Top Ten

April 9, 2019

Varsity athletics fees to remain mandatory: ON government

Ontario’s provincial government has reversed course on a decision to make athletics funding an optional fee for post-secondary students, reports the Globe and Mail. According to the government’s guidelines, athletics fees—along with fees for career services, student buildings, health and counselling, academic support, student ID cards and records, financial aid offices, and campus safety programs—are compulsory. Danny Chang, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, said that the changes will pose difficult challenges for student unions because they fund services such as food banks, diversity offices, student newspapers, and radio stations, all of which the government has deemed non-essential. Globe and Mail (ON)

The art of building positive professional relationships: Schram

“When I ask graduate students what the word ‘networking’ calls to mind, they reliably say things like ‘fake,’ ‘awkward’ and ‘phony’; some have even used stronger words, such as ‘extractive’ and ‘disgusting,’” writes Laura N Schram. The author argues, however, that these negative experiences are due largely to the fact that many lifelong students lack the communication skills that are specific to building positive professional relationships. To this end, Schram discusses how offering a heartfelt greeting, asking questions driven by genuine curiosity, complimenting others, and even disclosing certain points of vulnerability can all be invaluable for creating positive professional relationships. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Niagara receives $1M for international centre, bursaries

Niagara College has received over $1M from the Segal Family. A Niagara release states that the donation will support two sets of initiatives—infrastructure for Niagara’s new International Centre located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, and bursaries and scholarships for international students and study-abroad opportunities. “On behalf of all of us at Niagara College, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Segal family for this generous gift,” said Niagara President Dan Patterson. “Keith and Sharon Segal are long-standing supporters and friends of Niagara College whose passion for international education and philanthropic giving have helped thousands of students, not just at Niagara College, but across Canada.” Niagara (ON)

Joint Michener/U of T medical radiation program receives accreditation

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN announced that the joint Michener/University of Toronto Medical Radiation Sciences program has received full accreditation for its Radiological Technology, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine, and Molecular Imaging Technology streams. A Michener release explains that MRS students need training from an accredited program before they may write their certification exams. The accreditation teams interviewed academic and program leadership, clinical managers, faculty, students, and graduates. Additionally, team members from the Centre for Academic Quality helped prepare the necessary documentation, reports, and collation of evidence. Michener adds that all of the programs under review met all the criteria of the accreditors’ five requirements. Michener (ON)

UQO receives $1M to support forestry research

The Université du Québec en Outaouais has received $1M to support forestry research. According to Christian Messier, Director of the  Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée, the funds will support new approaches to the intersection of economic, social and ecological sciences, as well as the use of increasingly complex simulation models that facilitate new technological tools such as remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and environmental DNA. According to Département des sciences naturelles Director Sylvain Delagrange, the money will also be used to achieve regional research objectives for sustainable forestry. UQO (QC)

Queen’s opens new Mitchell Hall

Queen’s University has celebrated the formal opening of Mitchell Hall, the campus’s new centre of innovation, wellness, teaching, and research. “The facilities and associated programming will have a profound and meaningful impact on the entrepreneurial, professional, educational, and research pursuits of our students, as well as on their overall health and well-being,” said Queen’s Interim Provost Tom Harris. “Mitchell Hall truly strengthens our campus community.” The building received funding from the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Bruce Mitchell, and several other donors. Queen's (ON)

“Excellent job opportunities” await grads as Lethbridge engineering program earns accreditation

The Geomatics Engineering Technology program at Lethbridge College has received accreditation from Technology Accreditation Canada, reports the Lethbridge Herald. TAC Executive Director Richard Stamper stated that the recognition followed a detailed audit of the program as well as interviews with employers, students, alumni, and faculty. “By meeting the standards of the engineering technology and applied science profession, this program has clearly demonstrated its leadership and commitment to its students and industry,” said Stamper. For graduates of the program, the accreditation provides a path to professional certification through the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta and comparable organizations across the nation, adds the HeraldLethbridge Herald (AB)

Canadore will not act on 'vague' rumours of misconduct: President

In an email to Candaore College staff, President George Burton wrote that “vague” rumours and innuendo are insufficient reasons to place an administrator accused of sexual misconduct on leave. The North Bay Nugget reports that Burton sent the email before a planned rally for a respectful workplace. “In order to address the recent allegations, we retained an investigator and an independent third-party investigation process has commenced. We are committed to the principle of due process and transparency throughout the ongoing investigation,” added Burton in the email. Several people have come forward with complaints about inappropriate behaviour by the administrator, and demanded that he be placed on leave as the allegations are investigated. North Bay Nugget (ON)

UBCO group helps students and seniors build friendships

Age-link, a student-led association that attempts to bring people of different generations together in local communities, is organizing gatherings for seniors and students. CBC reports that 70% of students and over one million seniors experience loneliness and isolation. “There are different ages, and people from different kinds of cultures, and when they're gathered together everybody's at an equal stage, kind of,” said student Kelly Lu. According to CBC, the gatherings include seniors and students from all around the world, and that the initiative offers people to both socialize and learn from one another. CBC (BC)

Mintz: Online Program Managers are enabling “vulture capitalism” in higher ed

Citing Kevin Carey’s indictment of Online Program Managers, Steven Mintz writes that “in exchange for start-up funding, colleges and universities are increasingly ceding core functions to profit-making companies and, as a result, delivering any cost savings into the hands of the vendors and the digital marketing platforms that they utilize.” According to Mintz, elite institutions throughout the US have legitimated this practice while the actual quality of online programs remains opaque. Additionally, Mintz claims, revenue-sharing agreements favour OPMS. The author concludes that the status quo has created an environment in which a growing number of institutions have become “chronic invalids” as scarce resources generate diminishing quality and sagging reputations in large parts of the higher education sector. Inside Higher Ed (International)