Top Ten

October 25, 2019

Higher ed must find proactive ways to manage online harassment, cyberbullying: Opinion

As cyberbullying and online harassment become a growing concern across the world, Christina Frangou writes that many postsecondary institutions lack adequate policies on how to deal with these issues and their consequences for targeted academics. The article highlights several instances of harassment experienced by academics across Canada, as well as research currently being conducted on the topic. Frangou discusses the best practices and recommendations provided by the Data & Society Research Institute for both scholars and administrators. University Affairs

KPU launches first four-year BA program with zero textbook cost

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has launched North America’s first four-year bachelor's degree program with zero textbook cost (ZTC), reports the institution. ZTC will save each student enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies program an average of $5K over the four-year degree. The seventh ZTC credential offered at KPU, the BA program offers its students open textbooks authored by KPU instructors and faculty from other universities. “Students in the general studies arts program will now be able to focus more on their studies instead of worrying about how to pay for their books,” says KPU Dean of the Faculty of the Arts Diane Purvey. KPU

Posthumous professors: on the history of cadavers in Canadian medical schools

While stories of the dead bodies missing from their graves may conjure ideas of reanimated corpses or zombies today, that was not always the case. As Katie Daubs explains, during the 19th century in Canada medical students frequently engaged in the shocking activity of graverobbing in order to obtain human bodies to study anatomy. Amid these sordid tales, some provinces created legislation regarding how medical schools could obtain their subjects. These anatomy laws, however, often targeted those marginalized by poverty, race, or mental wellness challenges as the idea of body donation had not yet taken hold. The author notes that this changed with the introduction of modern laws requiring a person to donate their body for study. The Star

Posthumous professors: on the history of cadavers in Canadian medical schools

McMaster University’s Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health has received a $2M investment from the Boris Family to recruit a new leader for the institute. The new leader will be responsible for maintaining the institute’s reputation and furthering its research on chronic respiratory diseases that are among the leading causes of death around the world. “These health-care professionals are quite literally writing the guidelines for clinical care and changing the way lung diseases are diagnosed and treated,” said Les Boris and Jackie Work of those working at the institute. McMaster

Posthumous professors: on the history of cadavers in Canadian medical schools

The University of Regina has announced a new affiliation agreement with the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research (GDI), and has renewed its partnership with Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), also offered through GDI. The agreement will allow GDI programs to be recognized as being of university calibre, will enable the programs to be accredited by the Senate of the University, and will allow for the potential development of other programs and initiatives that address the post-secondary education needs of students of Métis ancestry. URegina

Sheridan partners with business leaders to deliver industrial distribution program

Sheridan College has partnered with several leading manufacturers and distributors of power transmission products to create an Industrial Distribution Program that will focus on the distribution of bearings, power transmission products, and other industrial parts. Beginning in January 2020, the program will involve eight weeks of class that focus on key functional disciplines relevant to distribution. Upon completion of the program, students will have the opportunity to apply for eight-week paid work placements with manufacturers and industrial parts distributors. Sheridan | NTN

Dealing with short-term illness in higher education: Opinion

“How does a faculty member handle being sick in an academic workplace that does not generally ‘do’ sick days akin to the 9-to-5 world?” asks Karen Kelsky. The author writes that academics in the US and Canada are living and working in a version of neoliberal capitalism where sickness is often professionally penalized. The author thus provides five tips for navigating illness within higher ed: inform oneself on the formal, institutional rules regarding illnesses; find out the informal expectations regarding illness accommodation; follow what others do in your department; weigh the personal and professional costs; and do not be a martyr. “Rest when and where you can,” concludes Kelsky. “The more you give, the more academe will take from you.” Chronicle of Higher Education

UWaterloo, WLU receive $2.5M each towards sport facility enhancement projects

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University have received $5M from the City of Waterloo to upgrade the two institutions’ sports and recreation facilities. UWaterloo will receive $2.5M for its nearly $23M expansion and enhancement of the Columbia Icefield, while WLU will receive $2.5M for its more than $50M upgrade to its University Stadium. “The [...] project[s] will provide the community of Waterloo with increased community recreation access to a major sports field stadium, while also addressing one of the current major gaps existing within the Region for major event (and) bid attraction,” stated a City report. The Record

UoGuelph creates Institute for Environmental Research, addresses environmental problems through collaboration

The University of Guelph has announced the creation of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) to address environmental problems through interdisciplinary innovation. GIER will further UoGuelph’s expertise in environment and sustainability studies by bringing together researchers from diverse fields. The institute will also raise the profile of environmental research through conferences and other gatherings, activities funded by its $400K annual budget. “We have such a great diversity of talent here at U of G,” said UoGuelph GIER inaugural executive director Madhur Anand. “We can only benefit from increased interaction, sharing of insights and co-production of projects among researchers.” UoGuelph

Cluster hiring comes with its own set of challenges: Opinion

Cluster hiring is commonly viewed as an attempt to mitigate the ways that academic departments might hire new faculty to serve a narrow set of disciplinary interests. Creso Sá argues, however, that cluster hiring presents its own kind of challenges, such as communication barriers within interdisciplinary hiring panels and varying assumptions about quality criteria. Universities thus need to achieve two kinds of balance in relation to faculty hiring: respecting departmental autonomy while maintaining real safeguards against dysfunctional cultures that undermine academic standards; and inducing change and innovation while supporting continuity where it is needed. University Affairs