Top Ten

April 5, 2021

Canadian institutions, student newspapers issue April Fools editions

While many institutions passed on issuing April Fool’s jokes last Thursday, a handful of colleges, universities, and student newspapers published spoofs and news articles on April 1st. The University of Windsor announced that the anthrozoology program would be opening its admissions to “qualified canines,” the University of the Fraser Valley announced that its 1.5-hectare green on campus would be traded in for the Food Opportunity & Operational Land (FOOL) centre, Cape Breton University announced a new “Early Puppyhood Education” program, and Canadore College announced a new “Pond Diving” program. The Western Gazette issued a full spoof edition that included articles announcing the new therapy animal on campus – Canadian Geese – and sharing that Ivey business students would be required to wear suits that are “Gucci or better” moving forward. UWindsor | UFV | Canadore | CBU Western (National)

Canada, BC invest in new buses, UVic transit infrastructure

The Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada are investing $9.4M in funding for transit infrastructure improvements at the University of Victoria and new buses in Victoria. The buses will hold more passengers, which will benefit students by allowing them to spend less time waiting for the bus. The federal government will also invest $1.7M into improving nine bus bays, six bus shelters and two layover bays on UVic’s Ring Road, as well as redeveloping UVic’s pedestrian and bike storage infrastructure. “It’ll help us reach our goal of having 70 per cent of all trips to and from campus being with sustainable modes of transportation,” said UVic president Kevin Hall. Saanich News | CTV News | Times Colonist (BC)

Canada settles CRC human rights complaint, new requirements placed on universities

The Government of Canada’s Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat has released a settlement it reached with University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran based on a human rights complaint filed in 2016. The settlement is reportedly the second human-rights settlement concerning equity in the Canada Research Chairs program. The new settlement places new requirements on universities when they nominate academics for the CRC award. The Globe and Mail reports that universities are now required to finalize equity plans and meet transparency requirements in order to have their nominations processed, and that universities that fail to meet the targets will only be able to nominate individuals from an underrepresented equity group. Universities will also have their research chair numbers reduced if targets are not met by December 2029. Globe and Mail [Subscription Required] (National)

Laurentian dissolves relationship with three federated institutions

Laurentian University has announced that it will be terminating its agreements with three federated universities – Huntington University, Thorneloe University, and the University of Sudbury – as part of its restructuring process. The funding that Laurentian previously shared with the federated universities will now be kept by Laurentian, according to the Sudbury Star, and programs offered by the federated institutions will be replaced by Laurentian. Faculty, staff and students are calling Laurentian’s decision to dissolve a relationship with them “a betrayal,” reports CBC. "As a tenured professor after 14 years of service here, that's upsetting," wrote Thorneloe associate professor Dr Aven McMaster, who received an email Thursday night with the news. "I will be going into classes next week quite possibly to teach my last classes ever as a professor because, in this current world, the likelihood of me being able to find another job in this profession is small." CBC | CTV News | The Sudbury Star (ON)

Keyano launches Esports Management program

Keyano College is launching a Business Administration diploma with a specialization in Esports Management. The two-year program will allow students to study topics such as team and league administration or coaching; marketing, sponsorship, and promotion; and media, production, and content management. Students will complete ten Esports courses and a work-integrated learning component. “Keyano College is keenly aware of the opportunity for students wanting to enter into the arena of competitive video gaming on a professional level,” said Dr Vincella Thompson, Dean, School of University Studies, Career Programs and Academic Upgrading at Keyano. “We are prepared to teach them what they will need to know to succeed and thrive in this industry.” Keyano | Fort McMurray Today (AB)

Confederation closes Wawa satellite campus

Confederation College has announced that it will be closing its Wawa, Ontario satellite campus due to low enrolment. “It is not sustainable for us to maintain the physical campus,” said Neil Cooke, Confederation VP, academic. “While we will no longer have a bricks and mortar location, our commitment to the Wawa community remains strong,” The campus will be closing in August, but Confederation plans to continue its presence in the region through its distance education division. The college will also continue to work with partners on contract training opportunities. Cooke says changes to other campuses are not anticipated. tbnewswatch | Wawa News (ON)

UQAM sues student for $125K for over explicit photo allegations

The Université du Québec à Montréal is suing a visual arts student for $125K for allegedly posting explicit photos on social media that included the UQAM name or logo, reports CTV News. The student reportedly posted several partially nude photos of herself on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that contained the UQAM name or logo. When asked to remove the images, the student allegedly removed an Instagram post, but did not remove the photos posted on Twitter and Facebook. The student subsequently published new photos on social media. UQAM has argued that these posts caused “substantial damage” to its reputation and that it is seeking an “urgent” injunction to prevent the student from posting more photos with the UQAM name or logo. CTV News | West Island Blog (QC)

ON funding for postsecondary institutions deemed insufficient by NDP critic

The Ontario NDP critic for postsecondary education Laura Mae Lindo has expressed concerns about the Government of Ontario’s recently released budget. The article explains that while ON universities have lost an estimated $1B due to COVID-19, ON has only offered $100M in help. “The latest budget provides no respite for students or for those working in the post-secondary sector,” said Lindo. Lindo also criticized ON’s refusal to defer OSAP repayments and choice to discontinue the tuition freeze. The Star further reports on the difficulties ON postsecondary institutions have had with putting courses online and enhancing their safety precautions while losing revenue from residences and empty campuses. The Star (ON)

Hiring experienced international educators for SIO positions: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should seek experienced international educators to fill the role of Senior International Officer (SIO), write Harvey Charles and Anthony Ogden. The authors explain that institutional leaders in the US have a variety of ideas of what makes a candidate qualified for the role, but that it takes training to qualify someone to be SIO. Charles and Ogden argue that an experienced SIO will have qualities such as intercultural competency, articulation of rationales for internationalization, understanding of common strategic frameworks, and knowledge of how to support faculty in international teaching or research. “[T]ime has come to not just welcome, but actively seek professional international educators who have the skills, knowledge, attributes and experience to provide leadership that can help navigate this uncertain future,” write the authors. University World News (International)

UWaterloo reports all-residence COVID-19 outbreak

The University of Waterloo is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak that includes all of its student residences. CBC says that 27 cases have been confirmed in the outbreak, and 2,000 students have been told to stay within their dorms except for when they are eating, studying, or exercising. Public health linked the outbreak to off-campus gatherings in which people spent time indoors without masks or distancing. “For people who have acted recklessly and gathered repeatedly with people outside your household: We care about you and we are worried about your wellbeing,” said UWaterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur. “However, know that you’ve let us all down badly. Your behaviour risks your health and your education, and it needs to stop, now.” CBC | The Record (ON)