Top Ten

October 22, 2021

Durham, Ontario Tech receive $5M from OPG

Durham College and Ontario Tech University will be receiving a $5M investment through a collaboration with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The OPG funding will support the recruitment and retention of students; the development of a diverse group of potential employees; and the development of technology for climate change initiatives such as electrification, new nuclear reactors, and renewable generation projects. “The partnership has always been a natural fit, with energy making up the university’s greatest applied research strength,” said Ontario Tech President Dr Steven Murphy. “We look forward to charting a bold energy future for Canada with OPG in the years to come.” Durham (1) | Durham (2) (ON)

NS announces plans for increased student housing, more affordable housing

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced that it will be taking actions to create more affordable housing and to increase student housing in the province. NS will be creating a province-wide student housing strategy that will focus on increasing housing affordability and will build new residences at three Nova Scotia Community College campuses to alleviate the demand on NS’s housing supply. “The development of student-specific housing supports and resources will greatly enhance the accessibility and affordability of education for those studying here, while lessening the demand on housing resources that are already stretched,” said Matthew Stanbrook, Vice-Chair of Students Nova Scotia. “We are looking forward to working with government and other relevant stakeholders to bring forth student perspectives in the creation of this strategy.” NS | Students NS (NS)

UCalgary HBI receives $10M donation to support innovative, high-risk projects

The University of Calgary has announced that local philanthropist Sanders Lee has made a $10M donation to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) to fund the Hopewell MIND (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery) Prize. The Hopewell MIND Prize will provide $1M annually over 10 years to fund innovative brain and mental health projects that are high risk and high impact and have the potential to have significant community impact. “The Hopewell MIND Prize will motivate a new generation of students and scholars to think differently about how they approach grand challenges in neuroscience,” said UCalgary President Dr Ed McCauley. “Sanders’ incredible gift stands to influence this next generation of leaders and form a long-lasting legacy as a part of our pioneering research at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.” UCalgary (AB)

Teachers must refine their talent rather than believing the myth of the “natural teacher”: Opinion

Instructors must give up the myth of the “natural teacher,” writes Beth McMurtrie, and instead refine their skills through learning. McMurtrie argues that instructors should use evidence-based approaches to improve their students’ performances. The author also calls for greater supports for teaching development in the institution, as more emphasis is currently placed on training strong scholars than strong teachers, and instructors are expected to learn what works through trial and error. McMurtrie discusses the impact of the pandemic on teaching strategies as instructors strive to help their students learn material, and how more emphasis on retaining students from diverse backgrounds has led to more awareness of how presenting material can impact learning. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

U of T VP accuses former college provost of sexual harassment, sexual relationships with students

In an investigation by Al Jazeera, students and faculty from several postsecondary institutions – including University of Toronto Vice President Alex Gillespie – have spoken out against former Trinity College provost Andy Orchard. Al Jazeera reports that survivors described Orchard’s behaviour as inappropriate and threatening, and described situations of sexual harassment and sexual relationships with students. Gillespie said that she had spoken out because she “no longer want[s] to be complicit in this damaging silence.” In response, Trinity College has launched an external investigation and U of T has pledged to build systems and practices that will protect its community members from sexual violence and harassment. The Star | Al Jazeera | U of T (ON)

Mohawk Mothers demand McGill suspend plans to expand old Royal Victoria Hospital site

The Mohawk Mothers are demanding that McGill University suspend its plans to expand the old Royal Victoria Hospital site, saying that there could be unmarked graves of Indigenous children there. The Montreal Gazette reports that McGill’s Allan Memorial Institute was known for subjecting patients to psychiatric experiments and that there are rumors of bodies being buried around the premises. “It has to be proven to our satisfaction that there are no bones or bodies in unmarked graves,” said Kahentinetha, a Mohawk Mothers spokesperson, “so we want to declare this a crime scene.” McGill spokesperson Cynthia Lee said that a 2016 study indicated that it is unlikely that Indigenous remains would be found at the site, but that in the event that this happens, work will be immediately suspended. Journal de Montréal | Montreal Gazette (QC)

SAIT lab to provide cutting-edge education in water sustainability

SAIT has opened a new, $1M lab focused on sustainable water resource management. The Water and Wastewater Pilot Scale Treatment Lab features state-of-the-art equipment and provides spaces for students to hone their skills and craft. “Water is an essential component to our economy and we need people who know how to manage it,” said Pablo Pina, MacPhail School of Energy Academic Chair of Sustainability. “Students will have the opportunity to harness their skills and learning in an applied setting, working with the same equipment or processes they’ll use in the industry. It’s an exciting new way to deliver training.” The lab was made possible thanks to industry partners and an anonymous donation in support of sustainability. SAIT (AB)

MSVU formally apologizes for ties to residential school system

Mount Saint Vincent University has made a formal apology about its ties to the residential school system and has made commitments to listening, learning, and enduring action moving forward. MSVU Interim President Ramona Lumpkin and a group of Indigenous community representatives gathered for a ceremony that included a prayer, drumming and singing, and reflections from Indigenous individuals. Lumpkin apologized on behalf of the university, which had ties with the Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia and the Cranbook Residential School in British Columbia. “We apologize to all of you who are survivors of residential schools, to your families and communities, and to all Indigenous peoples,” said Lumpkin. Lumpkin made commitments to the Indigenous community, including the reinstatement of an Elders in Residence program. Nation Talk | Global News (NS)

UBCO receives $1.25M for new awards supporting nursing students, clinical research fellowships

The University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus has received a $1.25M gift that will be used to create two new endowment funds supporting nursing students and clinical research fellowships. $1M of the funds will be matched by UBC to create Pritchard Fellowships that will be given annually to graduate students. The remaining $250K will also be matched by UBC, and will go towards creating entrance awards for those entering UBCO’s School of Nursing or those bridging in from Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In honour of the donation, the Nechako Residence building’s dining hall has been named the Pritchard Dining hall. “This new funding will help nurture evidence-based health-care innovation in the region and provide our graduate students with opportunities to work collaboratively in a clinical setting,” said UBCO Vice-Principal and AVP research and innovation Dr Phil Barker. UBCO (BC)

How academic leaders can develop higher EQ: Opinion

Leaders in the academic environment should strive to develop a high emotional intelligence (EQ) in order to take on nuanced problems, write Jacob J Ryder, Nicolas C Burbules, BrandE Faupell and C K Gunsalus. The authors offer a variety of tips to help leaders develop their EQ, such as getting to know team members individually and as a collective so that they can give better feedback. Ryder, Burbules, Faupell, and Gunsalus say that, in order to develop emotional intelligence, leaders should be aware of how they process stimulus and teach themselves to postpone reacting to emotion-inducing stimulus, be aware that they may attribute errors of others to their dispositions, and practice regulating their expression of emotions. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)