The Université de Moncton’s Board of Governors recently voted against changing the university’s name. This decision follows the release of a UMoncton-commissioned report that outlined the various motivations, costs, and impacts of a potential name change. Board president Denis Mallet told CBC that the board decided that the name change was not currently a priority for the university and felt that no new information had been presented by those requesting the name change. Instead, the board will focus on contextualizing the origin of the university’s name and plans to update its place-naming policy.
Bishop’s University, Concordia University, and McGill University are submitting an enhanced version of their proposal to the Government of Québec that recommends changes to the new out-of-province student tuition model. The new proposal-which was outlined by McGill Principal Deep Saini and McGill Deputy Provost Fabrice Labeau-would require out-of-province students to pay between $9K and $20K of tuition depending on the type of program they pursue. The universities also requested that QC discuss alternative solutions to the plan to redistribute international tuition funds.
Red River College Polytechnic has announced that it is the first postsecondary institution in Manitoba to sign the SDG Accord, an international commitment made by learning institutions to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under this commitment, RRC Polytech has pledged to align all of its major efforts with the SDGs; involve students, academics, staff, and local communities in this endeavour; collaborate with other signatory institutions; share its learning; and annually report on its progress toward the SDGs. “Sustainability is a journey without a final destination, so we’re prepared and excited to build on the current initiatives led by our Environmental Stewardship and Campus Renewal team and broaden our approach to include research, academics and all areas of College operations,” said RRC Polytech President Fred Meier.
The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario recently released its 2023 Annual Report, which included a focus on York University. While the university is financially sustainable, Acting Auditor General Nick Stavropoulos noted that “increasing dependence on revenue from international students, capital expansion projects and a deferred maintenance backlog warrant more attention.” YorkU President Rhonda Lenton issued a statement in response to the report, affirming that YorkU is financially sustainable and that the university accepts the recommendations in the report. Looking forward, Lenton explained that YorkU plans to grow enrolment; assess the sustainability of its programs, departments, and faculties; and diversify its sources of revenue.
Acadia University has received a $1M gift from alum Janice MacNeil to help students overcome financial barriers to attending university. This funding will raise the total endowment for the MacNeill Scholar-Bursaries to $4M. The bursaries are valued at $8K each and awarded to as many as 20 Canadian or American students entering full-time study at Acadia per year. The award is renewable for up to four years or until graduation. “We’re fortunate to have alumni like Janice who care deeply about Acadia and its students,” said Acadia VP, Advancement Nancy Handrigan. “The most influential gift we can give society is educating the next generation, and there’s no impact more profound than empowering students to achieve their potential.”
Algoma University has received a $5M boost from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund toward the development of the Makwa Waakaa’igan project, which will serve as a centre of cultural excellence, Truth and Reconciliation, learning, and healing. The $43.3M Makwa Waakaa’igan project will serve a variety of purposes, such as becoming a centre for sharing global Indigenous practices; housing the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) archives and Indigenous teachings; and housing the new Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute, which will be established in partnership with NOSM University. Construction on Makwa Waakaa’igan is scheduled to begin in 2024.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is collaborating with Prince Albert Model Forest and Filipino non-profit organization Daluhay on a new applied research project that seeks to ensure Indigenous and rural communities benefit from digital resource management tools. Together, the partners will digitize information and develop data management tools for community-identified priorities in land and water stewardship. “Through this collaboration, the team aims to enhance access to digital spatial resources and empower community members with the skills needed to gather, manage and interpret data alongside Indigenous and local knowledge,” said Sask Polytech Associate VP, Applied Research and Innovation Dr Susan Blum. “By providing communities with robust data and training, we seek to foster positive change through community-driven action research.”
Emails from Concordia University, McGill University, and the Université de Montréal demonstrate the pressures that universities faced when institutions around the world began to take a public position on the war in Gaza, reports Jacob Serebrin of the Canadian Press. Internal emails from each of the institutions were released in response to access to information requests issued by CP. At McGill and UMontréal, administrators had varied reactions to leaders’ statements on the actions of Hamas and Israel, including criticism for not taking a strong enough position and recommendations of caution. Perceived inaction also resulted in pressure from members of the institutional community. Serebrin also noted that several administrators expressed concern about the impact that formal statements and comments would have on the different groups represented in their campus community.
Colleges & Institutes Canada has released a report that highlights the best practices and lessons learned from ten Campus Living Lab projects designed by colleges across Canada. These Living Labs projects aim to provide spaces on campus to think creatively about climate change and maximize sustainability. The projects in the report include a four-season outdoor Indigenous learning space at Cambrian College, a food composting initiative from College of the Rockies, and a program at Conestoga College that delivers on low-carbon dining options. Other institutions spotlighted in the report included Canadore College, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne, Dawson College, Georgian College, Mohawk College, NorQuest College, and Vanier College.
The Black Resource and Information Centre at Mount Allison University was recently the target of hate speech and vandalism. There will be zero tolerance for acts of hate speech, discrimination or harassment at our University, and collectively, we stand united against hate in any form, read a release from MtA. MtA further emphasized that all community members must be aware of the consequences of hate speech. CBC reports that the Black Students’ Union at MtA responded by calling for more transparency about the incident, as well as improved consultation with the Black community on campus.