Top Ten

December 9, 2020

SFU receives $34.1M for scholarships for equity-deserving students

Simon Fraser University has received a $34.1M gift from alumnus Lance Uggla and his family. The funds will be used to create scholarships that will cover tuition, housing, and other expenses for 10 exceptional equity-deserving students each year. Students will begin their journey in the Uggla Family Scholars program each Fall and will be able to participate in a comprehensive leadership program with co-curricular opportunities. “We are inspired by and deeply grateful for the Uggla family’s profound vision to empower the future leaders our diverse communities need,” said SFU President Joy Johnson. “This is truly a transformative gift that will help to change lives, advance society and enable SFU to continue its growth as a leading advocate of equity, diversity and inclusion.” SFU states that the gift is the largest ever received in the institution’s history. SFU (BC)

NS provides one-time grant to students who took out loans in 2020

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced that it will be providing a one-time grant of $750 to 13,000 college and university students who took out loans this school year. “It’s very, very good news,” said NS Minister of Advanced Education Lena Metlege Diab. “It could go for groceries, it could go for personal items. You know, $750 that you don't expect in the month of January, I’d say that’s very good news.” The grant will be deposited directly into students’ bank accounts. Students Nova Scotia has applauded the effort, although Executive Director Clancy McDaniel added that students would like to see the costs and barriers they are facing further addressed. CBC | SNS (NS)

ON passes Bill 213, CCC moves closer to becoming a degree-granting institution

The Government of Ontario has passed Bill 213, which CBC reports will give Canada Christian College the ability to grant degrees for Bachelor of Arts and Science programs pending an independent review. CBC states that it is not immediately clear when the provincial agency conducting the review will conclude its work. OCUFA has condemned this move, arguing that CCC does not meet the minimum standards of an Ontario university and that CCC promotes views that target minorities. “Giving private institutions degree-awarding privileges undermines postsecondary education in Ontario as private institutions do not follow the rigorous standards of public postsecondary institutions, which ensure the accessibility and quality of the institutions and their educational programs,” said Rahul Sapra, President of OCUFA. CBC | The Star | OCUFA (ON)

UQAM, University of Liège partner on urban agriculture

Université du Québec à Montréal has announced a partnership in urban agriculture with the University of Liège in Belgium. Through the partnership, UQAM and the University of Liège will develop research and training in urban agriculture and share their knowledge, skills, and research platforms. The partnership will also enable experts from the two institutions to network, make accelerated research in urban agriculture possible, and promote knowledge transfer. To mark the launch of the partnership, the University of Liège inaugurated a new teaching and research platform called the Wasabi Project, which will allow national and international researchers to contribute to knowledge on urban agriculture. UQAM (QC)

SK introduces Massage Therapy Act, regulating therapists

The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced The Massage Therapy Act. This act will establish the Saskatchewan College of Massage Therapy, a new regulatory body that will govern therapists in the province. The college will be a stand-alone regulatory body, separate from the existing organizations such as the Therapists Association of Saskatchewan, Natural Health Practitioners of Canada, or Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association. Once established, the body will develop competency and practice standards, a code of ethics, and an investigation/discipline process for the profession. “Establishing self-regulation for massage therapy in our province will help ensure that the services people receive are safe and appropriate,” SK Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “This will give greater assurance to the public that the practitioner they’re seeing meets established competency standards.” SK (SK)

Trent launches Master’s in Strategic Change Management

Trent University has launched a Master of Management degree in Strategic Change Management. Trent states that the 16-month program will include a hands-on summer work-integrated learning component to give graduates a competitive edge. “Proactive leadership and the ability to adapt will be key to success in these rapidly changing conditions,” said Scott Henderson, dean and head of Trent Durham GTA. “The new Master of Management in Strategic Change Management will shape future leaders to be specialists in effecting organizational change.” The program is reportedly the first of its kind in Canada. It will launch in September 2021. Trent (ON)

UNBC denies claims of whistleblower who alleges wrongful dismissal

The University of Northern British Columbia has filed a response to the claims of former University Secretary (Governance) Heather Sanford, denying Sanford’s accusations of improper conduct by UNBC’s upper management. Sanford’s allegations included the unauthorized use of Sanford’s office’s letterhead, salary raises without board review, severance packages signed without board approval, and a failure to follow proper procedures regarding special meetings. Sanford says her position was eliminated shortly after she had “blown the whistle” on various matters. The Prince George Citizen reports that UNBC has argued that Sanford was not terminated, but that her position was eliminated to help with a $3.5M budget shortfall. Prince George Citizen | The Star (Original Claim) (BC)

Supporting a faculty member who has been trolled: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should be prepared to appropriately support scholars who are “trolled” when engaging in public scholarship, writes Susan M Shaw. The article describes some of the ways that institutions can take action when “trolls” attack a scholar with emails, phone calls, and messages directed to them and their superiors. Departmental and administrative support helps to ensure that faculty members feel secure and to empower faculty to continue engaging in public scholarship. Shaw encourages institutions to use a proportional response, and to not add to the attack through unnecessary public statements or emails. Shaw also describes how diversity offices, public safety, tech services, and campus colleagues all play a role in supporting “trolled” professors and ensuring their safety. “Colleges and universities should have the courage to champion faculty when they do their jobs,” said Shaw. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UWindsor RAACES observes day of mourning over anti-Black racism

The University of Windsor’s Researchers, Academics, Advocates of Colour for Equity in Solidarity (RAACES) group has announced that it has designated the first Monday of each month as a day of mourning over anti-Black racism. The group first observed the day of mourning on Monday. CBC reports that instructors are participating by not answering emails or messages. RAACES also recommends that students be given extensions or exam cancellations similar to if they had lost a family member. The action comes after several incidents on campus, including faculty members receiving racist and threatening messages, UWindsor’s handling of a Black student’s assault complaint, and members of the unaffiliated Delta Chi fraternity sending racist and hateful Facebook messages. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | CBC (3) (ON)

CASBE receives funds to improve support for SMEs

Alberta Innovates and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have made a joint $4.6M investment into Alberta’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The funds will see the Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) program expand, providing SMEs with greater access to postsecondary institutions’ emerging technologies, qualified people, facilities, and equipment. “Universities, polytechnics, and colleges around Alberta are benefitting from the investments made by Alberta Innovates and NSERC. The collaborations and partnerships that form out of the work we do today are positioning our post-secondary institutions at the forefront of both research and industry impact,” said AB Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. “That’s not only good for Alberta but for Canada.” Alberta Innovates (AB)