Top Ten

March 18, 2019

Concordia receives historic gift for fine arts

The Montreal Gazette reports that Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts has received $5.6M from the Peter N Thomson Family Trust, said to be the largest-ever gift for a fine arts program in Quebec’s history. “A very important aspect of this gift is that it gives us autonomy, mobility and responsiveness,” said Faculty Dean Rebecca Duclos. “Support from the Peter N Thomson Family Trust offers a clear signal that what is happening in Fine Arts right now matters enormously to people both inside and outside our university.” According to the Financial Post, the money will support graduate scholarships, field school awards, and an art innovation fund. Montreal Gazette Financial Post (QC)

New UManitoba policy does not ban student-professor relationships

The University of Manitoba has released two new policies on intimate relationships between staff and students. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the policies do not define repercussions for those who violate them. Instead, consequences will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. UManitoba President David Barnard said that the university chose not to ban relationships between employees and students because of the legal risks involved in potentially infringing upon the rights of consenting adults. The Free Press adds that the new policies follow high-profile departures from UManitoba. Former Music professorSteve Kirbywas charged with sexual assault in connection with an alleged incident with a student, whilePeter Jonesremains on leave following allegations of sexual misconduct and financial impropriety. Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Tide may be turning against academic publishing giants: CBC

Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and Vice-Provost at the University of Calgary, tells CBC that the University of California system’s recent decision to cancel its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier “may be the start of things to come.” CBC reports that tensions have risen in recent years as a small group of companies have seized control over academic publishing. Last year, Canadian university libraries reportedly paid more than $300M to research journals, including those containing papers generated by the universities' own professors. However, CBC notes, the tide might be turning in Canada, as recipients of tri-council funding are now required to make their published work freely available. CBC (National)

URegina faculty association appears poised to strike after end of mediation

The University of Regina Faculty Association remains without a bargaining agreement after four days of mediation, opening the possibility of a strike or lockout. The Association told the Regina Leader-Post that it could not agree to terms with university administration about a faculty ratio that prioritizes research, pension contributions, compensation that keeps pace with the rate of inflation, hiring sufficient permanent teaching staff, and equal pay for equal teaching. URegina has issued a statement reading: “We value our relationship with our faculty members – and are hoping that together we can reach a positive outcome and avoid disruption to our students and campus activities.” URegina has published a running list of bargaining updates, including a copy of the university's most recent offer, on its website.
 StarPhoenix (Leader-Post) | URegina (Bargaining updates) (SK)

PSE must train policy leaders who understand tech: Slaughter, Walker, Kramer

“Higher education must give the next generation of technology and policy leaders the interdisciplinary training they need to succeed,” write Anne-Marie Slaughter, Darren Walker, and Larry Kramer. The authors note that although universities are responsible for many of the great technological innovations of the past century, many technological innovators have not considered the broad social implications of their work. For this reason, the authors celebrate and encourage current efforts in the US to train public policy leaders with a deep understanding of new technologies. The authors go on to highlight a number of schools making efforts in this area. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Renewed funds for UBC support gambling harm reduction research

The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Gambling Research has received a renewed investment of $1.36M from the provincial government and BC Lottery Corporation. The funding will support a new brain scanner to study the dopamine systems of people with gambling addictions, strengthen links with the BC Responsible and Problem Gaming program, and facilitate research into future trends in gambling technology. “We thank the Province and BCLC for their renewed pledge of support,” said BC Faculty of Arts Dean Gage Averill. “This valuable partnership is advancing our collective understanding of gambling psychology and helping to reduce the potential harm associated with gambling.” UBC (BC)

Smith School of Business launches diversity and inclusion initiative

The Smith School of Business at Queen’s University has announced a new partnership with Catalyst Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women in business. According to a release, the partnership will focus on diversity and inclusion through a corporate discussion forum, research, and training. “At Catalyst, we know that an increasingly diverse workforce powers innovation and measureable success,” said Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director of Catalyst Canada. “And while companies may be investing money in diversity and inclusion initiatives, they can’t achieve their full impact if more employees don’t know about them.” The release adds that Smith will also incorporate content from Catalyst’s inclusive leadership training into its academic curriculum. Queen’s (ON)

TÉLUQ BBA program receives accreditation

TÉLUQ University’s Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in financial planning has been accredited by the Institut québécois de planification financière. Professionals who are recognized by the IQPF are authorized to use the title of Financial Planner in the province. As a result, students who complete the degree program will only need to take the institute’s professional training course and pass the exam to obtain an IQPF diploma. IQPF President Jocelyn Houle-LeSarge stated that this accreditation will benefit future students by providing a more direct path to become a financial planner. TÉLUQ (QC)

Fanshawe acquires new site in Woodstock

Fanshawe College has announced that it will open a new site in Woodstock, Ontario. A Fanshawe release states that the site will offer programming in Literacy Basic Skills, Academic Upgrading, and Contract Training Services. “We've experienced more than 20% growth in enrolment over the past two years alone,” said Greg Yantz, Associate Dean of Fanshawe’s Woodstock/Oxford Regional Campus. “As the College continues to develop our programs and welcome more students from around the world, this expansion will help us to accommodate their needs while continuing to provide the same level of service and education that our community has come to count on.” The new location will consolidate activities from four sites in the city, Fanshawe adds. Fanshawe (ON)

Calgary firefighters fund “cutting-edge research for us and our survivors”

The Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (CFBTS) has donated $1M to the University of Calgary. A release states that the funds will replenish support for the CFBTS Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing, which was inaugurated five years ago. “I am truly honoured to have earned the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society's continued support,” CFBTS Chair Jeff Biernaskie said at a recent event. “Our skin regeneration team will continue working to realize their vision to improve burn care and outcomes for survivors, and to make Calgary an internationally recognized centre for excellence in burn care and research.” UCalgary (AB)