Top Ten

July 14, 2021

Ontario Tech chancellor creates Chancellor’s Challenge fundraising event

Ontario Tech University’s chancellor Mitch Frazer has created the Chancellor’s Challenge, which is an annual event focused on raising $1M for the Ontario Tech Student Support Fund’s bursaries and scholarships. Frazer’s challenge included running or walking 7.2 kilometers, which is the distance between Ontario Tech’s north Oshawa and downtown Oshawa campuses, every day from February 15 to March 14. Community members joined Frazer in walking or running, and participated through donating to the campaign. “We have to make sure Ontario Tech students have the support they need so they can succeed,” said Frazer. “I am thrilled about the widespread support for the first-annual Chancellor’s Challenge. Our university and our community are making a vital difference in the lives of young people, one step at a time.” Ontario Tech (ON)

OCPM releases final report on expansion plans for UMontréal

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) has issued its final report on the expansion plans for Université de Montréal’s Mont-Royal campus, as well as affiliated schools HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal. OCPM’s report explains that, due to the restrictions of current regulations, the university and city have collaborated and proposed draft by-laws that will allow for key expansion and updating projects, while conserving and enhancing the mountain, its ecosystems, and the neighbourhoods surrounding campus. OCPM President Dominique Ollivier told Journal de Montréal that the community considers a presence on the mountain to be a privilege. Journal de Montréal | OCPM (PDF) (QC)

OCPM releases final report on expansion plans for UMontréal

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) has issued its final report on the expansion plans for Université de Montréal’s Mont-Royal campus, as well as affiliated schools HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal. OCPM’s report explains that, due to the restrictions of current regulations, the university and city have collaborated and proposed draft by-laws that will allow for key expansion and updating projects, while conserving and enhancing the mountain, its ecosystems, and the neighbourhoods surrounding campus. OCPM President Dominique Ollivier told Journal de Montréal that the community considers a presence on the mountain to be a privilege. Journal de Montréal | OCPM (PDF) (QC)

VCC launches streamlined Continuing Studies registration system

Vancouver Community College has launched an improved and streamlined Continuing Studies registration system that will use a shopping-cart format to enable students to register for courses. The system will also allow students to access both their transcripts and payment history, and enable staff and instructors to use the advanced platform for their programs. “At VCC, our aim is to ensure our students are able to easily identify, locate, and enroll into a course or program,” said Adrian Lipsett, VCC Dean of Continuing Studies. “We want them to get the most out of the course offerings that best align with their professional aims and interests.” VCC (BC)

How university career services have innovated throughout COVID-19

University career centres have experienced change and tested new ideas over the pandemic, writes Cathy Keates, Director of Career Services and Experiential Learning at Queen’s University. The author highlights some of the approaches that universities have successfully tried in the last year. Memorial University redesigned its Career Week after discovering that students and alumni were increasingly interested in career development; McGill University developed short Career Skills videos and created webinars for students; and Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria collaborated to create the West Coast Virtual Fairs. Queen’s launched a virtual version of the Queen’s Skills Cards to enable students to better articulate their skills. Career Wise (National)

Queen’s launches digital Academic Calendar

Queen’s University has launched a digital Academic Calendar that will allow students to view courses, degree plans, deadlines, academic regulations, and policies in a responsive and engaging format. The calendar also will amalgamate previously published faculty and school calendars for student use. “Courses are at the heart of every student’s academic experience,” says Jenn Stephenson, Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s. “Students will easily be able to look at their plan requirements and click on a core course and be taken directly to the course description." Queen’s (ON)

UKC publishes update to response to calls to action

The University of King’s College has published an update to its Open Letter to Journalism Students & Alumni that responds to the calls to action from students and alumni about diversity and inclusion. The update includes a variety of actions that respond to the calls, including how it will support diversity within the student population, the changes to be made to ensure curriculum addresses relevant issues, and plans for hiring and involving diverse faculty. It also includes information on supports for students who identify as Indigenous, Black, or People of Colour, and a variety of initiatives that will be held over the 2020-21 academic year and beyond. U of King’s College (NS)

Funders and academic integrity: A look at Juul’s funding of a research journal

In a new article from Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth Redden explores the challenges and ethical concerns surrounding academic journals that accept funding from private companies. Redden describes the case of e-cigarette maker Juul, which funded an issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior and paid to make it open access. The article details the controversy that arose over the articles included in the journal issue, the resignation of several editorial board members, and the failure to inform reviewers about Juul’s role. Yvette van der Eijk of the National University of Singapore explained that “the tobacco industry has a long and well-established history of funding research going back decades” that functions “essentially [as] a PR strategy.” Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

USask students help launch PaRx program to allow physicians to prescribe time in nature

University of Saskatchewan medical students Brooklyn Rawlyk and Sehjal Bhargava have helped to launch the PaRx program, which will allow physicians in Saskatchewan to prescribe spending time in nature. “What I love about the idea of a nature prescription is that really as long as a patient can have a meaningful experience with nature, that is enough to be able to get those health benefits,” said Rawlyk. “It was surprisingly taken quite well. I think the best part about this was finding out how many physicians are already informally prescribing nature.” The program is supported by the Saskatchewan Medical Association. CBC (SK)

Carleton, UOttawa athletes and academics call to cut ties with Lions due to misconduct allegations

Athletes and academics from Carleton University and the University of Ottawa are calling on their institutions to cut ties with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club in response to investigations of historical sexual misconduct. CBC says that several coaches have been investigated for sexual misconduct, and several students alleged that they had experienced emotional abuse. Both universities have reportedly held a contract with the Lions for years. “Other universities have developed the resources within, whereas the University of Ottawa and Carleton have contracted them out,” said UOttawa professor Audrey Giles. CBC (ON)

MUN tuition hike, new NL funding creates uncertainty among students, critics

Following a recent increase to its tuition, some critics feel that Memorial University will face a drop in applications. International students told CBC that the tuition hike may make students look for educational opportunities in larger, more diverse centres with lower costs of living. The Government of Newfoundland recently announced new grant and loan changes to support those entering PSE in the province, which will start in August 2022. "[The tuition increase]’s going to have a significant impact,” said NDP MHA Jim Dinn, who described the provincial funding announcement as “the arsonist trying to claim credit for putting out the fire he started.” CFS Newfoundland and Labrador Chair Kat McLaughlin said that students are “enraged” over the hike, adding that she felt that the situation “isn’t solely reflective on the university.” CBC (1) | CBC (2) | VOCM | NL (NL)