Top Ten

April 6, 2021

McGill receives $5M for retail sector research, SME support

McGill University has announced that the Bensadoun School of Retail Management will receive $5M from the Government of Quebec’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation to support interdisciplinary research and QC small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The funding will be provided over four years, and a significant portion of the funds will support Bensadoun School’s retail innovation lab. The funding will also provide SMEs with professional development opportunities, executive education, and disseminating knowledge and best practices. “The retail sector—and SMEs in particular—has been strongly impacted by the pandemic. Innovation and digitization are critical to revitalizing the ‘new economy’. We are poised and excited to help put Quebec on the map as a hub of world-class retail excellence.” said Charles de Brabant, Executive Director at the Bensadoun School. McGill (QC)

Thorneloe applies to Court to block dissolving of federation agreements

Thorneloe University is seeking remedy in court to block Laurentian University’s attempt to dissolve its federation agreement. Thorneloe states that it was sent a “notice of its intention to disclaim or resiliate” its federation agreement, even though the federation agreement contains no termination provision that would allow this. “Thorneloe is not the cause of Laurentian’s financial problems which have been well known for many months to the Laurentian’s administration, as well as to the Ontario government,” Thorneloe president John Gibaut explained. “Thorneloe and the programs it offers play an important role with Laurentian and the Northern Ontario communities we serve. We will oppose this attempt by Laurentian to shut down Thorneloe as a scapegoat for Laurentian’s self-inflicted financial problems.” Newswire (Thorneloe) (ON)

A reflection on bringing Black studies to Canadian universities: Cooper

Afua Cooper, professor of Black Studies at Dalhousie University, reflects on her experiences and challenges of teaching Black studies in Canada over the course of her career. Cooper describes reactions and resistance to her work, and goes on to highlight the changing dynamics in the field and establishment of new initiatives and events focused on Black and Diaspora studies in recent years. Cooper concludes by stating that Canadian universities must advance equity through interdisciplinary programs for social science and humanities, and transdisciplinary approaches. “Anti-Black racism has been an integral part of the Canadian intellectual tradition,” writes Cooper. “This tradition has actively denied Blacks a role in history and nation building, erasing Black people and their history from the Canadian historical canon.” The Conversation (National)

UQAR, UQO receive QC funding to open, develop university branches

The Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Université du Québec en Outaouais have received funding from the Government of Quebec for campus opening and expansion projects. UQAR has received $300K from the QC to establish a branch in Baie-Comeau. This branch will allow students to access university services without leaving the region while fueling QC’s economic growth. UQO will receive $60.5M in funding from QC for a unified campus project at its Gatineau campus. The project focuses on adding new programs, creating an environment of innovation, accommodating more students, fostering a vibrant student life, and strengthening UQO’s presence in Gatineau. UQAR | UQO (QC)

UCalgary increases tuition, cuts jobs, reduces spending in response to budget cut

The University of Calgary is responding to the Government of Alberta’s 5.4% budget cut by increasing tuition, cutting jobs, and reducing spending on campus. CBC reports that UCalgary is raising tuition by 7%, while also trying to enhance experiential learning opportunities with local businesses. However, UCalgary students’ union president Frank Finley said that the tuition hike shows students that investing in university is riskier. Finley also explained that some students will have to choose between paying tuition and buying food or paying rent. “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone feeling they should leave Alberta because of these government cuts,” said Finley. “It takes away the ability of people to choose their own paths and that hurts all Albertans.” Calgary Herald | CBC (AB)

Interpreting CVs to effectively evaluate job candidates

Those involved in the process of hiring new faculty should learn how to “read” CVs in order to more effectively evaluate job candidates, writes David D Perlmutter. The author explains that while academics are always asked for their CVs, administrators and search committees may not know what to look for in them. The author suggests using a matrix of required and preferred qualifications to rank candidates to ensure fairness and a good fit. Perlmutter explains that aspects such as dissertation title or volunteer activities can reveal a candidate’s priorities and show if they will be committed. The author also explains that the CV shows career progress and momentum, can provide examples of flexibility and agility, and can highlight what the candidate will need to be successful in the position. Finally, Perlmutter explains that the CV can help committee members think of follow-up questions for the candidate. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

Selkirk discontinues men’s ice hockey team

Selkirk College has announced that it will be discontinuing its men’s ice hockey team. Selkirk explains that the decision has been made due to budgetary constraints relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is with a heavy heart that we are officially announcing that the team will be discontinued,” said Selkirk VP of Students & Advancement John Kincaid in an open letter to the community. “This was a very difficult decision, but the current landscape in our region and province made the idea of icing a team into the future not possible.” Selkirk | Selkirk (Letter) (BC)

Centennial hospitality program receives SMART + Premium accreditation

Centennial College has announced that its Hotel Resort and Restaurant Management graduate certificate program has achieved SMART + Premium accreditation, which marks the college’s third program to receive this accreditation. The accreditation shows that Centennial has met or exceeded industry standards within its program, while also providing benchmarks that Centennial can use to improve its program. “We are delighted to recognize Centennial College’s commitment to excellence in education,” said Philip Mondor, president of Tourism HR Canada. “Its focus on collaborative, hands-on programming that aligns with the current and emerging skills sought by industry helps to ensure Canada has the adaptable, inventive talent that will help our sector recover and thrive as the visitor economy reopens.” Centennial (ON)

Cleaning staff experiences during COVID-19: Opinion

Elissa Nadworny of the National Public Radio describes the challenges of custodial staff during COVID-19. The article describes how at a US university, custodial staff have often felt underappreciated while completing essential work, such as keeping campus buildings clean and sanitary during the pandemic. The author explains that custodial staff had to choose between continuing their work and facing fears about COVID-19 or choosing another career. “Some staff felt like, ‘They’re leaving us here and who cares about us?’” said Tanya Hughes, who oversees a residential hall cleaning staff. “Without us this campus shuts down.” NPR (International)

Carleton PhD student denied bail after arrest in Turkey

CBC reports that Cihan Erdal, a Carleton University PhD student, has been arrested and detained in Turkey for over six months. Reporter Kimberly Molina says that seven years ago, Erdal made a social media post that shared a page from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party and another which linked to a newspaper article about a father whose son was killed by special forces. The article says that Erdal’s legal team has argued that these two posts were not enough to warrant detainment until the trial, but the student’s bail has been denied, meaning that he will stay in prison for at least a month longer. CBC (ON)