The University of Lethbridge has signed on to the Buffalo Treaty of Cooperation Revival and Restoration as a supporter and is reportedly the first postsecondary institution to do so. The Buffalo Treaty focuses on preserving culture and ecosystems by allowing bison to move freely across the Canada-US border and restoring cultural connections between Indigenous peoples and bison. As a supporter of the treaty, ULethbridge will perpetuate all buffalo-related aspects of Indigenous culture, including customs, practices, beliefs, and ceremonies. “The University of Lethbridge signing on as a supporter shows they agree to work towards the ends that the Buffalo Treaty speaks to through education, research and cooperation,” said ULethbridge Vice-Provost for Indigenous Relations Leroy Little Bear. “It is a momentous day and very fitting that the University of Lethbridge is the first university to sign on because the very beginnings of the Buffalo Treaty happened right here, on Blackfoot territory.”
St Francis Xavier University received a $37.4M investment from the Province of Nova Scotia to create a new research institute focused on improving the health of rural Nova Scotians. The Institute for Innovation in Health will focus on improving health and wellness in rural communities with an aim to prevent and manage chronic diseases and support rehabilitation and aging in place. As part of the new institute, StFX will also open a treatment and research centre, establish innovative infrastructure and training environments, and enhance the work of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. “The Institute for Innovation in Health at StFX will be recognized for impacting education, promotion and prevention programs responsive to rural healthcare and service needs in Nova Scotian communities,” said StFX President Andy Hakin.
The University of British Columbia Okanagan launched a Doctor of Education program to provide current and aspiring educational learners with flexible professional development. The three-year program will use a scholar-practitioner emphasis with a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach. Coursework is delivered online with in-person learning opportunities offered through summer intensive sessions. “We are excited to offer a program that provides professional learners with the knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to make meaningful contributions and changes in their local communities,” said UBCO Education Dean pro tem Dr Jan Hare.
The Government of Ontario recently announced that it will allow Grade 11 students to enter full-time skilled trades apprenticeships while still earning their high school diplomas. Teens who enter the apprenticeship programs – which take between two to five years to complete – can then apply for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma as mature students. “To ensure all students can get ahead in this province, we are accelerating pathways from high school to apprenticeship learning and ultimately, a career in the skilled trades,” said ON Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.
In a recent editorial for University Affairs, Jean-François Venne discusses how recent campus emergencies have prompted institutions to consider their emergency preparedness plans and training for faculty, staff, and students. Venne writes that those working in postsecondary education are not necessarily prepared for emergency scenarios and may not be familiar with the plans in place. Institutions have responded to the need for emergency preparedness in a variety of ways: Collège Ahuntsic now offers targeted training and mandatory training for new hires, the University of Alberta’s crisis management team regularly conducts drills, and the University of British Columbia offers training courses to faculty and staff on a three-year cycle in addition to annual preparedness activities for students.
Several institutions in Saskatchewan have been reflecting on the recent decisions of the federal and provincial government and the updates from a number of other postsecondary institutions regarding removing TikTok from institution-owned devices. Saskatchewan Polytechnic reportedly prohibited the use of TikTok on all institution-owned devices. A University of Saskatchewan spokesperson said that USask discourages the use of any social media platforms on university-owned devices, but would not prohibit the app at this time. The University of Regina issued a statement saying that it is “not aware of any new and specific information which would suggest an immediate need to re-evaluate this particular app in the context of University policy.”
MacEwan University’s Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) boosted its SAMU Cares Endowment Fund with $1M to support students who are experiencing a financial crisis. To recognize the contribution, MacEwan renamed its pedway SAMU Way and installed commemorative pillars inspired by MacEwan’s towers. “This donation is a symbol of the ongoing and close relationship between SAMU and MacEwan – and that we are truly a community that cares,” said MacEwan President Dr Annette Trimbee. “We are both working toward a common goal – supporting our students in their post-secondary journey – and this donation will make a real difference in the lives of many students.”
Two former Laurentian University professors have called for a criminal investigation into the university’s past executives and board members for financial mismanagement. Now that Laurentian has exited its insolvency proceedings, CBC reports that Eduardo Galiano-Riveros and Reuben Roth have asked the Attorney General to investigate whether there was criminal wrongdoing involved in the school’s financial crisis. Galiano-Riveros said that the investigation could help to “bring this whole very painful episode to some degree of closure.” Laurentian’s faculty association President Fabrice Colin expressed his support for the request. Sudbury.com and CBC report that Laurentian Interim President Sheila Embleton responded with a statement asserting that the university is currently focused on its future and new strategic plan.
A recent US study led by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association found that many employers regard non-degree, alternative credentials–such as micro-credentials–in a positive light, but that there is work to be done to standardize them and ensure their validity. The researchers surveyed executives, supervisors, and HR professionals and found that many of these employers felt that participation in micro-credentials reflected positively on an employee and helped to communicate their competencies and skills. Some expressed reservations about the relevance and/or quality of these credentials, and the researchers noted issues with the standardization, validity testing, and applicability of curriculum. Employers were highly interested in being involved in the future development of alternative and non-degree credentials and the design of curriculum.
The University of Toronto and Vale Energy Transition Metals announced a partnership this week to accelerate the next generation of sustainable critical mineral projects. The partnership will focus primarily on decarbonization and the energy transition economy. It will include sponsored research projects, training, professional development, and community engagement mechanisms. “Through this new partnership, we are keeping Canada at the forefront of innovation, and further strengthening our position as a trusted global supplier of sustainably sourced critical minerals,” said U of T VP, Research & Innovation, & Strategic Initiatives Leah Cowen. Vale will contribute an initial $1.6M over three years to the university.