Top Ten

December 13, 2021

MPPs approve rare warrant after auditor general, Laurentian disagree on release of documents

Laurentian University has been given until February 1st to disclose financial information, emails, and other documents following a vote by Ontario’s legislatures, reports The Star and the Globe and Mail. Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, who is currently conducting an audit of the university at the request of the public accounts committee, requested the documents from Laurentian. The university argued that the information was privileged and should not be handed over, but MPPs requested a speaker’s warrant to force the release of the information. The Star | Globe and Mail (Subscription Req.) | CBC (ON)

NS SPCA launches College of Animal Welfare

The Nova Scotia SPCA has opened the Nova Scotia SPCA College of Animal Welfare to address the staffing shortage in the industry. The college, which is located in Dartmouth, will deliver a Veterinary Technology program beginning in Fall 2022 in addition to the Veterinary Assistant program that started in Fall 2021. “The veterinarians, we want them to be making diagnoses, we want them to be doing surgery and we want them to be prescribing and doing some wellness work and a well-trained technician should be able to cover a lot of the other work that a veterinarian might find themselves doing,” said program director Dr Michael West, who previously worked at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Students studying at the college receive on-the-job experience at the SPCA’s animal hospital. CBC (NS)

USask advances microcredential pilot program

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that it is advancing its microcredential pilot program in 2022 to create new lifelong learning opportunities. The first programs include a micro-credential in strategic communication skills for environmental professionals offered by the School of Environment and Sustainability and a microcredential in leadership development that will be offered by the Edwards School of Business. “We’re thrilled to be at the leading edge of quality, relevant microcredentials,” said Deputy Provost Patti McDougall. “Microcredentials are USask’s latest innovation in work-related studies.” USask (SK)

Ontario Tech, CMCC create new research institute

Ontario Tech University and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College have announced the creation of the Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (IDRR). The IDRR will focus on policy-relevant research that will inform patient care and rehabilitation services. “The creation of the Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research is a critical next step to facilitate knowledge translation, and to accelerate policy change through evidence-based strategies and policies that improve the lives of vulnerable populations,” said Ontario Tech Professor Dr Pierre Côté. Ontario Tech (ON)

Institutions around the world sever ties with recruitment agencies after investigation

Postsecondary institutions around the world are severing ties with recruitment partners after The PIE News launched an investigation that found that some practicing agents had had their licenses revoked or had been investigated by governmental authorities. The PIE found that Sai Overseas Education advertised a list of university clients in Canada, the UK, and other destinations on its website, but that most of 24 UK institutions contacted said they had no relationship with Sai Overseas. In May 2021, the Discipline Committee of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council found that Evaa Immigration managing director Baljit Singh Kailay, who had listed 73 Canadian institutions as past clients on his website, had committed professional misconduct. However, none of the universities who replied to an inquiry from The PIE said they had a connection with Evaa. The PIE News (International)

COVID-19 outbreaks at StFX, Queen’s, UVic

COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred at three Canadian universities. Nova Scotia public health officials say that a total of 59 cases of COVID-19 have been traced to the ring ceremony and other graduation-related events at and around St Francis Xavier University. Official events respected public health protocols, reports Global News, but the province is investigating off-campus events that may not have complied with the rules. In Ontario, Queen’s University has suspended all varsity training until further notice after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared among varsity sports participants. In British Columbia, the University of Victoria has moved some students’ exams online after there was a spike in COVID-19 cases. The cases were linked to two off-campus social gatherings. Global News (CP) | Global News (2) | Kingstonist (Queen’s) | CHEK (NS | ON | BC)

UOttawa launches Interdisciplinary Centre for Black Health

The University of Ottawa has launched the Interdisciplinary Centre for Black Health, which will study the health of people in the Black community. The centre will bring together researchers from the faculties of law, medicine, health sciences, and social sciences to study the biological, social, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to health issues within the Black community. The centre will support the creation of evidence-based policies and practices and develop tools to train health professionals that will focus on reducing racial health disparities. “If you want to understand the health of people in the Black community, you have to understand the economic and social determinants of health,” said UOttawa psychology professor Jude Mary Cénat. O Canada (ON)

Cégeps announce new, upcoming programs in engineering, maple syrup

Cégep de Victoriaville has announced that it will launch four new technical programs in areas such as physiotherapy and engineering within the next five years in order to improve access to higher education in the region. Cégep directeur generale Denis Deschamps stated that he hopes the new programs will enable students to stay in the region for their studies. Cégep de La Pocatière has announced that it will offer a new attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) program focused on the management of maple syrup businesses. The program, which Journal Horizon says is a first in the history of Quebec’s maple syrup industry, will be available in Fall 2022. Mon Victo | Journal Horizon (QC)

Qualities to look for in a future postsecondary president: Opinion

Presidential search teams should look for a selection of qualities that will help a future president manage today’s challenges, write Robin Mamlet and Sheila Murphy. Mamlet and Murphy recommend that search teams search for a professional who has a proven ability to lead through a period of intense social activism, is skilled at diplomacy, and has a nuanced understanding of defending free speech. The authors say that future presidents should also be experts in crisis management, strong advocates of postsecondary education, optimistic and opportunistic with partnerships, and be able to work quickly. “They should prepare for discord, anticipate pushback and resistance, and, above all, recognize the noble calling that is higher-education leadership,” write Mamlet and Murphy. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

Faculty unions poised to potentially go on strike

Faculty unions in Alberta and Ontario are poised to potentially go on strike. In Ontario, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members will be voting on a strike mandate. Union President Grant Currie said that faculty are hoping to avoid a strike, but that a strong strike mandate would send a message to the College Employer Council. In Alberta, the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association, which has been in negotiations with the Concordia University of Edmonton since spring, saw members vote 90% in favour of a strike. The association could choose to strike at any time within the next 120 days, while the university has been approved to hold a lockout. In Lethbridge, the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association acquired a secondary headquarters in the heart of downtown as a “proactive approach to the almost two years in negotiations,” reports the Lethbridge Herald. The Star (ON) | CBC (AB) | Lethbridge Herald (AB | ON)