Top Ten

July 10, 2019

UBC barred from 2019 Vancouver Pride Parade after hosting anti-SOGI speaker

The University of British Columbia will not be allowed to participate in this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade. CBC reports that the Vancouver Pride Society barred UBC because it hosted controversial anti-SOGI speaker Jenn Smith, who critics say is transphobic. Andrea Arnot, Executive Director of the Society, said that applicants for the parade must meet specific criteria that are judged according to a point system. "We reject applications every year," said Arnot. "But not usually once they've been accepted and ready to go in the parade, in this instance." UBC declined an interview with CBC, but Provost Andrew Szeri said in a written statement that the university is committed to the "principles of equity, diversity, inclusion." CBC | The Province (BC)

Five Canadian universities part of new alliance to address major global challenges

Five Canadian universities are part of a new worldwide alliance to tackle five major global challenges at its inaugural summit. These challenges are: the key role of universities in a global world, climate change and cleaner energy, inequality and polarized societies, technological transformations, and community engagement and impact. Titled the U7 Alliance, the group includes the University of British Columbia, McGill University, Université de Montréal, University of Ottawa, and University of Toronto. This group is currently holding its first global summit under the patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron. SciencesPo (National)

UPEI research centre to focus on climate change, adaptation

The University of Prince Edward Island has received $9.7M in funding from the Government of Canada and Government of Prince Edward Island to establish the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation. The facility will house state-of-the-art research centres, including the UPEI Climate Research Lab, and will serve as a living laboratory with unlimited access to nearby wetlands, forests, and coastal habitats impacted by climate change. “The centre will provide skills to help mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as drive innovation in green technology,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. “We are committed to investing in education, research and technology that will strengthen Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, creating a greener environment for generations to come.” PEI (PEI)

Warner: If You're Not All Things to All People, What Are You?

Citing a US governor’s recent assertion that the university “cannot be all things to all people” as justification for cutting state appropriations to higher ed, John Warner observes that “embodying a negative (not all things) is neither inspirational nor particularly actionable when it comes to forging an institutional mission.” Warner then argues that the rhetorical drift of the phrase also conceals how public defunding disproportionately hurts individual academic labourers, who must do more work for less pay. To conclude, the author highlights a few socioeconomic trends showing that higher ed should deemphasize skills training and return to its core mission of teaching students how to think. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UCalgary veterinary school partners with local First Nations to offer equine health rotation

A new initiative out of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is helping to give veterinary medical students a leg up on horse care skills while building relationships with the Tsuut’ina and Siksika Nations communities. Fourth-year UCVM students are now able to take part in an equine health rotation at the two nations, providing health services for 65 horses. “This program gives our students experience in a range of equine medical care and interacting with community horse owners, so students learn both clinical and professional skills,” said UCVM instructor Jean-Yin Tan. “It’s a win-win initiative, as the cost of the services we provide are covered by UCVM for the education of our students, and there’s a need for quality veterinary care for the horses in Indigenous communities.” UCalgary (AB)

Sá critiques federal response to Fundamental Science Review

Although the report of the Fundamental Science Review panel has garnered significant attention from advocacy groups, the extent of its effects on federal policy remains an open question, writes Creso Sá. While the government has gladly implemented some recommendations—such as striking new committees and formalizing a regular budget for the Canadian Foundation for Innovation—other pressing issues remain unaddressed. Sá notes, for example, that although the federal government took a pro-science position in its 2018 Budget, the actual funding amount came to about half of what the review advocated for. Additionally, the government delayed its response to the review. According to Sá, the response that it did eventually provide did not clearly indicate the government’s points of agreement or disagreement. University Affairs (National)

UNB reintroduces bridging program to address nursing shortage

The University of New Brunswick will reintroduce the Licensed Practical Nurse Bachelor of Nursing bridge program in order to help address a provincial nursing shortage. The program will be available to LPN graduates from New Brunswick Community College or Oulton College, and is designed to address the knowledge and training differences between LPNs and registered nurses. The Government of New Brunswick has announced that it will provide up to $500K towards the cost of delivering a cohort of the program. UNB (NB)

USask tables tentative offer for support workers

2,000 support workers at the University of Saskatchewan will vote on a tentative contract offer this week. CUPE Local 1975 president Craig Hannah told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that the proposed deal “is the best offer that we believe at this time we can get.” Under the agreement, current and new union members would be moved to an Ontario-based defined benefit pension plan. Union members would also receive a $4K signing bonus, paid non-vacation days over Christmas, an extra $400 in flexible benefits spending, and a 1.5% retroactive wage increase for 2018 followed by 2% raises in 2019 and 2020, adds the StarPhoenix. Saskatoon StarPhoenix (SK)

Williams: The ubiquity of the critical interview as an academic genre

Jeffrey J Williams posits that academic interviews in the humanities can offer a point of entry into the difficult concepts put forth by scholars in the field. While tracking the academic interview’s history, Williams finds that academic interviews started to appear more frequently as criticism became more difficult for non-experts to understand. While contemporary journals such as Diacritics and New Literary History continue to publish interviews, Williams also finds that social media and the challenges faced by a new generation of humanities PhDs have pushed academic publishing beyond the journal, into short-form essays and popular venues such as YouTube. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Dal-hosted child soldiers initiative to create new centre with $1.75M

An initiative hosted at Dalhousie University will continue working to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers, thanks in part to a $1.75M contribution from the federal government. A Dal release notes that the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, which works in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces, will use the fund to support its ongoing research and global engagement, as well as establish the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security within the Canadian Defence Academy. “The establishment of the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security will have an impact on soldiers, on children, and on global peace and security,” said Lt-Gen Roméo Dallaire. “Today marks a momentous step to work together as an international community to take on the hard work that is needed to make great change.” Dal (NS)