB)

Vander Ark: Organizing education as a list of courses not beneficial to learners

“Courses have been the organizing framework of secondary and postsecondary education for two centuries,” writes Tom Vander Ark, but this framework does not benefit learners. Specifically, Vander Ark argues that organizing education through lists of courses causes problems with measuring learning rather than time-in-class, flexibility in learning modality and paths, inhibition of alternative problem-solving methods, and idiosyncrasies in course content and grading. Vander Ark draws on examples of how US K-12 and post-secondary institutions have taken on alternative learning structures such as micro-credentials, competency-based progressions, and project-based learning. Forbes (International)

UWaterloo accidentally emails student info to mailing list

The University of Waterloo has inadvertently shared the personal information—including names, student numbers, email addresses, and banking information—of some students to a mailing list of 2,000. CBC reports that 15 emails distributed to the list included private information. “Three of the emails included some more personal information including one that had some bank information and two that had either a home or a mailing address,” said UWaterloo Director of Media Relations Matthew Grant. The Waterloo Region Record adds that the university launched an investigation into the breach and notified the affected students. Ontario’s privacy commissioner was also notified, says the RecordCBC |Waterloo Region Record (ON)

“Slap on the wrist” for harassers compromises institutional ethics: Legal scholars

A forthcoming paper co-authored by two legal scholars out of the US argues that the “absence of serious sanctions for faculty harassers is associated with ‘antiprevention syndrome,’ which renders comprehensive prevention impossible.” Colleen Flaherty reports that the paper, which accompanies a 2017 analysis that surveyed 300 cases of faculty-student harassment, focuses on the organizational implications of institutions’ reticence to impose discipline upon faculty harassers. In addition to a proposed rubric of sanctions that range from “light” to “heavy,” the paper recommends that institutions should better engage with accusers. Flaherty also notes that the paper puts forward its recommendations as part of a “public health approach” that could also prevent “similar harms arising from other forms of discriminatory harassment.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

New course at UNB tackles performance anxiety

A new course at the University of New Brunswick will focus on overcoming performance anxiety. CBC reports that UNB Conservatory Coordinator Mark Kleyn will teach the course, which consists of both lectures and practical instruction. Kleyn noted that up to 60% of people pursuing a music degree experience performance anxiety. In some cases, sufferers might quit music altogether or move into less competitive areas. “The older you get, the more invested you are in the activity and it becomes more attached to your identity,” explained Kleyn, “so you see the anxiety spike once people start going to music school and start doing it professionally.” CBC (NB)

Selkirk, COTR partner with Columbia Basin Trust for bolstered offerings, student experience

A new partnership between Columbia Basin Trust, Selkirk College, and the College of the Rockies will bolster program offerings and the student experience in the West Kootenay and Boundary region. The Trust has committed to providing $3M to each college over three years while working collaboratively with them to grow program offerings, diversify and enrich programs, and enhance the student experience. “Resourcing new initiatives is always a challenge,” said Selkirk President Angus Graeme, “so we are incredibly fortunate to have the Trust at our side to help move us forward on key initiatives such as innovative technology in delivering courses, programming for a range of demographics, enhanced work experience related learning, and improved student experience.” Selkirk (BC)

Binfet reflects on seven years of dog therapy

As dog therapy gains popularity across campuses, University of British Columbia Associate Professor John-Tyler Binfet describes his experiences overseeing 60 canine campus teams over the past seven years. Binfet writes about the importance of valuing dog welfare and training handlers to recognize signs of distress and ensuring that the programs stay flexible and accessible. He notes that his team found that student stress was reduced significantly after being with the dogs, adding that a half-hour was the typical amount of time that a university student needed with the dogs to feel that their stress had been reduced. While first-year students accounted for the bulk of their visitors, Binfet notes that upper-year students, faculty, staff, and other community members also made use of the therapy dog programs. Ottawa Citizen (CP) (National)

StFX unveils facility for next generation of mapping experts

St Francis Xavier University has formally opened a new Spatial Data Resource Centre in the StFX Angus L Macdonald Library. The centre, which houses both physical and digital data, has the ability to print maps and posters. “In this age of spatial information, it will be nice to have a space where researchers can access data and discuss ways to acquire the information they need,” said Environmental Science lab instructor Matt Schumacher. Schumacher added that the Centre will offer a mix of resources for project work and practical, on-the-job skills. StFX (NS)

WLU completes $14M upgrades

Wilfrid Laurier University has completed upgrades to several of its on-campus facilities. A release highlights WLU’s refurbishment of the Peters Building, which now features a state-of-the-art finance lab to train entrepreneurs, start-ups, and management leaders. The $14M project, funded by the federal government, also involved environmental upgrades to reduce energy consumption in several buildings and the development of Lazaridis Hall. “The development of Laurier's Lazaridis Hall and refurbishment of the Peters Building provides much-needed, modern space for study, work and collaboration. Within these walls, the next generation of learners, teachers and entrepreneurs will work to improve our communities and drive economic growth,” said WLU President Deborah MacLatchy. Newswire (ON)