Top Ten

July 18, 2019

Canada announces $100M for Indigenous Health research at UVic

The federal government has announced a $100M investment in Indigenous health research, which it says is the largest investment of its kind in Canada. Announced this week at the University of Victoria, the funds will come through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research over 16 years, starting this September. Canada Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says that the investment represents "reconciliation in health." The funding will help establish a national network of centres focused on research, development, and knowledge translation for Indigenous health. “This is such an amazing opportunity for communities to take leadership in the conduct of health research that ultimately will benefit them," said UVic Indigenous health researcher and professor Charlotte Loppie. CTV News (BC)

Algonquin, George Brown partner to redefine Canadian College research landscape

Algonquin College and George Brown College have established a research alliance that will “explore new ways to collaborate and redefine the Canadian College research landscape.” The two parties will explore the opportunities to share resources, develop best practices, and enhance applied research across the region. The colleges also state that they will align their centres of excellence to build on each other’s strengths and minimize competing interests. “The George Brown-Algonquin partnership will better position both of our institutions as catalysts of Canadian innovation, leading to high-quality, high-impact outcomes for industry and the communities that we serve," explained George Brown Vice President, Strategy & Innovation Rick Huijbregts. George Brown | Algonquin (ON)

Sainte-Anne's campus to be renovated, modernized with Canada, NS support

The Université Sainte-Anne's Pointe-de-l'Église campus has received a combined $1M from the Government of Nova Scotia and Government of Canada for the renovation and modernization of the Gustave-Blanche Building. The heritage building will be renovating its roof, windows, and exterior cladding, as well as modernizing parts of the building’s interior. “This funding will allow us to restore and highlight the heritage value of the Gustave-Blanche Building, an iconic building of our university,” said Sainté-Anne Rector Allister Surette. “It will meet our needs for many years to come and help us maintain our presence in the community—a key priority of Université Sainte-Anne’s strategic plan.” Canada (NS)

Arrests, damage at URegina residence stem from stressful conditions experienced by evacuees

Four people have been arrested in connection with incidents at the University of Regina, where some of the 420 evacuees from the Pikangikum First Nation have been housed during fire activity around the remote Ojibwe community in Ontario. The fighting reportedly occurred between evacuees, who are under “significant duress” as they adjust to trying conditions. No members of the public or university community were involved. “These individuals are under a great deal of stress,” said Saskatchewan Public Safety Agenc Vice-president Duane McKay. “We have a deep appreciation for the level of effort that we’ve seen, especially from the University of Regina, who has opened the doors to these people and allowed us to assist as well." The costs associated with the damage, as well as with response and hosting, will be billed to the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. Star Phoenix (SK)

Loyalist receives Approved (Category 1) status for practical nursing program

Loyalist College's Practical Nursing program has received an Approved (Category 1) Status from the College of Nurses of Ontario, the province’s regulating body for registered nurses, registered practical nurses, and nurse practitioners. This status is the highest rating conferred by CNO. This marks the third consecutive five-year term that the program has received this recognition. “Significant effort and dedication go into achieving CNO’s Approved (Category 1) status,” said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. “The College community is proud of the commitment to excellence Practical Nursing faculty and staff exhibit. They go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional educational experience.” Loyalist (ON)

Okanagan to expand high school technology training program after successful pilot

Okanagan College has announced a new technology training program that will help high school students shape their careers. The Gateway to Technology program helps students to gain an enhanced understanding of how various technology functions, from hardware to programming. “We have had a wide range of students in the program and the common theme throughout is their enthusiasm for technology,” says Trevor Knowlton, Career and Apprentice Coordinator for SD67. “Showing them the many different career opportunities that are available to them with these skills has been a huge success.” The program was piloted with thirteen students from School District 67, and will be expanded to SD 23, SD 53, and SD 83 in February 2020. Okanagan (BC)

Academics cutting back on air travel to reduce carbon emissions

Some Canadian academics are deciding to limit their air travel due to concerns about its environmental impact, reports CBC. Research at the University of British Columbia, for example, has recently shown that emissions from employees’ air travel are nearly as high as those from heating the UBC campus. The article notes that many people from around the world have signed a petition asking universities to reduce the amount of flying their employees do for work, citing flying as a contributor to global climate change. "I don't feel like this has been any kind of sacrifice," says Brett Eaton, associate dean of research and graduate studies in UBC's Faculty of Arts. CBC (National)

Faculty must admit to, overcome our resistance to change: Weisbuch

Critique and dissent from faculty are essential parts of a functioning university, but the reality is that many faculty also defer to nay-saying as a matter of reflex rather than deep consideration, writes Robert Weisbuch. The author reflects on his own experience as a faculty member, admitting that he often raised objections at his institution either out of habit or because it gave him pleasure to do so. The author also notes that faculty members should recuse themselves from voting on issues they have not studied closely. He further concludes that “we faculty members need to learn to say yes to each other and learn by experience rather than speculating—and usually nay-saying—by prejudgment.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

SLC hosts parking lot “depaving” to create new Indigenous Gathering Space

St Lawrence College has announced that it is partnering with Red Squirrel Conservation Services to transform 180 square metres of parking lot into an Indigenous Gathering Space for staff and students to learn about Indigenous culture, perform traditional ceremonies, and grow traditional medicines. The project is set to kick off today with a “depaving” event, in which volunteers from the college and wider community will help prepare the parking lot for the installation of the gathering space. “The new Outdoor Indigenous Gathering Space not only supports sustainability, but also our strategic objective of supporting Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being,” says SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. SLC (ON)

Academic freedom might need to extend to non-faculty professionals: Maloney, Kim

It is time to consider whether the protections of academic freedom should be extended to some types of non-faculty institutional staff, write Edward J Maloney and Joshua Kim. The authors highlight pedagogical research as an area of research that is often performed by non-faculty staff who possess advanced degrees. “Research and writing on the current state of higher education is highly likely to be critical,” the writers note, adding that this work could put non-faculty staff odds with other institutional stakeholders. Because these professionals and others will continue to blur the line between faculty and non-faculty professionals, it is worth considering if and how the protections of academic freedom might be extended to create the best research, the authors conclude. Inside Higher Ed (International)