Top Ten

December 2, 2021

Lethbridge applies for redesignation as polytechnic institute

Lethbridge College has applied to the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education to become a polytechnic institute, reports the Lethbridge Herald. Mike Marcotte, chair of Lethbridge’s Board of Governors, said that the college is essentially operating as a polytechnic, and that a polytechnic designation would make sense geographically. “There were changes to both Grande Prairie [Regional] College and Red Deer College that were designated as polytechs and so we feel strongly that southern Alberta should be represented as well,” said Marcotte. The Herald writes that approval would make Lethbridge the first polytechnic institution south of Calgary. Lethbridge Herald (AB)

UNB receives $6.4M, opens Harriet Irving Library Research Commons and Rose Garden

The University of New Brunswick has celebrated the opening of the Harriet Irving Library Research Commons and Rose Garden, which are supported by a $6.4M gift from the Arthur L Irving Family Foundation. The space is designed with specialized library services, spaces, and technologies that will support those who are taking their research practices into the digital age. It includes an audio studio, data visualization lab, fabrication lab, lightboard studio, and more. “The Arthur L Irving Family Foundation has made a transformative contribution to UNB by creating the Harriet Irving Library Research Commons,” said UNB President Paul J Mazerolle. “We are very grateful for the competitive advantage this exceptional, one-of-a-kind research commons will give UNB.” UNB (NB)

Western, UQAM, University Health Network researchers receive $2M grant for diabetes research

Researchers from Western University, the Université du Québec à Montréal, and the University Health Network have received a $2M grant as part of the Diabetes Mechanisms and Translational Solutions Team Grant competition. The five-year grant will support a project titled Central role of muscle autophagy in metabolism and musculoskeletal health which will study the genetic links between Type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis. UQAM reports that CIHR marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Canadian researchers FG Banting and JJR Macleod with the funding competition. UQAM | UWO (ON | QC)

FNUniv takes steps to buy land in Prince Albert, plans new campus

First Nation’s University is taking steps to buy 5 acres of land in Prince Albert, adjacent to one of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s campuses, for a project that will include the construction of a new campus. The plans include a two-storey, zero carbon building that will exceed accessibility requirements, support holistic learning, and increase program completion. The building will be designed to be transitioned to on-site renewable energy in the future and to meet Passive House certification standards. “With this new facility, the FNUniv will achieve a 21st-century learning environment that better aligns with our purpose, strategic plan, and unique student needs as well as accommodate Elders and Knowledge Keepers as part of our Indigenous ways of teaching and learning,” said a statement from the university. The Star (SK)

Ontario Tech launches EdD graduate degree program

Ontario Tech University has launched a Doctor of Education program. The program is offered fully online, and will teach educators who are working in grade schools, postsecondary schools, and the public and private sector to address challenges using research-informed approaches. The interdisciplinary program draws on the knowledge of faculty members from a wide range of Ontario Tech programs. The program is “positioned at the core of the modern digital landscape,” and will focus on technology use in education. The program takes approximately three years to complete, and its first cohort will begin their studies in September 2022. Ontario Tech (ON)

How to leverage OPMs to benefit postsecondary institutions: Opinion

Online Program Management (OPM) companies can be helpful to postsecondary institutions when used in the right ways, writes Kelly Otter. Otter writes that OPMs can relieve pressure from institutions that do not have the ability to create in-house tools and technology to manage issues such as declining enrolment, enhancing programming, or resource prioritization. The author recommends that institutions that are considering their approach to OPMs gauge their resources and interest level to withstand the financial risk, consider the total cost of ownership of various options, and negotiate with OPMs on financial options. Otter also suggests emphasizing student experience and institutional culture when designing the OPM agreement and ensuring the institution’s autonomy over their marketing and recruitment. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

HEC Montréal, BIC form partnership to support Black entrepreneurs

HEC Montréal’s entrepreneurial hub and Black Innovation Capital (BIC) have formed a three-year partnership that will support tech start-ups in Quebec that are being founded by entrepreneurs from the Black community. HEC Montréal will provide tools and practical training to Black entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs will also be able to work with BIC’s team to access similar risk-capital firms and apply for funding from BIC’s $10M nationwide fund. “Our team is proud to be associated with a renowned institution like HEC Montréal, one that shares our commitment to creating a more equitable and diversified ecosystem,” says Lise Birikundavyi, BIC Principal. HEC Montréal | Journal de Montréal (QC)

Laurentian says auditor general’s demands violate Canadian constitution

CTV News reports that Laurentian University has accused the auditor general of making demands that violate the Canadian constitution. The two sides are disputing whether Laurentian is required to give the auditor general access to documents covered by solicitor-client privilege. Laurentian’s lawyers argue that Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk does not need access to privileged information for her audit, and that she had previously indicated she would conduct the audit with voluntarily provided information. CTV News reports that Laurentian is arguing that it would be a “flagrant violation of the Charter of Rights” if the Auditor General Act requires them to surrender privileged documents. CTV News (ON)

USask, Agtech Accelerator sign MOU to support agricultural industry

The University of Saskatchewan has signed a MOU with the Agtech Accelerator to support companies with tools and capital to promote their growth as well as job opportunities for students in Saskatchewan. The accelerator will have access to USask’s researchers and educators as it works to fill the sector’s knowledge and labour gaps. “USask has a strong history of providing research that actively improves how agricultural producers feed the world,” said USask Vice-President Research Baljit Singh. “This partnership is an example of how our institution is focused on innovation and creating new paths of discovery by working with industry.” USask also recently partnered with CERN and Canadian Light Source to assess the feasibility of a future circular collider to support advanced scientific studies. USask (1) | USask (2) (SK)

NOSM U faculty raise concerns about regulations, Sundridge calls for expanded admissions

NOSM University faculty are raising concerns about the regulations drafted by the Government of Ontario, reports The NOSM Faculty and Staff Association (NOSMFSA) say that the proposed regulations could undermine the NOSM Senate’s power by requiring Board of Governors approval for educational policy decisions. While NOSM is reportedly “pleased” with the proposal, NOSMFSA has requested that ON change the proposed structure so that board approval is only required when funds are being spent. Meanwhile, the Sault Star reports that Sundridge’s council is calling for NOSM’s annual admissions to be expanded, citing a need for more healthcare professionals in the region to account for those who may retire. TB News Watch | Sault Star (ON)