Top Ten

November 6, 2020

Canada Christian College controversy continues to escalate in ON

The controversy surrounding Canada Christian College and its application to create new degree programs and become the Canada University and School of Graduate Theological Studies has continued to escalate. The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC), which represents over 435,000 faculty, staff and students, has issued a statement expressing concern with the legislation related to the institution and arguing that it should be denied university status. CBC reports that a video has emerged of ON Premier Doug Ford sending personal birthday wishes to CCC head Charles McVety in 2019. The article further states that the college has not completed ON’s official independent process for approving degree programs. CBC | OCUFA (OUCC) (ON)

MUN, AU partner on graduate student, supervisor support

Memorial University and Athabasca University have partnered to help graduate students and their supervisors overcome challenges which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The two institutions will collaborate on graduate student access to remote professional development, faculty member access to professional development on graduate student supervision, and developing opportunities that support graduate student training and supervision. “The professional development of graduate students and their supervisors is considered an essential element in the delivery of modern graduate education and graduate studies faculties are working hard to meet their needs,” said Shawn Fraser, dean of AU’s Faculty of Graduate Studies. “By working together, we will be able to strengthen and improve opportunities for graduate students and supervisors at AU and MUN.” AU (NL | AB)

Being an effective leader during intradepartmental controversies: Opinion

Faculty members have the responsibility to create an inclusive environment that does not encourage student involvement in intradepartmental issues, write Ronald J Threadgill, Nicholas C Burbules, and CK Gunsalus. The article says that faculty should remain professional during intradepartmental clashes; be role models in how to have difficult conversations; and refrain from encouraging students, who are already in vulnerable positions, to engage in departmental controversies. The authors recommend that faculty members should use reflection to consider the sources of conflict, assess their goals, create strategies for reducing conflict, and strengthen their self-awareness. “How we deal with these matters, and how students see us deal with them, communicates more about our educational priorities than anything we overtly say,” the authors write. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Canadian universities innovate to stop spread of COVID-19

Canadian universities are developing new technology and performing new research to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. A Biosafety Level 3 lab at the University of Calgary that had been closed for about a decade has been reopened to allow researchers to study the live SARS-CoV-2 virus. A team from the University of Alberta will be leading a consultation with Canadians via a national survey that will help immunization campaigns to be effective. A team from the University of Guelph is testing a technology - which previously was used to decontaminate fruit - for its applicability with personal protection equipment. The technology would be more environmentally friendly and could allow for the reuse of surgical gowns and N95 masks. CBC | CBC | CBC (National)

Northern College signs MOU to improve Porcupine Lake ecosystem

Northern College, the City of Timmins, and The Friends of the Porcupine River Watershed have signed a MOU to improve the environmental conditions around Porcupine Lake. The five-year partnership will see an increase in a variety of environmental activities and plans, including community-based workshops, fish and wildlife counts, and the planting of a memorial garden and an Indigenous sacred garden. “Seeing the ways in which we can work together with the teachings of those both here now and before us to improve the circumstances of this lake and the watershed it feeds will be intrinsic to continued wellness being sought in all that we do here at Northern,” stated Lillian Trapper, Chair of the Northern College Indigenous Council on Education (NCICE). Northern College (ON)

UNB, Parks Canada establish aquatic restoration research chair

Parks Canada has established its first research chair in aquatic restoration at the University of New Brunswick. UNB Biological Sciences research associate Kurt Samways has been chosen for the chair, which is funded by a contribution of $500K from the Atlantic salmon recovery project. “We’re proud to host Parks Canada’s first Research Chair, strengthening our capacity to deliver ground-breaking marine, coastal and freshwater science research and learning opportunities across our institution and particularly on our Saint John campus,” said UNB President Paul J Mazerolle. “Our students, our communities, our national parks and our future will be the beneficiaries of this partnership.” UNB | Cision (NB)

CASA, QSU organize digital month of advocacy

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Quebec Student Union (QSU) have worked together to organize a digital month of advocacy to meet the changing needs of postsecondary students. The organizations will focus on five major priorities: “expanding access to trade re-skilling, reducing mental health barriers for Indigenous post-secondary students, streamlining the ability for international students to work in Canada, improving access to affordable childcare, and increasing the Canadian Research Granting Agencies student scholarship funding.” The month of digital advocacy will represent 365,000 students. Nation Talk (National)

King’s launches The King’s Promise program to guarantee graduate employment

King’s University College has launched a new program that guarantees meaningful employment to its graduates within six months of their graduation. The King’s Promise will focus on student engagement and career development, while giving students valuable experiences to put on their resumes. If students are unable to find meaningful employment after six months, they can participate in additional career preparation and take undergraduate courses free of charge for a year. “The King’s Promise will prepare our graduates to animate workplaces that put emphasis on the values of growth, development and personal fulfilment for individuals and the community, consistent with our mission at King’s,” said King’s UC Principal David Malloy. King’s (ON)

Students, counsellors need more information about skilled trades to bridge “apathy gap”: Opinion

Students do not know enough about the skilled trades to understand if they would like to pursue them, writes Tim Carson of BCcampus, and counsellors additionally often lament that they do not have enough information about the skilled trades. The author says that many counsellors are surprised to hear that programs for the skilled trades are similar in length to university or college pathways, and that graduates are paid well for the work they do even though the work is difficult. To combat the “apathy gap,” Carson says that more advocacy needs to be done for the skilled trades. “Trades should not be considered a consolation prize for those “deemed” unable to enter the university or college pathways,” said Carson. BCcampus (National)

MtA, TNEGI partner to improve opportunities for Indigenous students

Mount Allison University has partnered with the Three Nations Education Group Inc (TNEGI) through a MOU that will improve educational opportunities for First Nations students. The partnership will enable MtA and TNEGI to plan, develop, and implement strategies to support Indigenous youth through educational opportunities and community-based projects. “Mount Allison is honoured to begin this new partnership with the Three Nations Education Group through the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding,” says MtA President Jean-Paul Boudreau. “As an institution, we recognize that reconciliation can only be truly achieved in partnership with our First Nations communities. I look forward to seeing the creation of the Institute as well as future projects and initiatives from this collaboration.” MtA (NB)