Top Ten

January 10, 2020

McMaster launches sustainability action group to coordinate green initiatives across campus

McMaster University has launched a sustainability action group to better coordinate and generate sustainability programs across the university. “We’re bringing everyone together to connect some of these dots between departments and share ideas,” said McMaster AVP and Chief Facilities Officer Debbie Martin. Thus far the group has met to draft terms of reference, establish a year-long focus, and establish three subcommittees: reuse and recycling, composting, and reducing single-use plastics. “There are a ton of initiatives happening in pockets across campus and they’ll have a bigger impact and last longer if we’re all working together," stated Martin. McMaster (ON)

CMTN launches two dual-credit courses to bridge secondary-postsecondary learning

Coast Mountain College is launching two new dual-credit courses that will enable high school students to investigate career-paths prior to graduation. Starting in February, CMTN will offer a Level 1 Professional Cook Apprenticeship course and a Healthcare Assistant program. CMTN Dean of Instruction, University Credits, Sciences, and Humanities Titi Kunkel explains that "even if a student decides not to pursue a particular field of study or program, [the] dual-credit courses can give them the qualifications they need to set them along their career path once they complete their secondary education." BC Local News (BC)

On balancing freedom of expression and Indigenous reconciliation efforts: Timmons

When we have principles, such as academic freedom, how does that work with our principles of Indigenization and truth and reconciliation? asks University of Regina President Vianne Timmons. Following last week's controversy surrounding the now cancelled lecture by Canadian poet George Elliott Scott, Timmons says the answer is less than straightforward, but should involve contemplating how institutions' long-standing ideas and philosophies are the same ones needed to move forward with truth and reconciliation. “As institutions of higher learning, we’re on a journey,” Timmons said. “And we’re on a journey with our Indigenous colleagues, and we’re going to stumble, and hopefully together we will figure that path out.” Global News (SK)

BCIT to expand sonography, cardiovascular perfusion programs

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has received funding from the Government of British Columbia to expand their sonography and cardiovascular perfusion programs. “Students, health-care workers and patients have been calling on government to increase sonography training across the province for years," said BC Minister of Advanced Educations, Skills, and Training Melanie Mark, "and we are answering that call with new and expanded programs." The funding will allow BCIT's sonography program to add 16 first-year seats, increase the cardiovascular perfusion program's student intake to an annual intake of five students, and enable the school to purchase new sonography equipment. BC | BCIT (BC)

Trent to add 200 long-term-care beds to campus to provide research, experiential learning opportunities

Trent University is planning to add 200 long-term-care beds to its campus through a partnership with a private long-term-care provider. According to Trent President Leo Groarke, the university would lease land to a private care provider, and the two organizations would sign an agreement enabling Trent students to conduct internships at the facility. “It [the partnership] offers us an opportunity to do very important research [and] fill a need for experiential learning for our students," said Trent Vice-President of External Relations and Advancement Julie Davis. Once Trent finalizes the agreement with the long-term-care partner, the institution will submit its application to the province. MyKawartha (ON)

Seneca signs new MOU with Northeastern to establish pathways to graduate programs

Seneca College has signed an agreement with Northeastern University to create pathways for Seneca students to graduate programs at Northeastern. The memorandum of understanding will allow Seneca students in the Clinical Research and Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations graduate certificate programs to receive 12 credits towards a master's degree at Northeastern. "Northeastern’s global campus network, in combination with our focus on lifelong and experiential learning creates an exciting pathway for Seneca graduates,” said Northeastern Regional CEO & Dean Aliza Lakhani. Seneca (ON)

Reimagining the role of Alt-Ac humanities professionals at your institution: Opinion

How can universities reform "the culture of the humanities so that careers outside the university are seen to be just as valuable as permanent, tenure-track professorships?" asks Paul Yachnin. According to the author, a significant strategy for altering conceptions of alternative academic careers involves inviting PhD grads to contribute to conversations happening in the academy. For example, such grads could mentor PhD students, be invited to guest lecture, co-teach part of introductory courses to doctoral students, or educate faculty and current PhD students on the potential mobility of humanities research and researchers. "Changes like these will be good for the graduates, the universities and for Canadian society itself," concludes the author. The Conversation (National)

Mechanical, human error led to death of trout at VIU research facility

An incident that led to the death of 377 trout being used for teaching and research has led to the temporary decommission of Vancouver Island University's fisheries facility. A statement from VIU states that a series of errors—both mechanical and human—on December 5th led to the deaths of the fish. VIU has since moved approximately 1,500 trout from VIU's Nanaimo campus to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station where the fish will be cared for while VIU assesses the kinds of the investments that need to be made to their current facility. "VIU is taking this incident very seriously and is working in cooperation and close consultation with the CCAC to determine the path forward," concludes a statement from the university. VIU (BC)

NOSM launches online learning, community workshops to disseminate safer opioid prescribing practices

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has launched an online learning module and community of practice workshops to improve the opioid prescribing practices of primary care providers in Northern Ontario. Best practices for safer opioid prescribing are accessible to primary care providers through a self-directed interactive online learning module, or facilitator-led, closed, small-group workshops. Both programs consider the socioeconomic variables in Northern Ontario that differ from those seen in urban centres, making this a uniquely Northern program. “Equipping primary care providers with tools to use in their own practice setting, along with the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the barriers they face in safely prescribing opioids [...] will ultimately improve long term health outcomes for their patients," said NOSM Assistant Professor Deborah Smith. NOSM (ON)

Strategies for dealing with workplace gossip in higher ed

Almost all of us in higher education have experienced gossip in the workplace, writes Tamara Yakabski. Defined by the author as a false and shallow attempt at connection with another, gossip works to disconnect people rather than connecting them and can also create or exacerbate unhealthy workplace cultures. The author offers four tips for dealing with gossip in the higher education workplace: determine if what you receive from others is helpful information or gossip; remember that people's opinion of you is not your business; know that gossip reflects the wounds of the gossiper; and think before you share information about colleagues with others. Inside Higher Ed (International)