Cape Breton University and Saint Mary’s University recently received funding for green infrastructure. CBU will use $55M in combined federal and provincial funding to construct a green research and teaching facility called the Centre for Discovery and Innovation. The net-zero building will feature a geothermal closed loop system, solar panels, and smart building controls. It will house laboratories, classrooms, research facilities, and student services and will have a modular design to support interactive learning experiences. SMU will use $20M, including an $8M federal investment, to install solar panels and integrated audio-visual communications technology in the Sobeys Inspiration Hub, as well as undertaking interior and exterior renovations and making energy efficiency enhancements to other buildings on campus.
Western University’s Ivey Business School has received a $3.5M gift from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) to enhance new and ongoing leadership programming. The funding will primarily be used to develop a new cross-campus leadership program, which will take on a cohort of 75 Western undergraduate students annually. The donation will also allow for Ivey’s “Leadership Under Fire” course to double its current enrolment figures and strengthen the school’s outreach activities through the creation of a free leadership playbook. “Leadership development transcends disciplines,” said Western President Alan Shepard. “To have the most impact on society, it is clear that developing tomorrow’s leaders must extend beyond business schools and encompass future leaders across all fields.”
Memorial University’s Board of Regents has issued an executive statement after a member of the board was found to have not complied with the Code of Conduct. Board member Kerri Claire Neil reportedly used profanity to respond to a tweet from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary that pictured the Edmonton Police Service crest and a “thin blue line” symbol, which CTV News explains has been used as a sign of police solidarity and also criticized as a symbol of white supremacy. In response to the tweet, the board issued a letter of reprimand and a suspension for the remainder of Neil’s term. The letter stated that the comments reflected poorly on the university and were felt to be “flippant and insensitive to the deaths of two members of the Edmonton Police Department and their families.”
In an effort to enhance security measures, the University of Manitoba is working with the provincial government to establish Institutional Safety Officer (ISO) positions on campus. CTV News reports that ISOs have some powers of arrest and can carry items such as handcuffs, batons, and aerosol weapons. Officers will complete mandatory training so that they are prepared to handle a variety of situations, including de-escalation, conflict management, and suicide prevention. “On campus, we respond to around 6,800 calls, and there’s a good portion of those calls that, before, would have been pure police events,” explained UManitoba director of campus safety and security Gordon Perrier. “This is really folding in as a community, assisting our police services, and having the ability to act under different pieces of legislation.”
eCampusOntario has relaunched the EdTech Sandbox initiative to help postsecondary institutions discover, pilot, review, and adopt new digital technologies. Using this tool, representatives from postsecondary institutions and ed tech companies can meet, exchange ideas, and test new technologies within a risk-free environment. The initiative is intended to facilitate digital transformation in the classroom so that postsecondary institutions can stay at the forefront of rapid technological change.
The University of British Columbia has advised students to uninstall the TikTok app from their mobile devices and access related content via a web browser instead. In an online statement, UBC cited security and privacy concerns regarding TikTok’s data collection practices as well as the Government of Canada’s ongoing ban of the app on government-issued devices. UBC spokesperson Matthew Ramsey said that UBC is not considering a total ban of TikTok on university-owned devices at this time, but noted that the school will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Four postsecondary institutions recently announced new initiatives and programming updates. Cégep de Granby updated its social science program to offer students the choice between unique study profiles in human relations and society, business and mathematics, and humanity and international issues. The Michener Institute of Education has announced a new, five-semester advanced diploma in MRI that will launch in January 2024. Red River College Polytechnic is collaborating with CWB Welding Foundation to introduce the Women of Steel™ pre-employment program, a tuition-free initiative that provides women with experiential learning in welding. Portage College will be using a grant from the Government of Alberta to expand its Class 3 Driving to Work program to more communities and waive tuition for qualifying students.
Mount Royal University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Edmonton Global recently announced the launch of the Hydrogen Innovation Accelerator (HIA). The accelerator will drive growth for the hydrogen economy and help regional companies take advantage of this new energy sector opportunity. “There is no better time for Alberta businesses to transition and explore the promise of hydrogen market opportunities,” said MRU HIA Director Peter Fenwick. “Global trends of this magnitude are rare, even more rare is the ability to participate.”
Lambton College is celebrating the completion of its eight-year Envision Tomorrow Capital Campaign. Lambton launched the campaign in 2015 with the goal of raising $45M to enhance academic programming, support student athletic needs, and bolster applied research opportunities. The campaign raised funds for initiatives such as the creation of the NOVA Chemicals Health & Research Centre and the Cestar Group Athletics & Fitness Complex, as well as the renovation of the Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies. “I think what makes me proudest about the Envision campaign and everything it accomplished is that no matter how much this campus has changed, or how we’ve grown, we are still this community’s college,” said Lambton President Rob Kardas.
Students in Halifax recently spoke to CTV News about their struggles to find housing. The Halifax Partnership reports that enrolment in Halifax’s six universities has grown by 2.4% from 2020-2021, which in turn is creating stress on housing. “We’ve never seen student housing as an issue, influence budget conversation, enrolment conversations and strategy conversations to the extent that they are right now,” said Dalhousie University Student Union President Aparna Mohan, who said that the student’s union is “dealing with some students in very precarious housing situations.” While some students have found housing with roommates or have chosen to live with parents, other senior students hope to return to residence. CTV News highlighted some of the recent investments in student housing at Nova Scotia Community College and Cape Breton University.