Top Ten

September 19, 2022

U of T Scarborough launches Black Health Equity Lab

The University of Toronto Scarborough has launched the Black Health Equity Lab (BHEL), a lab that will focus on health inequities faced by Toronto’s Black community members. The lab will complete not only research, but will design solutions for health inequities and engage in a partnership with the TAIBU Community Health Centre. U of T Scarborough assistant professor and BHEL director Notisha Massaquoi stated that the lab will be a place for students and community members to collaborate on issues related to how Black people experience the health-care system. The lab also will work with Indigenous researchers and communities to apply knowledge learned at the lab to health inequities experienced by Indigenous individuals. U of T (ON)

Over 20 Canadian postsecondary institutions rank highly in AASHE’s 2022 Sustainable Campus Index

AASHE has released its 2022 Sustainable Campus Index, and over 20 Canadian postsecondary institutions were featured across the indices. Université de Sherbrooke was named the top-scoring institution in Canada and represented Canada on the inaugural International Top Performers List. The institutions to rank among the top ten for individual indicators most frequently were Université Laval (7 times), UdeSherbrooke (5), Dawson College (3), and McGill University (3). In the institution type rankings, Dawson, Nova Scotia Community College, Mohawk College, and Fleming College were the four leading top performers for Associate Colleges; Ontario Tech University was a top performer for Master’s Institutions; and UdeSherbrooke appeared among the Doctoral Institution top performers. AASHE (International)

UAlberta launches new laboratory, endowed chair thanks to AstraZeneca donation

The University of Alberta has announced a new laboratory and endowed chair to research the connection between microbiota and mood disorders and immune conditions such as depression and asthma. The research is supported by a gift from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca Canada Inc Chair in Asthma and Obstructive Lung Disease will be held by UAlberta Associate Professor Paul Forsythe, who will set up a lab and research team to carry out the study. "Today's endowment of a chair in asthma and obstructive lung disease is one more example of how we are working towards finding ground-breaking solutions to the benefit of all," said UAlberta president Bill Flanagan. UAlberta (AB)

UWindsor celebrates opening of downtown location for computer science program

The University of Windsor’s School of Computer Science is celebrating the opening of a new downtown location that will house its Master of Applied Computing program. The downtown location will focus on fostering industry partnerships and providing services such as consulting, customized training, research collaborations, and workspaces. “The primary goal of the space is to build a simulated professional work environment for students and industry to collaborate in the development of new software projects and offer training on the latest computing technologies,” said UWindsor School of Computer Science Director Ziad Kobti. “This is part of the work-integrated learning experience we present to computer science students and local industry.” UWindsor (ON)

QC unions express frustration over delayed English-language collective agreements

Four Quebec unions have expressed frustration at the fact that they are still waiting for the English-language version of the collective agreement that the Comité patronal de négociation des collèges (CPNC) was meant to send them. The English-language version has reportedly been delayed more than eight months. Centrale des syndicats du Québec, Fédération de l'enseignement collégial, the Fédération du personnel de soutien de l'enseignement supérieur, and the Fédération du personnel professionnel des collèges stated that the delays show that the CPNC does not respect its English-speaking members. These groups indicated that they intend to file a set of grievances against the CPNC. Newswire (QC)

Portage, Canadiens, STEP sign MOU to promote healthy communities

Portage College has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the St Paul Canadiens Alumni Foundation (Canadiens), and the St Paul/Elk Point Economic Development Alliance (STEP) to promote healthy communities. The partnership includes a variety of initiatives, including the creation of new scholarships and academic upgrading courses for Canadiens players. “Youth in our communities will be able to complete their high school and college education while continuing their passion for hockey,” said Portage President Nancy Broadbent. “We’re so excited about the ability to offer courses to the St Paul Canadiens to prepare them for transfer to our College and to the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference when they are ready.” Portage (AB)

Remove open access author fees to make more research available: Opinion

Removing the author fees for open access journals could help researchers make their work more widely available and accessible, writes McGill University Scholarly Communications Librarian Jessica Lange. Lange writes that open access journals often charge disproportionately high author fees, and these fees will continue to increase if authors continue to pay them, creating publishing privilege. As bigger publishers increase their fees, open access publications that have a no-fee model will need federal support and should be an encouraged publication model. The Conversation (Editorial)

Creating a “cybersecurity playbook” essential to protect institutions, staff, students, customers

Athabasca University alum Claudette McGowan recently called for institutions to ensure that they have a cybersecurity playbook in case of cyber-attacks. Noting that “professionals don’t hack systems, they hack people,” she stated that institutions must take steps to protect their students, customers, and employees and encouraged them to offer cybersecurity awareness training to all staff. She further underlined the need for cybersecurity professionals, referencing data showing that there are around 3.5 million jobs unfilled around the world. McGowan noted that the gender imbalance in the technology fields needs to be addressed as early as in K-12. Athabasca (AB)

Holland College states tent encampment near campus to be relocated

CBC reports that a tent encampment near Holland College’s Prince of Wales campus will be relocated. College president Sandy MacDonald told CBC that the college has offered to help the residents relocate and that he has spoken with the people living at the encampment to notify them that the relocation is coming. CBC states that there have been reports of harassment of staff and drug use at the site, and that the college has brought in a security presence to help protect students and staff. "We are handling the matter in a way that will maintain the dignity of the campers, and we are hopeful that suitable alternate accommodations can be found for them,” stated the college. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | CBC (3) (PEI)

Postsecondary institutions take steps to monitor, prepare for potential monkeypox outbreaks

In an article for University Affairs, Mark Cardwell describes the steps postsecondary institutions in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver are taking to monitor monkeypox as the Fall semester begins. In Toronto, York University is staying in contact with public health agencies on potential recommendations, Toronto Metropolitan University is developing protocols to manage potential cases on campus, and the University of Toronto has posted monkeypox-related resources on its website. In Montréal, McGill University’s Student Wellness Hub is providing information on monkeypox, while in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia has developed a communicable disease prevention framework and is planning to start to offer monkeypox testing and vaccines for students. University Affairs (BC | ON | QC)