Top Ten

April 25, 2022

VIU, RRU, Pearson partner to train youth as climate leaders

Vancouver Island University and Royal Roads University have partnered with pre-university school Pearson College UWC to invest in climate change solutions. The MOU is focused around Pearson’s Climate Action Leadership Diploma program for youth aged 16 to 19. Students in the CALD program gain access to classes at VIU and Royal Roads, as well as programming in areas such as climate action, incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and environmental stewardship, micro-credentials, and a summer field school. Graduates will be prepared to work as leaders on climate solutions. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s climate action leaders and the experience and credit they will get in this program will equip them with the courage and confidence to meet these challenges head on,” said VIU President Deborah Saucier. VIU (BC)

Lakehead, Confederation sign joint admissions agreement for 33 programs

Lakehead University and Confederation College have announced a joint admissions agreement that covers 33 diploma and degree programs. The agreement will allow those who graduate with a college diploma to transfer more easily into a university program at Lakehead. Students will also benefit from improved and collaborative recruitment, academic advising for their education pathway, and the ability to complete some degree requirements from their home communities. “It is important for eligible students to know in advance they have a place in both a diploma and a degree program, which allows for long-term planning and greater stability,” said Confederation VP, Academic Richard Gemmill. Lakehead | Confederation | TB NewsWatch (ON)

BrandonU to launch “Bee U” with installation of two beehives on campus

Brandon University is launching Bee U this spring with the installation of two beehives on the roof of Harvest Hall. The pilot project will expand to up to four hives in future years, and the bee population will help pollinate plants in the area, provide research and learning opportunities, and provide honey for the student food bank. The hives will be cared for by a licensed beekeeper, who will train BrandonU community members in how to care for the hives. “We can’t wait to get hives installed as soon as the weather is right,” said BrandonU Assistant Professor Deanna Smid. “Bee populations are under threat worldwide, and these hives are a small first step to support honeybees, bee education, and bee research, while also being careful to avoid outcompeting our local wild bee species.” BrandonU (MB)

URegina celebrates reopening of Darke Hall

The University of Regina recently celebrated the grand reopening of its Darke Hall, which has been restored over the past six years. Darke Hall was first unveiled in 1929 as “a temple to the arts and a centre for cultural activity,” and has been restored so that the public can use it again. The renovations cost around $18.5M and took six years to complete, and included upgrades to the lighting and rigging systems, improved sight lines, more spacious seats for viewers, and better acoustics. The Darke Hall Society will run the building’s operations, while the hall will continue to be owned by URegina. “I look at what once was the glory of Darke Hall and I see that once again coming through,” said URegina President Jeff Keshen. “It’s bringing life back to what had been a real hallmark of the community.” URegina | CTV News | 980 CJME (SK)

Fleming receives $1.2M donation for innovation fund, scholarships

Fleming College has received a $1.2M donation from FLATO Development Inc, which is the largest gift in Fleming’s history. $720K will fund Fleming’s FLATO Capital Innovation Fund, which supports program delivery, purchases, and hands-on learning experiences for students; while $480K will be used to create the FLATO Student Scholars Program, which will fund scholarships for students at Fleming’s Frost Campus. Frost Campus’ main foyer will be named The Shakir Rehmatullah Atrium in honour of the gift. “This is not just an investment in Fleming College,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “This is an investment in people, in their hopes and dreams, and in their future careers.” Fleming | Global News (ON)

Immigrant faculty should complete equity training to understand context of EDI initiatives

Immigrant faculty should engage in equity training so that they understand the context for EDI initiatives, writes Mariappan Jawaharlal. Jawaharlal says that most engineering professors in the United States were born in foreign countries, and may not understand the unique, contextual challenges that students studying in America may face. The author says that these instructors need context so that they can empathize with their students and understand how cultural history impacts the subject they teach. Jawaharlal also recommends that institutions provide equity literacy training to students who are completing their PhD studies, as well as providing this type of training to incoming faculty. Inside Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

McMaster launches new sustainability strategy, plans to install electric boilers

McMaster University has recently launched two new sustainability initiatives. McMaster will be implementing its new sustainability strategy across campus, which will include growing commitments to a campus sustainability culture; sustainability-focused teaching, learning, and research; creating a self-sustaining campus; and ensuring operational excellence. McMaster has also announced that it is installing two electric boilers to heat the campus, which will reduce the university’s carbon emissions. “We are excited to share that McMaster is looking for ways to fast-track our plan to eliminate greenhouse gases on campus,” said McMaster chief facilities officer Debbie Martin. “We are developing a plan for achieving net zero carbon emissions on campus by as early as 2035.” McMaster (1) | McMaster (2) (ON)

UPEI, Charlottetown, Stratford launch Climate Trackers sustainability initiative

The University of Prince Edward Island has partnered with the City of Charlottetown and the Town of Stratford to launch a citizen-science-based initiative called Climate Trackers. The initiative encourages community members to provide observations on seasonal changes, weather, plants and wildlife, flooding, and more in the UPEI Climate Diary app. The initiative aims to identify the local impacts of climate change, and information will be used for research by UPEI climatologists and municipal staff to help inform climate change adaptations. “Engaging community members as citizen scientists allows us to collect information on a larger scale, making it useful in identifying climate change trends and developing the management plans needed to adapt to a changing climate,” said UPEI Associate Professor and Climate Lab Director Adam Fenech. UPEI (PEI)

Durham opens new CSTT skilled trades and technology facility

Durham College has officially opened its new Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology (CSTT) facility. The facility will be home to a variety of labs and shops, and the new space will allow the institution to increase its industrial skilled trades training by 750 student seats. The opening ceremony included tours of the CSTT, an Indigenous blessing, and a ribbon cutting. The construction of the centre was funded by $9.5M from the community. “This incredible new facility will help bring student success to life, creating opportunities to advance innovation and knowledge and providing a career launchpad for the next generation of skilled tradespeople,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. “The generosity and support from our community is an investment in our collective success and our students’ futures.” Durham (ON)

UAlberta student associations debate on-campus policing and security

CBC reports that the University of Alberta Students’ Union (UASU) and the International Students’ Association (ISA) have expressed differing opinions regarding on-campus policing and security. UASU recently released a policy that included a review of what University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) practices should change or be abolished. The ISA brought forward concerns, noting that it explicitly wants to ensure that uniformed officers are present. Recent surveys from the ISA and UASU showed that many international students are comfortable with police on campus and feel safer with police presence, but CBC says these numbers were significantly different from groups such as Indigenous students and LGBTQ2S+ students. UASU President Rowan Ley said that the policy aims to discover what is working and what changes may need to be made, and is not about abolishing UAPS. CBC (AB)