Top Ten

June 8, 2020

Schools announce layoffs, departures

More Canadian colleges and universities are announcing employee layoffs and departures. Keyano College has laid off 13 full-time positions, saving the school $1.2M, which Fort McMurray Today says is equivalent to 6% of the college’s budgeted workforce during the 2019-20 academic year. The college says the layoffs are due to “changing economic circumstances.” Meanwhile, CTV reports that, a few weeks after laying off “several dozen employees, Mount Royal University is parting ways” with provost and academic vice-president Lesley Brown. A reason was not provided for Brown’s departure. Fort McMurray Today (Keyano) | CTV News (MRU) (AB)

Trent, Centennial sign articulation agreement to create Business diploma, degree pathway

Trent University and Centennial College have signed an articulation agreement to create a Business diploma and degree pathway. The agreement will allow graduates of Centennial’s two-year Business accounting diploma to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in two years at Trent’s School of Business. Centennial graduates pursuing their BBA at Trent will also be eligible to complete a specialization in accounting. “Our partnership with Centennial College—the first ever 2+2 agreement between Trent and Centennial—reflects our commitment to providing students with more opportunities to set and achieve academic aspirations and career goals,” said Trent School of Business acting director Byron Lew. Trent | Centennial (ON)

Olds Smart Farm receives $5.1M in funding for Smart Ag Research Program

Olds College Smart Farm has received $5.1M in federal and industry funding to support their Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program. The program will address challenges associated with, and enhance the application of, agriculture technology development and data utilization for broad-acre, dryland cropping systems. $2M of the funding was contributed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, while the Canada Foundation for Innovation invested nearly $950K. Eight industry partners have also contributed over $2M. “Producers are interested in a place where problems can be addressed and opportunities explored,” said Olds President Stuart Cullum. “The Olds College Smart Farm is designed to be that place.” rdnewsNOW (AB)

Student groups express disappointment with UWindsor statement on George Floyd’s death

Many campus groups at the University of Windsor are questioning the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion following the release of the school’s statement in response to the death of George Floyd. For example, Jeremiah Bowers, former president of the University of Windsor Student Alliance, said the school’s statement came off as "hollow" and failed to acknowledge instances of anti-black racism on the campus. Following UWindsor’s release, a group called ExposeUWindsor drafted a response that has reportedly been signed and updated by approximately 50 student groups. "We understand the significant concerns that have been expressed by our students, and we are working on a number of initiatives to better deal with anti-Black racism at the University of Windsor," said UWindsor public affairs director John Coleman. “Ultimately, the University will be judged on our actions moving forward, which we intend to announce shortly." CBC | ExposeUWindsor (ON)

UdeM’s CRIPCAS receives $1.8M to support sexual assault, marital issues research

Université de Montréal’s Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les problèmes conjugaux et les agressions sexuelles (CRIPCAS) has received a $1.8M grant renewal from Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC). CRIPCAS conducts research on sexual assault and marital problems in terms of prevention and intervention, and the grant will allow the centre to maintain their research facilities and embark on new projects. Research projects supported by this funding include an investigation of the impact of emotional support dogs during investigative interviews with abused children and a study on the role of intimacy and well-being. UdeM (QC)

Laval, McGill researchers receive $3.6M in private funding for medical research

Université Laval and McGill University researchers have received $3.6M in funding to support medical research. AmorChem will provide $1.2M to a Laval researcher Serge Rivest to investigate a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, while two researchers at McGill will receive $1.2M each to explore treatments for ovarian cancer and the development of anti-inflammatory drugs. ArmorChem has stated that these investments are meant to help researchers continue these projects even as COVID-19 causes delays. Journal de Montréal (QC)

GDI, SIIT, USask receive funds from the Mastercard Foundation to support Indigenous students

The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and the University of Saskatchewan have partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to support Indigenous students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $840K in funding provided by Mastercard will allow the schools to provide Indigenous students with supports in the form of technological solutions to enhance remote learning, mental health and wellness supports, the creation of emergency funding, and enhancement and modification of existing wraparound supports. “This contribution will allow Indigenous students to have the access and support to stay connected and engaged in their studies while in their communities, said USask Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement Jacqueline Ottmann. NationTalk (SK)

UCalgary volunteer tutor program supports students at various education levels

The University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education’s volunteer tutoring program has allowed 224 education undergraduates help over 400 Alberta primary and secondary school students. Student and youth facilitator Mike Holden said the program helps the students, but also the preservice teachers, most of whom were near graduation when the pandemic closed schools. “This has really helped us develop our teaching styles,” said UCalgary education student Jenny Yuen. “Seeing how engaged the kids are in these sessions and helping the parents by lessening their load while we’re in these tough times, I think this program has been very helpful.” UCalgary intends to continue the tutoring program until the completion of classes, but it is still determining if the initiative will be extended through the summer. Calgary Herald (AB)

NBCC announces program changes for Fall term

New Brunswick Community College has announced several changes to its programming roster due to enrolment trends and projections, as well as the COVID-19 crisis. “As NBCC responds to New Brunswick’s changing workforce and economy, it’s more important than ever that we align our limited resources to the programs that are relevant to the province’s labour market needs and student demand,” said Ann Drennan, Vice-President, Academic and Research. Based on historic trends and projected enrolments, NBCC will suspend a number of programs for the Fall term including Carpentry, Welding, and Electrical: Construction at the school’s St Andrews Campus, Child and Youth Care at the Miramichi Campus, Building Engineering Technology: Structural at the Moncton Campus, and Electronic Engineering Technology of their Saint John Campus. NBCC (NB)

Conestoga, Capacity Canada to deliver program for non-profit board directors

Conestoga College has partnered with Capacity Canada to deliver a program to train current and potential non-profit board directors in Canada. The Modern Board Program will begin online in late June and will provide comprehensive training to board directors who have limited time and/or resources. The program’s development was sponsored by Suncor Energy Foundation. “Coupled with Capacity Canada’s growing Match Board program, which connects employees with board positions, this initiative will help employees and others to make a huge difference in leadership of hundreds of charities through volunteer work on Boards of Directors,” said chair of Capacity Canada and vice-president, Group Benefits, Sponsor Experience at Manulife Financial Joanna Lohrenz. Conestoga (ON)