Top Ten

September 15, 2022

Creditors vote in favour of Laurentian plan of arrangement

Creditors voted in favour on Laurentian University’s plan of arrangement yesterday. Now that the plan has been approved, Laurentian will seek a court Order on October 5th to implement the Plan, at which point the university will have emerged from its restructuring. In advance of the vote, reporters from organizations such as CBC and CTV News remarked on the serious implications of the vote, as a vote against the plan could potentially have seen the university shut its doors for good. Chair of the Laurentian Board of Governors Jeff Bangs penned a statement reflecting on the journey to the vote and expressing both “gratitude … for those who endorsed our Plan of Arrangement [and] respect for the views of those who did not.” Laurentian | CBC | CTV News | Laurentian (Bangs) (ON)

Memorial Labrador Campus officially opens own building

Memorial University's Labrador Campus has officially opened its new building in Happy-Valley-Goose Bay. The campus, which has shared space with College of the North Atlantic for years, is committed to a northern-led and northern-focused approach to research, education, and initiatives for people in Labrador and the north. The new building includes classrooms, a library and archive, a learning commons, a community space, a campus elders and aunties room, offices and work areas, and more. Memorial (NL)

Impacts of permit delays, uncertainty seen in number of students on campus, tuition revenue

Study permit delays and uncertainty are impacting international student enrolment in Canada, report CBC and the Vancouver Sun. CBC states that the backlog in processing visas at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has had a noticeable impact in the Waterloo region. At Conestoga College, delays have caused 1,000 international students to postpone their studies. With the recent extension for approved distance learning, the University of Waterloo is supporting students by ensuring that some virtual classes start early in the morning to accommodate the time difference and by recording class sessions. The Vancouver Sun reports that the University of Victoria’s student numbers are also lower than expected, which is partially attributed to delays processing visas. UVic President Kevin Hall noted that the decrease has led to concerns regarding tuition revenue. CBC | Vancouver Sun (ON | BC)

UCalgary Students’ Union calls for more financial support for OERs

The Students’ Union at the University of Calgary is calling on the university and the Government of Alberta to provide more financial support for the development of Open Educational Resources (OERs). SU Vice-President Academic Shazia Jinnah Morsette says that students are struggling with increased textbook and educational resource costs. While the union has committed itself to investing $500K in developing 50 new OERs over five years, Morsette says more must be done to help AB students access educational resources, and pointed to British Columbia and Ontario as examples. “[S]tudents have saved nearly $40 million in costs in those provinces thanks to government OER initiatives,” said Morsette. CBC (AB)

NSCC signs Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion

Nova Scotia Community College has signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education. The college joins over 50 signatories in a commitment to the principles of Black flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality, and accountability when developing policies, actions, and initiatives. “By signing the Scarborough Charter we’re leveraging NSCC’s interconnectedness to the communities and industries that we serve to strengthen the social, cultural and economic fabric of Nova Scotia,” said NSCC VP Academic Jill Provoe. NSCC is reportedly the first college in Atlantic Canada to sign the charter. NSCC (NS)

Seneca vaccine mandate ruled legal, Western vaccine policy strengthened by decision

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that Seneca College’s vaccine mandate is legal and enforceable. Superior Court Judge William D Black found that Seneca’s vaccine policy does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and rejected an application for an injunction brought on behalf of two students. CTV News reports that this ruling strengthens Western University’s position with its vaccine policy. Five Western students are reportedly seeking a permanent injunction that would bar the university from collecting student vaccine information and require it to destroy previously collected information. An attorney representing the Western students has reportedly said that this case will go ahead. Seneca | National Post (Seneca) | CTV News (Western) (ON)

Waiting out students to foster engagement in the classroom: Opinion

Instructors must actively foster student engagement in the classroom if they want students to be active participants, writes Dan Sarofian-Butin. Sarofian-Butin argues that students often approach postsecondary learning passively and avoid interacting with the professor by holding a “collective silence” whenever a question is posed. Instructors may respond by answering their own questions and resorting to lecturing rather than engagement, but Sarofian-Butin encourages “waiting out” the students by letting silence build until students are forced to engage. The author writes that this technique consistently leads to students who respond to questions, engage with each other, ask questions in front of the class, and understand that learning is a process requiring engagement. Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)

Lakehead, USask, GDI install symbols promoting reconciliation, awareness on campus

Lakehead University, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Gabriel Dumont Institute have installed new symbols of reconciliation on campus. Lakehead has unveiled a permanent Every Child Matters crosswalk on the Orillia campus and raised a Survivors’ Flag for the month of September. “The Every Child Matters crosswalks remind us that every child matters and as a post-secondary institution, we must be vigilant in our education, research, outreach, and community service,” said Lakehead Vice-Provost, Indigenous Initiatives Denise Baxter. USask and GDI unveiled a Métis Red River Cart on campus that recognizes the importance of Métis students as well as the relationship between USask, GDI, and Métis Nation—Saskatchewan. Lakehead | TB News Watch | USask (ON | SK)

Cégep de Thetford launches nature intervention AEC

Cégep de Thetford has launched a new Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) program that specializes in nature intervention. The program focuses on an educational approach comprised of outdoor activities and the use of natural objects as teaching objects in both indoor and outdoor settings. The AEC will expand the cégep’s available resources to include tools adapted to children with special needs or situations. The training will be offered to childhood educators, preschool and elementary teachers, and early childhood workers on a part-time basis with online and face-to-face activities. Courrier Frontenac (QC)

Court case about dismissal of MCFT instructor underway

The court case regarding the alleged wrongful dismissal of Rod Cumberland from the Maritime College of Forest Technology is underway in New Brunswick. Former MCFT forestry instructor Rod Cumberland is suing the college for wrongful dismissal in 2019, which he states is due to his views and comments on the herbicide glyphosate. The college has countered that Cumberland was fired for bullying students and undermining a colleague. Two former executive directors and Cumberland have testified on topics such as the complaints received from industry about Cumberland's perspective on the herbicide and Cumberland’s interactions with administration and students. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (NB)