Top Ten

September 9, 2022

UCalgary to offer new Doctor of Nursing program

The University of Calgary is offering a Doctor of Nursing program to help prepare registered nurses and other healthcare professionals build the leadership skills they need to tackle senior roles in healthcare. The three-year, thesis-based program covers systems innovation, program evaluation, and quality assurance. It is also offered online so that students can continue working while studying. UCalgary states that the program is one of the first of its kind in Canada, and that it was created without a guiding curriculum framework. “We have created a strong program that includes the principles of health-care innovation, understanding the context in which innovation occurs, change management and use of technology in health care," said UCalgary graduate programs associate dean Dr. Kathryn King-Shier. UCalgary | Calgary Sun (AB)

PSE hold vigils, pause events in respect of the losses at James Smith Cree Nation, Weldon

Several institutions in Canada have issued statements in response to the losses in the communities of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan. First Nations University held a smudging ceremony and vigils on its campuses, as well as a prayer gathering that was offered with the University of Regina, Luther College, and Campion College in Regina. Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies paused all programs and travel to give its community time to process and grieve together, and held a moment of silence. The University of Saskatchewan postponed several large gatherings and announced new safety measures for events. USask also shared links to supports for campus community members. Yukon University President Lesley Brown issued a statement that shared resources and supports with the community and called for students and staff to “be kind and patient with one another” during this time. FNU | Regina Leader Post | USask | SIIT | YukonU  (National)

ECU adjunct professor steps down following Maclean’s article challenging claims of Indigenous heritage

Emily Carr University Adjunct Professor Gina Adams has resigned from her tenure-track position following the publication of an article in Maclean’s that challenged her Indigenous heritage, reports The Vancouver Sun. The Sun reports that Adams describes herself as a contemporary hybrid artist of Aboriginal descent. Maclean’s writer and former ECU staff member Michelle Cyca discusses Adams’ employment at the university, the accusations levelled against Adams’ claims to Indigenous heritage, and the events that followed. ECU issued a statement indicating that it “takes very seriously the allegations that a member of our faculty made a false claim to Indigenous identity,” and indicated that the university will be undertaking an Indigenous-led external review to secure recommendations on how it can assess identity in a culturally-appropriate manner. Maclean’s | ECU | Vancouver Sun (BC)

Institutions lower flags, reflect on past connections with Queen Elizabeth II

Several universities and colleges in Canada have lowered their flags and issued statements in the wake of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Memorial University reflected on the Queen’s visit in 1978, when she turned the sod for the Queen Elizabeth II library, and its long-standing campus in Harlow, England. Brandon University remarked upon the Queen’s visits to the university, including her participation in the official opening of the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building. Institutions such as the University of Guelph, Queen’s University, and Niagara College lowered or kept their flags at half-mast. Universities Canada stated that it will be continuing to honour the Queen through the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program, which was established in 2012. Memorial | BrandonU | UoGuelph | Niagara | Queen’s | Universities Canada  (National)

Researchers secure Homegrown Innovation Challenge Spark Awards to study sustainable berry farming

15 projects from researchers from across Canada have been selected to receive Spark Awards from the Weston Family Foundation Homegrown Innovation Challenge. The 15 award recipients will propose projects focused on sustainable berry farming, after which ten successful applicants will receive a $1M award to develop a small-scale proof of concept. Further funding will be provided to successful teams to develop and scale their innovations. The projects include a proposed study from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Université Laval on how to grow berries year-round in northern climates, a study by Lethbridge College and industry partners to determine how to maximize the production of strawberries, and a study by researchers at Laurentian University and industry partners into how to produce strawberries underground. Weston Family Foundation | KPU | Lethbridge (National)

U of King’s College launches cohort tuition waivers for Mi’kmaw journalism students

The University of King's College has announced that, starting in 2023, it is dedicating $600K over five years to establish a cohort program for Mi’kmaw students studying journalism. The funds will be used to fully cover tuition for up to three Mi'kmaw students pursuing a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) every year to ensure that the students, their families, and their communities are not responsible for bearing the financial burden of tuition. Further supports include funding an Indigenous Student Advisor, maintaining a dedicated space for Indigenous students, strengthening relationships with the Elder-in-Residence Program and Indigenous Student Centre at Dalhousie University, and working with Mount Saint Vincent University on making additional resources available to Indigenous students. U of King’s College (NS)

