Top Ten

August 16, 2019

UAlberta Indigenous law centre gets federal boost

The University of Alberta’s Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge will be working with Indigenous communities to better access, understand, and apply Indigenous laws. “For a century few, if any, Canadian lawyers ever asked the question about how First Nations on the prairies regulated their societies and relationships and dealt with the same issues that common law, Western law dealt with,” said David Percy, UAlberta’s Interim Dean of Law. “The lodge is a great example of an academic institution listening to Indigenous communities and organizations. Canada will be better off for the work being done here and elsewhere across the country.” The initiative received $134K in funding from the Government of Canada. CBC | Edmonton Journal (AB)

Institutions must become more intentional in how they promote empathy: Bortolin

It is time for institutions to make good on their claim that the people on their campus matter, writes Kathleen Bortolin. The author notes that in her school’s teaching and learning centre, for example, conversations can often “shift away from learning outcomes and engaging teaching strategies and we slide into whispers about workload issues, politics, bullying and survival.” The author outlines several steps institutions can take to create a greater culture of empathy, which would include becoming more intentional in seeking out this quality in job applicants, and questioning “incomprehensible workloads and lack of support for new (and seasoned) faculty.” University Affairs (International)

Web of Science Group publishes list of most highly cited researchers in 2018

Web of Science Group has published a list of researchers who produced multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year. The list of approximately 6,000 researchers includes both those in specific fields and those with a cross-field impact. Canada was ranked 7th on the list of countries, with 166 (2.7%) of HCRs living in the country. Numerous post-secondary institutions appeared on the list, with the greatest numbers of Canadian HCRs coming from the University of British Columbia (33) and the University of Toronto (28). The researchers recommend a careful reading of the study’s methodology. HCR | Report (International)

MtA plants Indigenous gardens

The Mount Allison University community and members of the Fort Folly First Nation have embarked an Indigenous garden project. Fourth-year MtA student Raven Elwell has been working to establish several Indigenous gardens on campus, which include local plants with important meanings and uses in Indigenous culture, and marking plant species with new signage in English, French, and Mi’kmaq. “We’ve worked with the University to design several gardens. One focuses on the medicine wheel, and another is called the Three Sisters garden, which includes corn, beans, and squash,” explains Jesse Popp, MtA Geography and Environment professor. “We’re looking forward to sharing these with the campus and wider community in the fall.” MtA (NB)

NLC returns Loon River site to full campus status

Northern Lakes College’s Loon River Site will be returning to full campus status in September 2019. The site has been a Community Access Point since 2013, but has seen growing demand for programming and proven enrolment. “Providing students with the opportunity to live at home while developing skills and furthering their education is a priority for Loon River First Nation,” said Loon River First Nation Chief Ivan Sawan. “We have made, and will continue to make, financial contributions in the investment in education for our members and community.” NLC (BC)

Students scramble for last-minute housing in Northern ON

With classes starting on September 4th, many students are still struggling to find housing in Northern Ontario, reports CBC. "From what I have experienced over the years, if you want the best, the cream of the crop, you should be looking in February, March," says Joe McGibbon, residence life manager at Laurentian University in Sudbury. CBC states that while many institutions offer support for students looking for housing, students are more commonly left to do their own searching. "The housing isn't here," said Nicole Shelke, a leasing agent in Thunder Bay. "Everybody is looking for September 1, but we only have so many apartment buildings in the area that they're looking for." Shelke stated that some students will need to accept apartments that are farther away from campus. CBC (ON)

Why do many schools raise more money after a public scandal?: Jarvis

“While headline-grabbing scandals involving rogue administrators and structural failures often generate steep legal fees, criminal charges, and public outrage, high-profile universities have seen donations — and sometimes enrollment — rise in the aftermath,” writes Will Jarvis. The author notes that schools with long-established brands can not only survive scandals, but also raise more money if alumni feel their alma mater needs their help. With respect to students, the author notes that scandals can sometimes lead to dips in student applications, although the vast majority of these are temporary. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

International students in US worried about gun violence: study

A quarter of international students studying in the US say that they worry about gun violence at their institution, while 37% say they worry about such violence in the local community, according to a new survey. Students attending urban institutions were most likely to express these concerns, with the highest levels of reported concern coming from students from Asia and from the Middle East/North Africa. Despite these concerns, however, 88% of respondents said they felt safe from physical harm or acts of violence at their institutions, while 79% said they felt physically safe within their local community. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UWaterloo students to gain access to legal coverage through student association

Students at the University of Waterloo will gain access to legal representation on an opt-in basis this fall through the Waterloo Undergrad Student Association. The Waterloo Region Record reports that for roughly $30 per year, students can have access to legal representation for a myriad of issues, including representation in court, rental rights, and immigration law. Students will also be able to seek legal advice via a legal help hotline. Waterloo Region Record (ON)

Trent, Fleming working to help improve local housing situation for students

Trent University and Fleming College are taking further steps to provide housing in Peterborough. A joint release states that both institutions are in various stages of initiating strategies that can help improve the housing situation while accommodating first-year and upper-year students. “Peterborough is unique in having two very successful institutions which are attracting a growing number of students. Together Trent and Fleming contribute $1 billion in economic benefit annually to the community,” said Trent President Leo Groarke and Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “The housing strategies of both institutions recognize the partnership with the City and our community that we greatly value.” Fleming (ON)