St Francis Xavier University has received a $15M gift from Dr Victor and Mona Dahdaleh to support the creation of the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Hall. The hall will house the Victor and Mona Dahdaleh Institute for Innovation in Health, which will incubate health research. The institute will be one of six national co-ordinating centres for the determinants of health across Canada. StFX President Dr Andy Hakin said that the funds are considered the “final piece of the puzzle,” which will allow StFX to move forward with the construction of the building. “This is the single largest gift ever made to StFX by a private donor, and we could not be more grateful,” said Hakin.
The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine has released the findings of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s (SHRC) review of systemic inequity in the faculty. The report summarizes the SHRC’s investigation and findings and identifies opportunities for improvement in several areas, including strengthening the student complaint process, strengthening the work culture, and improving the diversity of the faculty. “In my messaging internally … I’ve been emphasizing the fact that there is information in this report that is distressing,” said USask Medicine Dean Preston Smith. “Even more distressing to me was looking around the world and knowing this was happening, and not knowing how much was happening in my own college.” USask notes that it has already begun to take action to improve its equity, diversity, and inclusion.
To mark April Fool’s Day on Saturday, special news stories and releases were put out by Camosun College, Vancouver Island University, and the Western University’s Gazette newspaper. Camosun announced that it would be introducing a new student support: Mandatory student nap time. VIU announced a spate of new courses reflecting Island culture that included Marmot Yoga and Sasquatch Psychology. The Western Gazette published a spoof issue of its newsletter that included an article about the rise in scurvy rates on campus after the local Booster Juice reduced its hours.
A recent CTV News W5 segment highlighted the difficulties that international students face in the Cape Breton region, including a lack of housing and food insecurity. CTV News reporters spoke to international students from Cape Breton University, who said they were frustrated by the lack of affordable housing, transit, and part-time jobs in the region. CBU issued a statement pushing back on the segment and its portrayal of the institution in the article. “We welcomed the W5 team to our campus to share with them the ways in which we are addressing these challenges,” stated CBU President David Dingwall. “Unfortunately, much of this information did not air or was presented inaccurately.” Dingwall outlined the university’s efforts to address housing challenges, such as the exploration of on-campus housing options and the creation of its Housing Taskforce.
Western University has established the William F Clark Chair in Nephrology at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry thanks to a $3.5M endowment from the London Health Sciences Foundation and the Kidney Foundation of Canada that has been matched by Western. The chair is named after nephrologist and Western professor emeritus Dr William F Clark. The chair holder will research new ways to improve care for individuals with kidney disease. “The Clark Chair in Nephrology will contribute to developing better practices, policies, tools, and technology, all of which will translate into better treatments and patient care,” said Western President Alan Shepard.
In a recent editorial for the Edmonton Journal, University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan and University of Calgary President Ed McCauley discuss how postsecondary investments could keep more of Alberta’s young people in the province. Flanagan and McCauley write that AB’s strongest asset is its people, but many young Albertans have chosen to leave for their education and will never come back. With AB’s 18-to-24-year-old population projected to grow by over 20% by 2030, the authors encourage the province to invest in postsecondary to give these individuals the opportunity to stay in AB, set down roots, and fill labour shortages.
With Earth Day quickly approaching, several universities and colleges have shared news and launched initiatives related to sustainability. At Mount Allison University, Hydro Flask gave out reusable bottles to students on campus in celebration of the university winning the #RefillForGood Hydro Flask competition and the 2 Million Bottle Challenge. HEC Montréal presented its action plan for sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and ethics to its community late last week. The action plan is intended to be an ongoing effort that follows four operational streams: strengthen governance, take action, strengthen and support projects, and create and transfer knowledge. Niagara College signed the Sustainable Development Goals Accord and Nature Positive Pledge as part of its deepened commitment to sustainability. The agreements were signed in the college’s newly renovated Office of Sustainability.
OCAD University and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have forged a partnership that will help students gain employable skills through experiential learning opportunities while enhancing Toronto’s John Street cultural corridor. OCAD U LiVE student content creators will be able to access TIFF equipment such as lighting, recording, and editing tools and the Gallery Annex street-facing studio; while students in the Experimental Animation program will have classes in the TIFF Bell Lightbox and access to the main gallery space for screenings and exhibitions. “This collaboration … will further drive positive impact for the creative economy and provide students with opportunities to gain employable skills, explore innovative ideas, find community and develop a fulfilling career,” said OCAD U President Ana Serrano.
The Université de Moncton and Correctional Service Canada have signed a five-year collaboration agreement that will create work-integrated learning opportunities for students at the university. Under the agreement, CSC will provide a minimum of ten internships for students in UMoncton’s Criminology programs. The organization will also explore the possibility of offering the orientation course it typically offers to CSC parole officers to a target group of criminology students. UMoncton, in turn, will explore the possibility of conducting research on bilingualism at CSC and offering two spaces for CSC employees to participate in its French immersion program.
With more colleges, polytechnics, and universities looking to develop postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities (ID), researchers have recently compiled a planning tool to support program development. In a recent study in the Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education, researchers highlight the connection between participation in PSE and the increased chance that a student with an ID will secure competitive employment with higher wages. Using a nominal group technique study, the researchers identify the core strategies and practices that need to be in place to ensure the successful creation of postsecondary programs for students with ID. The resulting Strategic Planning Tool includes benchmarks—sorted by their focus on students, faculty and staff, programs and institutions, and concepts and systems—that the program would need to meet to be successful.