Top Ten

December 1, 2021

NL launches Primary Teacher Pilot Program, expands Casual Caregiver Pilot Program

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it is launching a Primary Teacher Pilot Program and expanding the Casual Caregiver Pilot Program. The program will address the need for qualified staff as the cost of childcare in NL is reduced to $15 per day. The Primary Teacher Program will allow individuals who are provincially certified as primary teachers to fill short-term vacancies and absences as a single caregiver in a preschool or toddler room without ECE supervision. The Casual Caregiver Program will be expanded to allow participating centres with over five homerooms to hire a third casual caregiver. This caregiver would be part of the caregiver-to-child ratio for short-term vacancies, breaks, and lunches. NL (NL)

SK announces $4.38M for skills training programs

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that it is providing approximately $4.38M to the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) and other institutions to support the delivery of skills training programs. The funding will allow institutions to expand their programming in the construction, welding, and health care sectors in order to meet labour market needs. Several of the training opportunities will focus on providing opportunities for Indigenous individuals and under-represented groups. “This funding … will promote a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and it will grow the number of skilled workers in high-demand occupations in communities across Saskatchewan,” said SK Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison. SK (SK)

Leading UAlberta in the face of budget cuts: Flanagan

In a recent article from Times Higher Education, University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan discusses his experiences taking on the role of President at a time when UAlberta was facing unprecedented budget cuts. Flanagan described how the university rethought the way services were provided in order to prevent deterioration of the quality of research and teaching. He also explained how new colleges were created in order to group faculties and reduce costs. Flanagan recommends that those who are interested in changing their institutions build relationships with board members and ensure that there is a shared understanding of the urgency of the need for changes. “I realised that if you push too hard and you’re not pulling people along with you, you’re not going to succeed,” said Flanagan. Times Higher Ed (AB)

Lakehead, TMSU partner on pathways to medical training, undergraduate degrees

Lakehead University has partnered with Trinity Medical Sciences University’s (TMSU) School of Medicine in the Caribbean to provide new medical training opportunities. TMSU will offer Lakehead students a streamlined admissions process with conditional acceptance, exclusive scholarships, and waived application fees. As part of the agreement, Lakehead will give TMSU students the opportunity to transition into a selection of Lakehead undergraduate degrees. “[T]hrough this partnership, we are welcoming new students into our programs, while also providing both domestic and international students the opportunity to chase their dreams of becoming medical professionals,” said Lakehead Dean of the Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies Dr Todd Randall. Lakehead | TB News Watch (ON)

Tips and best practices for hybrid work: Opinion

As the hybrid-work semester wraps up, Lindsay Ellis offers tips and best practices for hybrid-style work in the future. Ellis says that trust is vital in hybrid work, and that leaders should gauge productivity by the work done, keep in-person interactions to the ones that add value, and resist the urge to take power from others instead of empowering them. The author recommends that managers be open to change and prioritize open conversations while being prepared to change tactics as needed. Ellis says that off- and on-campus time should be maximized, with employees communicating about what work they are doing outside the office if supervisors are hesitant to allow them to work from home. Finally, Ellis says that campus leaders should not simply try to go back to “normal,” as online meetings have been proven to work. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

BCIT, organizations partner with Digital Technology Supercluster on virtual clean energy program

The British Columbia Institute of Technology, Siemens Canada, and Denesoline Corporation have partnered with the Digital Technology Supercluster to create a virtual clean energy training platform for Indigenous communities. Through the program, individuals from the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories will learn about clean energy microgrid systems. Drawing on BCIT’s experiential learning tools, participants will gain remote, hands-on learning experiences in clean energy microgrid environments. “BCIT is honoured to be partnered in this ground breaking project that empowers Indigenous communities with vital training in the clean energy trade and is helping Canadian communities transition to greener fuels,” said BCIT President Kathy Kinloch. Digital Technology Supercluster (BC)

UMFA criticized for refusing binding arbitration, receives statements of support from students, BC union leaders

As the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) strike continues, mediator Arne Peltz has “slammed” UMFA for refusing to accept the binding arbitration, while students and British Columbia union leaders have publicly expressed their support of the association. CBC reports that Peltz’s final recommendations encouraged using binding interest arbitration, since the parties remained far apart from one another and students are being impacted by the strike. “Like the University [of Manitoba], UMFA should be willing to subject all its proposals to scrutiny before an independent arbitrator and to live with the result,” said Peltz. The Canadian Federation of Students has released a statement in solidarity with UMFA, while the Federation of Postsecondary Educators of BC indicated that its leaders are walking picket lines with UMFA members. CBC | CFS | FPSE (MB)

MUN researchers receive over $1.2M in research funding, opens new core science facility

Memorial University researchers have received almost $1.2M in funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for four research projects. Over $486K will go to the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, which is led by Faculty of Medicine epidemiologist Dr Gerald Mugford. Over $280K will fund a project on materials led by assistant professor Dr Michael Katz, while $272K will fund the acquisition of a confocal microscope for a research project led by Dr Rodney Russell. $148K will fund a project co-led by Dr Deepika Dave and Dr Chris Parrish that is focused on maximizing NL’s salmon, shrimp, and seaweed waste resources. MUN also recently officially celebrated the grand opening its new Core Science Facility. MUN | NTV (NL)

The resistance of refusing to display passion: Opinion

Choosing not to display “passion” about academia is a form of resistance, writes Lara McKenzie. McKenzie says that jobs, awards, and grant applications indicate an expectation that applicants will display a deep passion about their work or a sense that their work is a calling. However, many academics need to work for financial reasons, may not currently feel hopeful or optimistic about their work, and may not feel “lucky” to be in their field. McKenzie says that the expectation of optimism can trap academics in un- or underpaid labour and make them feel unable to express emotions other than passion for their field and work. The author says not demonstrating passion could subvert expectations and highlights the difficulty of a career in academic work. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Cégep de Chicoutimi, UQAC create bridging program

A new DEC-BAC bridging program has been created between Cégep de Chicoutimi and the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi that will benefit students in the humanities. Students who have completed courses at Cégep de Chicoutimi in history and civilization, arts, literature, and communication will be able to gain credit for up to four courses toward a UQAC bachelor’s program. The opportunity will be available to students as soon as the Winter semester. More transfer agreements are currently in the works between the institutions. Le Quotidien (QC)