Top Ten

January 28, 2021

AlgomaU receives investment of $1.98M for School of Computer Science and Technology expansion

Algoma University has received a $1.98M investment from the Government of Canada to expand its School of Computer Science and Technology. The investment will allow AlgomaU to expand its facilities, which will support areas, such as research and innovation, technology development, and testing and lab simulations. The new facility will also have spaces for student collaboration, a workspace for interactive display integration. “This investment will have a significant socio-economic impact in Sault Ste. Marie, building on the technical infrastructure required for our campus to attract and develop top student and faculty talent to the region,” said AlgomaU President Asima Vezina. AlgomaU (ON)

UVic receives $1.875M gift to support environmental and climate journalism

The University of Victoria has received a $1.875M gift from Wayne Crookes, a Vancouver business leader and political activist, to support environmental and climate journalism. The gift includes a $1.5M professorship appointed within UVic’s Department of Writing, which will focus on mentoring climate correspondents and writers, and $375K towards research and outreach through environmental journalism and media coverage. UVic says the gift will strengthen their journalism and publishing program while supporting research and outreach. “We share Mr. Crookes’ profound commitment to sustainability and believe that training journalists and artists who can communicate in ways that inform, persuade and inspire the public and political leaders is an urgent priority,” said Allana Lindgren, acting dean of UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts. UVic | Victoria Buzz (BC)

Conestoga launches Canadian Institute for Seniors Care

Conestoga College has launched the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care. The institute will focus on research and innovation, education, and workforce development, as well as the strengthening of care practices. It will also enhance national collaborations and establish a Canadian knowledge network that will support those working in seniors care. “Further efforts to improve the quality and sustainability of seniors care will have a tremendous impact on the well-being of families and communities across the nation,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are pleased to provide leadership for these efforts through the Canadian Institute for Seniors Care and greatly appreciate the longstanding support of our partners in this important initiative.” Conestoga (ON)

MacEwan, Sheridan, Lakehead sign Okanagan Charter, commit to supporting mental health

MacEwan University, Sheridan College, and Lakehead University have signed the Okanagan Charter, a charter that promotes health in all areas of campus culture. MacEwan says that the formal adoption of the charter signals its commitment to continuing to support student health. Sheridan has signed the charter and announced a new wellness strategy that will be used to fulfil the tenets of the charter. Lakehead signed the charter at the launch of its Wellness Strategy, which includes nine wellness dimensions that aim to embed systemic wellness and health into the university. MacEwan | Lakehead | Sheridan (AB | ON)

Springer investigates allegations against Journal of Health Service Psychiatry managing editor

Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed reports that Springer is investigating plagiarism allegations against Gary R VandenBos, the managing editor of Springer’s Journal of Health Service Psychiatry. The article explains that Amy Barnhorst, vice chair of psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, and a colleague had co-written a paper and had discussed publishing it with VandenBos. The article says that after Barnhorst and VandenBos disagreed on the approach, Barnhorst said she would not be publishing with the journal. However, Barnhorst alleges that the paper was then published, with some sections copied verbatim, some reworded, and some inserted. Barnhorst says that when the issue was brought up with the editor-in-chief, the response was “underwhelming,” and he later offered her co-authorship rather than giving answers, apologizing, or retracting the paper. Inside Higher Ed (International)

SK postsecondary sector partners on Healthy Campus Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan postsecondary institutions and the Government of Saskatchewan have partnered on Healthy Campus Saskatchewan. 19 postsecondary institutions are involved in the collaborative student wellness initiative, which supports students by providing them with tools, resources, and support. Healthy Campus Saskatchewan’s main areas of focus include mental health, sexual violence prevention, pandemic responses, and inclusive environments. “The key benefit of this partnership is the ability to share resources, information and ideas,” said Healthy Campus Saskatchewan spokesperson Bev Drew. “Healthy Campus Saskatchewan will work to advance the conversation around student health and wellbeing to help us be more proactive in addressing the evolving needs of students in the province.” SK (SK)

UQAM, University of Tours partner to offer double history degrees

Université du Québec à Montréal and the University of Tours have signed an agreement that allows them to offer double degrees. Master’s students taking a history program in the digital humanities will be able to receive diplomas from both institutions. UQAM Professor Benjamin Deruelle explained that the University of Tours is located in the heart of a region that is rich in history and heritage, with features such as the home of the kings of France during the Renaissance. Graduates will be prepared for careers in organizations such as museums, historical associations, and heritage and conservation groups. The program will be available in Fall 2021. UQAM (QC)

ON proposes changes to strengthen postsecondary sexual violence and harassment policies

The Government of Ontario has proposed changes to sexual violence and harassment policies at postsecondary institutions. The changes would see postsecondary institutions amend policies to prevent them from asking irrelevant questions about students’ sexual history. Complainants would also not be punished for being in violation of an institution’s drug or alcohol policies at the time the alleged violence took place. “[M]any instances of sexual violence and harassment on and around campuses go unreported, and often this is because students are afraid of reprisal or concerned that they will not be taken seriously,” said Ross Romano, ON Minister of Colleges and Universities. “That is why it is so important that there are policies in place that let those affected know they can come forward without fear of reprisal.” ON (ON)

A look at the increasingly common ‘mega donations’ made to postsecondary institutions: Friesen

The number of large philanthropic donations is increasing, writes Joe Friesen, and larger gifts of over $10M have become increasingly common as government funding has “stagnated.” Friesen connects with leadership from the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University, as well as several industry partners, to discuss the driving forces behind major donations. “Sometimes, institutions might have some great ideas floating around, but not have success in how they articulate and frame them,” said U of T VP of Advancement David Palmer. “Big ideas attract and inspire big philanthropy.” Globe and Mail (National)

McGill, Durham experience COVID-19 outbreaks

McGill University and Durham College are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. CBC reports that 44 students living in McGill residence have tested positive; the cases have been linked to close contact during unsanctioned social gatherings. The article says that McGill has temporarily banned some students living in two different residences from both their dorms and from campus for not following public health measures. “They had less than 24-hour notice to leave the premises,” said McGill student and New Residence Hall floor representative Elisha Mayer. “This comes without a warning for them, without a disciplinary meeting or without any other information.” Durham Radio News reports that Durham is experiencing an outbreak at its Oshawa campus, with a second case related to a previous case. The College has disinfected the spaces the individuals had been in, and public health has deemed them safe. CBC | Global News | Durham Radio News (QC | ON)