Top Ten

June 27, 2022

Canada announces over $500M in funding through NSERC Discovery Research programs

The Government of Canada has announced over $500M in funding to foster research excellence through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) Discovery Research programs. The majority of the funding will go toward research programs focused on topics such as climate change, artificial intelligence, and mathematics. $73.8M will be used to extend existing grants in order to better support researchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Discovery is the foundation of all advancements,” stated federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne. “By helping to expand the frontiers of science, we are investing in a better society and a brighter future for Canadians." The Government of Quebec also recently announced an additional $2.6M in funding through the Fonds de recherche du Québec for seven research projects focused specifically on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Newswire (NSERC) | QC (National)

UoGuelph opens The Grove Hub to support youth wellness needs

The University of Guelph has opened a new youth wellness centre on campus called The Grove Hub. The hub will provide youth with a variety of programs and services in one location, including mentorship, counselling, and mental health support. The centre is run in collaboration with Student Wellness and other on-campus services. “Every day, youth walk into the hubs. They might be there just to plug their phone in, or they’re there because they want some help,” said The Grove executive director Cyndy Moffat Forsyth. “It’s all about transforming the system and it’s all about youth.” UoGuelph | Guelph Mercury Tribune (ON)

UBC, UNBC program receives provincial investment to expand seats, acquire space for physical therapy program

A physical therapy program offered in partnership between the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia will soon have space for 20 more students in Surrey, thanks to a $24.9M investment from the Government of British Columbia. The funding has been used to purchase new space in Surrey for teaching, laboratories, and offices. The location will open in 2023 and will support the province’s plan to address the region’s need for physical therapists. “The new site also paves the way for future expansion of other UBC health-professional programs, such as occupational therapy and midwifery in collaboration with health partners to better serve the needs of students, patients and communities,” said UBC VP of Health Dermot Kelleher. BC (BC)

Cambrian officially opens Cambrian Pride Centre

Cambrian College has officially opened the Cambrian Pride Centre, a space that is dedicated to supporting 2SLGBTQ+ students and staff. The resource centre is both a positive space for the community to meet and feel empowered and an educational resource for the campus community. The centre features a mural designed by Cambrian alumnus Matthew Lehtela and flies a pride flag that includes two feathers, which recognizes Indigenous people who identify as two-spirited. “[I]t’s really crucial for people to see themselves represented, to see where they can fit in and ask any questions or just meet with other people that are like minded,” said Cambrian Academic Chair for the Schools of Justice and Academic Studies Bradie Granger. Cochrane Times-Post | CBC (ON)

New presidents should intentionally foster a high-performing leadership team: Opinion

New college and university presidents should spend time creating and sustaining their senior leadership team, writes Laurie Fenlason. In their early days, presidents should focus on positioning their team for success by sharing information about themselves, asking questions about why things are done the way they are, thinking out loud when considering how challenges can be approached, and developing an understanding of how each team member became a leader. “Launched and sustained in a thoughtful way, a senior team is a force multiplier, making your presidency significantly larger—and more professionally and personally sustaining—than the sum of its parts,” writes Fenlason. Inside Higher Ed (Sub. Req.) (Editorial)

Athabasca extends Temporary Compassionate Grading Policy

Athabasca University has announced that it is extending its Temporary Compassionate Grading Policy to the end of the calendar year in order to support mental health and wellness. The policy allows learners to select one course per academic year that they achieved a passing grade on and mark it with a “P” for pass on their transcript. That course is unweighted and is excluded from their overall GPA. “We recognize the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our learners and understand many learners may not have been able to achieve the grade outcomes they wanted,” said Anne-Marie Scott, Deputy Provost, Academic Operations. “This policy will provide a flexible grading option to mitigate the impact of that on a learner’s GPA.” The policy will be reviewed in December to determine whether it will be extended again. Athabasca (AB)

YorkU staff, UOttawa part-time professor unions vote in support of strike action

Unions at two Ontario universities have recently voted in support of strike action. At York University, York University Staff Association (YUSA) members voted 91% in favour of a strike mandate. YUSA’s contract expired in July 2021, and a No Board Report was filed on June 8th. YUSA members will be able to start a strike on July 1 if they have not reached an agreement with the university. At the University of Ottawa, part-time professors represented by the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) voted 97.5% in favour of a strike if negotiations were not successful. APTPUO states that they were forced to take a vote early after the employer requested conciliation. News Wire (YUSA) | APTPUO (PDF) | Le Droit (APTPUO) (ON)

TRU professor explores audiobooks to increase course accessibility

While focusing on ways to make courses more accessible to students, Thompson Rivers University Associate Professor Paul Simpson became interested in how audiobooks could help. Simpson explored the option after some students in his classes reached out to him to discuss their learning disabilities and many students reported that they struggled with reading. Students told Simpson that they used audiobooks and preferred listening to a human voice over computer-generated voices, which led to questions about why manuals and textbooks were not provided in this format. Simpson embarked on research on the topic and has begun to record audiobooks. TRU (BC)

RDP Athletics unveils refreshed brand for 2022-2023 season

Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has unveiled a refreshed brand for the 2022/2023 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) season. The new look includes an updated logo featuring a crown and a single green colour that connects RDP Athletics with the polytechnic’s new overall brand. It will be featured on campus and on player uniforms in the upcoming season. “We are very excited for the 15 Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics teams to proudly showcase the modern visual identity this year, as they train, compete and volunteer in the community,” said RDP Manager, Athletics and Student Life Randy Stewart. “The Kings and Queens will have a unique and recognizable look as they continually strive for excellence in all facets of being a student-athlete at Red Deer Polytechnic.” Todayville | RD News Now (AB)

OCADU, DESIGNwith, Cadillac Fairview launch DESIGNwith studio design incubator

OCAD University, DESIGNwith, and Cadillac Fairview have collaborated to launch the DESIGNwith studio, a design incubator committed to community and sustainability. The incubator provides a space for people to come together to research, learn, and gain hands-on design experience. The space was built with 40% repurposed materials and features a furniture collection that was designed with consideration of its sustainability, flexibility, and affordability. The incubator will also host workshops and events that will be open to the public. “With this new initiative, we’re excited to create a place where the public can learn more about the impact design has on everyday items through hands-on learning and workshops,” said OCADU President Ana Serrano. News Wire | Toronto Life (ON)