The British Columbia’s Ombudsperson has released a watchdog report on the Government of British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development for actions that impacted a former youth in care. The Ombudsperson states that the ministry did not inform a former youth in care that she would miss out on postsecondary education funding due to a transfer of care, then refused to compensate the youth or investigate whether other youth were similarly misinformed. “I’m concerned there may be others who are in the same situation,” said Ombudsperson Jay Chalke. “I’m deeply disappointed that [the] government continues to refuse to compensate Alexandra but also that they’re refusing to look to see if other young people were also not provided with correct information or legal advice.”
Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business has launched a new curriculum for its Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) program. The curriculum includes core courses in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and operations management. The program will be customizable, with students able to choose the majors and minors that are most relevant for them; they will also have the opportunity to embark on co-op or international learning experiences. “Business is constantly changing, and we have adapted our curriculum to respond to demands from industry and students alike,” said SMU Sobey Interim Dean Mark Raymond. “Today’s students are extremely conscientious and mindful of their place in the world.”
A former executive of Collège Lionel-Groulx has been arrested by the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) for allegedly defrauding the institution’s student union out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. A statement from UPAC explains that Eric Boily is facing charges of fraud and a breach of trust; crimes which they say occurred between 2011 and 2018 at the cégep. Sources report that during this time, the cégep’s student association had to suspend select student activities and close its student café due to a lack of funds. Boily has been released and is expected to appear in court on September 26.
The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law will return a USD $450K donation from Amazon after facing criticism over a purported lack of transparency. The Varsity and The Logic report that the Amazon gift was put toward a staff member’s salary and funding a webinar featuring speakers who were allegedly sympathetic to Amazon’s position against anti-monopoly legislation. The gift was reportedly not publicly disclosed. The Globe and Mail reports that the situation has been criticized by CAUT Executive Director David Robinson and the University of Toronto Faculty Association. “The Faculty of Law upheld the University’s firm commitment to academic freedom, institutional autonomy and integrity,” said U of T Faculty of Law Dean Jutta Brunnée. “Nonetheless, we acknowledge the important questions raised about the lack of full transparency pertaining to the gift, and the perception of external influence on our academic activities.”
Mount Allison University has established a new Black affinity group on campus to cultivate a sense of community for the institution’s Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In addition to the MtA Black Caucus, the university will also run initiatives to empower MtA’s Black communities, such as Black Health and Wellness Circles and “Braids and Fades Fridays.” “When we talk about unpacking Black history, we must recognize that anti-Black racism, discrimination, and oppression are not a concept of the past,” said MtA Director of Student Life Danai Bélanger. “As an institution, we will continue to uplift our Black communities and create safe and affirming spaces for all who call this place home.”
McGill University, the Université du Québec à Rimouski, and Lethbridge College have launched new research labs on campus. At McGill, the Data Sphere Lab will provide students, faculty, and industry organizations with a space to develop cutting-edge data analysis techniques for use in business decision-making. UQAR will develop the Laboratoire Avancé en Bioénergétique (LAB), a research facility dedicated to aquatic organism bioenergetics. Lethbridge College’s Centre for Technology, Environment and Design launched the Wildlife Analytics Lab. The lab will offer cementum analysis on wildlife teeth to determine the age, reproductive history, and migratory patterns of wildlife species.
York University’s Residence Life Department has launched two new Living Learning Communities (LLCs) pilots focused on the themes of sustainability and well-being, respectively. These LLCs each bring 35 residents together to learn about specific topics or themes outside of the classroom. Over the next eight months, members of these two LLCs will attend workshops and events related to their topic of choice with the goals of fostering connections between residents and engaging in immersive learning. “Ultimately, experiencing a sense of community helps people hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions, academics and a lot more, which I believe is important while living alone,” said sustainability LLC student leader Ramisa Mustafa, adding that participating in the initiative will support her growth “as an individual and allow more room for holistic knowledge acquisition.”
Former Yukon University VP Dr Janet Welch is suing the university over an alleged wrongful dismissal. CBC reports that Welch was let go from the university in March 2022 and claims that YukonU fired her without cause. Welch asserts that she is thereby owed a year’s pay and added that the nature of her dismissal damaged her professional reputation. A statement of defence from YukonU maintains that Welch refused to perform duties within her job description, violated the university’s record management policies, and breached the school’s procurement rules. CBC reports that neither the allegations from Welch nor YukonU have been proven in court.
As a new semester begins at the University of Manitoba, some of the institution’s representatives are expressing concerns regarding the potential use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools–like ChatGPT–to complete coursework. Speaking to , some students and faculty expressed that ChatGPT could be a useful tool to get started on assignments, but that students should be encouraged to do the majority of the coursework themselves. UManitoba academic integrity expert Francois Jordaan noted that students may use the tool as a shortcut, especially if they are facing pressure balancing their personal and academic lives. Instead of turning to ChatGPT, Jordaan underlines that students should work with the university’s many supports to develop their time management and writing capacities.
Algoma University’s Brampton campus and the Peel District School Board have partnered to launch the Learners Early Access Program (LEAP). PDSB Grade 11 and 12 students who take part in LEAP can pursue university courses at AlgomaU, while also completing their high school classes on campus. The program prioritizes Indigenous, Black, and equity-deserving groups from high schools in Mississauga with the goal of helping the students become more comfortable with the postsecondary environment. “We know many of these students will be the first in their family to go to university”and we know that the first is rarely the last,” said AlgomaU President Asima Vezina.