Top Ten

December 10, 2021

GPRC announces renaming as Northwestern Polytechnic

Grande Prairie Regional College has announced a new name that will capture its new status as a polytechnic: Northwestern Polytechnic. The name reflects the history and potential of the Fairview and Grande Prairie region communities. The institution is now working on a visual identity, which will be revealed in March 2022. “This new chapter gives us the impetus to grow,” said GPRC President Justin Kohlman. “As we move forward, we will continue to engage internal and external stakeholders to better understand, develop, and establish our aspirations, values, goals, and strategic plan.” GPRC | My Grande Prairie Now (AB)

PSW students at Willis say they have been misled by program advertising

Personal support worker (PSW) students at Willis College are speaking out after allegedly being misled about the financial support available for their program. The Ottawa Citizen reports that students who began PSW training in July saw marketing materials that advertised free training and a paid practicum for those starting in Summer 2021. Students began the training because they believed they could complete it and find work without going into debt, but found out later that they would not be paid for their practicum. Willis spokesperson Stayci Keetch said that the students were only guaranteed a practicum, not that it would be paid. The Government of Ontario is reportedly working on a solution to the funding issue. NUPGE | Ottawa Citizen (ON)

UCalgary, UAlberta merge research teams to track evidence of COVID-19 in wastewater

The University of Alberta and the University of Calgary have brought together their research teams to track and potentially predict COVID-19 activity across nearly three-quarters of Alberta’s population using wastewater. The new research network, dubbed the Pan-Alberta Network for Wastewater-based SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring, has received $3.4M from the Government of Alberta. The network is co-led by UAlberta Professor Xiaoli Lilly Pang and UCalgary Associate Professor Michael Parkins, and involves Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, and the 25 participating municipalities. “We already have 17 months of data to show how the wastewater testing correlated with community infection, so it is a useful surveillance tool,” said Pang. “By merging the two teams, we will enhance our understanding of the whole province.” UAlberta | UCalgary (AB)

Inviting donors to give transformational gifts: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions of any size can take steps to secure gifts that are transformational, writes Greg Duyck. Duyck recommends that institutional representatives develop a thorough understanding of the institution’s long-term vision, identify the specific individuals who might be able to transform the institution in ways that are aligned with this vision, and build strong and authentic relationships with those who have philanthropic desires. Finally, the author encourages institutions to share their vision for their institution and invite potential donors to be part of the exciting transformation. “These authentic conversations will become the basis for a sincere partnership and can ultimately lead to a transformational gift that will realize not only your institution’s vision but also the donor’s,” writes Duyck. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Reasons why institutions may refuse to receive a gift: Opinion

There are a variety of reasons why a postsecondary institution may refuse to receive a charitable contribution even while they are in need of these gifts, writes Kathy Johnson Bowles. Bowles says that institutions should consider the cost to operationalize a contribution and reject gifts that would be too expensive to maintain. The author says that some gifts may be given for illegal or unethical purposes, violate tax codes, consist of ill-gotten resources, or be given by a donor who exhibits unacceptable behaviours. Additionally, some gifts may jeopardize academic freedom. “Creating and enforcing gift acceptance policies inclusive of why a gift is not permittable, when a donation may be returned or recognition rescinded is paramount,” writes Bowles. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

TRU, Ignition Tranquille sign MOU to collaborate on research

Thompson Rivers University and Ignition Tranquille Developments Ltd have signed an MOU to collaborate on experiential learning, soil health, and farm-related research. The Tranquille redevelopment site will host research in areas such as invasive species identification and management, Riparian area management, and principles of regenerative agriculture. “Students and faculty will benefit from having access to such a diverse learning and research environment, while supporting the strategic goals of the Faculty of Science in creating sustainable practices that promote the well-being of the generations to come, in providing opportunities for transformational teaching and learning, and in transforming communities through impactful research and scholarship,” said TRU Faculty of Science Dean Greg Anderson. TRU | CFJC Today (BC)

ULethbridge launches Fintech and Financial Innovation minor

The University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business has launched a new financial technology (fintech) undergraduate minor. The Fintech and Financial Innovation minor will provide career preparation to students who are considering working in areas such as technology and innovation. The program will focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the constantly changing finance and business environment. Courses will cover topics such as machine learning for business and applications of block chain in business, and all students at the Lethbridge campus will be able to take it starting in Fall 2022. ULethbridge (AB)

Postsecondary institutions in Nova Scotia close due to snowstorm

Nova Scotia postsecondary institutions were forced to close in the face of a snowstorm on Thursday. St Francis Xavier University closed its campus for the day. The university cancelled all in-person exams while online exams continued as scheduled. Nova Scotia Community College closed all its campuses, with online classes continuing and student services moving online. Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, and NSCAD University closed their campuses, while Saint Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University delayed their opening. StFX | msn | NSCC (NS)

Educators call for diversity in medical resources after illustration goes viral

Educators are calling for more diversity in medical resources after an illustration of a pregnant Black woman with a Black fetus in her womb went viral. The illustration, which was created by Nigerian medical student and illustrator Chidiebere Ibe, struck McMaster University Assistant Professor Syrus Marcus Ware, who said he had not seen an image like this before. “It’s so interesting how normalized it is that we are so used to only ever seeing white babies that we don’t even notice,” said Ware. Liz Darling, assistant dean of midwifery at McMaster, said that there needs to be a move away from “white centredness” in how bodies in medical textbooks are presented to better prepare health-care providers for their work. CBC (International)

Class-action lawsuit against UOttawa increased to $500M

CTV News reports that a class action lawsuit against the University of Ottawa for allegedly ignoring reports of misconduct against former on-campus clinic doctor Vincent Nadon has been updated. Amendments include two sworn affidavits from former patients who allege misconduct against Nadon “in or about” 1995. The patients allege that after Nadon assaulted them, they met with a counsellor on campus. One patient then received a letter that “basically said that no further investigation would be conducted.” The updated class-action lawsuit was certified this week and includes an increase in damages sought from $210M to $500M. CTV News (ON)