Top Ten

November 8, 2019

Research Infosource releases Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2019

Research Infosource has released its Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2019 rankings. In the overall rankings, the University of Toronto took first place, followed by the University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, McGill University, and the University of Alberta. In the Research Universities of the Year listings, the Medical category was led by UofT, McMaster University, and McGill; the Comprehensive category was led by University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Simon Fraser University; and the Undergraduate category was led by Lakehead University, Université du Québec à Rimouski, and University of Lethbridge. Research Infosource (National)

NB government, universities partner to deliver FutureReadyWabanaki program

The New Brunswick provincial government and its four publicly funded universities have partnered to create FutureReadyWabanaki, an initiative that helps Indigenous University students become job-ready while supporting employers in finding and recruiting qualified employees. The program will: provide Indigenous student with on-the-job experience prior to graduation; improve the job readiness of Indigenous students; and support growth, recruitment, and retention for employers. “Through FutureReadyWabanaki, we are able to strengthen the University of New Brunswick’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by valuing Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing by enhancing Indigenous students’ access to experiential education,” said University of New Brunswick President Paul Mazerolle. NB (NB)

Trent continues reconciliation efforts with honorific naming, protocol handbook

Trent University has continued its response to TRC report recommendations by launching new initiatives that support the strengthening of the institution’s relationships with local Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) Anishnaabeg communities. This past week, two names have been gifted by the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers Council: Mnidoowag A’Kiing or the Spirit Lands was given to a traditional arae with a medicine garden, tipi, and wigwam, while an Indigenous Learning Space was named Giizhigaatig, or Cedar Room. In addition, Trent has released a protocol handbook that supports faculty, staff, and students in learning about the treaty and traditional territory on which Trent is located, and in engaging with reconciliation during their time at Trent. Trent (ON)

CUPE 3906, McMaster request ‘No Board’ report, lockout or strike possible as early as December

McMaster University and CUPE 3906, the union representing 2,900 teaching assistants, research assistants, demonstrators, tutors, and markers at the school, have announced that they are seeking a ‘No Board’ report from the ON Ministry of Labour, meaning that the negotiations by both sides is at an impasse. The decision reportedly means that a lockout or strike could take place as early as December 1st, potentially disrupting December examinations. McMasterCUPE | insauga (ON)

ULethbridge launches program to address on-campus food scarcity

The University of Lethbridge has launched Nourish, a program that aims to raise awareness of and promote the institution’s initiatives to address on-campus food scarcity. According to research by ULethbridge Campus Chaplain Erin Phillips, student food concerns are far more prevalent than expected, with 19.2% of students indicating that they ‘sometimes’ ran out of food or did not have money for food, and 7.5% of students indicating this was a common or frequent experience. In response, Nourish aims to raise the profile of the Students’ Union Food Bank, as well as the many campus initiatives in place to assist students in need of food. “We have a very caring campus community that has shown over the years they are eager to help and, through Nourish, we see the opportunity to bring people and their ideas together to increase our students’ access to healthy food,” said Phillips. ULethbridge | Lethbridge Herald (AB)

UNBC Faculty Association strike in gesture of solidarity with colleagues

The Faculty Association at the University of Northern British Columbia announced Thursday morning that it will strike. UNBC Faculty Association President Stephen Radar told the Prince George Citizen that although the latest offer from UNBC’s administration responds to tenured and tenure-track professors’ demand to bring their salaries in line with those of comparable universities, this gain would come at the cost of “leaving the rest of the academic staff who make up the Faculty Association [librarians, senior lab instructors] out in the cold.” UNBC reports that the Prince George campus will remain open during a strike, but picket lines may be expected. UNBC | Prince George Citizen (BC)

Aligning institutional branding with student life programming: Opinion

In his experience, Eric Sickler has observed that higher ed institutional branding rarely aligns with student life programming. Connecting these two aspects of institutional life is especially important, according to the author, because it provides current stakeholders with “clear evidence that a school is ‘walking the talk’ they heard when they were being recruited to enroll, to contribute or to sign an employment contract.” To better align one’s strategic thinking and execution around the institutional brand foundation, the author recommends several strategies, such as: integrating an introduction to brand foundation into new student and new employee orientation activities; rescripting campus messaging to incorporate and demonstrate brand foundation language; and ensuring that all student leaders are briefed and fully cognizant of the college’s commitment to living your brand foundation. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Diversity initiatives will continue to fall short without intention, leadership: Newkirk

Drawing on her more than 30 years of work in higher ed, Pamela Newkirk notes that diversity has been a national preoccupation in the US. However, despite many costly affirmative action initiatives, “decades of hand-wringing,” and “uncomfortable conversations,” progress in the field of diversity “has been negligible.” Drawing upon higher ed data and interviews with people who have been and are spearheading diversity initiatives at their own institutions, Newkirk argues that diversity mandates are trending towards “a flattened diversity-for-all mantle that embraces diversity of all kinds while ignoring the history and legacy of structural racial disadvantage.” Part of the problem, according to the author, is that institutions lack intention and leadership to direct that intention for robust diversity initiatives. The Chronicle Review (International)

UBC, Rogers launch 5G smart campus to research future applications

The University of British Columbia and Rogers Communications have launched what CBC calls “Canada’s first 5G-powered smart campus.” The launch will allow UBC researchers to test real-time 5G applications ahead of Rogers’ national release of the network next year. The new 5G system will offer speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, making it approximately 100 times faster than 4G technology. “The purpose of the installation on our campus is to look into how 5G will be used in the future [and] at projects that make use of the technology and try and understand some of its boundaries,” said UBC VP Research and Innovation Gail Murphy. CBC | The Province (BC)

MtA, Moncton Flight College to deliver new Bachelor of Commerce – Aviation degree

Mount Allison University has partnered with Moncton Flight College to create a new Bachelor of Commerce – Aviation degree. The new program will combine aviation training with business studies through the University’s Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies/Commerce Department. Beginning in Fall 2020, the program is the result of a recently signed articulation agreement between the two schools. “The Moncton Flight College is a world-class flight training facility,” said MtA President Jean-Paul Boudreau. “We are pleased to continue to work with them and offer this new Bachelor of Commerce – Aviation degree option and experiential learning opportunity to our students, helping them prepare for future careers in the aviation industry.” MTA (NB)