York to lead five-year Global South AI4PEP Network project

York University has received $7.25M from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to lead an international team on a five-year public health research project. The Global South Artificial Intelligence for Pandemic and Epidemic Preparedness and Response Network (Global South AI4PEP Network) project will be led by York University Assistant Professor Jude Kong. The funds will be used to develop equitable and responsible AI solutions and big data approaches to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (ERIDs). “ERIDs present global challenges, and as such, international communication and shared strategies, which build on varying types of expertise, are required to successfully address them,” explained Kong. “This project is a small step in that direction.” York (ON)

UoGuelph opens dedicated family chair in sustainable cropping systems

The University of Guelph is opening a Martin and Denise Pick Family Chair in Sustainable Cropping Systems thanks to a $2M gift to the Ontario Agricultural College, an anonymous bequest, and funding from the institution. The chair will focus on research and teaching in food security and sustainably growing food crops. The donation comes largely thanks to Martin Pick, retired executive of the Pickseed Group of Companies, who emphasizes the need to restore the land that is farmed on. “The Martin and Denise Pick Family Chair in Sustainable Cropping Systems is both an investment in the Ontario Agricultural College and the University of Guelph, as well as an investment in food security and a sustainable future for us all," said UoGuelph President Dr Charlotte Yates UoGuelph (ON)

Tips for escaping a research rut: Opinion

“From the beginning of my career, mentors and colleagues had warned me of the tendency to fall into the occasional research rut,” writes Erin M O’Mara Kunz. “Nevertheless, I was at a loss as to how to climb out of mine.” In an article for Inside Higher Ed, O’Mara Kunz shares the plentiful advice she received from Academic Twitter on how to get out of a research rut. The suggestions include attending conferences and networking with other researchers, engaging with formal and informal professional development opportunities, and taking a moment to go outside or take a sabbatical to seek inspiration elsewhere. The most reassuring of the advice received, the author writes, was to not put pressure on oneself, and instead taking a moment to reflect and breathe. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

UManitoba student union sued by CFS over membership fees

The CBC reports that the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU) is being sued by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the Canadian Federation of Students-Services for allegedly withholding more than $1M in membership fees over three years. UMSU became a member of CFS in 2005, but its board voted to defederate in 2020. According to the lawsuit, CFS bylaws require a referendum to confirm defederation, and the UMSU has continued to benefit from CFS programs and services. The CFS also claims that they tried to reach UMSU since 2019 to reach a friendly resolution, but their outreach was ignored, while former UMSU president Brendan Scott stated that the CFS refused to allow a virtual referendum and had been "unreasonable." The lawsuit seeks the payment of fees and court costs, as well as a declaration that UMSU is still a CFS member. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

SK launches four-point action plan to recruit, train, incentivize, retain health care workers

The Government of Saskatchewan recently announced a new four-point human resources action plan for the health care sector that includes steps related to recruitment and training. Under the plan, the province intends to identify further program possibilities, such as new program areas or additional training seats, with postsecondary partners. SK further indicated that it is looking to recruit internationally educated healthcare professionals (IEHPs) and others with healthcare experience in the province who are eligible for training or employment in the sector. “Bolstering our healthcare workforce through competitive recruitment efforts is a top priority for our government,” said SK Minister of health Paul Merriman, “and we are expanding on our four-point plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain healthcare providers to stabilize and steadily grow the provincial workforce.” SK (SK)

USask launches suicide prevention strategy

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has launched a suicide prevention strategy in order to help postsecondary students in the province. The strategy includes a toolkit and awareness campaign, and the materials will be shared with other institutions with the support of Healthy Campus Saskatchewan. “Suicide in the post-secondary student population is a clear global, national, and regional issue,” said Jay Wilson, interim vice-provost of Teaching, Learning, and Student Experience at USask. “Student deaths by suicide have touched our communities, and they have touched our campus. The components of the suicide prevention strategy will be a lifesaving tool.” USask (SK)

WLU responds to large, unsanctioned student gathering

Wilfrid Laurier University’s special constable service is working with Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS) to increase security presence after hundreds of students took part in an unsanctioned gathering. The WRPS has reported that damage to property and people was sustained at the gathering. WLU Vice-President of Student Affairs Ivan Joseph issued a letter to students that the school may pursue disciplinary action against those involved in the gathering, as the WRPS and special constables are looking through video to identify participants. He also expressed disappointment in those who participated "in behaviour that is dangerous to our community." WRPS have created a plan to respond as more large gatherings are expected to take place over the coming weekend. CBC | WLU (ON)

How to improve adult education in Canada by drawing on lessons from the past, NZ: Report

