Top Ten

June 29, 2022

SPU announces four-day work week pilot project for administrative support personnel

Saint Paul University has announced that it will be piloting a four-day work week with administrative support personnel. The pilot project will last for four months and is intended to benefit employees’ mental health and productivity. Salary and pension plans will not be affected by the change. “We would probably be the first university in Canada to implement the shortened work week – it’s a revolutionary change,” said SPU Associate Vice Rector, Talent, Diversity and Culture, Carole Audet. “We’re not implementing a compressed work week and we’re not cutting pay. We hope to be a successful case study for others to follow this path, to foster a better work-life balance for all.” SPU (ON)

UBCO opening new location in downtown Kelowna

The University of British Columbia Okanagan is planning to open a new location in downtown Kelowna. The downtown location will be used for teaching, research, leasing office space, university rental housing, a new art gallery, and a public engagement suite linked to UBCO's Social and Economic Change Laboratory. It will also allow UBCO's School of Nursing and School of Social Work to work more closely with downtown community partners. The building will feature an integrated service desk where students can access wellness support and academic advice. "I'm excited about a future where we have over a thousand students, faculty, and staff working alongside our community partners in the heart of Kelowna," said Dr Phil Barker, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation at UBCO, "This will bring a vibrancy to our downtown core that will strengthen the community and region." UBCO (BC)

U of T receives $7M gift for new performance venue

The University of Toronto's Faculty of Music has received a $7M gift, the largest in the faculty’s history, to support the construction and operation of the Jay Telfer Forum. The forum will be a mid-sized performance venue where music students can practice and develop their skills. It is designed to be ideal for soloists and chamber music groups, featuring quality acoustics and advanced infrastructure for video recording and livestreams. The donation from Ian Telfer and Nancy Burke comes as a part of U of T's Defy Gravity campaign which looks to inspire alumni to contribute to the University. "Nancy and I hope this gift will lift up the entire arts community in Toronto as it emerges from one of its most challenging eras," said Ian Telfer. U of T (ON)

Patient-oriented research initiative involving UManitoba receives $30M

A pan-Canadian initiative called the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) has received a $30M joint investment to support the next phase of research from the Manitoba SPOR Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit. The five-year investment will be used to expand the Manitoba SPOR SUPPORT Unit, which is housed within a centre that is operated by the University of Manitoba and Shared Health. “Our work ... has made patient-oriented research no longer just a concept in Canada; patients and researchers are working together to produce measurable improvements in service delivery and health-care practice across the country,” said CIHR President Dr Michael Strong. The funding is provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba, Shared Health, and the University of Manitoba. UManitoba | Canada | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

UNB launches post-diploma entry to BHS for respiratory therapists

The University of New Brunswick has announced that it is launching a Bachelor of Health Sciences post-diploma entry for respiratory therapists (RTs). The program will begin this Fall and will provide healthcare professionals who already hold a RT credential with a pathway to complete a Bachelor of Health Science. The program is offered full-time and part-time with online delivery options to provide flexibility to RT professionals who wish to continue working while they study. Eligible NBCC RT graduates will be able to stack their credentials toward the program, to enhance their opportunities. UNB (NB)

Canada invests in URegina, McMaster projects to support frontline worker mental health

The Government of Canada has invested over $28M in nine projects that will support frontline and essential workers who are most at risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The projects will focus on delivering and testing interventions, developing resources, and creating guidance for service providers and organizations. The University of Regina will receive almost $20M for four projects that will promote healing in those who have experienced trauma, support the development of resources and training programs, and expand and evaluate the Before Operational Stress Program. McMaster University will receive over $3M for two projects focused on resource development and e-mental health solutions. The other two projects will be conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Lawson Health Research Institute. Canada (Release) | Canada (Projects) | URegina | CBC (National)

Conestoga, Accelerator Centre partner on AC:Studio

The Conestoga Entrepreneurship Collective (CEC) and the Accelerator Centre (AC) have partnered to launch a hybrid venture studio called the AC:Studio. AC:Studio will support southern Ontario’s high-potential business with funding, training, tactical resources, and talent and creative services. The project will provide 100 companies with up to $100K in seed funding between now and 2025. “Engaging the region's unique ecosystem of complementary incubators in this project is good for all entrepreneurs and will play a positive role in ensuring the economic health of both our region and the province,” said CEC Director Rose Mastnak. Conestoga (ON)

Institutions adjust mask policies, pause mask requirements

Several postsecondary institutions have announced adjustments and pauses to their mask policies in response to public health recommendations and expiring policies. Cape Breton University announced that, as of June 30th, it will no longer have a mask policy in effect on campus. The university is currently in a short transition period in which masks are only required in classrooms and laboratories. In Ontario, York University paused its masking protocol yesterday and the University of Guelph announced that it would pause its mask requirement at the beginning of July. The universities noted that students should continue to self-monitor and stay home if they are feeling unwell. Niagara College will rescind its mandatory masking policy on July 4th. Each institution noted that masks are still encouraged on campus. CBU | UoGuelph | York U | Insauga (Niagara) (National)

TLAP program provides Anderson, Westervelt students with pathway to become Pharmacy Technicians

Anderson College of Health, Business and Technology has announced that Anderson and Westervelt College students can now enroll in Central Pharmacy Services’ Technician Licensing Assistance Program (TLAP). TLAP assists and supports pharmacy assistants who are interested in becoming fully registered Pharmacy Technicians. Eligible students in the program will receive a reimbursement of 100% of their registration and licensing fees and 80% of the program fees to a maximum of $12K. "This partnership empowers our Pharmacy Technician students to learn hands-on, serving patients, and provides a clear pathway for them to become licensed professionals, removing any barriers by providing financial support," said Anderson Chief Operating Officer Rose Elia. Newswire (ON)

USask College of Medicine to continue STEPS program in Division of Continuing Medical Education

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that its College of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Medical Education (CME) will be taking over the STBBI Treatment Education Program for Saskatchewan (STEPS). STEPS is focused on training primary care providers such as family medicine residents, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses about how to recognize, treat, and manage infections such as human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus. The program will build and use resources such as Virtual Classrooms for the management of HIV, HCV, and syphilis, and the new location of the program will enhance learning and collaboration opportunities. USask (SK)