Top Ten

May 1, 2020

USask to launch Remote Fitness Delivery course this spring

The University of Saskatchewan has launched a kinesiology fitness course that is focused on teaching fitness remotely. Starting spring 2020, Remote Fitness Delivery will begin with the fundamentals of the discipline, and then shift to a focus on using technology to deliver fitness, as well as talking about fitness delivery when technology is not available. “Given the circumstances we all face, we were looking to develop a creative and innovative course that would be of interest to students to take as an elective and was a good fit for the exceptional expertise we have within the college,” said USask associate dean academic Kent Kowalski. USask (SK)

MB Premier states budget cuts will likely vary, be less than 10%

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has announced that the budget cut scenarios drawn up by universities would likely not be as drastic as anticipated. On April 21st, the Government of Manitoba asked universities to prepare scenarios for budget cuts of 10%, 20%, and 30% over the next four months. Pallister now states that, "I don't expect it to be anywhere near 10 per cent impact,” adding that “it'll be less than that and it'll vary by department." Although the Premier states that he would prefer to see shared work practices over job losses, CBC notes that MB universities have already laid off hundreds of employees. CBC (MB)

Dal unveils Master of Digital Innovation degree

Dalhousie University is launching a Master of Digital Innovation degree that will train digital professionals so that they can work in any sector or industry. The program is an evolution that brings together Dal’s Master of Electronic Commerce and the Master of Health Informatics programs, while allowing the new program to expand into additional domains where digital transformation is happening now. “Through collaboration between Faculties, students will be exposed to a rich and varied educational experience that will provide them with the knowledge and skills to truly work at the intersection of technology and business within the context of any domain,” explains Dal Faculty of Computer Science Dean Andrew Rau-Chaplin. Dal (NS)

ULethbridge to launch committee to investigate reinstatement of varsity hockey teams

The University of Lethbridge is creating a committee to determine the feasibility of future Pronghorns hockey programs that were discontinued in late April. The committee—consisting of donors, alumni, and university representatives—aims to explore examples of athletic programs that have found success through community-based funding models to find a solution that would allow ULethbridge to apply for reinstatement to USPORTS. “Pronghorn Athletics are a key connector of the University and the broader community and they are critical in building future leaders,” said committee leader and ULethbridge alumnus Dan Laplante. “It is my intent that the work of this committee be thorough and expeditious in determining next steps toward the goal of reinstating Pronghorns hockey.” ULethbridge (AB)

Cambrian rebrands applied research as Cambrian R&D

Cambrian College’s Applied Research department is rebranding itself as Cambrian R&D. “No matter the industry, people understand what R&D means,” says Director of Cambrian R&D Mike Commito. “We want our name to reflect what we’re actually doing.” Alongside the rebranding, Cambrian R&D has launched a new website to enable industry and other research partners discover how the school can help with their initiatives and goals. “This new identity celebrates both our roots in academics and our future as a go-to place for industry to research, test, and put in place new innovations,” says Cambrian Vice-President International, Finance and Administration, and Applied Research Kristine Morrissey. Cambrian (ON)

RMC to not renew sessional instructors’ contract for the fall, prepares for online delivery

The Royal Military College has announced it will not be renewing the majority of its sessional instructors’ contracts this September. “Recogniz[ing] that staffing for the fall term is extremely difficult under these extraordinary circumstances, we have moved our sessional requirements as much as possible to the winter term,” wrote RMC principal Harry Kowal in a letter to the school’s academic wing. Kowal also stated that while the plan is to deliver the winter semester in-person, professors must also be prepared to provide it remotely. Toward this end, RMC will also be reducing the number of elective courses available to officer cadets. Whig Standard (ON)

Sheridan launches guide for remote delivery of spring/summer courses

Sheridan College faculty has launched an Online Learning and Teaching Guide to provide instructors with the tools, practices, and examples necessary to deliver remote courses for the Spring/Summer semester. Building from traditional classroom practices and pedagogies, the guide highlights learner-centered principles as an organizing framework such as clearly communicating expectations, encouraging student independence, and committing to continuous improvement. “The guide is designed to provide an accessible, well-researched and comprehensive overview of tools and practices that will continue to drive student engagement and learning outcomes,” said Sheridan Director, Library and Learning Services Marian Traynor. Sheridan (ON)

BUSU president, vice-president take legal action against student union over ratification

The recently elected president and vice-president of the Brandon University Students’ Union are taking the organization to court over its failure to ratify their election wins. According to a document posted in the student union’s Facebook group, the Elections and Referenda Disciplinary Interpretation and Enforcement Board has yet to ratify the results for the positions because it is investigating discrepancies in online ballots cast, as well as complaints that three students felt pressured to vote for a particular candidate. In response, the incumbent president and vice-president have filed a legal application calling for the courts to order the union to ratify the results of the election and create an injunction that would prevent the positions of president and vice-president internal from becoming vacant. Brandon Sun (1) | Brandon Sun (2) (MB)

Okanagan receives donation to support development of Health Science Centre

The Okanagan College Foundation has received a donation from the Stober Foundation to support the development of a Health Science Centre at the college’s Kelowna campus. With the support of the $500K gift, the centre will enable the training of over 450 frontline health care professionals per year over the next 40 years and will be equipped with leading-edge technology to mimic modern health care workplace settings. “Now more than ever, we recognize the critical role of frontline health care professionals,” says Keith Z Brewster, Executive Director of the Stober Foundation. “This is a strategic investment in our community’s health and well-being.” Okanagan (BC)

NU announces that Artic College campuses will remain closed until fall

The Government of Nunavut has announced that Nunavut Arctic College's campuses will remain closed until the fall. According to NU Deputy Premier David Akeeagok, the college is still determining which programs will continue via distance learning and which ones will be postponed. For the programs run out of Piqqusilirivvik, the cultural learning facility in Clyde River, programs have been cancelled for the time being for the safety of instructors, many of whom are Elders. The college notes that students will be contacted by their instructors with information on how or when their programs will resume. Information will also be posted on the college's website and social media. CBC (NU)