In a newly published paper for the Institute for Research on Public Policy, University of British Columbia Associate Professor Jude Walker explores adult education in Canada and the key lessons that can be drawn from the past and from New Zealand. Adult education is an essential part of skills development in Canada, but it remains a “poor cousin” of compulsory and higher education, writes Walker. In an accompanying editorial, Walker identifies key areas for action across federal, provincial, and territorial governments, including bringing adult education into the mainstream and professionalizing and recognizing adult educators with increased pay and professional certification. “By drawing on lessons from our past and from other countries’ experiences,” she concludes, “we can bring all government and non-government actors together to devise a nationally coherent system of adult education that will create a better future for us all.” IRPP (Editorial)

ULaval Law receives $1M from Brian Mulroney

Université Laval has received a $1M gift from former prime minister Brian Mulroney toward the Faculty of Law. The donation will be used to create scholarship programs in honour of Mulroney’s close friends and advisors: former chief of staff Bernard A Roy and Senate member Jean Bazin. The scholarships will help the next generation of students who wish to pursue a career in law or politics to learn and grow, while additionally promoting the expertise of ULaval. “Université Laval is fortunate to be able to count on the support of this exceptional man and great Québec leader who has played an important role on the Canadian political scene and internationally,” said ULaval Rector Sophie D'Amours. ULaval | Journal de Montréal | Newswire (QC)

Canada, BC fund specialized training resources, systemic change to addressing sexualized violence

The Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia have each provided $500K to address sexualized violence at postsecondary institutions in the province. The federal funds will be used to develop specialized training resources – to be made available by Summer 2024 – that support systemic change and enable staff, faculty, and students to prevent, respond to, and report sexualized violence. “We know that rates of sexualized violence are most prominent among post-secondary-aged students,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “We all have a responsibility to prevent sexualized violence and we are continuing to work with post-secondary institutions, students and communities to create awareness and to foster a culture of safety for everyone.” BC (BC)

UAlberta NXT-GEN club launches accelerator program

NXT-GEN, a club created by business students at the University of Alberta, is launching an accelerator program to make Edmonton's entrepreneurship ecosystem more available to students. NXT-GEN has partnered with Technology Alberta, Startup Edmonton, and eHUB, UAlberta's entrepreneurship centre to help deliver this program and teach students what they need to know to start a high-growth business while also connecting with Alberta tech companies. The program will begin with a cohort of 50 students who will meet monthly throughout the 2022-23 academic year. While industry professionals will be brought in to help teach students, the program remains "architected by students, designed for students." The program will be open to students from grade 10 through to 2022 university graduates. Edmonton Journal (AB)

SFU opens family housing on Burnaby campus

Simon Fraser University announced the opening of sustainably-designed family housing units for its Burnaby campus this Fall. The two new buildings have 90 rental units, three of which are accessible. The units have been reserved for SFU students with spouses or common-law partners and/or children. The units have a high level of thermal efficiency and support passive heating and cooling to reduce energy usage. The buildings are also close to a variety of facilities and commercial spaces designed for parents and children. “SFU is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all SFU students, and that means building appropriate accommodations for students at every stage of their life journey,” said SFU president Joy Johnson. SFU (BC)

Unifor members gather in Durham to support cleaning staff on strike

Unifor workers from across the GTA gathered to join with cleaning workers employed by GDI Services who are picketing at Durham College and Ontario Tech University. The workers have reportedly received temporary layoff notices from GDI and been informed that their employment will resume if they cross the picket line. “Telling employees they will be laid off unless they cross a legal picket line is illegal,” commented York University Professor David Doorey, who noted that the union may file for unfair labour practice. Unifor also alleges that scab workers are being used to perform the cleaning duties on campus, which the union says compromises the sanitary conditions. Approximately 70 workers began legal strike action in late August and have been without a contract since the end of 2021. Newswire | The Toronto Star (Acct Req) | Durham Radio | InSauga (ON) PS. On September 12th, the strike came to an end as the parties negotiated a contract that includes "significant" wage and benefit increases. inSauga

Leading a postsecondary institution in the hybrid era: Opinion

Reflecting on her experience taking office in January 2021, Cathy Sandeen has penned an article on leadership and presidency in a hybrid era. “I believe we’re entering a new era of leadership … that will require forethought, adaptation, and customization,” writes Sandeen. In this new era, in addition to needing to balance the competing needs of different stakeholders on campus, presidents need to navigate different schedules and stakeholder group expectations. Sandeen describes some of the key takeaways from her time as president, such as how connecting with others now requires more deliberate action than pre-pandemic and how she is finding more value in smaller, more personal networking events. “At the end of the day, it’s about the mission — creating opportunity for students to thrive,” she concludes. “They will live and work in the hybrid world of the future. We should embrace the idea that this future is now.” Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct Req) (Editorial)