Top Ten

December 16, 2019

Senior executives of QC charter universities better paid than those in uQuébec network: report

Financial reports tabled in Québec’s National Assembly have revealed that the rectors of the province’s charter universities are better paid than senior executives of institutions in the Université du Québec network. McGill University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Suzanne Fortier, was the highest paid senior executive at a university in the province, earning compensation of $544,233 per year, while the Université du Québec à Montréal Rector, Magda Fusaro, received a base salary of $218,196 per year, plus benefits of $7,054. The Journal de Québec reports that in 2018, the Government of QC tightened the rule governing the remuneration of rectors, but the changes made did not apply to contracts of employment already signed. Journal de Québec | Journal de Montréal (QC)

Algonquin is the first college in ON with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policy

Algonquin College has announced that it is the first college in Ontario to institute an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policy. The policy is the foundation upon what Algonquin President Claude Brulé calls a “house for diversity,” a three-year action plan to further inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Algonquin has also announced that it is the first post-secondary institution in Canada to participate in the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s #CelebrateCitizenship Challenge, a program that challenges business leaders and employers across Canada to provide employees with paid time off to attend their citizenship ceremonies. “In Canada, our country aspires to equality and the protection of fundamental rights, building it into our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Brulé. “That belief in equality is also what we aspire to every day at Algonquin College.” Algonquin (ON)

Why don’t more graduate schools offer courses on pedagogy?: Opinion

“Most Ph.D.s go on to teach in some way, even if they don’t want or land teaching positions,” writes Colleen Flaherty. So why does graduate education so often ignore students’ need for pedagogical training? Reviewing an online conversation started by Cathy Davidson regarding this issue, Flaherty outlines the efforts of some American graduate programs to infuse pedagogical training into their degree offerings. For example, while some programs require students to complete up to four semester-long courses regarding pedagogy, other programs are limited to day-long teaching conferences. Regardless of the amount or length of pedagogical instruction, the author notes, scholars seem to agree that ‘some’ instruction in teaching is better than ‘none.’ Inside Higher Ed (International)

Centennial, xahive partner to deliver micro courses in cybersecurity

Centennial College has partnered with xahive to create micro courses to train non-technical staff the basics of cybersecurity. The two-hour courses delivered online at students' convenience—Cybersecurity Governance 101 and Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Sector—frame the problems of online safety in easy-to-understand terms so that employees without tech backgrounds can readily follow the lessons. The courses, which can be white-labeled for both academia and organizations, result in participants receiving a digital badge upon completion which may be attached to their LinkedIn profile. "With regulations in North America and Europe becoming much more stringent [...] these micro courses help organizations of all sizes to meet those cybersecurity and privacy requirements," Centennial Chair of Distance and Online Learning Kevin Deveau. Newswire (ON)

Laurentian faces challenges in attempts to meet two students’ conflicting accessibility needs

Two students at Laurentian University are dissatisfied with the institution’s handling of their conflicting accessibility needs. In September, third-year social work student Tyler George suffered “severe asthma exacerbation and was hospitalized” following his attendance of a class where Guy Carrière and his guide dog, Dixon, were also enrolled. George and Carrière have expressed their dissatisfaction with Laurentian’s proposed solutions, which included: having George wear a mask in the classroom, leaving Dixon at home or in the hallway during classes, and creating a rotating class attendance schedule for the two students. In an emailed statement to CBC, Laurentian representatives states, “Our accessibility team is dedicated to collaborating with both our students and faculty members on matters of accommodation and we emphasize that everyone involved in accommodations has a role to play to ensure success." CBC (ON)

UManitoba receives donation of “out-of-this-world” special collections donation

The University of Manitoba has announced its receipt of more than 20,000 UFO reports and more than 10,000 UFO-related Canadian Government documents from Canadian Ufologist Chris Rutkowski. “This unique and intriguing historical collection will greatly add to our understanding of the study of UFOs, and will attract students and researchers to study these phenomena for a whole range of reasons,” says UManitoba Head of Archives and Special Collections Shelley Sweeney. “It complements our extensive collection of psychical research and spiritualist archives and puts Winnipeg on the map as the preeminent destination for the study of the paranormal.” UMantioba has also launched a crowdfunding campaign to help digitize the collection. UManitoba | Live Science (MB)

Stairwell netting installed at McMaster student residence due to design concerns

Safety netting has been installed in the stairwell at McMaster University’s newest student residence after recent suicides at other institutions provoked a fresh look at the building’s architecture. "As we were looking at the final stages of the building, high-profile suicide incidents elsewhere provided impetus for us to take a look at the building through a very specific lens," said McMaster Associate VP (students and learning) and Dean of Students Sean Van Koughnett. The university is also contemplating a longer-term solution, such as installing more permanent barriers in the staircases. "We place a high priority on student mental health,” said Van Koughnett, including “front-line caregivers and resources for students and training programs for staff, faculty and student leaders.” Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Mohawk, Ford partner to give automotive technician students access to Ford LMS

Mohawk College has partnered with Eastgate Ford and Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd to support automotive technician education. The partnership will give students enrolled in Mohawk’s Motive Power Technician Diploma the ability to train on Ford of Canada’s dealership learning management system (LMS). Students who work through the training modules and pass the associated quizzes can earn the same standardized Ford certification dealership employees receive. Bob Brown, Mohawk’s co-ordinator for the course’s second year, stated that he believes that students who successfully complete the modules and apply at a Ford dealership will be virtually guaranteed a job. Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Olds receives farmland donation from local couple for Smart Farm ag-tech research

Olds College has received a significant land donation from a retired farming couple to be used for the college’s Smart Farm. Olds has already begun installing some Smart Farm technology, such as a Farmer’s Edge weather station, on the 360 acres donated by George and Marge Steckler. "The Steckler gift allows us to increase our land base and as such, expand our capacity to work with companies and producers on the challenges of today and the opportunities of the future,” said Olds President Stuart Callum. “It also means that Olds College can provide more students with a one-of-a-kind learning environment focused on the future of agriculture.” Discover Airdrie (AB)

How to be an ally to black scholars in academe

In her home field of biomedical and public health research, Nina T Harawa observes that there is an “underrepresentation of black researchers [...] despite overrepresentation of black populations in most of the disease outcomes studied.” Given this problem, the author asks, how can white and Asian American researchers better support their black colleagues and support diversity initiatives within their respective fields? To answer this question, the author provides eight recommendations as to how allies can promote justice, inclusivity, and diversity within institutions. These are: research barriers for black scholars; work on becoming conscious of racial biases; understand how racism and biases operate; adopt a critical approach to research; mentor underrepresented scholars; speak up when you witness racism occurring; name racism for what it is; and use positions of power or authority to advocate for diversity within institutions. Inside Higher Ed (International)