Toronto Metropolitan University’s leadership is reflecting on the university’s transition one year after it took on a new name. TMU President Mohamed Lachemi said that the new name has become a source of unity and marked the start of a new chapter. “The lesson for all our community was really the importance of community engagement, discussion and dialogue,” said Lachemi. The university changed its name last spring amid growing demands from the community to cut ties with the school’s former namesake. Indigenous leaders at the university are still pushing for continued efforts towards deeper reconciliation. “When it comes to a name change, don’t just let it be another token thing,” said Lynn Lavalee, strategic lead of Indigenous resurgence at TMU.
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) have committed to building a more sustainable and equitable world by signing the World Congress Montreal Declaration. The declaration will see CICan and WFCP maximize their joint efforts to provide inclusive education and training that responds to future economic, environmental, and social challenges, as well as contributing to Canada’s progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The declaration was signed at CICan’s recent World Congress conference, where several colleges and polytechnics were honoured for their efforts towards skills, economic, and social development. CICan
Western University’s Ivey Business School has received a $30M gift to support the new Donald K Johnson Centre, which will deliver Ivey’s programming in downtown Toronto. The Donald K Johnson Centre will support the expansion of while-you-work program offerings and provide executive education opportunities for The Ivey Academy. The new space will expand classroom and study room capacity and include an event space so that Ivey can host signature events in its downtown Toronto location. Programs will continue to run at Ivey’s existing Exchange Tower campus until the new campus is completed. The gift is the largest single donation from an individual in Ivey’s history.
While the accessibility and flexibility of online lectures is preferred by many postsecondary students, these virtual lessons do not capture the same magic as a live lecture, argues Michael Merrifield. In an op-ed for Times Higher Education, Merrifield writes that the live lecture begets clear irreplicable benefits, including creating a shared learning community and sense of comradery among students. Lecturers benefit from being better able to adapt their demonstrations to suit the varying levels of engagement when they have a live audience, asserts Merrifield. The author concludes that though in-person learning is not necessarily the best or only way to educate, the shared, lived experience of the live lecture should be recaptured in ongoing education efforts.
An educational consultant from India – who is at the centre of a recent admissions scandal – has been called to testify in Canada at the admissibility hearing of an international student. The student is part of a group of international students who are pending removal from Canada after being charged with misrepresentation for using fraudulent documents to gain entry to Canada. Lawyer Jaswant Mangat requested that the consultant be called as witness so that his client could have a fair process. Adjudicator Karina Henrique noted that if it can be proven that the consultant defrauded the student and that the student exercised due diligence to be aware of or prevent the fraud, the student would fall within a “narrow pathway” for the tribunal to consider his claim of “innocent representation.”
The University of Manitoba has announced that masks will no longer be required on campus starting in May. UManitoba President Michael Benarroch explained that the practice of masking stayed in place for longer than at other postsecondary institutions in order to protect the most vulnerable individuals. UManitoba is still recommending masks, especially in indoor spaces, and will still be providing masks for those who would like to wear them. The university will also be enhancing its HVAC system in Fall 2023 to support optimal air quality.
McGill University and the University of New Brunswick have both announced new collective agreements. At McGill, collective agreements were ratified with the AMURE union, which represents Post-Doctoral Fellows, as well as three SEU units: Facilities Management – Student Housing Services – Dining Services – Faculty Club, Printing Services, and Data Centre. UNB and Unifor Local 4504–which represents General Labour and Trade and Secretaries, Accountants, Library Assistants, and Clerks at the institution–have signed a four-year collective agreement.
Students from Trent University’s Sasquatch Society are on the hunt for Big Foot on the outskirts of Barrie. The students claim that they have received numerous reports of Sasquatch-sightings in Simcoe County and are investigating accordingly. Using infrared technology and speakers, the students are hoping to gather scientific evidence of the creature’s existence. Their investigation will be the subject of a reality television show–Sasquatch University–set to air later in the year, which will also profile the theories and work of other postsecondary researchers regarding the mythical monster.
Simon Fraser University and Wageningen University & Research of the Netherlands recently signed a Letter of Intent that will enable the institutions to collaborate on future research programs and share knowledge in agritech. The collaboration will target challenges such as labour, sustainability, and food waste by focusing on solutions in areas including automation, robotization, and AI use in horticulture. “SFU and Wageningen University & Research have a shared commitment to advancing knowledge and solutions to global challenges,” said SFU President Joy Johnson. “Together, we will tackle critical topics such as food production and climate change, and I look forward to seeing the results of our joint efforts in the years ahead.”
The City of Fredericton plans to introduce a new nuisance bylaw that would enact greater fines for unsafe partying. The changes follow a party held near several postsecondary institutions in the city in September 2022, during which emergency responders were assaulted and an emergency vehicle was damaged. The changes would allow officers to give higher fines to deter unsafe gatherings. “It’s really important to find ways to come at this from different perspectives,” said UNB VP academic Kathy Wilson, who stated that the university has looked at how other institutions have dealt with raucous parties.