Top Ten

January 7, 2020

Northern receives funding to support new innovative research hub

Northern College has received funding from Kirkland Lake Gold to support the creation of the college’s new applied research facility. Scheduled to open mid-2020, Innovation Hub will expand the college’s research capabilities through the creation of trades-related labs, larger shops, and tech-enhanced classrooms. Northern received a $500K investment from Kirkland Lake Gold to support the centre. “The new Innovation Hub will open the door to many more education and career opportunities for the students of Northern College, as well as promote business opportunities in the area,” said Northern Manager of Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Amy McKillip. Northern (ON)

eCampusOntario launches adaptive learning platform testing at eight ON colleges

eCampusOntario has launched testing of adaptive learning platforms at eight Ontario college campuses. The project will involve Durham College, Loyalist College, St Lawrence College, Humber College, Algonquin College, Collège La Cité, George Brown College, Loyalist College, and Sheridan College. "Our trades and apprenticeship students benefit from adaptive learning by allowing them to build core competencies more quickly and progress successfully through their programs," said David Francis, Dean of the School of Applied Science, Skills and Technology at Loyalist. Newswire (ON)

Temporary licensing considered in BC to help address vet shortage

The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia is engaging in preliminary discussions regarding whether temporary or restricted licenses should be given to vets with prior training in the process of getting their Canadian license. A labour market study conducted last year found a significant shortage of vets across all regions of the province. The most common recommendations to address the shortage included increasing the number of BC students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and making it easier to hire experienced foreign-trained vets. Temporary or interim vet licensing reportedly exists in at least six other provinces. The Province (BC)

Understanding an institution’s deep culture is key to administrative success: Opinion

Leadership experiences in higher ed are not just determined by the position and its perceived difficulty, but by the “deep culture” of organizations, writes Jeffrey Hennessy. Comparing his experience as Acadia University’s School of Music Director and Faculty of Arts Dean, the author posits that although most Canadian universities share common surface culture attributes, the deep culture of a university—“the collective unconscious of the organization that has been transmitted throughout its history”—is crucial to an administrator’s ability to enact lasting change. The author thus recommends that administrators invest in “building trust and empowering a diversity of voices” to help shift towards a “healthier culture [that] can pay enormous dividends.” University Affairs (National)

SK university students more likely to access mental health services than ever

Saskatchewan universities are experiencing growth in the number of students accessing mental health services. Scheduled appointments for counselling at the University of Regina climbed 25% from 2017 to 2018 and special arrangements were made for nearly 9,000 exams in 2018-19 at the University of Saskatchewan, a 120% increase over the past five years. USask Director of Student Affairs and Services Peter Hedley states that the increase in demand for student mental health services is “partially good news” as it “signals the university has reduced stigma around mental health issues.” CBC (SK)

Sheridan partners with local community foundations for social, financial investment

Sheridan College has partnered with six regional community foundations to aid in the allocation of funding for social innovation and social finance projects. The Brant | Halton | Peel Regional Partnership will allocate funding in the form of non-repayable capital within Brant, Halton, and Peel to charities, non-profits, co-operatives, hybrid social enterprises, and mission-focused for-profits. “Helping people explore entrepreneurship and changemaking is a core part of our identity,” said Sheridan President Janet Morrison. “Joining this partnership provides a tangible way for Sheridan to live out its organizational commitment to forming generative connections across experiences and disciplines, supporting intentional impact, and collectively finding answers to the tough questions facing our world.” Sheridan (ON)

Royal Roads ratifies agreement with service workers

Royal Roads University’s board of governors has ratified an agreement with the university’s service workers represented by CUPE Local 3886. The agreement includes a three-year term with wage increases of 2%, 2%, and 2%; a labour-market adjustment for front-line service roles to address recruitment and retention challenges; and the establishment of a professional development fund to provide targeted training in respectful workplace culture. The new agreement applies to approximately 70 Royal Roads employees who provide grounds and gardens, production, housekeeping/custodial, and maintenance services. BC (BC )

Universities face legal battles regarding alleged discriminatory admission policies

Two men continue legal battles with Waterloo-region universities regarding complaints that the institutions rejected them because of their disabilities. Robert Melanson states that Wilfrid Laurier University discriminated against him by refusing to admit him for a graduate degree in social work based on his request for accommodation due to disabilities, while Roch Longueépée argues that the University of Waterloo discriminated against him by refusing to admit him for an undergraduate arts degree based upon poor grades attained prior to diagnosis. The Record states that WLU plans to appeal the claim and that the UWaterloo case will be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Record (ON)

Controversy over cancelled URegina lecture raises questions about Indigenization, academic freedom

The manager of the Indigenous students' centre at the University of Regina says Indigenization measures should have taken precedence over academic freedom in last week’s controversy regarding a poet’s connection to a murderer of an Indigenous woman. Misty Longman told CBC that the decisions and discussions surrounding the controversial event have demonstrated that the university “has work to do as an institution to achieve its Indigenization goals.” For Longman, Indigenization involves consulting with an Indigenous advisory circle and including Indigenous voices, critiques, scholars, and materials in all URegina classes and campus activities. CBC (SK)

How to survive major professional transitions: Opinion

“Masking our problems and pretending that everything is going well for a time instead of being honest and dealing with those issues is one of the biggest problems in our society,” writes Adriana Bankston. To help others going through major professional transitions in higher ed, the author suggests building a support system; intentionally not over-committing; finding enjoyable hobbies; reflecting on your progress; and disconnecting from technology. “Unplugging and doing less goes a long way when it comes to our lives, as well as the quality of our mental health,” concludes Bankston. “This practice is something we should encourage and teach more in our educational institutions and workplaces moving forward.” Inside Higher Ed (International)