Top Ten

April 25, 2019

Anonymous donor gifts $30M to support Concordia students

Concordia University’s Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now campaign has received $30M, which the Financial Post states is the largest gift ever received by the university in support of students. “We are deeply grateful that our donor has chosen Concordia as the steward of this historic and transformative gift,” said Concordia President Alan Shepard. “This bequest is an extraordinary act of generosity that will benefit generations of future students and will give our university added momentum.” The Post adds that the campaign seeks to raise $250M to rethink higher-education teaching and research at Concordia. Financial Post (QC)

VIU creates trust to boost business opportunities

Vancouver Island University has created a trust to engage in on-campus and community-based revenue-generating initiatives. A release states that the trust will explore property development, campus services, entrepreneurial business ventures, and investing in other businesses. “The Trust is a natural step in the evolution of an institution that wants to harness the strengths of the region,” said VIU President Ralph Nilson. “It gives us an opportunity to do things we aren’t able to currently do to enhance business ventures in the area and take advantage of the incredible strengths and capabilities we have at VIU. The values and strengths of VIU will be enhanced by a trust that feeds resources into the institution.” VIU

Western Students' Council launches campaign for support services

Western's University students' council has launched an education campaign about the value of clubs, programs, and services that students will soon have the option to opt-out of. Calling it one of the “most important campaigns in its history,” the council says the initiative will focus on transparency and educating students about the value the fees bring to the student experience. “My ultimate fear is to come back in 10 years to a campus I don’t recognize,” said Mitch Pratt, President of Western’s Students’ Council. “A lot of our support services support some of our marginalized groups on campus …we’re worried that if those services see large opt-out rates it could put those services that we administer to the students at risk as well.”

London Free Press (ON)

UWindsor to boost international tuition amidst $10M shortfall

The University of Windsor’s Board of Governors has voted to increase tuition for some international students by 5%. CBC reports that the increase is part of the university’s strategy to offset the provincially-mandated 10% tuition cut for domestic students, which will cost UWindsor $10M. The university is also looking to boost enrolments for first-year undergraduates and international master’s students, while the president and VP will each take a 1.5% pay cut as part of a new “belt tightening” strategy. Officials say the $10M shortfall is the biggest in the university’s history. "You have a limited repertoire of strategies to deal with those foreseen and unforeseen costs," said interim president Douglas Kneale. CBC (ON)

Change-making from the middle

Given that the process of facilitating and maintaining organizational change can feel like a game of tug-of-war, Ja’Wanda S Grant describes a number of best practices for aspirational change-makers. According to Grant, the centre of the rope represents middle-managers who find themselves between those calling for change and those who want to maintain the status-quo. The middle-manager’s challenge at this point is to understand both positions. The author then considers how longstanding institutional practices might need to be retrofitted for their present-day context. Grant concludes with a discussion about how administrators can manage roles and responsibilities in team projects. Inside Higher Ed

Selkirk offers course in unarmed peacekeeping

Selkirk College will offer a course in Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping on its Castlegar Campus this May. A release states that the initiative will aim to develop human rights strategies and promote peaceful conflict transformation at home and abroad. "This is a program that resonates with so many in our region and we are pleased to be offering this vital training,” says Selkirk's Mir Centre for Peace Chair Jennie Barron. The six-day course will be accompanied by a three-day workshop on transformation, adds the release. Selkirk

UAlberta Calm Room features Lego, colouring books for students

The University of Alberta has launched its first Calm Room, which provides a space for students suffering from stress and anxiety. The space includes Lego, kinetic sand, adult colouring books and virtual reality games. “We’re finding that in today’s world [anxiety is] an epidemic,” said Shaniff Esmail, Associate Chair with the Department of Occupational Therapy. “We’re having students who are not able to cope, who are having difficulties dealing with the day-to-day stress of being in school and it’s just getting worse.” The Edmonton Journal adds that the team behind the Calm Room initiative plans to host monthly wellness events such as paint night and yoga. Edmonton Journal (AB)

Trent joins effort to train internationally educated nurses

Trent University has joined an initiative to address the shortage of registered nurses in Ontario. The Trent/Fleming School of Nursing at Trent is a lead partner in the Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium, which also includes Ryerson University, York University, and the University of Windsor. The Peterborough Examiner reports that the consortium is developing a two-year competency-bridging program for internationally educated nurses that has received $2M from the provincial government. The collaboration “breaks new ground in terms of providing both online and hands-on learning that is access to internally educated nurses,” stated Kirsten Woodend, Dean of the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing. Peterborough Examiner