Top Ten

July 28, 2020

York to begin construction on $275.5M Markham Centre Campus

York University has announced that it will be moving forward with the construction of the university’s $275.5M Markham Centre Campus with the approval of the Government of Ontario. Construction of the new campus is expected to begin in a few days, and is the first project proceeding under ON’s updated Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework. “The Markham Centre Campus will offer professionally relevant degree programs and micro-credentials with a strong focus on digital technologies, entrepreneurship and experiential education in high demand areas such as business and entrepreneurship, data analytics, new media and communications,” said York President Rhonda L Lenton. The new campus is expected to open Fall 2023. ON | York (ON )

USask-led Indigenous health research network to be housed at Station 20 West

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that Station 20 West will be the new national coordinating centre for the nine Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) across Canada. Both the national NEIHR coordinating centre and Saskatchewan-specific networks will soon have staff moving into the space leased by USask at Station 20 West. The Saskatchewan networks will work with researchers at USask, University of Regina, and First Nations University, and with partners including the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. “First Nations and Métis people will lead the research projects and help identify research priorities,” said Caroline Tait, researcher at USask College of Medicine and member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. “This location at Station 20 West makes it much easier when working with our Elders because it is easy to access by car or transit.” USask (SK)

Trent receives $4.8M federal investment for Cleantech Accelerator

Trent University has received $4.8M from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to support infrastructure development in the Trent Enterprise Centre (TEC). TEC is an on-campus accelerator initiative designed to support the commercialization of clean technologies. Trent describes the centre as the only clean-technology accelerator in Canada with both shared laboratories and pilot facilities to support clean-tech start-ups, business growth, and commercialization. “This major federal investment supports our exciting development at Cleantech Commons, which will make the Greater Peterborough region an emerging hub of clean, green technology,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. “In partnership with the City of Peterborough, we are working to not only be a leader in this emerging technology field but to also spur economic growth by creating science-based jobs, retaining top talent, driving innovation and attracting more investment.” Trent | Global News (ON)

Pandemic shakes up the world of scientific publishing: Opinion

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an explosion in the production of scientific articles and data,” writes Damien Grapton, asking “will the pandemic change the research culture or how results are made available in the future?” From their conversations with Vincent Larivière, Canada Research Chair in the Transformations of Scholarly Communication at Université de Montréal, Grapton outlines the growing power of prepublication amid the pandemic, while contesting arguments that the lack of peer review on these platforms is “really a problem.” By making their articles freely accessible, publishers are setting a precedent, argues Larivière, effectively acknowledging that “barriers to access are an obstacle to the advancement of knowledge.” University Affairs (National)

Queen’s medical school increasing efforts to recruit Black, Indigenous students

Queen’s University School of Medicine has launched a new admissions pathway for Black and Indigenous students in order to reduce systemic barriers to medical education. Specifically, Queen’s will allocate 10 of the 100 seats in each class of its medical program to Black and Indigenous students, beginning with the 2020-2021 undergraduate application cycle. “Queen’s recognizes that Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians have been historically underrepresented in the medical profession, and that standard medical admissions practices have imposed barriers to these groups,” said Queen’s Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Jane Philpott. “Our faculty aims to become a leader in Canada in cultural safety, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and anti-oppression in health professions education.” Queen’s | Whig Standard (ON)

CAFA opposes new provincial working group

The Confederacy of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA) is expressing their “deep concern” regarding a working group formed by the Government of Alberta to assess ways to attain more federal research dollars for postsecondary institutions. The new working group will examine funding disparities and will engage the federal government to ensure that, “Alberta’s post-secondary institutions [receive] their fair share of research dollars.” However, CAFA believes that the move will politicize a functional funding application process and put research dollars at risk. CADA President Kevin Kane argues that the formation of the working group “shows the UCP government doesn’t understand that projects are awarded in a competitive process judged by expert peers from across the country,” reports the Edmonton Journal. Edmonton Journal | AB (AB )

International students face challenging conditions for Fall classes amid IRCC decision

Following the Government of Canada’s announcement last week that international students will not be allowed to enter Canada this Fall if they received a student visa after the border lockdown on March 18th, many international students are wondering how they will cope. University of British Columbia international student Aradhita Arora explained that she will need to study late at night, due to a 12-hour time difference, with an unreliable internet connection. Chandan Samal, an international student at the University of Toronto from India, faces a similar issue and is already preparing for online classes by sleeping during the day and staying up at night to sync his sleep cycle with lectures. Some commentators, such as education recruiter Earl Blaney, criticized the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada department’s handling of the situation, stating that it is a total “disaster for international students.” CBC | The Star (National)

UFV, partners launch Community Health and Social Innovation Hub

The University of the Fraser Valley has partnered with community organizations to launch the Community Health and Social Innovation Hub (CHASI), a centre that will help identify and apply innovations that improve individual and community health. Working with the First Nations Health Authority, Fraser Health, and the Divisions of Family Practice of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission, the centre conducts multidisciplinary research that draws on the expertise of faculty and students from a variety of disciplines, including nursing, psychology, sociology, kinesiology, economics, and computing sciences. “The focus of the Hub is to support the translation of research into action,” said UFV Director of the Health and Social Innovation Hub Martha Dow. “It’s really all about bridging the university with the communities we serve through knowledge mobilization. We want to collaborate with our partners as we answer the question ‘given what we know, what should we do?'” UFV (BC)

Former students go public with complaints of sexual harassment against UMoncton prof

Following complaints made on social media, the University of Moncton is investigating the actions and behaviours of one of the university’s drama professors. CBC reports that it is not clear how many complaints have been made against Andréi Zaharia, but spoke to several former students who testified to experiencing a range of inappropriate sexualized behaviours and actions at the hands of the professor. The association representing UMoncton professors has indicated that they are aware of the allegations of misconduct and is engaging in the necessary investigatory follow-ups. CBC | Radio-Canada (NB)

Canadore maintains ties with WE charity amid controversy

Canadore College and Canadore Students’ Council have announced their plans to continue their partnership with WE Schools amid the recent controversy. Canadore and the CSC have participated in peer-to-peer leadership development with WE Schools since 2017, with training expected to happen remotely this year. “WE Canadore student leaders typically volunteer more than 1,100 hours annually within North Bay and district,” said Canadore President George Burton. “Canadore College and Canadore Students’ Council plan to continue their partnership with WE Schools in the foreseeable future. However, we will review our relationship as the issue unfolds.” Sudbury Star | North Bay Nugget (ON)