Top Ten

May 7, 2019

AB proposes ON-style free speech policy 

The Canadian Presshas learned that Alberta’s provincial government is set to adopt free-speech policies that will require universities to allow controversial speakers on campus, even if they espouse “unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive” opinions. The move recalls the Ontario government’s free speech policy, which imposes a financial penalty on non-compliant institutions, adds CP. Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides did not say if financial penalties would be part of the Alberta government’s plan. According to the CP, both provinces’ policies are modeled after the Chicago principles, standards developed at the University of Chicago in 2014 to reflect the university’s commitment to free speech in the US. Edmonton Journal (CP) (AB)

CEGEPs receive $151M from QC 

The government of Quebec is allotting $151M for the province’s 48 CEGEPs, said to be a 7.71% increase from its previous investments. Bernard Tremblay, President and CEO of the Federation of CEGEPs, said the investment will enable CEGEPs to respond to the socio-economic and technological challenges of the day. According to a release, the money will support a resource allocation model that focuses on digital skills development, international recruitment, and resources for new Canadians. The money will also go toward learning centers, sports and cultural activities, services for Indigenous and visible minority students, and supports for students with physical impairments or special needs. Fédération des cégeps (QC)

Jaschik: If more classroom discussion in the humanities is no longer an innovation, what is?

A “New Curriculum” adopted by Brown University fifty years ago made the bold move of allowing undergraduate students to choose all of their courses with no distribution requirements, and lessons learned since the change might offer valuable insight into the future of the Humanities, writes Scott Jaschik. One of the groundbreaking findings of this earlier move was the open criticism of the lecture as the dominant form of teaching. This criticism was combined with an emphasis on more student discussion groups. Yet if more class discussion no longer counts as “innovation” in the humanities, notes Jaschik, the question turns to what does. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Georgian president: “Good, steady growth is the way to go”

At a meeting before Barrie City Council, Georgian College President MaryLynn West-Moynes stated that the college has seen gradual, consistent growth in recent years. “We've got the right infrastructure, we've got the right programs and we've got the right support and jobs in our community for us to be successful,” she said, adding that the community receives a $15 return for every dollar it invests in the college. Orillia Mattersadds that West-Moynes also touched on the expansion of Georgian’s international student population, which now consists of 3,600 students from 85 countries. Other topics at the meeting included Georgian’s co-op program, potential degree offerings, and future research initiatives. Orillia Matters (ON)

UCN, Composites Innovation Centre partner on net-zero greenhouse

The University College of the North and Composites Innovation Centre have established a partnership that will see the creation of a near net-zero greenhouse on UCN’s campus. The greenhouse will be developed in accordance with the climate of The Pas region and will benefit several courses and programs at the university. “Really the possibilities of incorporating the net-zero philosophies and products into UCN programming are endless” said UCN President Doug Lauvstad, who provided the example of the Culinary Arts program incorporating growing and cultivating principles into their curriculum. UCN (MB)

UWaterloo launches course for health-care prescribers on antibiotic resistance

The University of Waterloo has launched a new course focused on teaching health-care providers in community settings how to better manage antibiotics. The course, called Antimicrobial Stewardship in Primary Care, was launched with support from the Public Health Agency of Canada and drew on the expertise of several researchers and experts in the public health sector. “As antibiotic resistance grows, we run the risk that simple infections, like a scraped knee or strep throat, could once again kill,” said UWaterloo Professor Brett Barrett, who explained how antibiotic stewardship practices are necessary to slow antibiotic resistances. The course opened for enrollment at the beginning of May and is accredited for family physicians and pharmacists. UWaterloo (ON)

Seneca meets budding demand for cannabis experts

Seneca College has launched a one-year graduate certificate in cannabis regulation and quality assurance. A release states that the program will focus on plant physiology, pharmacology, cultivation, manufacturing processes, and distribution. Students will also learn about financial metrics to work within budgets, develop technique to adapt business practices that meet the changing market and economic needs, and interpret chemical, environmental and physiological data to assess crop health and quality, adds Seneca. “The market is growing and industry professionals with specialized training in regulatory affairs are in high demand, especially now that people can legally purchase marijuana at retail stores,” said Paola Battiston, Chair of Seneca’s School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry. Seneca (ON)

MOU between SaskPolytech and SAIT explores student engagement, curricula

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore collaborative opportunities in benchmarking key business processes, best practices for Strategic Enrolment Management, and Indigenous student and community engagement. A release adds that the MOU will also enable the institutions to potentially establish a joint task force to examine curriculum design. "SAIT and Sask Polytech’s collective focus is to ensure our graduates leave our institutions with the skills necessary to make positive and long-lasting impacts in the workplace and immediately contribute to our growing economies,” said SAIT President David Ross. SaskPolytech (SK)

Two Royal Roads programs go textbook-free

Two programs at Royal Roads University are going textbook-free. A release states that the university’s Master of Arts in Learning and Technology (MALAT) and Graduate Diploma in Learning and Technology (DipLAT) will enable students to access all of their learning materials through open educational resources, e-books, journal articles, and other free digital resources. “Our goal is to improve teaching and learning,” said Canada Research Chair George Veletsianos. “In these programs, textbooks are largely substituted by open educational resources. This allows us to not only reduce the costs that our students bear, but also allows us to modify materials to improve the way that we teach and the way that our students learn.” Royal Roads (BC)

Supporting career development for an increasingly diverse faculty 

“Universities today are challenged with meeting the career development needs of an increasingly diverse group of faculty members,” write Anne Marie Canale, Cheryl Herdklotz, and Lynn Wild. The authors note that a flexible approach to career development is one way that institutions can effectively support an increasingly diverse faculty, which means offering different types of development programs and activities for different types of faculty members with a wide variety of needs. The authors then describe a number of specific career development programs for new, adjunct, and international faculty. Inside Higher Ed (International)