Top Ten

April 14, 2021

Laurentian cancels 69 programs, lays off approximately 100 faculty

Laurentian University’s academic senate has voted to cut programs and lay off instructors as part of its restructuring process. Laurentian will close a total of 69 programs: 58 undergraduate programs, half of which are French-language programs, and 11 graduate programs. Faculty members spoke to CBC about the impact that the erasure of programs such as environmental science and the bilingual midwifery program will have on the institution’s reputation and the region as a whole. Laurentian anticipates that around 10% of its undergraduate students and 44 graduate students will be affected, but states that they will work with students in affected programs to ensure they can finish their degrees. CBC says approximately 100 Laurentian professors have been issued layoff notices, with the layoffs officially taking effect on May 15. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | Laurentian (ON)

CICan launches micro-credentials report

Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan) has shared the findings of a micro-credentials report and environmental scan. CICan states that, across Canada, there is a great amount of interest in micro-credentials and agreement on their purpose, characteristics, and value. The release states that 56% of responding colleges were already offering micro-credentials, while 33% were planning on offering them in the near future. “In recent years, the Canadian labour market has been defined by technological change and disruption, creating the need for employees to consistently upgrade their skills to match,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. “The resulting need for upskilling and reskilling among many different sectors has created a trend toward short, specialized courses known as microcredentials that focus on specific competencies required by employers.” CICan (National)

Students raise concerns over UAlberta’s law program’s proposed 45% tuition increase

Students at the University of Alberta are raising concerns over an “exceptional” tuition increase of 45% for students in the Faculty of Law’s Juris Doctor program. If approved, tuition would be raised by $5K in Fall 2022 rather than the planned seven per cent increase in tuition. Edmonton Journal says that the increase would help the faculty hire more instructors, keep the law library in operation, fund additional supports for students, and reduce class sizes. Students have raised concerns about how the increase will affect the accessibility of the program. Indigenous Law Students Association President Anita Cardinal Stewart explained that UAlberta has become more diverse and welcoming, but that increasing tuition would create a barrier that would keep minorities and low-income students out. Edmonton Journal (AB)

New trades school, NCA, to offer hands-on training programs

Northern Construction Academy, a new trades school in Sudbury, is offering several hands-on training programs to prepare students for work in the trades. NCA started offering programs in AZ/DZ truck training and heavy equipment operation in March, and will be offering new courses in areas such as surface mining and non-vocational programs through the summer and beyond. “We’ve been hearing for years, from contractors and logistics companies, how they’re expressing their need for trained workers ready to operate their trucks and their construction equipment,” said Dean Derro, General Manager of NCA. “So, our goal is to assist with filling that need and training people to do things safely.” CTV News | CBC (ON)

2021 3M National Teaching Fellows announced

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) recently announced the 2021 winners of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, which celebrates 10 educators who show leadership in enhancing postsecondary education. The 2021 Fellows include Ann Braithwaite from the University of Prince Edward Island, Andrew Wilson from Mount Allison University, Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé from Bishop’s University, Andrea A Davis from York University, John Dawson from University of Guelph, Jonathan Sherbino from McMaster University, Anna Stokke from University of Winnipeg, Dietmar Kennepohl from Athabasca University, Mark Schneider from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Chantal Gibson from Simon Fraser University. Maclean’s explains that the winners become members of STLHE. Maclean’s (National)

Acadia to upgrade recreation infrastructure with support from Canada, NS

Acadia University has announced that it will be upgrading its recreational infrastructure. The upgrades include the removal and replacement of the artificial turf on Acadia’s Raymond Field, as well as the installation of new accessories for the field’s operation and maintenance. “This investment in sport and recreation infrastructure recognizes the central role Acadia facilities play, not just for our students but for people in our surrounding communities,” said Acadia President Dr Peter Ricketts. The upgrades are supported by investments from the Government of Canada, from the Government of Nova Scotia, and local and Acadia funding. Yahoo! Finance (NS)

Ryerson’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, SANS Institute partner on cybersecurity training courses

Ryerson University’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst has partnered with SANS Institute to launch the SANS Catalyst Community Courses in cybersecurity training. The courses will have open enrolment, and will use the SANS Institute curricula and content to inform students on cybersecurity in Canada. Students will also be able to access the Catalyst Cyber Range’s additional experiential learning opportunities. “This partnership will make in-person delivery of the SANS Institute’s world-leading cybersecurity training more broadly available to Canadians in Canada,” said Charles Finlay, Executive Director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. “And most importantly, the SANS curriculum will be bolstered with content specifically designed to empower Canadian cybersecurity professionals working in Canada.” NewsWire (ON)

Class-action lawsuit application filed against UNB

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the University of New Brunswick. The lawsuit argues that UNB failed to protect students from Psychiatrist Dr Manoj Bhargava when Bhargava worked at UNB’s Student Health Centre. CBC says that the College of Physicians and Surgeons suspended Bhargava in November and, since the suspension, has received 18 sexual assault complaints against him. The allegations have not been proven in court, and UNB has reportedly not filed a statement of defense. CBC | Global News (NB)

Debunking misconceptions around seeking a career outside academia: Opinion

There are many misconceptions around seeking a career outside academia to be aware of, writes Victoria Bolf. The article explains that while some people believe that seeking a non-faculty job will close the door on faculty jobs in the future, most people stay involved with academia in some way. Bolf explains that though many believe a non-faculty job will have a precise schedule, this is not necessarily the case; the transition to a 9-5 schedule can also be challenging for those used to working a more flexible workday. Finally, the author explains that it is not necessarily easy to find a non-faculty job; finding one can be just as difficult as finding a faculty job. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Georgian, Durham receive funding to support students in business, WIL

Two Ontario colleges recently received funding and investments from industry members to support students. Georgian College’s Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC) and Hyundai Canada have partnered to support Black and Indigenous automotive business students. Hyundai Canada will invest over $250K over seven years in awards to support students who self-identify as Black or Indigenous through renewable entrance awards. Durham College received nearly $500K from the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada to support students in work-integrated learning programs. The funds will go toward new technologies and opportunities. NationTalk (Georgian) | Durham (ON)