Top Ten

February 4, 2020

USask receives nearly $7M in funding for livestock health, sustainability research

The University of Saskatchewan has received nearly $7M in total funding from the Government of Saskatchewan's Agriculture Development Fund to address challenges with livestock farming. The funding includes a $3.2M investment in the USask Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, as well as funding for research projects focusing on animal health and environmental impact reduction and support for 10 undergraduate summer research projects per year over five years. “This major funding commitment from our partners supports agricultural research essential to food security in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world,” said USask Vice-President, Research Karen Chad. USask | StarPhoenix (SK)

NIC unveils $18M Campbell River expansion project

North Island College has unveiled the expansion to the school's Campbell River campus, an $18M project that aims to give students better access to state-of-the-art facilities and programs. The renovation project created a library and learning commons, a bookstore, an industrial trades facility, kitchen facilities for culinary students, and a health simulation lab. The campus expansion will also allow for the delivery of a new computer information systems program, expanded business administration programming, and the intake of over 80 international students. "Modern learning spaces are a critical part in supporting skills development to prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow," said Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains. "The expansion of the Campbell River campus will help students on Vancouver Island advance the next generation of leading-edge research and innovation in Canada." NIC (BC)

Brandon releases statement revealing exam was compromised through publisher test bank

Brandon University has released a statement indicating that the second-year nursing examination held last December was compromised due to the circulation of a pirated version of the textbook publisher’s test bank. In response to the incident, the school offered students to rewrite a new version of the exam with a penalty applied and noted that all students re-wrote and passed the exam. The school also stated that penalties may be adjusted for individual cases, and that students will have access to the normal appeals processes. The statement concludes by explaining that school officials are already engaged in conversations about the incident and are "considering important changes to our admissions criteria, curriculum delivery, and student evaluation processes in Health Studies [to] better support our students’ personal growth and professional development." Brandon | CBC (MB)

Sheridan, Conestoga receive funding to support skilled trades training

Sheridan College and Conestoga College have received funding from the Government of Ontario to support skilled trades training. Conestoga received a $1M funding boost for in-class apprentice training, as well as $750K for three new pre-apprenticeship training projects, while Sheridan received over $500K to create 50 new spaces for students in their General Machinist and Industrial Mechanic Millwright pre-apprenticeship programs. "The skilled trades are a viable first choice for young people, and our investment [...] will help more people prepare for good jobs and exciting careers," said ON Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. ON | The Record (ON)

BC court approves $5M loan for Quest, extends bankruptcy protections until May

A British Columbia court has granted Quest University an extension on its financial protection that will last until the end of May. Last Monday, a judge approved the university’s proposal to secure a $5M loan from a capital-management company. This loan will keep the institution’s operations afloat and shield the school against bankruptcy or receivership until May 29, 2020. “We’re focused on finding stable and long-term solutions for our remarkable university," said Quest President George Iwama. “The judge clearly agreed that we should have every opportunity to do that.” Officials from Quest have also indicated that the school is considering options such as the sale of some of its land assets, sharing space, and identifying the appropriate partner to support it. Globe and Mail (subscription required) | Squamish Chief (BC)

TÉLUQ celebrates launch of reforestation, ligniculture network

Télé-université has celebrated the official launch of the Réseau Reboisement et Ligniculture Québec (reforestation and ligniculture Quebec research network). The network received funding from the Quebec Research Fund for nature and technology and will be directed by TÉLUQ Professor Nicolas Bélanger and Canadian Wood Fibre Centre scientist Nelson Thiffault. It will involve researchers from seven Quebec universities and two government research centers, as well as several industry partners. The network’s work will contribute to the development of tree plantations in forest environments, the development and maintenance of green infrastructure, and ecological restoration. TÉLUQ (QC)

Two senior UNBC administrators step away from positions

Six weeks after the conclusion of the University of Northern British Columbia's contract dispute, two of the school's senior administrators have announced they are stepping away from their positions. The Tyee reports that in an email sent to UNBC staff, UNBC President Daniel Weeks announced that he is taking an immediate and indefinite medical leave. Two weeks earlier, Weeks announced at a senate meeting that UNBC interim Vice-President of Finance, People, Organizational Design and Risk Barb Daigle--who was also the schools' lead negotiator during the labour action--would be retiring at the end of January. Geoff Payne, the university's Vice-President of Research, will step in as acting president in Weeks' absence, while no plans to replace Daigle have been announced, reports CBC. CBC | The Tyee (BC)

Centennial renames building Bombardier Centre following business jet donation

Centennial College has announced it is renaming its Downsview Park building The Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation, after receiving a Bombardier Global 7500 business jet from the company. The donation will allow Centennial student to receive hands-on experience working on the prototype of the long-range, purpose-built business jet. The aircraft will be permanently housed outside Centennial’s new hangar at its Downsview Park campus. “As the global demand for aerospace technicians and technologists continues to grow, the strategic advantage of Bombardier and Centennial’s relationship is only amplified,” says Centennial President Craig Stephenson. “The commitment of both partners not only aims to support the increasing labour demands of the sector, but also bolsters Ontario’s and Canada’s leadership position in a competitive global sector.” Centennial (ON)

MtA faculty, librarians on strike after negotiations break down

Faculty and librarians at Mount Allison University have announced they are on strike after negotiations between the university and faculty association broke down on Sunday. The university and the MtA Faculty Association have been in talks alongside a provincially appointed mediator since December. The MtA Faculty Association has stated that MtA has "failed to address adequately academic resources and workload, accommodation for faculty and librarians with disabilities, part-time job security, and part-time compensation." The university has indicated that classes, labs, and tutorials are suspended until further notice. MAFA | CBC (NB)

Title policing is a form of academic bullying: Opinion

From job titles to honorifics, to credential and dress codes, to even first names, David M Perry writes about how some faculty engage in "academic bullying” by persistently policing status in formal and informal ways. Faculty judgements about who deserves status are rooted in an entrenched ranking principle that only tenure-stream faculty 'really' count when it comes to measuring the value of an institution. However, Perry argues that such perceptions are both wrong and inaccurate in the world of growing professional hybridity. "If you still buy into the outmoded hierarchy of 'professors versus peons,’" concludes Perry, “you aren’t just clinging to the lifeboat while the rest of us swim, but actively working to push the rest of us under.” Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)