Top Ten

October 6, 2021

RRC Polytech embraces new identity and role

Red River College Polytechnic has officially announced its new identity, which will see the institution embracing the role of “Manitoba’s polytechnic.” The evolution will allow the polytechnic to continue to modernize its apprenticeship training and expand offerings such as work-integrate learning and applied research. “The polytechnic model best describes not only who we are, but where we are going. Aligning our new identity and strategic direction lays a strong foundation to be bold, to continue to take important leaps, and it allows us to play the larger role we need to in Manitoba’s postsecondary ecosystem,” said RRC Polytech President Fred Meier. “It puts us in the right place, at the right time, to stay in front of what’s ahead.” RRC (MB)

Western renames stadium, lounge in honour of Western Alumni Association contribution

Western University has announced its newly renamed Western Alumni Stadium in honour of a $1.4M donation from Western’s Alumni Association. The stadium embarked on $5M in renovations over the summer and features a new playing surface, eight-lane running track, and modern facilities. $1M of the Alumni Association’s donation will be used for maintaining the stadium grounds over the next decade. The newly renamed Alumni Lounge is receiving upgrades such as window improvements, new flooring, increased seating capacity, and updates to the audio-visual equipment. “The Alumni Association’s generous gift ensures [the stadium] will continue to be an important landmark for the entire community for generations to come,” said Western President Alan Shepard. Western | CTV News (ON)

U of T, AU, VIU launch new courses on mental health, research communication, literacy

The University of Toronto, Athabasca University, and Vancouver Island University have announced new courses. The U of T has launched a new course that explores Black mental health from a public health perspective, as well as the impact that COVID-19 has had on Black people in Canada. AU has launched a micro-course that will teach graduate students how to present their research findings in academia and society. Students in the course will learn how to mobilize their knowledge through course content and first-hand experiences of experts and scholars. VIU has launched a Literacy Circle for Indigenous Elders and Residential and Day School Survivors who want to learn how to read and write. The education provided will be self-paced and specifically tailored to student needs. U of T | AU | VIU (National)

Issues with sexual assault reporting at Canadian universities: Editorial

In a recent article from Maclean’s, Emily Baron Cadloff discusses the way that sexual assault is dealt with at Canadian university. Cadloff says that a 2020 Statistics Canada study found that three-quarters of students “witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviours,” but institutions often prohibit sharing information about perpetrators and are unclear about what happens after a victim files a report. The author says there is inconsistency in the data collected by postsecondary institutions across Canada, which raises questions about transparency and how schools can evaluate their progress. While some institutions, such as Mount Allison University and Western University collect data on sexual violence, some students may still be uncomfortable reporting incidents. Cadloff says that many schools are reviewing their sexual violence policies and streamlining procedures, but “few have committed to aggregating data and publicizing it.” Maclean’s (National)

Lakeland raises over $13M, surpassing fundraising campaign goal as campaign closes

Lakeland College has announced that the Leading. Learning. The Lakeland Campaign has officially concluded. The campaign raised over $13M, surpassing its original goal of $11M. The campaign started in 2016 with the aim of expanding student success, agricultural leadership, and results-oriented research. Some of the funds have already been used to strengthen student services, modernize and expand facilities, and purchase more crop and pasture land. “My heartfelt thanks to everyone who played a leading role during this exciting time of transformation for Lakeland College,” said Lakeland President Dr Alice Wainwright-Stewart. “Despite the challenges brought forth by COVID-19, the support of donors, our campaign leadership team and our employees never wavered, ensuring Leading. Learning. The Lakeland Campaign was a resounding success.” Lakeland (AB)

QuestU announces tuition drop for Canadian, permanent resident students

Quest University has announced that it will be adjusting tuition fees for Canadian students and permanent residents starting in Fall 2022. Tuition will be reduced from $35K to $21K, with those receiving Quest Financial Aid having their support proportionally adjusted. “We looked at a number of factors as we examined our tuition rates: affordability, the Sea-to-Sky community that we live and work in, and of course financial impacts of the pandemic,” said QuestU President George Iwama. “We want to make a Quest education more accessible to Canada’s next generation of leaders, and we are pleased to unveil this new tuition structure.” QuestU (BC)

Tips for facing free-speech crises in academia: Opinion

Academics facing free-speech crises need to know how to appropriately respond to accusations, write Donald A Downs, Robert P George, and Keith E Whittington. Downs, George, and Whittington argue that professors need a “first-aid kit” to help them minimize damage if they experience a free-speech crisis. The authors provide a variety of tips for instructors, including encouraging them to not rush to apologize if there is nothing to apologize for, to refrain from responding to public attacks until they receive advice, and to understand that their institution may abandon them. “Mistakes made in the initial stage can have catastrophic consequences,” write the authors. “Proceed deliberately, apply first aid, and seek assistance.” The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

Lethbridge, Langara forge partnerships, announce investments in agricultural research

Lethbridge College and Langara College have both forged partnerships and announced investments that will support agricultural research. Lethbridge and Sunterra Greenhouse will be using a $783K investment from Results Driven Agriculture Research to help grow fresh greenhouse produce in Alberta. The investment will support greenhouse production technology evolution in order to decrease reliance on imported produce. Langara has partnered with Pure Sunfarms to support the Applied Science for the Canadian Cannabis Industry (ASCCI) research project through $3.3M from NSERC and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The five-year research project will see the ASCCI research team using Pure Sunfarms’ expertise to advance Pure Sunfarms’ product development strategy and provide Langara students with research opportunities. Lethbridge | Globe Newswire (AB | BC)

YukonU, Wykes’ partner to support students experiencing food insecurity

Yukon University has partnered with Wykes’ Your Independent Grocer to support students who are experiencing food insecurity. As Wykes’ customers check out, they will be invited to buy a Together We Thrive YukonU tote bag. The proceeds will be used to provide students with emergency grocery cards and to restock the Ayamdigut campus student food bank. “Donating just $2 for a reusable YukonU tote bag helps the environment, helps you get your groceries home and helps students who face food insecurity,” said YukonU President Dr Lesley Brown. “I’m grateful to Mark Wykes and his team for collaborating with us to support YukonU students.” YukonU (YK)

11 MRU students deregistered after refusing to declare vaccine status

CBC reports that 11 Mount Royal University students were deregistered after refusing to declare if they had received a vaccination for COVID-19 or not. In September, 22 students were deregistered for not declaring their vaccine status, but half of this group were able to reclaim their registration after being given a second chance to declare it. One student who is enrolled in online classes was also reportedly threatened with deregistration for not declaring her vaccination status, even though students are allowed to opt out of the rapid testing requirement by completing a form agreeing not to come to campus in person. CBC (AB)