Top Ten

January 6, 2022

Members of the Canadian postsecondary community appointed to Order of Canada

Several members of the Canadian postsecondary education community were among the Governor General’s recent 135 appointments to the Order of Canada. Institutions across the country issued releases celebrating the achievements of their community members. Leaders named to the order include Murray Sinclair (Queen’s University Chancellor), Dr Jacques Lemay (University of Victoria Professor), David Zussman (Chair of the UVic Board of Governors), Verena Tunnicliffe (UVic Professor Emeritus), Frederick Leighton (University of Saskatchewan Professor Emeritus), Mary Brooks (Dalhousie University Professor Emerita), Gerald Friesen (University of Manitoba Distinguished Professor Emeritus), Margo Lainne Greenwood (University of Northern British Columbia Professor), Ann Buller (Centennial College President Emeritus), Barry Bultz (University of Calgary Professor), Roman Petryshyn (MacEwan University Ukrainian Resource and Development centre founder), Harold “Skip” Bassford (University of the Fraser Valley President Emeritus), and Ralph Nilson (Vancouver Island University President Emeritus). Governor General | USask | UVic | Queens (National)

CUEFA members go on strike after deadline expires

Faculty at Concordia University of Edmonton have officially gone on strike after the union’s deadline expired. CBC reports that the faculty union and university had agreed on some articles of a new collective agreement, but that there were still sticking points around non-faculty staff workload and salaries, a new disciplinary clause, and other concerns. The Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association (CUEFA) formed a picket line at Concordia Edmonton’s Magrath Mansion, a building that CUEFA president Glynis Price says is “without a clear role in the university’s core operations.” “I want to avoid [outcomes that could threaten the semester],” said Concordia Edmonton President Tim Loreman. “I remain hopeful the faculty association will bring a swift end to their strike and return to bargaining.” CBC | CTV News (AB)

Indigenous leaders form NIUSLA to network, engage in dialogue on Indigenous leadership

Indigenous Senior Administrative leaders from postsecondary institutions across Canada have joined together to form the National Indigenous University Senior Leaders’ Association (NIUSLA). NIULSA is co-chaired by First Nations University President Dr Jacqueline Ottmann and University of Calgary Vice-Provost Dr Michael Hart. The group will engage in dialogue on leadership roles and responsibilities in the university context, and will focus on developing an association for Indigenous senior leaders, addressing relevant challenges, increasing NIUSLA communication and capacity, and strengthening Indigenous senior leaders. “It’s a step towards further strengthening and building capacities of Indigenous senior leadership while being the national network for the administration, advancing issues and concerns of Indigenous peoples … and connecting with other Indigenous organizations with common goals,” said Ottmann. FNU (National)

Science on best pedagogical practices often goes ignored: Opinion

A recent article by Beth McMurtrie of the Chronicle of Higher Ed discusses how, even though the science of teaching shows that some instructional methods are more effective than others, this literature is often ignored. McMurtrie says that many instructors are unsure of how to apply scholarship on teaching and learning to their own situations or may be skeptical of it. While traditional teaching has worked in the past, students from diverse backgrounds and students in STEM-focused fields both particularly benefit from more proven teaching methods. McMurtrie describes research, tools, strategies, and studies that have been recently developed and the challenges of implementing them. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

U of M to review Indigenous self-identification system, strengthen and standardize protocols

The University of Manitoba has announced that it will be reviewing how it collects Indigenous self-identification data for jobs and scholarship opportunities that have been created for First Nations, Métis or Inuit people. The move follows concerns about false Indigenous identity claims, writes Maggie Macintosh of the Winnipeg Free Press. The review will address concerns about the insufficiencies of an honour-based self-identification system and will aim to standardize and strengthen protocols regarding applicant identity through working with Indigenous partners and communities. “If we’re not asking people to show proof of Indigenous identity, are we then allowing loopholes that minimize opportunities for equity?” asked U of M vice-president (Indigenous) Catherine Cook. “I think we have a responsibility to look very seriously at that question.” Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

KTEI, Queen’s create pilot program to allow Queen’s students to study Indigenous topics at KTEI

Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute and Queen’s University have announced that they will be expanding their partnership. Through the expanded partnership, the institutions will create a pilot program that will enable Queen’s students to learn about Indigenous peoples and culture from an Indigenous institute. The one-term pilot will enable students to take courses remotely through Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science. Courses will focus on a variety of areas, such as climate change and sustainability, Indigenous theatre and performance, and language. “The new courses will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their awareness of Indigenous perspectives on a diverse range of subjects,” said KTEI President Stephanie Roy. “Building awareness of the perspectives and knowledge of Indigenous peoples is a key part of the reconciliation process.” The Manitoulin Expositor (ON)

International competition for science talent grows as pandemic-related restrictions change

Countries and postsecondary institutions are engaged in fierce competition for the best researchers, entrepreneurs, and students in the sciences as pandemic-related restrictions ease, write David Matthews and Richard L Hudson. Matthews and Hudson describe how countries are becoming more aware of the need for top science talent and have announced changes and initiatives to attract talent to them. Canada, they write, has recently made plans to hire 1,000 new academics and planning to expand the Canada Research Chairs Programme. The authors say that institutions in countries such as Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK are also facing competition from other countries as students become more willing to apply to study internationally. Science Business (Editorial)

SLC to install 22 Level-2 EV chargers on campuses

St Lawrence College will be receiving an investment from the Government of Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to install 22 Level-2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers on its campuses in Cornwall, Brockville, and Kingston. The project will increase the number of chargers that can be accessed by the public in the St Lawrence River area, and is funded through $110K from Canada and $160K from SLC. “Providing electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the building block to electrifying our transportation systems,” said SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. “Our hope is that this helps folks who have purchased an electric vehicle and that by increasing places to get a charge we help others consider going electric as well.” Canada (ON)

CMU updates COVID-19 protocols to include booster dose, rapid testing

Canadian Mennonite University has updated its COVID-19 protocols for the Winter 2022 semester, and will be requiring all students, staff, and faculty to get a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. CMU is hosting a vaccination clinic at its Shaftesbury campus to help its community get their booster doses, and is establishing additional precautions, such as mandatory participation in a rapid testing program twice a week and mask quality standards. CMU will also be starting the semester online for the first two weeks, with plans to resume in-person classes on January 24th. CMU | CBC (MB)

Algonquin partners with CHIMA to support learners, faculty in health information fields

Algonquin College has partnered with the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CHIMA). The partnership will enable Algonquin students to become CHIMA student members and will bolster Algonquin’s Health Sciences curricula. “The Canadian College of Health Information Management and its education partners deliver quality and innovative health information, standards and resources which will assist and benefit our learners in a variety of ways,” said Algonquin President Claude Brulé. “Providing our students with access to health information resources and making this available to our instructors to prepare students for real-world scenarios upon graduation is a beneficial tool we are pleased to offer.” Algonquin (ON)