Top Ten

October 8, 2019

Bishop’s receives $5.9M to transform Divinity House into Indigenous Students’ Gathering Space

Bishop’s University has received a $5.9M investment from the Quebec government to transform the institution’s Divinity House into an Indigenous Students’ Gathering Space and Resource Centre. Vacant since 2014 due to structural damages, the transformation of the Divinity House is part of university’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for action. The centre will feature spaces for seminars and resource centres, classrooms, offices for faculty and staff, and apartments for visiting elders and academics. “Our hope is that this Indigenous Students’ Gathering Space and Resource Centre will be a place of discussion, learning and sharing for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of our community to help foster reconciliation, healing and understanding” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom. Bishop’s | CBC (QC)

RCMP, UBC investigating reports of students being drugged at fraternity party

The University of British Columbia released a statement last week acknowledging awareness of online reports of a drugging at a fraternity party and have provided details regarding the institution’s investigation into the matter. The incident became public knowledge when a UBC professor, Marina Adshade, publicized reports on Twitter that several UBC students were drugged at a fraternity party the previous weekend. CBC stated that they have “not been able to independently verify claims made by Adshade.” Police say they have spoken to witnesses regarding the incident. UBC Vice President of Students Ainsley Carry released a statement Friday reminding community members of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy 131 (SC17) and our commitment to confidential resources to support survivors.” UBC | CBC (BC)

BrandonU, BUFA reach four-year collective agreement, BUFA says MB laws hampered negotiations

Brandon University announced this week that it has reached a four-year agreement with its faculty association, enabling four more years of labour stability. The contract includes pay raises of 0%, 0%, 0.75%, and 1% over the next four years respectively. The Brandon University Faculty Association told the Brandon Sun that the laws governing public-sector contract negotiations hampered their ability to negotiate during recent contract talks with the university. "We’ve been listening, meeting with public-service representatives," said Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who indicated that the government would amend the wage-freeze bill. "These amendments ... will illustrate very sincerely that we’ve heard some of the concerns that they’ve expressed." BrandonU | The Brandon Sun (MB)

Trent, University of Guyana to train workers, bolster Guyanese economy

Trent University and the University of Guyana (UG) have received $5M in funding from CGX Energy Inc and Frontera Energy Corporation to create a program that will train and develop the next generation of Guyanese economic leaders. Trent will receive $3.35M over five years to fund scholarship awards for UG employees to pursue graduate studies and training at Trent. “This effort will engage Trent’s world-class programs, guided by renowned faculty and enabled by unique infrastructure in support of Guyana-centered research programs targeted at the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals,” says Trent VP of Research and Innovation Neil Emery. Trent (ON)

USherbrooke unveils $11.2M creative studio supporting technological innovation, entrepreneurship

The Université de Sherbrooke has opened its $11.2M Studio de création - Fondation Huguette et Jean-Louis Fontaine - to support technological innovation, training, and entrepreneurship. The studio has two dedicated sections that mirror brain function: the left side of the building aims to inspire logical and rational reasoning by featuring spaces for assembly, woodworking, and mechatronics; the right side of the building features an exhibition and interaction hall, a multifunctional room, and an idea room. The studio will help promote USherbrooke’s Association générale des étudiants en génie (AGEG) values of commitment, reciprocity, openness, and fraternity. USherbrooke (QC)

Boréal receives funds to help newcomers improve language skills

Collège Boréal is among seven organizations across Canada that will receive $7.6M in funding from the federal government to create programming that will help newcomers improve their English or French language skills. Boréal VP Lise Béland says that the funding will aid in the expansion of the institution’s language instruction for newcomers program. To better serve persons living in rural areas surrounding Toronto, the program will be offered both in-person and online. The enhanced language program for newcomers is expected to be ready for roll out at Collège Boréal by early 2020, reports CBC. CBC (ON)

Lethbridge partnership provides safety training for wind turbine technicians

Lethbridge College has partnered with TEAM-1 Academy Inc to provide safety training and equipment to students and faculty of the Wind Turbine Technician program over the next three years. Students and faculty who participate in the training will receive globally recognized certification from the Global Wind Organization (GWO). In recognition of the agreement the training platform in the college’s Wind Turbine Technician shop will be renamed TEAM-1 Academy Inc. “This partnership will help ensure our students graduate climb ready,” says Chair of the Wind Turbine Technician program Chris DeLisle. “While our students have always found success entering the industry, the dual certification means they will have even more options all around the world.” Lethbridge College | Lethbridge Herald (AB)

What is a multimillion-dollar donation? UOttawa receives significant gift from alumnus Alex Trebek

The University of Ottawa has received a $2.1M donation from Jeopardy! host and UOttawa alumnus Alex Trebek to expand the global reach and impact of the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue. The funds will support projects by 12 research institutes and centres working on complex problems facing Canada and the world, such as how to transition to a green economy, prepare for aging societies, or build inclusive and durable democracies. “The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue offers our institution the opportunity to create and cultivate a first-class platform to discuss and debate on important provincial, national and international issues, and his new gift will help bolster the impact that it will have,” said UOttawa President Jacques Frémont. UOttawa | CBC (ON)

On the benefits of transforming your paper syllabus into an online FAQ: Loepp

While syllabi serve an important informational purpose, the often-lengthy documents are often un- or partially read by students, notes Eric Loepp. To address this problem, the author recommends replacing multipage narrative documents with an LMS section that looks and functions like a FAQ page of a website. By using this format to address various policies and procedures like attendance, missed classes, and grades, Loepp posits that the FAQ syllabus has benefits related to ease of access; the ability to address follow-up questions as they arise; and the opportunity to encourage students to develop greater familiarity with the campus LMS. “Regardless of what we include on a syllabus, we must be cognizant that how we deliver that information matters, too — assuming we want students to actually use and benefit from it throughout the term,” concludes the author. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

CUSC survey reveals that 87% of first-year students are satisfied with their university experience

A study by the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) has revealed that 87% of first-year students agree that “university so far met or exceeded their expectations.” This year’s annual survey involved 46 CUSC member universities and 18,000 student respondents. The survey also found that employment is first-year students’ number one issue related to the value of education; however, this focus on employability has not encouraged them to engage in other activities to reach their goals like creating a resume, volunteering in one’s chosen field, or meeting with a career counsellor. University Affairs | CUSC (National)