Two Canadian business schools were spotlighted in the 2023 edition of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Innovations That Inspire, which recognizes 25 initiatives at business schools from around the world. The University of Manitoba’s I H Asper School of Business was recognized for incorporating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its co-op curriculum. Students learn about the UN SDGs as part of their for-credit co-op course and are encouraged to work with their co-op employer on sustainability practices and policies. The University of Victoria’s Peter B Gustavson School of Business was recognized for its development of The Victoria Forum, an initiative that brings together policy makers, business leaders, academics, and other representatives to develop solutions to pressing issues.
A consortium led by DNAstack and involving the University of New Brunswick and McGill University has announced that it will launch the Canadian Platform for Genomics & Precision Health (CP4GPH). CP4GPH is a $14.5M project that will bring together experts in AI, software engineering, cloud computing, public health, and other areas to develop a platform that can connect and analyze volumes of distributed genomics and health data. The system is an alternative to centralized “data sharing” approaches and makes it possible to efficiently and securely analyze distributed datasets. The platform will be piloted by UNB’s New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data, and Training, which will leverage its expertise and network of data custodians to support the platform’s development.
The Université du Québec à Montreal has received an $8.67M grant over three years from the Government of Québec to carry out research on wetlands in southern Québec. The funds will be used to assess how these environments could potentially contribute toward climate change mitigation. UQAM Geography Professor Michelle Garneau will lead the research program. Garneau said that she expects the results of this work to improve land use planning and conservation practices to ensure the well-being of current and future generations.
In an article for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Wei Liu (University of Alberta) argues that international recruitment efforts from universities in the Global North often prioritize economic gain over social responsibility, thus worsening global inequalities. Liu writes that institution leaders should seek to actively solve global challenges by taking more steps to treat international students as global citizens and leaders. Liu contends that universities should dedicate more funding towards cutting-edge research from Global South graduate students and develop more global education programs on campus. Kim Martin of The Pie News echoes these calls for change and notes the broader internationalization trends occurring in the US and UK. Martin adds that postsecondary institutions should internationalize their curricula, pedagogies, and intended learning outcomes.
Athabasca University has unveiled its Research with Reach video series, an online initiative that profiles the ongoing work of researchers and graduate students. The video series spotlights research findings from across the disciplinary spectrum, such as Dr Srijak Bhatnagar’s research on how microbes can help clean up the environment and Dr Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown’s research on how archaeology can reveal missing voices in Alberta’s history. “We want to be part of solutions for a healthier future. The research challenges we’re facing today aren’t constrained by borders. That means our solution can’t either,” said AU Associate VP of Research Dr Andrew Perrin. The videos are hosted on AU’s YouTube channel.
Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) will receive $2.5M over five years from the Government of Ontario. The funds will enhance the core activities of CROSH, supporting its mandate to prevent occupational injury and illness through collaborations with workplaces in Northern Ontario. “This investment allows us to expand our research services and student training while maintaining our system partner collaborations,” said CROSH Director Dr Sandra Dorman.
Crandall University will retain an independent investigator to examine recent allegations of sexual harassment posted online. CBC reports that the decision follows a recent anonymous social media post that claimed that students were sexually harassed by at least one employee at the university. The letter also said that the university’s harassment policy is not in step with current best practices and has flaws that make it more difficult for victims to file complaints. Crandall’s Board of Governors voted to retain an independent investigator who will probe the claims of students who say they have experienced sexual harassment at the university. The university is also reviewing its current harassment policy.
The Alberta New Democratic Party has pledged to create a $200M postsecondary campus in downtown Calgary if they are elected in the upcoming election. The permanent campus would support economic diversification and address the 32% vacancy rate in downtown offices by bringing businesses, students, and researchers into the area. While no indication has been given as to what postsecondary institutions would be involved in this campus, NDP leader Rachel Notley said priority would be given to AB-based institutions. The Calgary Herald reports that the proposed campus would likely include student housing, potentially developed from vacant office towers in the city.
The University of Toronto’s Victoria University recently stated that it will divest its endowment portfolio from fossil fuel companies by 2030. The motion was passed by the Board of Regents and aligns with U of T’s divestment timeline. Victoria Board Chair Cynthia Crysler thanked “every member of the board of regents, including the students who serve on the board, for their rigour, hard work and conviction they brought to the process of divestment.” In response, Climate Justice U of T ended their 18-day occupation of the Victoria College building. The activist group stated that it will continue to push for full divestment by 2025.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic recently announced that Health Canada has granted it cannabis research and analytical licenses. With these licenses, Sask Polytech will be able to engage in cannabis-related applied research initiatives to address industry needs and provide dedicated services. “As the cannabis industry continues to mature, it will be vital to develop excellent breeding programs and energy-efficient methods of propagation,” said Sask Polytech AVP, Applied Research and Innovation Dr Susan Blum. “Sask Polytech’s applied research will draw on techniques that are well established in the traditional agricultural space and adapt them for use in the cannabis industry to improve plant quality and performance.”