Top Ten

July 12, 2019

Health Canada warning prompts rethinking of student “purpling” tradition

Engineering students who have traditionally dyed their bodies purple at frosh events are rethinking the practice following a new Health Canada warning. The Hamilton Spectator reports that student representatives at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto say that they are looking for alternatives to the gentian violet dye after health products containing the substance were linked to an increased risk of cancer. "We want to make sure that safety is the No. 1 priority for us," says Laura Berneaga, president of the University of Toronto engineering society, who adds that the purple dye is considered a way to honour engineers of the past who used to wear purple armbands as identification. Hamilton Spectator (ON)

NorQuest offers transition support for mid-career workers from oil and gas industry

NorQuest College is offering free programming to support mid-career workers transitioning from the oil and gas industry to new employment and career options. The project will allow 120 mid-career workers to participate in professional exploration, development, and reflection as they consider alternative careers. "This program meets you where you are at in your life and in your abilities, and we are going to customize the program to meet your needs,” said NorQuest Faculty of Skills and Foundational Learning Associate Dean Lisa Rochman. “The program will be tailored to each participant to ensure they have the support and training they need for successful career transitions." The Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program will be investing $1M in the project over two years. NorQuest (AB)

Most PhDs are starting over when they pursue non-academic careers: Wood

“A lot of well-meaning academics like to say that doctoral education prepares you, not just for the professoriate, but for other careers, too,” writes Maren Wood. “There’s just one problem with that message: Except for a handful of STEM degrees, it’s not accurate.” The author notes that while people with PhDs might end up in non-academic professions, the reality is that virtually none of these professions require a PhD. Wood further argues that in most cases, the skills and knowledge gained from a PhD education usually have nothing to do with a person’s non-academic career, be it in securing a job or in performing well in that job. For the majority of PhDs, Wood concludes, there is zero connection between having a PhD and one’s non-academic career outcomes, and it is time for academic departments to stop perpetuating the myth of this connection. Chronicle (National)

Brock, Burgundy establish pathway for business students

Brock University’s Goodman School of Business and the Burgundy School of Business in France have established a partnership that will offer new opportunities to graduate students. Students will spend a year at each school and earn an MBA from Brock and a Master of Science from Burgundy. At Burgundy, Goodman students will be able to specialize in areas such as wine management, digital leadership, and data science and organizational behaviour. Brock states that with this partnership in place, Goodman will offer wine education at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional development level. Brock (ON)

Postsecondary leaders must be willing to walk back their decisions: Justice, Dever

“The strongest faculty leaders are unafraid to walk a decision back when that’s the right thing to do,” write George Justice and Carolyn Dever. The authors discuss several factors that make being a faculty leader difficult, including the need to address the needs of different stakeholder groups. But these difficulties, Justice and Dever argue, make it especially important for a leader to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on decisions and revisit them when necessary. “It takes a lot of strength and a lot of confidence to walk it back, but your smart stakeholders will thank you for it,” the authors conclude. “They’ll respect your humility, appreciate your flexibility and hopefully give you the benefit of the doubt on the next tough call. You can be sure it’s coming your way soon.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Confederation students to choose which fees they will pay during online registration process

Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario says that beginning this year, its students will choose which student fees they want to pay during the course registration process. CBC reports that when the college’s students go online to register for their classes this upcoming academic year, they will have the choice to opt in or out of paying fees to support alumni services, financial aid, and the College-Student Alliance, as well as the membership fee for the Student Union at Confederation College. Lynne Savela, the executive director for the Student Union, says that the union expects its revenue will decline under the new arrangement, but adds that students who opt out of paying those fees will not be able to participate in certain student union-led activities, which includes running for student leadership positions. CBC (ON)

Concordia Edmonton, FC Edmonton establish educational partnership

The FC Edmonton soccer club and Concordia University of Edmonton have established a partnership that will allow players from both the senior and academy teams to pursue educational opportunities at the university. "It's an exciting time for FC Edmonton and our fans as we see our club earning success on and off the pitch," said FC Edmonton General Manager Jay Ball. "As we look toward the future, we will continue to collaborate with significant partners like Concordia, who have a long-standing tradition of academic excellence and community stewardship in our community. Going forward together and finding news way to grow the game will only fuel the excitement of soccer and unify our soccer community." Concordia Edmonton (AB)

St Clair expands cross-border educational opportunities with Wayne State

St Clair College in Windsor, Ontario has signed five new cross-border articulation agreements with Detroit’s Wayne State University, offering students new opportunities to further their education. The Windsor Star reports that students in St Clair’s accounting, business administration, computer technology, interior design, and marketing programs will now have the option to apply credits from their two- or three-year diploma toward a university degree in their field at Wayne State and receive both a diploma and degree in four years. “Given the global nature of business in the 21st century, it is fitting that business education should be international in scope,” said St Clair President Patti France. Windsor Star (ON)

The age of exploitative internationalization is dead: Patel

High tuition fees, lack of English language skills, and few job opportunities are just three of the ways that international students are failing to benefit Western higher education institutions, writes Fay Patel, who adds that the current era of internalization is coming to an end. Institutions can no longer make a credible argument that their relationship with international students is “win-win,” Patel continues, since this framing erases the lopsidedness of the overall benefits, which overwhelmingly go to Western institutions. Patel calls for institutions to move their internationalization agendas “from a business model to a values-based model with a pedagogic focus, from exploiting vulnerable communities to empowering future glocal (local and global) communities so they can build the capacity for sustainable futures and meet the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.” University World News (International)

TRU receives accreditation from NWCCU

Thompson Rivers University has received accreditation status through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. NWCCU is an independent, non-profit agency based in Washington that evaluates institutions through an assessment of institutional quality. "Accreditation provides our students, our faculty and staff, and the communities we serve, with the acknowledgement that a TRU education is a high-quality education and that everyone involved in the delivery of this education is committed to the best outcome for our students," said TRU President Brett Fairbairn. TRU states that it is the third institution in the province to be accredited by NWCCU after Simon Fraser University and Capilano University, and the first to achieve accreditation in less than three years. TRU | TRU (BC)