The Government of Alberta has announced that it will require universities to annually report on their efforts to protect free speech on campus. “It is abundantly clear that more needs to be done to ensure our institutions are adequately protecting free speech,” said AB Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. “Alberta’s post-secondary institutions should be bastions of free speech and academic freedom that promote critical thinking.” AB stated that the action builds on the province’s endorsement of the Chicago Principles in 2019. Global News reports that the decision follows the recent events at the University of Lethbridge. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) issued a statement on Friday in defense of the principle of university autonomy and CityNews reports that the University of Calgary’s student union said that it will “push back strongly against hate on their campus” and commended ULethbridge’s administration for listening to students.
The Government of Québec has announced a two-year, $1.9M pilot project to establish daycare centres on nine college and university campuses. The centres will be hosted by student associations and committees on the campuses of Cégep de Sept-Îles, Cégep de Victoriaville, Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Concordia University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The Montréal Gazette reports that the daycare services provided by the project will enable students who are parents to better balance their educational and personal lives.
Fanshawe College has received a $2M donation from the Crich family, which will be used to create the Don Crich Skilled Trades Accelerator. The accelerator will provide people who are entering the trades with a single point of contact to find the resources they need. The idea for the accelerator was first sparked by a member of the Crich family who sat on Fanshawe’s Board of Directors until 2020 and passed away in 2021. “We are so grateful to the Crich family for their generosity and commitment to skilled trades education,” said Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. “This transformational gift will help create a new model of trades delivery across Fanshawe and in the community, providing the support needed to unlock the potential of people exploring careers in the skilled trades.” The gift is the largest in the institution’s history.
A recent CBC article discusses the reported rise of anti-Ukrainian hate symbols and harassment on university campuses in Canada. The Carleton Ukrainian Students’ Club says that several incidents have taken place on campus since September, including hate graffiti, verbal harassment, and an incident regarding a Russian flag in a dormitory window that was investigated by the Ottawa Police Service. The University of Victoria Ukrainian Students’ Society also alleged that some members have been verbally accosted on campus and that one member had property defaced. Ukrainian Canadian Congress senior policy advisor Orest Zakydalsky said that the organization plans to contact universities about anti-Ukrainian harassment, but noted that the issue is not restricted to campuses.
The University of British Columbia has announced that it will be launching a new two-year nursing degree program. The program, which is an expansion of the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program (NBNP), will be located in downtown Prince George. It will focus on providing a healthcare education opportunity for those living in the North and improving access to healthcare for patients. “The expansion of the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program underlines our ongoing commitment to support health services in northern BC while providing education that emphasizes the unique needs of rural and remote care,” said UNBC President Dr Geoff Payne.
By participating in a trip led by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, multiple Canadian university presidents have undermined the principles of academic freedom and democracy, write Dyala Hamzah (Université de Montréal), Jillian Rogin (University of Windsor), Larry Haiven (St Mary’s University), and Mark Muhannad Ayyash (Mount Royal University). The authors discuss the Canadian postsecondary sector’s relationship with the Israel-Palestine issue, and argue that favouring positions on major political issues jeopardizes institutions’ abilities to uphold academic freedom as a tenet of democracy. “In Canada, the trip has further solidified the Palestine exception to academic freedom and this undermines democracy itself,” they conclude. “University presidents must be held accountable.”
Brandon University students and staff can now access a dedicated napping spot on campus in the John E Robbins Library, thanks to the newly donated EnergyPod. The EnergyPod gives students a place to refresh and recharge so that they can be more productive. The nap pod has a privacy screen, dimmed lights, and a reclining seat with special features such as music or a neck massage. It includes a 20-minute countdown that will gradually wake up users. “We know that if the body is tired, the mind is tired, and we’re not going to be able to perform at our best, so this is a way for students to put their best foot forward when it comes to their education,” said Brandon University Students’ Union Executive Director Ashley Taron.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has announced that it will be providing free menstrual products in washrooms across its campuses. KPU has started a pilot phase of the project, which saw dispensers being installed in first floor washrooms. Full implementation of the project will be completed in the summer semester, with products available in all washrooms on campus. “We wanted to make sure these were free of charge to anyone who needed menstrual products,” said KPU Executive Director, Facilities Services David Stewart. “We have signs accompanying the dispensers to make sure users understand that they are barrier-free and available to everyone.”
In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Ashley Juavinett discusses how to prepare for the increasingly common position of “teaching professor.” Juavinett writes that the teaching professor position is often responsible not only for teaching, but for developing pedagogical methods that meet student learning needs. The author outlines the typical requirements for the job and what to expect during the interview process. The process may include a teaching demonstration, which should be “the best lecture you ever give;” as well as a discussion of plans for scholarly and diversity work, which should be treated like a research job talk. Finally, Juavinett recommends tailoring application materials to show an understanding of the local context and recognize that there will be variable expectations for those in this evolving role.
A man has been arrested after a string of sexual assaults on campus at Queen’s University. Kingston Police were called to respond to an incident involving a man in a women’s washroom at the Queen’s Centre. The police escorted the man off campus, but say that he returned about 40 minutes later and sexually assaulted three women. The man was arrested and is facing charges that include three counts of sexual assault, unlawful possession of a Schedule 1 substance, and two counts of breach of probation.CTV News reports that the man not affiliated with the university.