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Federal Election 2011: An open letter on post-secondary education

Donna Palmateer Pennee, University of Western Ontario Guest Contributor “Vote Mobs,” originating with 700 students on the University of Guelph campus, indicate students are preparing publicly for election 2011. Where are the parallel faculty and administrator mobs, to encourage voter turnout and raise awareness of Post-Secondary Education (PSE) as an election issue? We do not know the outcome of our next election, so the proposed federal Budget 2011 may well be back again. And even if it doesn’t reappear, another budget will, so let’s use Budget 2011 for a democratic exercise in consciousness-raising. We can start by watching the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s video, which compares budget choices:

  • Watch CCPA’s ‘...

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Federal Election 2011: Week one roundup

Week one of Canada's current election campaign is coming to a close. We heard about PSE issues mainly in relation to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s proposed Canadian Learning Passport, an annual $1-billion investment in non-repayable federal student assistance. Tuesday evening, commentary was invited by Don Martin, host of CTV’s Power Play, and both AUCC and CASA were interviewed. During the interview, both organizations highlighted new websites created specifically for the campaign period:

Universities Matter (www.universitiesmatter.ca)
Students need to vote (www.studentsneedtovote.ca)

Other election/PSE resources that may be...

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Thunder in her soul – Remembering Patricia A. Monture

Malinda S. Smith, Vice President, Equity

Patricia Monture

Her Mohawk name was ‘Aywahande,’ or “the one who speaks first or gets things going with words.”

Professor Patricia (‘Trish’) Monture, the brilliant and accomplished Haudenosaunee lawyer, educator, writer and scholar, died on the 17th of November in Saskatoon. A citizen of the Mohawk Nation, Grand River Territory, she was a full Professor and Academic Director of the Aboriginal Justice and Criminology Program in the Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan.

Known for her great intellect, determined activism and wonderful sense of humour, Professor Monture was a respected teacher and colleague, inspired mentor and beloved friend to many within and outside the academy. A passionate...

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Humanities in peril/at work

Jean-Marc Mangin
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

There is a well known discourse that humanities are less relevant and a luxury in a globalized, violent and competitive world to prepare young minds to the dog-eat-dog technological society that they are facing. To the contrary, humanities are more needed than ever to develop nimble, agile and critical minds in a complex world.

This week, I was fortunate to come across one real live example of the relevance of the humanities when Carleton University signed a MOU with the new University of Central Asia to support the Aga Khan Humanities Project.

The Governments in Central Asia often view  the humanities with a great deal of dangerous to their powers and as a western concept (...

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2010 Canadian Science Policy Conference

Jean-Marc Mangin
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Organized a dynamic group of young scholars,  the 2010 Canadian Science Policy Conference brought together a who’s who of leaders in the Canadian research enterprise from the federal and provincial government, research centres, universities and private sectors.

Although humanities and social sciences were under-represented, the panels addressed many issues of concerns to our community: the role of innovation in the economic recovery; critical overview of innovation and impact assessment as linear processes. (SSCHR Chad Gaffield’s remarks were picked up by several speakers;  Louise Shaxson presented...

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"Be partners in using statistics for your decision"

Ryan Saxby Hill 
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

It likely won't come as a surprise for you to learn that many of our members here at the Federation love statistics. This love finally has a musical outlet. World Statistics Day - an annual event recognizing the positive role played by official statistics in making the world a better place - has an official theme song. Those of you still looking for that Stats Anthem for 2010 (or perhaps your wedding song?) are in luck. The line "be partners in using statistics for your decision" is sure to be running through your head. The MP3 is below, but if you'd like to download a copy to play on your iPod (or get the lyrics) you can find it online here. Thanks to...

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Ronald Wright reminds us that history can help us prevent the “Progress Trap”

Photo courtesy of wikimedia

Ryan Saxby Hill
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

“Humans understand each other by watching behaviour through time” - Ronald Wright

I was lucky enough to attend the International Conference on Liberal Arts last month at St. Thomas University. The event was a great opportunity to connect with our members and find out what we can do to help ensure a viable future for humanities research and teaching. One of the highlights of the three-day event was the Friday keynote from Richard Wright, a great thinker on the state of our...

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How do we talk about the Liberal Arts?

Ryan Saxby Hill
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Several hundred researchers, educators and students gathered at St. Thomas University from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1-2 to discuss the future of the liberal arts. For St. Thomas, celebrating its centennial year, this conversation on the future of the liberal arts is literally a conversation about the future of St. Thomas University itself. St. Thomas carries a strong reputation in liberal arts education - especially at the undergraduate level.

According to the University's Vice President Academic, St. Thomas carries this commitment to the liberal arts throughout their programming. In designing even applied programming in both journalism and criminology, the school ensured that the programs were rooted in Bachelor of Arts programs. Students get BA degrees in journalism or criminology, rather than Bachelors of Journalism and Bachelors of Criminology.

The...

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Good news for a new generation of talent

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

The Federal government yesterday announced enhanced support for Canada’s next generation of scholars. SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC will jointly administer the new Banting Posdoctoral Fellowship program which will provide $70 000 annually for two years to support high-level post-doctoral research. The Federation is pleased that the new fellowship will be allocated equally between the three granting agencies, as it is the case for the Vanier Postgraduate Scholarships.  Many people and groups have advocated for such support and the creation of the fellowship is in line with our message that Canada needs to mobilize the best talent in every discipline to address today’s...

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