Top Ten

September 20, 2021

UWinnipeg Art Historian secures $2.5M for The Space Between Us project

University of Winnipeg Art Historian Dr Julie Nagam has secured a $2.5M SSHRC Partnership Grant for a project called The Space Between Us. The project aims to create a diverse mentorship network through which racialized or marginalized students, faculty, and cultural workers can find support. The network connects the world’s historical colonial spaces, and has received around $6M in funding and in-kind contributions from over 40 research collaborators and 31 partner institutions around the world. “Working together, we can create new models for universities and art institutions to engage underserved members of marginalized communities, leading to the creation of new knowledges, advanced training opportunities, capacity building, higher enrolment in education, and BIPOC cultural resurgence,” said Nagam. UWinnipeg (MB)

QC nursing sector examines working conditions, educational requirements, training in face of shortages

In the face of labour shortages and exam failure rates, Quebec is examining ways to improve its nursing sector and talent pipeline. Nurses are reportedly leaving the public sector for the private sector due to poor working conditions. États généraux de la profession infirmière has produced a report on ways the province can improve working conditions, including a key recommendation to raise the educational requirement for nurses to a baccalaureate degree. The sector is also facing a dearth of nursing assistants due to a high rate of failure of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec exams, according to the Journal de Montréal. The exam is a required step for nursing assistants after they obtain their professional studies diploma, but one in two candidates have failed the exam since 2020. The Journal adds that students have been having a difficult time with work-study balance due to the work they have taken on during the pandemic. Journal de Montréal (1) | Montreal Gazette | Journal de Montréal (2) (QC)

Western introduces new supports for students, Fanshawe addresses threats against students

In London, Ontario, Western University and Fanshawe College have both taken steps to respond to the sexual violence allegations and threats made in the last week. Western has introduced a new student safety action plan, which includes hiring new special constables, implementing mandatory in-person sexual violence awareness and prevention training for students living in residence, and enhancing security patrols. Western will also create a Task Force on Sexual Violence and Student Safety. At Fanshawe, the college is investigating threatening posts made on Discord about tampering with drinks at the student bar and cafeteria. The college issued a statement indicating that it would not tolerate gender-based and sexual violence and is reportedly offering support sessions and extra security at campus bars. Western | Global News | CTV News | CBC (ON)

CAUT pauses censure against U of T

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has announced a pause on the censure against the University of Toronto. The move comes in response to the U of T’s decision to re-offer Dr Valentina Azarova the position of Director of the International Human Rights Program in the Faculty of Law. CAUT states that it understands that the U of T has met the criteria for lifting the censure, which was re-offering the position to Azarova. Full censure will not be lifted until the U of T resolves all issues in the case, including extending “academic freedom protections to academic managerial positions such as the IHRP Director, and developing policy that prohibits the University’s Advancement office and donors from interfering in internal academic affairs, including personnel decisions.” CAUT (National)

How asking personal questions can enhance student support: Editorial

A recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Ed examines how a college in the United States used personal questions to provide relevant supports to students and boost retention and completion rates. Each semester, Amarillo College sends out an email asking students about their access to essentials such as food, housing, childcare, and transportation. Based on the responses, the college offers students supports from sources such as the campus food pantry, library, mental health services, and more. Students who were receiving supports had a 4% higher retention rate. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

MtA opens Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts

Mount Allison University has officially opened the Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts. The new name recognizes a $5M donation from Pierre Lassonde to support MtA’s arts education. The donation will be used to fund new academic awards, internships, and an Artist-in-Residence program that will begin in January. “The Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts allows and encourages innovation in education and training for the next generation of professional artists and arts professionals,” says MtA President Dr Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Building on Mount Allison’s long-standing program and the talent and dedication of our faculty members, this investment will attract students from across the country and beyond.” MtA (NB)

BrandonU soccer coach on leave, investigation reopened after student complaints

A women’s soccer coach from Brandon University is on leave after allegedly acting inappropriately towards female student athletes, writes Maggie Macintosh of the Winnipeg Free Press. During the 2020-21 academic year, several students alleged that Roziere had made sexual advances on them. BrandonU concluded that Roziere had acted inappropriately and would be monitored rather than removed from his position. Students were upset with the decision, explains the Winnipeg Free Press, and BrandonU has announced that it would conduct an external review because of new allegations. Winnipeg Free Press (Paywall) | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Bloomberg releases business school rankings

Bloomberg Businessweek has announced its 2021-22 Best B-Schools Rankings. The rankings focused on 119 MBA programs from across four regions – US, Europe, Canada, and Asia Pacific – and evaluated them according to factors such as compensation, networking, entrepreneurship, and diversity. Internationally, the top-ranking institutions were Stanford University, IMD, and Dartmouth University. In Canada, the top three schools were Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business, HEC Montréal, and Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Business. Bloomberg (Overall) | Bloomberg (Canada) (International)

Niagara secures license to grow industrial hemp

Niagara College has announced that its Commercial Cannabis Production program has secured a license from Health Canada to grow industrial hemp. The license will allow students to participate in learning and academic research opportunities with Cannabis sativa L. plants, including studying plant genetics, seeding and germination, flower identification, and harvesting and drying hemp. Students will also be able to learn about growing cannabis in agricultural environments, greenhouses, and outdoors. “This is a natural progression for us,” said Niagara’s Dean of Business, Tourism and Environment Alan Unwin. “The crops we’re hoping to grow in the future will provide opportunities for students to participate in all growing sectors.” Niagara (ON)

UPEI graduate released after being detained when seeking mental health care

CBC reports that University of Prince Edward Island graduate Mehdi Belhadj will be released after he was detained after seeking mental health care. Belhadj sought mental health care and was diagnosed with mental health conditions after his student status lapsed. He reportedly could not afford the cost of the care and was detained by Canada Border Services Agency for “excessive demand on the health-care system.” CBSA detained Balhadj at a provincial jail after he spent time in a psychiatric hospital in July, and determined he should be removed from Canada. After friends, supporters, and lawyers advocated for Belhadj, he was released on several conditions, including that he have a fixed address, regular therapy, and around-the-clock care. CBC | The Star (PE)