Top Ten

October 7, 2019

UManitoba releases internal report on Indigenous senior leadership, provides five recommendations

The University of Manitoba has released an internal report assessing the university’s existing mandate and support structure for Indigenous senior leadership. The report makes five recommendations: establish a Vice-President (Indigenous); develop programmatic leadership; clarify expectations and responsibilities at the Faculty and Administrative Unit Levels; build a campus community that is safe for Indigenous peoples; and embed Indigenous self-determination and leadership within university governance structures. “I strongly support the principles outlined in the recommendations and was pleased to be able to share with Senate today that we have the full support of the Board of Governors to move forward with this report,” said UManitoba President David Barnard. UManitoba (MB)

Two Canadian universities identified in US report regarding donations accepted from opioid maker

Two Canadian universities have been identified in a report revealing that a select number of universities around the world received a minimum of $60M in donations (total) from the Sackler family, the owners of the drug manufacturer behind Oxycontin, which many argue is fueling the current opioid crisis. An investigation by The Associated Press revealed that McGill University received more than $3M and the University of Toronto received $750K in donations from the Sackler Foundation. U of T representatives commented that the donations were used to support cancer research and that the institution has no contemporary relationship with the Sackler Foundation. A McGill representative also noted that the institution does not have any association with Purdue Pharma or any pharmaceutical products. Times Colonist | Associated Press (ON, QC)

CICan partners with Tunisia higher ed network to support women’s education, employment

Colleges and Institutes Canada has partnered with Institutions supérieures d’études technologiques (ISET) of Tunisia to support the economic empowerment of young graduates living in Tunisia’s most economically marginalized regions. A CICan release states that the Education for Employment (EFE) Program - Al-Najah Tunisia will focus on technical and pedagogical training for instructors, with an emphasis on areas like female entrepreneurship and female employment strategies. “In the end, the program will support Tunisian young people, particularly young women, by ensuring that all have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to find their place in the employment market and contribute fully to the development of their communities,” says CICan President Denise Amyot. CICan (International)

UWaterloo looks to share space research beyond scientific community with new centre

The University of Waterloo has launched a new Centre for Astrophysics which will aim to advance astrophysics research and share its findings outside of the scientific community through public talks and events. The centre, located in UWaterloo’s physics and astronomy department, will be staffed by 13 faculty members and 30 PhD and post-doctoral researchers. "We have specialties in a range of astrophysics, from the analysis of black holes, to distant galaxies in the early universe, through to cosmology — the study of the universe as a whole," said UWaterloo Director of the Centre for Astrophysics Will Percival. Waterloo Region Record (ON)

SaskPolytech, James Smith Cree Nation partner to deliver new radiology training programs

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has partnered with James Smith Cree Nation to explore the possibility of delivering new training programs for radiologic technologists and related fields at the James Smith Cree Nation Medical Clinic. The partnership may also increase the applied research capacities at the James Smith Cree Nation Medical Clinic’s radiology services. “This partnership is about exploring opportunities, including the opportunity for students to study close to home, community members to receive improved access to health services, and [develop] exciting applied research possibilities,” said SaskPolytech President Larry Rosia. SaskPolytech (SK)

OPSEU highlights effects of “chronic government underfunding” upon international students

The President of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Warren (Smokey) Thomas, has released a statement arguing that there is a “crisis of chronic government underfunding... plaguing Ontario’s colleges.” Citing the Toronto Star’s investigative series on international students studying at ON colleges, the OPSEU release states that ON colleges are obtaining large fees from international students, but not reinvesting adequate money into supports for such students. The statement concludes by asking “the province’s colleges to reach out to their employees and work with them to ensure a world class and publicly-funded college system that benefits both domestic and international students.” OPSEU/SEFPO (ON)

UMontréal, UOttawa receive $2M donation, create Scholarships for New Canadians

The Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa have received a $2M donation to create the Rovinescu Scholarship for New Canadians. The scholarship aims to support undergraduate students and professional programs at both universities, but will primarily provide first-generation Canadians or children of immigrants in Canada with the opportunity to pursue university or vocational training at either university. The scholarships will cover tuition fees for undergraduate studies or a professional program and will be geared toward students who are eligible for financial assistance. The program will also consider academic performance and community/extracurricular involvement. Université de Montréal (QC)

CNA announces creation of new software development program to meet growing industry demands

The College of the North Atlantic has announced that it will launch a new software development program to meet local industry demands. Set to start in the fall of 2020, the announcement of the new program coincides with the St John’s-based technology company Verafin receiving $515M in venture funding. “We plan to hire hundreds of new software developers in the coming years, and we are thrilled that CNA’s new Software Development (Co-op) program will encourage students to explore this career path,” said Verafin Co-founder Brendan Brothers. CNA (NL)

ON ministry surveys employers to address skilled trades workers shortage

Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities has asked 26 workforce planning boards to identify projected shortages in skilled trades labourers in the next five years. Reggie Carverson, Executive Director of the Workplace Planning for Sudbury and Manitoulin, notes that the top in-demand trades are heavy duty equipment technician, welders, millwrights, and carpenters. However, addressing the shortage of skilled trades labourers requires more than just identifying in-demand trades. Carverson says that part of the problem is that not enough employers are taking on apprentices, while employers have indicated to Carverson that “there is a misalignment between what's happening in college versus what's happening in the field in terms of the real world of work.” CBC (ON)

How can we recruit and shape better higher ed administrators?: Opinion

“Successful leadership requires being humble and taking the advice of those who have done the work before us,” says Terri Givens. Charting her transition from undergrad to faculty member to administrator to CEO, Givens highlights the importance of taking the advice of mentors, and consulting with peers and friends when transitioning between various roles within academia. However, Givens also highlights that there is more that higher ed institutions can do to not only recruit, but train its future administrators. Alongside giving administrators the appropriate credit for the service work they do, Givens suggests that we need to expose graduate students and early career academics to more administrative work. Inside Higher Ed (International)