Top Ten

October 4, 2021

USask receives $3.2M for Global Institute for Food Security

The University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) has received $3.2M from the Government of Saskatchewan to support a new engineering biology centre. GIFS’s new engineering biology centre will focus on attracting investments and companies to SK’s agriculture and food sectors. “We are grateful for the Province’s support, as with all these funds, we will be able to harness the power of biology to potentially transform the foods that we eat, all while generating economic activity for the province,” said GIFS Executive Director and CEO Dr Steven Webb. The funding has been provided through Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Agriculture. SK (SK)

ACC, Algonquin team up to deliver heavy-duty technician program for Indigenous youth

Assiniboine Community College and Algonquin College have partnered to deliver a new, tuition-free, heavy-duty technician program. The eight-month program, which is primarily aimed at Indigenous youth, consists of hands-on, in-school training and a 280-hour work placement. ACC Mechanical Trades Chairperson Lloyd Carey noted that students will also gain credit for Level 1 common core apprenticeship accreditation: “(This) would allow them to branch out even further into heavy-duty equipment, agricultural equipment or truck and transport specializations.” Tuition, textbooks, PPE, supplies, and tools will all be provided free of charge to 12 students. Brandon Sun | ACC (MB | ON)

Western receives $1M gift to support entrepreneurial initiatives and students

Western University has received a $1M gift from the Sabourin Family Foundation to support the mission of the Morrisette Institute for Entrepreneurship. The Morrisette Institute, which is powered by the Ivey Business School, will use the funding to create a new undergraduate student award program, design innovative programming, and support the construction of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Building. The new building will feature a maker lab, an incubator space, a collision space, classrooms, and an accelerator. “I know the power that entrepreneurs can harness to build businesses, and ultimately create enduring jobs for like-minded Canadians,” said Paul Sabourin, who is also a Western alumnus. “This gift is a small part of my family giving back to the school that helped nurture and encourage my entrepreneurial spirit.” Western (ON)

AWB announces engineering research training projects in Uganda

Academics Without Borders has announced the launch of new research projects as part of its engineering research training project in Uganda. The first phase of the project saw 20 experts from Canada, Australia, Nigeria, the United States, and Uganda work as instructors or research advisors for an instructional workshop series on the topic of research. In the second phase, trainees worked in teams guided by expert research mentors to develop research proposals. Seven projects have been selected for funding and will be implemented over the next year. Several of these projects will involve research mentors from Canadian postsecondary institutions, including McMaster University Professors Sarah Dickson and Thomas Marlin, Western University Professor Ian Cunningham, University of Calgary Professor David Wood, and York University Professor Marina Freire Gormaly. AWB (International)

Carleton, Child Welfare PAC partner to launch new tuition program to increase access

Carleton University and the Child Welfare Political Action Committee (Child Welfare PAC) have partnered to launch a new tuition program that will address the challenge of equitable access to postsecondary education for youth in care. The program will have no age limits and will provide funds for tuition, compulsory fees, books and supplies for up to 20 undergraduate students. “The new bursary signals Carleton’s ongoing work at inclusivity and illuminates some of the injustice faced by kids in care by taking concrete action to reduce educational barriers,” said Carleton Master’s student Charlotte Smith. Carleton (ON)

QC’s student mental health plan met with concerns about funding amount, plan guidelines

At the beginning of September, the Government of Quebec released its action plan for student mental health in postsecondary education, which came with a budget of $60M over five years. University Affairs reports that the plan has since received “mixed reactions” from organizations such as Union étudiante du Québec. UÉQ President Samuel Poitras praised the initiative for reflecting a demand in the sector, but expressed concerns related to the amount of funding and the lack of a restrictive scope for how institutions would use the funding. Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) echoed the concerns about funding in an op-ed for AMEQ, arguing that the $60M budget was too small to have a meaningful impact, since the funds would be shared across a total of 87 institutions. University Affairs | AMEQ (CSQ) (QC)

RDP unveils new brand

Red Deer Polytechnic has unveiled its new brand. The brand was developed in consultation with central Alberta’s population and includes a new logo and visual identity for the institution. The new logo consists of the letter R within a larger D, and the institutions’ new colour palette builds on the familiar green of the institution’s college brand, but has been “refined and modern[ized],” according to the Red Deer Advocate. “Our new brand defines our reason for being and what we promise to offer as an institution,” RDP Interim President Jim Brinkhurst stated. “It will help people to understand what we do, how we will act and what they can expect from us at Red Deer Polytechnic.” The Red Deer Advocate reports that new banners will be installed in the coming week, while major items such as building signage will be changed over the coming years. RDP (Release) | RDP (Brand) | Red Deer Advocate (AB)

UManitoba faculty union calls for strike vote

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association intends to call for a strike vote during a special general meeting this week. UMFA members have reportedly been without a contract since April, and the union is looking to secure higher salaries as well as “more equitable hiring, tenure and promotion processes, and the continued freedom to use their free time to offer their expertise to Manitobans.” The Manitoba Post the UMFA feels that contract talks with administration at the University of Manitoba have reached a standstill. UManitoba public affairs executive director told CBC that the university and UMFA bargaining teams continue to meet “with the view to conclude a collective agreement.” UMFA | CBC | Manitoba Post (MB)

Project to reform statutes, charter at Laval faces strong opposition from faculty union

A project that would see the Université Laval’s statutes and charter revised has received strong opposition from the Syndicat des professors de l'Université Laval (SPUL). The reformations would reportedly shift power from the university council to the board of directors, which SPUL President Louis-Philippe Lampron asserted constituted an attack on the principle of collegial governance. Journal de Montréal reports that Lampron felt changes would have an impact on the transparency of the university’s decision-making processes. Laval stated that it has taken note of SPUL’s comments as part of its ongoing consultations, which will conclude on October 15th. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Reimagining the spatial organization of institutional power (opinion)

Going online during the pandemic has revealed the challenges that faculty members who are women of colour encounter in the academy, write Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, Patti Duncan and Marie Lo. However, during this time, many essays and articles have been written about how we can reimagine the spatial organization of institutional power to change the relationship between faculty and the institution. The authors collect and reflect on articles that have discussed faculty members’ embodied responses to institutional spaces – including hostile work environments, as well as efforts to create a seat at the proverbial table for people who have been previously marginalized or underrepresented. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)