Top Ten

May 30, 2019

New health research facility in Hamilton to be funded by $100M endowment fund

McMaster University and two Hamilton, ON hospitals have announced their plans to use a $100M legacy endowment fund to create the Juravinski Research Centre. The fund, given by philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski, will allow the three organizations to receive $5M per year in perpetuity after their deaths. “McMaster had already started talks with Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s about how we could create new dimensions to our research partnerships to deliver even more to our community, when I received a call from Charlie Juravinski,” said McMaster Dean and VP of the Faculty of Health Sciences Paul O’Byrne. The centre will further examine cancer, mental health, lung and respiratory care, and diseases of aging. McMaster CBC (ON)

Students take ON government to court over optional fee policy 

The Canadian Federation of Students and the York Federation of Students have launched a court challenge against the Ontario government for allowing students to opt out of non-mandatory fees, reports the Canadian Press. According to the groups, the government’s move puts funding for student associations, campus newspapers, student legal aid clinics, and sexual diversity offices at risk. In leveling the challenge, CP adds that the students have also highlighted a fundraising letter from Premier Doug Ford’s office that accused student unions of “crazy Marxist nonsense” while claiming that his government “fixed that” by implementing the opt out policy. Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton said that the policy gives students more control over how they spend their money. CBC (CP)(ON)

How to deal with feeling isolated in academe: Aguilar 

The nature of academic work requires professors often to live inside their heads, which can prevent them from interacting with other people in ways that build meaningful connections, writes Stephen J Aguilar in an article reflecting on the isolation that can come with being a professor. Aguilar contrasts this isolation to the cohort-based community bonds that can form when one is in grad school, and provides advice on how professors can help mitigate the isolation they might feel after becoming instructors. This advice includes finding a fulfilling hobby, scheduling time with others, and using social media in an active and healthy way.   Inside Higher Ed (International)

Partnership with long-term care facility yields job offers, bursaries for Boréal PSW graduates 

Collège Boréal and Au Chateau Home for the Aged of West Nipissing have established a partnership focused on employment for personal support worker program graduates. Under the terms of the agreement, Boréal PSW graduates from the college’s Nipissing campus will receive a job offer and a $1,000 bursary from Au Chateau. “College Boréal is pleased to have established this partnership with a prestigious organization such as Au Chateau,” Boréal President Daniel Giroux. “Through proactive partnerships like this one, solutions can be found to alleviate the shortage of personal support workers in our Northern communities.”  Boréal Nugget (ON)

MRU to increase housing capacity, upgrade units for Indigenous students with donation

Mount Royal University’s Indigenous Housing Program (IHP) will be doubling its capacity and becoming more affordable, thanks to a $300K donation from philanthropists David and Leslie Bissett. The IHP will use the funds to undertake necessary upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms, and other amenities in the units, house up to eight families, and provide bursaries to increase the affordability of the program. “Every family in the program has succeeded and the IHP creates belonging and links students to academic support services,” said Iniskim Centre Director John Fischer. “Children grow up on campus knowing that one day, they will go to university.” MRU (AB)

King’s program aims to make writing a “career game-changer”

King’s University College is launching a Certificate in the Teaching and Practice of Writing. A King’s release states that the program will support discipline-specific communication skills, help students develop teaching and tutoring skills in relation to writing, and provide professional writing skills for the workforce. “Since writing is crucial to many disciplines, we will have outstanding opportunities for students, writers, and instructors to benefit each other through the structure of the Writing Certificate,” said Writing Program Coordinator Vidya Natarajan. King’s adds that the program will also offer experiential learning and professional networking opportunities. King's (ON)

Five faculty locals ratify agreements in BC

Five British Columbia faculty locals have ratified agreements with their institutions and the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association board under the government’s Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate. A release states that the agreements, which run from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022, include general wage increases of 2% per year and institution-specific initiatives aimed at improved learning supports at Northern Lights, Camosun, Coast Mountain, Selkirk, and Okanagan colleges. More than 217,000 unionized public-sector employees are covered by tentative or ratified agreements reached under the Mandate, the release adds. BC

Sheridan, City of Brampton collaborate for energy reduction plan

Sheridan College has partnered with the City of Brampton to roll out the Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan. According to a release, the Plan aims to combine the energy conservation efforts of the city, local utilities, business, industry, residents, and community stakeholders. Additionally, it will set out specific energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that meet provincial and federal climate change commitments. “The Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan will allow us to build on the success of Sheridan’s own Integrated Energy and Climate Management Plan, which has the college on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2020,” said Herbert Sinnock, Director of Sustainability at Sheridan. Brampton (ON)

Six techniques to make the lecture more interactive

The lecture has gotten a bad rap in the teaching world, but there are many ways to make lecturing more interactive, writes L Kimblerely Epting, a self-described FWL, or “Faculty Who Lectures.” To this end, the author offers six tips on how to make the lecture more engaging. The first tip is to envision an entire course as a single “story” arc, which can help keep students engaged from class to class and while creating a rhythm of engagement in which certain points for questions and discussion come naturally. Other tips include embedding course review into many parts of the course, taking things one moment at a time, inviting messy predictions, failing proudly, and allowing room for silliness. Inside Higher Ed (International)

MOU between Brock, Community Care aims to help vulnerable communities

Brock University and Community Care, St Catharines and Thorold have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. A release states that Community Care helps approximately 2,000 households access food security. It also provides housing and utilities assistance, back-to-school support, ID replacement services, youth sports opportunities, and other supports. According to Brock President Gervan Fearon, the MOU reflects the University’s strategic priority of helping to advance the health and vitality of local communities. “Strengthening this partnership will greatly enhance the services and supports to the agency, not only through experiential learning, but also through the active research component which will inform our future program delivery,” added Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care. Brock (ON)