Top Ten

September 18, 2019

Canadian higher ed institutions play an increasingly important role in the fight against cybercrime

Several Canadian universities are joining the fight against cybercrime by offering cybersecurity training to students, professionals, and industries while providing safeguards for Canadian infrastructure. Sharon Aschaiek highlights recent contributions that Canadian higher ed has made to cybersecurity, which include the fall opening of Ryerson University’s $30M not-for-profit cybersecurity centre, the University of New Brunswick’s collaboration consortium with the NRC on cybersecurity, and the University of Waterloo’s initiative with the NRC to improve aspects of cybersecurity, such as blockchain, as key initiatives in the fight against cybercrime. University Affairs (National)

Canadian postsecondary students communicate consent through more than just words: Study

An American study of students from a Canadian and an American university found that students refuse sexual intimacy in a variety of ways that often do not involve using the word “no.” The study surveyed 615 students total, 417 of whom were attending an Ontario university, and found that 53% of sexual refusals included a version of the word “no,” while 37% used excuses or non-verbal cues for negation. The study suggests that sexual violence prevention advocates might need to move away from strategies that stress a singular moment of verbally articulated consent and instead highlight the complexity of sexual innuendo. Globe and Mail (National)

UBC receives $3M from province to create more than 90 childcare spaces

The University of British Columbia has received $3M from the Government of BC’s New Spaces Fund to create 91 new licensed childcare spots at three centres on campus. With one centre already open and the other two scheduled to open this fall, there will be spaces allocated for toddlers, children aged three to five, and school-aged children. Priority for the spaces will be given to children of UBC students, with the remaining spaces made available first to children of faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. “These campus-based centres will shorten commutes for parents at UBC, allowing them to spend more time with their kids or studying,” said BC’s Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen. Nation Talk (BC)

Papier-maché gun causes alarm at UCalgary campus

A student carrying a papier-maché gun drew a police presence to the University of Calgary earlier this week. The gun was intended to be used as a prop for an exhibit on campus, and CBC reports that the student had not considered the ramifications of carrying the realistic replica on campus. Some students were concerned about the fact that they were not notified about the situation. “That is always a balance to be struck, informing the public on instances like this that might be considered the real thing,” said Acting Staff Sgt Travis Juska of the Calgary Police Service. “We did have the U of C standing by to load up information on the app if the need arose. But we feared that had we circulated that information, it would have caused more panic, and it wasn't our intention to alarm students or create more of an issue.” CBC | Ottawa Citizen (AB)

YorkU professors raise brows over on-campus flyers implying left-wing “indoctrination”

Academics and faculty have responded with humour, anger, and incredulity in response to the federal Conservative Party's distribution of flyers at York University this week that imply “university professors are agents of left-wing indoctrination,” reports The Globe and Mail. The article notes that a study by a sociologist at the University of Windsor says there might be some truth to the notion that professors are more likely to hold left-leaning political views. The study revealed that although Canadian university professors tend to fall “to the left of the political spectrum,” the distribution of various political views amongst this population is “not hugely different in this respect from the Canadian university-educated population.” Globe and Mail (ON)

Fleming announces new pathways for School of Business grads to study at Irish institution

Fleming College has signed an articulation agreement that will provide a pathway for its School of Business graduates to a Bachelor of Business (BB) with the Institute of Technology, Carlow (IT Carlow) in Ireland. Building upon a MOU signed between Fleming and IT Carlow in 2018, the articulation agreement will enable Fleming graduates to complete their BB degree at IT Carlow in two to four semesters and includes options to study in fields such as business, human resources, accounting, and marketing. “The opportunity [...] will provide students with valuable international experience and prepare them for the evolving labour market and global economy,” says Fleming President Maureen Adamson. Fleming (ON)

Further findings from AB report on PSE finances raise concerns about higher ed budget constraints, low enrolment

A recent review of Alberta’s finances suggests that there are “difficult decisions” ahead for the province’s postsecondary sector. The report highlights the inefficacy of the province’s tuition cap, stating that it did not increase enrolment as expected when it was in place. Statistics Canada reports that AB spends more per capita on advanced education than the national average. The report recommends that in response to its finding, the government lift the tuition cap. “The conclusion that the MacKinnon Panel Report makes is that [...] we have one of the most expensive post-secondary systems in the entire country and the outcomes don’t appear to be matching that investment,” said AB advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. Medicine Hat News (AB)

Interview tips when you are the external candidate: Gruder

Attending an interview as external candidate where you know another finalist is an internal applicant can be a daunting or seemingly futile endeavour. However, Kay Kimball Gruder argues that external candidates may have more to offer than they think, and suggests three areas to focus on in preparation for an interview: work against the internal candidate’s insider knowledge by conducting significant research; challenge the influence of an internal candidate’s established network by highlighting how well you connect with others; and be prepared to talk about your accomplishments in terms of impact, results, outcomes, and novel approaches. “Your biggest advantage is that you are the external candidate and are interviewing because the hiring committee already values aspects of what you offer,” Gruder concludes. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Brescia to launch new Peer Support Space and Wellness Peer Program, increase mental health resources

Brescia University College will launch the institution’s new Peer Support Space and Wellness Peer Program on September 18th. Wellness Peers, which is open 10 hours a week to students experiencing mild to moderate mental wellness challenges, will allow students to speak with “Wellness Peers” who promote mental wellbeing, resilience, and self-care/self-management strategies. “While many of our students are now more aware of identifying signs of mental health, they may not be entirely sure of their next steps. This new Peer Support Space is a natural next step for our community,” states Brescia VP of Students, Marianne Simm. Brescia (ON)

Three ways public figures can make more sincere apologies: Leopold

“What makes an apology sincere, and why is it so difficult for public figures to get apologies right?” asks Lisa Leopold. Studies say that well-executed apologies are important because they can improve relationships, the financial performance of companies, and one’s public reputation. For Leopold, successful public apologies contain three components: an actual apology, ownership for the offense, and an expression of empathy. “Public figures who apologize for a specific transgression, claim ownership for their wrongdoing, and express genuine empathy tend to fare better than those whose apologies do not,” concludes the author. Academic Minute (International)