Top Ten

January 31, 2022

Judge gives Laurentian until May to develop plan to exit creditor protection

An Ontario judge has extended the creditor process for Laurentian University until May 31st. "The filing is almost a year old," Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz told the court. "It's time to get going and get towards a plan.” CBC reports that a governance and operational review of how the university is run was “finalized very recently” and is currently circulating among school leaders. The unions representing Laurentian’s faculty, staff, and students have called for more transparency from the university, and ON’s information and privacy commissioner has argued that the stay on freedom of information requests should be lifted now that the first year has passed. Morowitz stated that the issues will be addressed at a future hearing. CBC | CBC (2) (ON)

UCalgary receives $25M gift from Azrieli Foundation for critical research, innovation

The University of Calgary is celebrating a $25M gift from the Azrieli Foundation, which will be used to conduct critical research and innovation in topics related to neurodevelopment and to create and launch the Azrieli Accelerator. Through the gift, UCalgary’s research teams will be able to make discoveries and develop treatments for ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. “Thanks to this generous gift from the Azrieli Foundation, we will be able to activate new collaborations across UCalgary,” said UCalgary President Ed McCauley. “The Accelerator will act as a catalyst for transdisciplinary collaboration and phenomenal impact, in keeping with the Azrieli Foundation’s reputation for exceptional innovation. Research with impact is at the heart of UCalgary.” UCalgary | UCalgary (Release) (AB)

CASN launches Nursing Residency Program for new Registered Nurses

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) has announced a new residency program to address Canada’s nurse shortage. The Nursing Residency Program for new Registered Nurses will provide recent graduates with orientation and a progressive workload as they begin their careers. The program will also provide new nurses with supervised practice, workshops, and other supports for up to a year to foster their success. “Our structured, competency-based Residency Program supports the integration of nursing graduates into the workforce who are competent, emotionally resilient, and retainable,” said CASN Executive Director Cynthia Baker. News Wire (National)

Niagara to be Official Experiential & Digital Production Partner for 2022 Canada Summer Games

Niagara College has announced that it will be the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games’ Official Experiential & Digital Production Partner. Through the partnership, Niagara will manage the full digital production of the 2022 Canada Games. Niagara will broadcast live competitions and events, act as a VIP Hosting Hospitality Partner, and support the Games’ sustainability and accessibility programming. “As a leader in applied, experiential learning, Niagara College is deeply embedded in the fabric of our community,” said Niagara President Sean Kennedy. “Our students, staff and faculty are committed to make a difference in this transformational event that will inspire the next generation of Knights athletes, and leave a great legacy in the Niagara Region.” Niagara (ON)

Canadian universities are being repurposed through performance-based funding: Spooner

Universities in Canada are being repurposed by governments that are focused on performance-based funding, writes University of Regina Professor Marc Spooner. Spooner argues that performance-based funding creates situations where governments are guessing at what education will be valuable in the future while inhibiting students’ ability to choose their areas of study. The author says this kind of funding additionally incentivizes institutions to focus on accepting students who are most likely to be “successful,” which further marginalizing racialized Canadians who are hired less frequently and at a lower rate of pay. “Universities must continue to be valued and upheld for their core mission, which is to be much more than mere entrepreneurial training centres to be patted on the back for performing short-sighted corporate-styled research and worker development,” writes Spooner. University Affairs (Editorial)

Mila Institute enters partnership with BDC to develop resources for businesses

The Mila Institute has announced that it has entered a three-year partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The Mila Institute, which is a partnership between the Université de Montréal and McGill University with strong links to Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal, will be developing “added-value” resources for BDC-backed businesses that are developing AI technologies. The resources are expected to give these companies an advantage in commercializing their offerings. “Montreal and Quebec have become AI hubs and local businesses have everything to gain from taking an interest in this technology and these talents, which hold extraordinary potential for them,” said Mila scientific director Yoshua Bengio. “With this partnership, BDC demonstrates its strong commitment to ambitious clients and portfolio companies.” Beta Kit (QC)

Canadian universities, colleges rank among Forbes best employers

Forbes has released its 2022 Canada’s Best Employers rankings, and several postsecondary institutions have made the list. The rankings were compiled through a survey of over 10,000 Canadians working for large businesses and organizations across the country, and consist of over 300 organizations. The 10 postsecondary institutions to rank highest on the list were the University of New Brunswick (#2), the University of Victoria (#7), Sheridan College (#8), McMaster University (#11), the British Columbia Institute of Technology (#12), Queen’s University (#14), Laval University (#18), Memorial University of Newfoundland (#19), Durham College (#28), and the University of Manitoba (#39). Forbes (National)

UOttawa, University of Luxembourg partner on cybersecurity and safety joint research program

The University of Ottawa has partnered with the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) to develop a new cybersecurity and safety joint research program. Research will be led by UOttawa’s Nanda Laboratory and SnT’s SVV research group. It will focus on security, safety, and reliability of systems that use AI, as well as the use of AI to verify and test systems enabled by AI. A long-term goal of the partnership is to foster collaboration between other research groups. “The goal is to create fruitful synergies between the two institutions, starting with two initial research groups, thus enabling more ambitious objectives,” UOttawa Faculty of Engineering Professor Lionel Briand. UOttawa (ON)

UVic’s LSQ announces plans to retire in 2023

The University of Victoria’s Lafayette String Quartet (LSQ), which is the world’s only all-female ensemble with all original members, will be retiring as an ensemble in August 2023. The LSQ has spent over 35 years performing together and over three decades teaching within UVic’s School of Music. The LSQ is currently planning its final season, which includes performance projects and the recording of five new commissions by female composers. “The Lafayette Quartet helped put UVic on the map as a string and chamber music destination by setting an internationally recognized standard of excellence,” said director of UVic’s School of Music Alexis Luko. “It felt like a real feminist moment. This group brought ‘woman power’ to the highest levels of chamber music.” UVic | UVic (2) (BC)

Fleming joins Canada’s National Design Network

Fleming College has announced that it has joined Canada’s National Design Network (CNDN), which is managed by CMC Microsystems. The membership will give Fleming students, faculty, and researchers access to CMC Microsystems’ resources and ecosystem of researchers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. Through this partnership, the Fleming community will be able to develop the skills they need to thrive in the technology marketplace. “Joining CNDN and CMC Microsystems provides us with a complete innovation ecosystem,” said Fleming CAMIIT Lead Research Scientist Fereydoon Diba. “From accessing state of the art design and fabrication services, to partnering with a national community of businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs, this is an important step for our students, researchers and start-ups at Fleming College.” Fleming | CMC Microsystems (ON)