Top Ten

July 2, 2021

Confederation, Humber, Seneca to create Indigenous Leadership degree program

Confederation College, Humber College, and Seneca College have collaborated to create an Indigenous Leadership degree program inspired by the need to contribute to decolonization and reconciliation. The program will be informed by a program previously established by Confederation, and will be designed, developed, and offered by all three institutions. It will prioritize the needs of Indigenous students and their communities by providing accessible, flexible, and responsive learning opportunities. “The nature of this partnership reflects multiple aspects of the Indigenous lived experience,” said Mark Solomon, Dean, Student Services and Indigenous Education at Seneca. “Giving students access to education about northern and urban Indigenous realities in Ontario will provide future leaders the right training for all situations upon graduation.” The institutions aim to have the program ready for Winter 2023. Confederation (ON)

Canada, ON announce investments in research, development, innovation

The Government of Canada and Government of Ontario have announced funding that will support postsecondary research, innovation, and development projects. ON will provide over $70.4M to 176 projects to cover costs associated with research operations and infrastructure, which include renovations and equipping facilities with new technology. Through competitions such as the College and Community Innovation program and the College-Industry Innovation Fund, Canada will be providing over $38M to colleges, cégeps, and polytechnics across the country to support partnerships with local companies and community organizations. “We proudly support our outstanding research talent as well as our small- and medium-sized businesses, which are the engines of our economy,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This will help Canada’s colleges to work collaboratively with local companies by bringing researchers, students, and industry partners together to address local challenges and create jobs and growth here in Canada.” ON | Canada (NSERC) (National)

TRU to receive $5M endowment for fire science research chair from BC

Thompson Rivers University will receive a $5M endowment from the Government of British Columbia to fund a new fire science research chair. The investment is part of a multi-million-dollar investment from BC into reducing the risk and impact of wildfires in the province. Dr Mike Flannigan has been named the BC research chair in predictive services, emergency management and fire science, and will focus on work related to predicting extreme fire weather, locations where wildfires start, and developing early warning wildfire notification systems. “Too many British Columbians have seen the devastating impacts of wildfires and the havoc wreaked on people’s lives, homes, local economies, wildlife and the environment,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “We’re fortunate to have the experience of Mike Flannigan assume this new research chair, the first of its kind in BC, and how this unique and timely research will benefit other post-secondary institutions through knowledge exchange.” BC (BC )

Acadia warns students, community about crow attacks

Acadia University’s Department of Safety and Security has emailed students and published an advisory warning campus visitors about aggressive crows. The crows have reportedly been attacking people on campus, particularly those carrying food. Acadia encourages those on campus to carry an umbrella, wear a hat, “make eye contact with the crow,” and avoid wearing shiny objects or carrying food, if possible. “If a crow does swoop at you, wave your hand at the bird and leave the area immediately,” reads the Safety and Security website notice. “Crows have excellent memories so change your route regularly.” National Post (NS)

Surpassing pain points of publication: Opinion

Academics publishing their first manuscript can find it difficult to navigate obstacles in the way of publishing, writes Nicole Mansfield Wright. The author describes the “four pain points of publication” and offers guidance on how to surpass them. Wright describes how academics can prepare to transition their dissertation to book form and provides guidance on how to network with publishers. The author also explains that academics should thoughtfully prepare for the publisher’s board review by clarifying the book’s wider appeal, returning to initial readers’ reports, and rechecking the publisher’s recent releases; and provides tips on the publication process, such as negotiating contracts and ensuring the book’s title is SEO friendly. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Ryerson donors hesitate, go quiet in face of name change debate

The Star reports that Ryerson University donors are reconsidering donating or making their donations public due to the controversy around Ryerson’s name. The article says that some donors have indicated that Ryerson’s response to changing its name will affect their future generosity, with some donors calling for Ryerson to change its name and some asking that Ryerson keep its name. “Some have said that, until we change the name of the university, or decide to retain the name of the university, ‘I’m going to sit on the sidelines,’” said Ian Mishkel, VP of university advancement and alumni relations. Mishkel also notes that though the university’s overall donation revenue has not been notably impacted, some donors are hesitant to associate their brands with Ryerson and have opted to donate without an enthusiastic press release. The Star (ON)

RSEQ, OUA, OCAA announce resumption of postsecondary sports in Fall semester

The Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) has announced that sports in the postsecondary sector will be resuming in the Fall 2021 semester. Most sports should be able to resume normal activities, reports Journal de Montréal, though the details regarding rugby are still unclear due to the close physical contact of the players. RSEQ anticipates that sports schedules will be released soon, with training camps at some institutions starting in early August. In Ontario, the Ontario University Athletics and Ontario College Athletics Association met with the Ministry of Sport earlier in June to determine what would be necessary for a return to play.Both expressed hope that athletic competitions would begin along with the school year in September. Canada West has announced changes to its sport formats earlier this Spring, and recently released the schedules for individual sports such as basketball, volleyball, and field hockey. Journal de Montréal | CBC | Canada West (National)

16-year-old becomes youngest U of T graduate in 40 years

16-year-old student Vivian Xie has become the youngest person to graduate from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Art and Sciences in over 40 years. "She's graduating from university before most students think about going to university," said U of T Innis College Principal Charlie Keil. CTV News and CBC explain that Xie was inspired by her grandmother, and that she skipped several grades during her K-12 studies before beginning her undergraduate studies at the University of Prince Edward Island at the age of 12. “After high school, it became a lot less noticeable to my classmates and my peers, and even to myself,” explained Xie. “I started forgetting my own age, so my last four years of university have actually been extremely normal.” Xie will be pursuing her masters in applied immunology this Fall and hopes to complete a PhD; CBC reports that she could graduate from the PhD at approximately the age that most students complete an undergraduate degree. CTV News | CBC | UofT (ON)

UAlberta “Indigenous Canada” course sees enrolment spike

The University of Alberta’s “Indigenous Canada” course, which focuses on Indigenous history and key issues, has recently seen a large enrolment spike. CTV News reports that the enrolment increased after the mass grave was found at the site of a Kamloops residential school. “The week after the discovery, registration went from its normal steady 1,000–2,000 new enrolments per week to over 40,000 new enrolments,” said a UAlberta spokesperson. The spokesperson explained that the free, 21-hour course has been the most popular in Canada on Coursera, and that its popularity has grown around the world. CTV News UAlberta (Course) (AB)

Being sensitive to faculty responses on resuming on-campus work: Opinion

University administration will need to be sensitive to faculty responses about resuming work on campus, writes Rachel Gallardo. The author explains that many faculty do not want to be on campus due to concerns about COVID-19 variants, and that many have become accustomed to isolating from others and wearing masks. Gallardo says that though many human resources departments are writing post-COVID-19 policies, requiring faculty to be on campus for a certain amount of time when they can complete duties from home would be poorly received. Instead, the author encourages department leaders to listen to their members’ perspectives, offer assistance to those who are facing challenges, and to be open about the struggles they may have returning to campus. Times Higher Ed (Account Required) (Editorial)