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Feb 01, 2024 • AB, BC, National, NB, ON, QC

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are celebrating Black History Month with initiatives and events. Mount Allison University is hosting a variety of events, including a scavenger hunt, Black drag storytelling, and a session on Black hair care. The Université du Québec en Outaouais will recognize Black History Month with a comedy evening, an information fair, and exhibitions at its libraries. McMaster University organized a celebration to start the beginning of Black History Month that included music, spoken word, and dance performances. Lethbridge College activities include two Cultural Attire Days, free pilau meal kits, and Afro-fusion dance classes. University Canada West announced events such as a social with Caribbean-vegan food and board games and a session about British Columbia’s Black Pioneers.

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Feb 01, 2024 • ON

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has concluded its Summary Investigation into the deaths of four officer cadets in a vehicle accident that occurred at the Royal Military College of Canada in 2022. The Summary Investigation concluded that the cause of death was drowning. It noted that there were no service-related contributing factors, the deaths were not attributable to military service, and that the officer cadets were not on duty at the time. “The circumstances surrounding this accident are truly tragic and I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the officer cadets,” said Commander Canadian Defence Academy Major-General Denis O’Reilly. “I have accepted the findings of the Summary Investigation.”

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Feb 01, 2024 • AB

A research proposal that was written in the Cree language nêhiyawewin by researchers from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The proposal—which previously faced roadblocks—was submitted a second time and evaluated by Indigenous scholars who are fluent in Cree. The research team prepared an oral recording of the proposal for reviewers who felt uncomfortable with Roman Orthography. “As the first Cree-language application to undergo merit review, as we move forward in our support of Indigenous research, pilot projects such as this will be invaluable in exploring new ways of strengthening Indigenous research capacity in Canada,” said SSHRC President Ted Hewitt.

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Feb 01, 2024 • BC

Thompson Rivers University’s Board of Governors has voted to discontinue four of its visual arts programs—the visual arts major, minor, diploma, and certificate—after several months of discussion. TRU Provost Gillian Balfour cited financial, student demand, and employment factors as the key reasons behind the program cuts. “It’s always a difficult process, but it has to happen,” she said. Balfour added that students enrolled in the programs will still have the chance to complete their credentials; some arts courses will continue to be available as electives. CBC reports these closures will allow for the Faculty of Arts to redirect its resources to other programs.

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Feb 01, 2024 • AB

The University of Alberta is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to establish an Artificial Intelligence Discovery Place at UAlberta’s downtown Enterprise Square campus. The goal of the initiative is to democratize access to artificial intelligence (AI) technology to boost innovations and advancements in technology and education throughout Alberta. “We think AI is going to have enormous and potential application to industry, to education, to business, to research applications,” said UAlberta President Bill Flanagan. “There are some interesting and complex issues that are arising, and it’s very important that not only government be engaged, but also universities be thinking about the ethical and legal implications of AI.”

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Feb 01, 2024 • QC

Two institutions in the Université du Québec network have recently launched upskilling opportunities and short-term programs. Université du Québec à Montréal’s School of Management is offering a new certificate in organizational change and development starting this Fall. UQÀM will also launch a fast-track teaching certificate program this September that enables working teachers who are not already legally qualified to gain a specialized graduate studies diploma (DESS). Meanwhile, Université du Québec à Rimouski has announced that it will lead a training program to help managers better understand the experiences of employees who immigrated to Canada. The program is targeted at companies that hire or provide services to workers from immigrant backgrounds and covers topics relating to immigration, cultural diversity, and strategies for creating an inclusive organizational culture.

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Feb 01, 2024 • International

In two recent articles for The EvoLLLution, Vistasp Karbhari (University of Texas at Arlington) discusses generative artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education, examining its potential and concerns about its use. In his first article, Karbhari discusses a variety of ways AI can provide support, including personalized learning and tutoring for students, brainstorming assistance, and immersive exposure. Instructors can also benefit from assistance with course curation and updating, assessment, and warnings about learners who are in need of more help. However, in the second article, Karbhari cautions that AI can exacerbate inequities and amplify systemic bias; provide incorrect responses which can be misleading; and introduce problems related to data privacy, the depersonalization of learning, and copyright infringement. The author also notes that faculty are unable to make full use of these tools without greater support and training.

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Feb 01, 2024 • ON

The University of Ottawa’s Family Enterprise Legacy Institute has received a $5M gift from Patricia Saputo to establish the endowed Patricia Saputo Distinguished Chair in Family Enterprise. The chair will be responsible for leading research efforts that determine which practices help family businesses thrive, as well as developing training programs focused on generational transitions and marketplace changes. “This new endowed chair will build much-needed research capacity in the field and help to empower the next generation of enterprising families by developing and sharing knowledge,” said UOttawa President Jacques Frémont.

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Feb 01, 2024 • SK

North West College recently expanded its Battlefords Campus with the opening of a new location at Frontier Centre Mall. The college leased a former warehouse space and transformed it to create five classrooms, a multi-purpose flex room, and dedicated study space. North West CEO President Dr Eli Ahlquist explained that the space will help to accommodate the college’s growing enrolment. “We’ve definitely seen a lot of growth this year so we needed some new … modern space,” said North West President Dr Eli Ahlquist. “[I]t’s great to have these updated rooms and [a] good learning experience for our students.” The space is expected to be an interim location, according to North West Board Chair George Prudat, as the college hopes to receive funding for a new campus through the next provincial budget.

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Feb 01, 2024 • QC

The Université de Montréal and Syndicat général des professeurs et professeures de l’Université de Montréal (SGPPUM) have reached an agreement in principle. By reaching this agreement, the two parties have averted a strike that would have begun last Monday. The union was advocating for salary increases that would compensate for inflation and solutions to address work overload issues. The agreement in principle will be submitted to SGPPUM representatives. The previous collective agreement had expired at the end of May 2022.

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