Top Ten

February 23, 2022

BC adds 602 new nursing seats, invests $475K in faculty, nursing development

The Government of British Columbia has announced that it is adding 602 new nursing seats at public postsecondary institutions. These seats will include 362 registered nursing seats, 40 registered psychiatric nursing seats, 20 nurse practitioner seats, and 180 licensed practical nurse seats (LPN) at 17 institutions. Health-care assistants who want to gain LPN training and LPNs interested in RN training will be able to use the seats to further their education. BC is also providing the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and the University of Northern British Columbia with $475K for faculty and nurse leader development. BC | Kelowna Daily Courier (BC)

RDP launches programming in education, business, social services

Red Deer Polytechnic has expanded its educational programming with new degrees, a diploma, a certificate, and two micro-credentials. The polytechnic launched two new degree programs in education and business to provide students with local opportunities to gain education: The Bachelor of Education program, which will start in 2022, and the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which will begin the following year. “This is a monumental win for students,” said RDP Students’ Association President Savannah Snow. “Students wishing to pursue education in central Alberta will be able to learn and live close to their support systems. We are taking measurable steps towards eliminating brain drain in our region.” RDP will also be offering a Therapeutic Massage Therapy Diploma, Paralegal Certificate, and Elder Care Aide and Transitional-Vocational Programming micro-credentials in Fall 2022. RDP (AB)

CIHR releases results of project grants for Fall 2021

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has released its project grant results for Fall 2021. CIHR has invested approximately $325M in 417 research grants and 1 bridge grant. 108 research grants were provided to early career researchers and 13 were provided for Indigenous health research projects. 105 priority announcement grants have also received over $12M. Some of the projects to receive funding included studies on cocaine addiction and Hirschsprung’s disease at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and studies on irritable bowel syndrome and pulmonary arterial hypertension at Queen’s University. CIHR | UQAM | Queen’s (National)

ON college faculty reject contract offer from CEC

Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents Ontario college faculty, have rejected the latest contract offer from the College Employer Council (CEC) which was offered through a forced offer vote. 62% of those who voted rejected the offer, and OPSEO says that it hopes that they will return to the bargaining table. “No one is surprised that college faculty rejected the Council’s forced offer,” said College Faculty Bargaining Team Chair JP Hornick. “Faculty sent a clear message that this offer failed to address faculty concerns around time for students, fairness for all faculty, and education quality. We stand with hundreds of thousands of college students when we say ‘enough already.’” TB News Watch | OPSEU (ON)

Digital Technology Supercluster invests in autonomous agriculture project

An autonomous agriculture project led by Verge Ag in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and other organizations has received over $10M in funding from industry and the Digital Technology Supercluster’s Technology Leadership Program. SFU researchers will be developing crop and soil health monitoring methods that will use remote sensing. This technology could be used by farmers to monitor crop and soil health across an entire farm, improving efficiency and profitability. “This project demonstrates the pivotal role research universities play in Canadian industry, in our food security and in sustainability,” said SFU VP, Research and International Dugan O’Neil. “[SFU is] grateful to the Digital Technology Supercluster for fostering these kinds of partnerships with leading industry players to help deliver value to Canadian food producers.” Digital Supercluster | SFU (BC)

Huron receives investment grade rating, enters bond market

Huron University College has announced that it has received an investment grade rating from DBRS Morningstar and has entered the bond market. Huron says that it is the first Canadian university affiliate to be publicly rated and to issue bonds in the bond market. The bonds will finance a new 300-bed residence and dining hall, as well as a retrofit of Huron’s O’Neil/Ridley residence. “One of the advantages of a bond is you have a long-term, locked-in rate,” said Huron President Barry Craig. “The bond is of such a scope that it can take up all of our capital projects at once.” London Free Press | Huron (ON)

Black scientists raise awareness of challenges facing Black youth in STEM

Black scientists across Canada are raising awareness about the challenges that Black youth face in entering STEM areas and asking for support, writes Jessica Wong of CBC. In the article, McMaster University Professor Juliet Daniel discusses challenges faced by Black students, including having few Black teachers or role models in STEM. Wong writes that more must be done to identify the gaps faced by Black students, as well as to provide Black students with more information about available supports. “If we’re saying ... ‘Nothing for us without us,’ then as a Black community we need to realize that we have to be flooding every single profession with as many Black youth as possible so that they can achieve their potential in all these professions,” said Daniel. CBC (National)

Northlands, GDI sign MOU to facilitate delivery of ICBME program

Northlands College and the Gabriel Dumont Institute have signed an MOU that will facilitate the delivery of the Indigenous Community-Based Master of Education (ICBME) program in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. The program, which was originally launched in July 2020, has been offered online due to the pandemic. Through the MOU, the program will be delivered on-site at Northlands in the future. Students in the ICBME program will complete ten Indigenous education-focused courses, with the University of Regina verifying that courses meet university requirements through GDI and URegina’s affiliation agreement. Nation Talk (SK)

Western launches interdisciplinary creative arts and production program

Western University has launched a new interdisciplinary program called Creative Arts and Production (CAP). The program focuses on teaching students about creativity, collaboration, and community, and is offered across the faculties of arts and humanities, information and media studies, and music. Students in the CAP program will learn ways of thinking about creativity and creative practice through collaborative and conversation-based courses. “[Students] enjoy the intellectual exploration of subjects, but so many of them also want to bring their creative talents to bear on their coursework, and in courses outside their home faculty,” said Interim Director of the CAP program Jo Devereux. “This program provides them with an integrated way to do that.” The degree will officially launch in Fall 2022. Western (ON)

Taking steps to build department cultures that value diverse leadership: Opinion

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Karen Spierling describes the process of building a new department with a positive and inclusive departmental culture from the ground up. Spierling describes the three key assumptions that this new department’s leadership rests on and how these assumptions contribute to a functioning departmental culture. The author says that the department recognizes that members’ personal lives shape how their work is accomplished, supports them by ensuring “reasonable flexibility,” and uses intentional and inclusive communication to avoid creating problems and to ensure that all voices are heard. Spierling also says that faculty and staff have developed a consistent way to provide coaching to students who communicate disrespectfully. Inside Higher Ed (Subscription) (National)