Top Ten

June 3, 2022

Institutions host events, undertake initiatives for National Indigenous History Month

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are hosting events and undertaking initiatives to recognize National Indigenous History Month. Mount Saint Vincent University has announced that it will be offering a new Indigenous stole with a ribbon fringe for Indigenous graduates to wear during their convocations. The University of Windsor is hosting a pow wow and a webinar to educate participants on pow wow teachings and protocols. The University of Winnipeg has installed Indigenous language banners to welcome people to campus in a variety of languages, including Cree, Dakota, and Ojibwe. The University of Alberta has announced that it will be launching a new strategic plan which will focus on developing and continuing relationships with Indigenous communities and knowledge keepers. The College of the Rockies announced that two Ktunaxa speakers would be sharing wisdom with the community. MSVU | CBC Radio (UWindsor) | UAlberta | Nation Talk (UWinnipeg) (National)

UoGuelph expands electronic wayfinding system for blind, visually impaired people

The University of Guelph has expanded its electronic wayfinding system for blind and visually impaired people. The system, called BlindSquare, helps people to navigate around campus using wall-mounted beacons that transmit signals picked up by a dedicated app. When the user moves indoors, the system uses battery-operated Bluetooth signals to help users navigate by telling them where corridors, elevators, stairways, and campus landmarks are. Over 400 GPS-enabled service points have been installed on the main campus, the U of G Arboretum, and the downtown Guelph campus. The system allows students to access multiple layers of information about their location and can be continually updated so that it stays current. UoGuelph (ON)

BCcampus releases new peer-support training resource for students

BCcampus has released a new peer-support training resource. The Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum: Facilitator’s Guide for Use with Students will help students build peer support skills focused on promoting student mental health and wellness. The resource is a licensed, accessible, and modular training resource that can be adapted by postsecondary institutions to their particular use case. It includes a facilitator’s guide that provides resources such as sample facilitation templates, suggested module activities, and best practices for training delivery. “What this foundational training is really about is building that connection,” said Jenn Cusick, who helped to create these resources. “It’s about learning the skills of how to be a better listener, letting go of one’s biases, appreciating people exactly where they’re at.” BCcampus (BC)

Institutions host combined graduation ceremonies for classes of 2020, 2021, 2022

Several postsecondary institutions across Canada are hosting combined graduation ceremonies to celebrate the graduates of 2022 alongside those from 2021 and 2020 who did not have in-person convocations. Memorial University will be holding its spring convocation for the first time in three years, with separate convocation ceremonies for this year’s graduates and the graduates of 2021 and 2022. Trent University Durham will be hosting a pair of in-person graduation ceremonies on June 2nd in Oshawa. The University of Lethbridge will hold a combined graduation ceremony over three days for students from the last three graduating years. Camosun College will host a graduation ceremony for students of the past three graduating years, with around 15,000 graduates expected to attend over three days of ceremonies. NTV | Durham Radio News | CTV News | CBC (National)

Report recommends reform for RMCs, questions whether they should continue to exist

A new report from former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour recommends reform for the Royal Military College in Kingston and in Saint-Jean, and questions whether the institutions should continue to exist as they currently do. Arbour noted that sexual misconduct at military colleges may be more difficult to address than in a civilian environment, and that continuing to perpetuate discriminatory culture will make it difficult for the Canadian Armed Forces to change in turn. “There is enough evidence that military colleges are not delivering on their mandate that I believe alternatives must be explored with an open mind,” said Arbour. The report includes 48 recommendations, 17 of which the government says it has already begun work on. Global News (1) | Global News (2) | Global News (3) (ON)

Bourassa resigns from USask, investigation shifts focus

The University of Saskatchewan has issued a statement indicating that health professor Carrie Bourassa has resigned from the university. Bourassa was placed on leave last year after a CBC report questioned her claims of Indigenous identity. The university launched an independent investigation that was undertaken by Indigenous law expert Jean Teillet. With Bourassa’s departure, the investigation will now focus on recommendations regarding USask’s policies and processes. “Teillet’s recommendations will be provided to USask in the near future, and these recommendations will be shared publicly,” said USask College of Medicine Dean Dr Preston Smith. USask | Globe and Mail | CBC | CTV News (SK)

Scholars Portal Dataverse rebrands as Borealis to reflect national scale

The Scholars Portal Dataverse has announced that it is rebranding as Borealis, the Canadian Dataverse Repository / le dépôt Dataverse canadien. The new name was developed to reflect the growth of the dataverse from a regional service to a national one. The name evokes the Canadian landscape and is meant to be reflective of the over 60 academic libraries and research institutions across Canada that use the service. “We are thrilled to debut as Borealis,” said Kate Davis, Interim Director of Scholars Portal. “This new name is the culmination of a collaborative effort with representatives from the four regional library consortia, the Digital Research Alliance of Canada, and members of the research data community, to develop a name that reflects the new identity of our service and our commitment to bilingualism.” The change will come into effect on June 23rd. Scholars Portal | Twitter | Borealis (PDF) (National)

Sheridan receives funding from Brampton to create Centre for Healthy Communities

Sheridan College will receive $2.5M from the City of Brampton to support the planning, design, consultation, and contract management for a new Centre for Healthy Communities at the Davis Campus. The Centre for Healthy Communities will train the next generation of nurses and allied health professionals in Brampton, act as a living lab of innovation and partnerships, and help address hallway health care by addressing chronic disease management through interprofessional care. “By providing at least 700 new postsecondary health care seats in Brampton,” said Sheridan President Dr Janet Morrison, “we’re helping keep local, highly trained health care professionals in Peel Region.” The planning phase is expected to take two years to complete, with construction taking three years. The Star (Sub. Req.) | Sheridan (ON)

BC medical students hesitant to become family doctors due to concerns about workload, finances

Medical students in British Columbia are rethinking their plans to become family doctors due to concerns about the fee-for-service model and having to run a business on top of caring for patients. CBC reports that BC family doctors are paid about $30 per patient visit, but have to pay overhead costs at a rate of about $60 an hour or more. Medical students are also not trained in business skills, despite family doctors having to run their practices as businesses. CBC reports that these issues have led to a critical shortage of long-term care physicians in the province. Students shared that they have other career options available to them: they can work in hospitals, specialise in palliative care, or find salaried positions in youth or sexual health clinics. CBC News (BC)

McMaster partners with the University of Liverpool over pandemic preparedness

McMaster University and the University of Liverpool have entered into a partnership aimed at advancing pandemic preparedness research and training opportunities at both institutions. McMaster president David Farrar visited Liverpool in May to exchange ideas on the difficulties COVID-19 has brought globally and the role of universities in developing strong evidence-based solutions for future epidemics. "Between our universities, we see several opportunities to accelerate vaccine and antibiotic development and address the challenges related to infrastructure, PPE, manufacturing, public policy, and the spread of misinformation," said Farrar. McMaster | InTheHammer (ON)