Top Ten

January 17, 2023

Canada reveals $360M strategy for quantum computing

The Government of Canada has unveiled its $360M plan to prepare for and profit from an anticipated quantum technology revolution. $141M of the funding will go toward basic and applied research; $45M will be used to develop, attract, and retain expertise in the sector; and $169M will be used to transform research into products and services and establish access to the global market. These three pillars – research, talent, and commercialization – will support the National Quantum Strategy as it seeks to establish Canada as a world leader in quantum computing hardware and software, enable Canadian government and industries to be developers and adopters of related technologies, and ensure the privacy and cybersecurity of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world. Canada (Strategy) | Globe and Mail (National)

UoGuelph receives $2M from Grain Farmers of Ontario for professorship in field crop pathology

The University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus has received a $2M donation from the Grain Farmers of Ontario to fund the creation of a Grain Farmers of Ontario Professorship in Field Crop Pathology. The faculty member will focus on proactively protecting grain crops from pathogens that are impacted by climate change and other factors. “This funding support from Grain Farmers of Ontario is significant for farmers and farms across Ontario,” said UoGuelph Ridgetown Campus Director Brett Shepherd. “It’s critically important that we be proactive, not just reactive, in identifying and developing strategies against these pathogens.” Blackburn News (ON)

PSE should rethink international fees, take ownership of business model issues: Opinion

At a recent international conference, experts discussed the need for a rethink of how international student fees are used to subsidize higher education, writes Adam Habib for University World News. The debate participants highlighted the difference between the cost to deliver a degree and the fees charged to international students and further asserted that the current popular business model where international students’ fees are used to fund teaching, learning, and research has a negative impact on people and institutions in low-income countries. Habib writes that universities must take collective ownership of the problem of the current business model of higher education used in Canada, Australia, the UK, and the USA and challenge the system’s “selective morality” by putting a better system in place. University World News (Editorial)

Man arrested after flashing BB gun at party at Acadia residence

A man has been arrested after allegedly flashing a BB gun at a student at a party at an Acadia University residence. CTV News reports that Acadia issued a security alert at around 1AM on Saturday after an incident involving an 18-year-old male non-student visitor in Cutten House in which the visitor reportedly “bumped into” another man before brandishing a handgun at him. Cutten House residents were instructed to return to and remain in their rooms, while those who were not inside the residence were told not to return until further notice. The lockdown was lifted at about 3:30am after the RCMP issued an “all clear.” The man was arrested and charged with uttering threats, use of an imitation firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon. CTV News | Global News (NS)

Algonquin launches technology foundations certificate program

Algonquin College has launched the Science and Technology Foundations certificate program. The one-year program will provide students with the opportunity to explore academic and career opportunities and develop fundamental skills in applied science and technology. Learners will take part in over 200 hours of hands-on learning in labs and career settings; develop core skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and applied mathematics; and have the opportunity to study courses in electronics or chemistry to support their future studies and careers. Algonquin (ON)

VIU, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus launches seafood business accelerator program

Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Seafood Innovation and the BC Commercial Fishing Caucus have launched a new seafood business accelerator program for self-employed fishers and farmers. The program will offer small-scale fish, shellfish, and seaweed harvesters four months of intensive training, which will help them find a niche for their business so that they can stand apart from global competitors. The program will include workshops and webinars that will provide food industry training, coaching, business advice, and implementation services; as well as an expert-in-residence portion that will see participants creating business plans for presentation to potential buyers or interested parties. Nanaimo Bulletin (BC)

Eight YorkU employees investigated, actions taken in response to false insurance benefits claims

Eight York University employees have reportedly been investigated in response to false insurance benefits claims. City News reports that action has been taken against those who committed fraud, with at least one employee no longer working at the university. One instance of fraud reportedly involved a fake orthodontics claim. “The university thoroughly investigates suspected cases and works with the insurer in these matters to seek repayment of claims and refers suspected cases to police,” said a YorkU spokesperson. City News | Insurance Business Canada (ON)

UPEI Adult ADHD Clinic faces hiring challenges, growing waitlist

The wait list at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Adult ADHD Clinic has been growing as an increasing number of people hope to gain access to supports from the clinic. Retired pediatrician and ADHD specialist Dr David Wong says that his pilot program needs the equivalent of 1.5 nurse practitioners and a half-time family doctor to be effective, but that the clinic’s lack of permanent funding is a barrier to recruitment. Wong said that 400 people were on his wait list before the clinic opened, and that 300 more people have been added to the list, which will increase wait times. Patients are currently being triaged so that those who need help most are able to access treatment, and Wong says he hopes that the $1M invested by the provincial government in the pilot project will become permanent funding. CBC (PEI)

Libraries at KPU, Western celebrate new collections, acquisitions

Two university libraries have recently shared announcements about their collections. Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Richmond campus library has launched the χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection, which features books, clothing, and jewelry. The name of the space means “oral storytelling” in the language spoken by the Kwantlen First Nation. Richmond News reports that each of the libraries on KPU’s campuses are launching dedicated Indigenous collections that reflect the communities in each campus’ area. Western University’s rare book collection has acquired a leaf out of a 550-year-old edition of the Knight’s Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. “Anyone in the world can come and see this,” said Western Special Collections Librarian Deborah Meert-Williston. “I anticipate it will attract researchers across Canada.” KPU | Richmond News | London Free Press (Western) (BC | ON)

Tips for chairing a tenuous department as an untenured faculty member: Opinion

In a recent Ask the Chair article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Kevin Dettmar responds to an untenured professor who is considering chairing a department that is in a tenuous situation. Dettmar writes that an untenured faculty member should never be placed in a department leadership position, as they will almost certainly have to make decisions that could jeopardize tenure. The author encourages the individual to request that someone else take the position and, if this is not possible, consider updating their CV and focusing on building transferrable skills as chair. Turning to the broader notion of leading during a crisis in the life of a department, Dettmar recommends focusing on students as a priority, advocating for the value of the program, and leading with a spirit of charity and generosity. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)