A new bill brought forward by Prince Edward Island MLA Karla Bernard could see postsecondary institutions brought under the provincial Ombudsperson Act. The move would give the provincial ombudsperson the opportunity to review decisions, recommendations, or acts relating to PEI’s public postsecondary institutions: Collège de l’Île, Holland College, and the University of Prince Edward Island. “The University of Prince Edward Island believes the proposed changes to the Ombudsperson Act are positive ones,” said UPEI Interim President Dr Greg Keefe. “We would welcome the opportunity to work with OmbudsPEI to provide an external mechanism for review of practices and decisions, subsequent to internal processes.”
The University of Calgary has received a $12.5M USD legacy gift from the T Boone Pickens Foundation to foster research and innovation in neuroscience. This bequest will benefit the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), which is part of UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. The bulk of the gift ($9.25M USD) will support a newly endowed fund in memory of American business magnate T Boone Pickens; this new fund will promote leading-edge research at HBI by focusing on recruitment and education efforts. Pickens’ bequest will also enhance Calgary-grown entrepreneurship at HBI and provide a boost to the Rebecca Hotchkiss International Scholar Exchange
At this year’s convocation address for the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Health, Professor Dr Scott Leatherdale delivered a speech titled “Five thoughts of a dying professor.” Leatherdale shared that while he has dedicated his career to cancer prevention research, he has also become a terminal cancer patient himself. With this diagnosis in mind, Leatherdale discussed five life lessons, based on his own experiences with adversity, for the Class of 2023. He encouraged the graduates to be proud of their accomplishments, take calculated risks, practice tolerance, learn from their failures, and, above all, embody resilience. “As you inevitably face adversity in your own life, maybe my story can be a small motivation to remain resilient,” he concluded.
First Nations University and the University of Regina have renewed their partnership for another five years with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU outlines the principles of reconciliation and the two partners’ commitment to communicate, collaborate, and build on Indigenous ways of knowing. “We exist during an incredible time of opportunity to make things right, to walk together in a good way,” said URegina President Dr Jeff Keshen. “To have a document to guide us, created in tandem and with deep respect, is an amazing gift not only to the leadership of our two institutions, but also to the faculty, staff, students, and the many community partners we serve.”
Concordia University has signed a five-year collaborative agreement with material sciences company Arkema and extrusion-tech-specialist Rondol Industrie. Concordia and the two French companies will explore the production of innovative, rechargeable battery components as a way to meet the increasing demand for sustainable and new materials in the electrification industry. “We believe that this collaboration will further strengthen our ongoing commitment to creating a sustainable future, putting another spotlight on France-Quebec collaboration in novel areas of green technology, aligned with the 2023 France-Quebec Year of Innovation,” said Concordia President Graham Carr. This partnership is supported by a $123M research grant from the Government of Canada.
Hundreds of Queen’s University staff and faculty rallied on campus this week to demand fair compensation adjustments. The rally comes after Queen’s University’s eight union presidents–under the Unity Council–wrote an open letter to Queen’s leadership calling for a renegotiation of wages. Specifically, the letter calls on Queen’s to increase wages to be par with those established in Queen’s Faculty Association’s collective agreement “for all years affected by the moderation period imposed by Bill 124.” Queen’s leadership responded to the open letter and said that the university is taking measures to control its $62.8M deficit before it can make a “final decision on Bill 124 and wages.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University will waive tuition fees for eligible Indigenous students starting in Fall 2023. Fees will be waived for incoming and current students who are members of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, or Kwikwetlem First Nations. “Education is fundamental to reconciliation,” said KPU President Dr Alan Davis. “Offering free tuition to eligible students continues KPU’s efforts to have open and generative partnerships with Indigenous communities.” This decision coincides with the release of KPU’s new reconciliation framework, xéʔelɬ KPU Pathway to Systemic Transformation. K
St Lawrence College is partnering with the Kingston-based Neuma Centre for Social Wellness to offer a micro-credential in psychedelic wellness. The five-week course will use interactive and experiential learning practices to provide students with an understanding of the history, science, principles, and philosophy of using psychedelics for therapeutic care. Neuma will offer the Foundations for Psychedelic Exploration program, while SLC will provide the assessment that translates the course into a micro-credential. The program is set to launch at the end of June with the potential for expansion into the future.
The RCMP has launched an investigation after a threatening social media post was made against Acadia University this week. The threat follows on a previous shooting threat that was made against individuals and the university. Acadia Director of Safety and Security Patrick Difford advised the campus community that this latest social media post will be used as evidence “to assist an active Kings RCMP investigation,” and noted that the RCMP indicated that there was no “immediate threat or required action.” Difford said that Acadia will continue to work with the RCMP while enhancing monitoring and patrols. RCMP investigators have an “idea as to who it is that they’re looking for,” but are in the process of verifying and corroborating the evidence.
New housing options are in the works for students at Cégep de Baie-Comeau and the University of Guelph. Baie-Comeau and the Office d’habitation de Manicouagan (OHM) have partnered to provide more housing options to cégep students coming from outside of the region. The OHM will offer six three-bedroom apartments, which will be furnished through financial contributions from the cégep’s foundation and student association. In Guelph, the University of Guelph is reportedly interested in leasing a Days Inn hotel property for use as a residence. A City of Guelph committee will be reviewing the developers’ request to transform the 86-room hotel into a student residence. According to Guelph Today, the developers for the property are also looking to construct a housing project at another site down the road that would bring an additional 532 residential units to the area. B