Top Ten

July 7, 2021

Build Healthy Cities (SMART) Training Platform receives $4.95M

The Build Healthy Cities (SMART) Training Platform –a new research training platform co-led by McGill University, the University of Guelph and the University of Manitoba– has received an investment of $4.95M from the federal government over six years to support researchers in making cities healthier, more livable, and more resilient. The platform builds on three Smart Cities proposals from Guelph, Montréal, and Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The SMART Training Platform will focus on smart solutions for cities and solving complex issues using a variety of information and tools. Canada | UManitoba | McGill | UoGuelph (National)

Atlantic Promise Scholars initiative launched by 11 universities, Atlantic Business Magazine

11 universities in Atlantic Canada have formed a partnership with the Atlantic Business Magazine to create the Atlantic Promise Scholars initiative. The initiative, which was originally formed by Dalhousie University last year, will provide supports and financial aid to Black and Indigenous students attending each university’s business schools. Other institutions involved in the initiative include Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Memorial University, Mount Allison University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, St Francis Xavier University, Université de Moncton, University of New Brunswick, and the University of Prince Edward Island. “We know that access to a post-secondary education is transformative,” said Kim Brooks, dean of Dal’s Faculty of Management. “It should be accessible to all promising students.” Dal (Atlantic)

Preparing for post-pandemic learning environments: Opinion

The post-pandemic university must be reimagined to meet the needs of students, rather than reverting back to pre-pandemic norms, writes André Costopoulos, vice-provost and dean of students at the University of Alberta. The author describes the outdated course delivery methods used prior to the pandemic, and how these have been made obvious by the shift to online learning. Costopoulos encourages leaders to develop the learning environment by asking students what they need, embracing flexible modes of teaching, and giving students access to materials at any time. Furthermore, Costopolous writes, changes may need to be made to the way that programs are modeled, the kinds of training students receive, the tools available for guiding students, and the delivery of programs. University Affairs (Editorial)

BC releases Return-to-Campus Guidelines to support return to in-person learning

The Government of British Columbia has released the Return-to-Campus Guidelines to support postsecondary institutions as they plan for a return to in-person learning for the Fall semester. The guidelines parallel BC’s restart plan and highlight public health measures such as daily health checks, hand hygiene, classroom logistics, on-campus housing and dining, and mental health supports. The guidelines also note that postsecondary institutions will not be required to have a COVID-19 safety plan, but instead must have a plan to reduce all respiratory illnesses. “Welcoming students back to campus is something to celebrate,” said University of the Fraser Valley President Joanne MacLean. “We have been planning a safe and gradual return to campus that allows for flexibility, support and adjustment to the change from remote study and work to campus life.” BC (BC)

UWindsor shuts down printing in face of Microsoft PrintNightmare bug

The University of Windsor has disabled all printing services, including individual printers, across campus in the face of a critical vulnerability. The Microsoft vulnerability, named PrintNightmare, impacts the Windows Print Spooler and allows criminals to hack into Windows computers and remotely execute code. “The vulnerability is very, very severe,” says Kevin Macnaughton, UWindsor ITS team leader security. “Without blocking this, hackers could very easily take over not only your machine, but also the entire network.” TechXplore reports that Microsoft is aware of the vulnerability and working on a patch. UWindsor | TechXplore (ON)

Keyano Foundation votes to dissolve

Keyano College’s Keyano Foundation has voted to dissolve, reports Fort McMurray Today. The decision reportedly follows recent federal tax code changes that allow postsecondary institutions to have a more direct fundraising role. “Over the years, revenues from gaming activities have dropped sharply, no longer permitting the foundation to be sustainable as a separate and independent entity,” said Keyano spokesperson Rebecca Jones. “There are very few post-secondary institutions in Alberta with active foundations.” Funds held by the foundation will be transferred to Keyano to be used for their intended purposes. Fort McMurray Today (AB)

UWaterloo announces launch of WatSPEED unit

The University of Waterloo has announced the launch of WatSPEED, a unit which will provide industry professionals with non-credit professional education. WatSPEED will provide education that keeps industry professionals up to date with emerging technologies and enables them to understand the impacts these technologies have on businesses, economies, the environment, and societies. Courses will be developed and delivered by UWaterloo faculty members and in partnership with industry. “With WatSPEED, organizations can partner with the University of Waterloo to create custom professional development content to equip their workforce to stay competitive and continuously evolve to keep pace with technological, societal, economic and environmental disruption,” said Sanjeev Gill, UWaterloo AVP of innovation and executive director of WatSPEED. WatSPEED’s inaugural Digital Certificate in Predictive Analytics for CPAs will launch in October. UWaterloo (ON)

USask to expand College of Medicine Regina campus

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that it will be expanding its College of Medicine Regina campus, which will allow medical students to start their studies in Regina. Previously, students needed to begin their studies in Saskatoon before transferring to the Regina campus, but the expansion will allow 40 students to start and complete their full degrees at the Regina campus. A goal of the expansion is to attract more students from southern Saskatchewan and to improve graduate retention rates. “We’ve got a really committed team here ready to support these learners and we can’t wait to welcome the first ever cohort of first-year medical students to the College of Medicine Regina campus at RGH in August 2022,” said Dr Gill White, associate dean of the College of Medicine Regina campus. Saskatoon StarPhoenix | Yorkton This Week (SK)

Navigating post-pandemic work, instruction with the Remote Work Continuum framework

In a new article for Inside Higher Ed, Edward J Maloney and Joshua Kim discuss the Remote Work Continuum framework, which was developed to provide institutions with a common language to use when making decisions about working from home after COVID-19. The framework, which is available on a Creative Commons license, describes instructional options which range from fully in-person to fully remote, as well as work arrangement options which range from a traditional on-campus model to a fully remote model. The authors discuss how post-pandemic, many academics will likely work with a flexible model, and students will most likely expect courses to have online elements in the future. “Frameworks like the Remote Work Continuum can help us think through how we will all navigate the turbulence along the way,” write Maloney and Kim. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration receives five-year accreditation extension from AACSB

Lakehead University has announced that its Faculty of Business Administration has had its accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) extended for five years. The AACSB peer review team spent time in March conducting the process. AACSB evaluated aspects of the Faculty of Business Administration’s degree programs, which included pedagogic strategies, program quality, learning outcomes, and student success. “AACSB accreditation is an incredible achievement by our Faculty and a recognition of the exceptional experience that students can expect when pursuing a business degree at Lakehead University,” said Dr David Barnett, Provost and VP (Academic). Lakehead (ON)