Well done University of Winnipeg – you set the example for urban development

Recently, while I was researching an editorial for University World News, I came across the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation.  This non-profit organisation has helped revive the campus and develop relationships with the surrounding community through environmentally conscious, social enterprise.  Not only have they transformed their campus to be the centre of urban culture (and become Kyoto Protocol compliant!) – they have consulted for other universities to unroll this model at their university.  Over the past year, as we have watched conservative provincial governments take steps backward for the environment and urban communities, UW’s activities should wake us up.  Universities can set the urban development agenda for the future and do not need to wait around for governments to empower them.  You can read my piece on urban development and universities here:


Do we really want Ford’s tuition cuts?

Image compliments of University World News

As I have stated before, graduate assistants are one of the best parts of my job.  Not only do they fill my office with interesting conversation, they teach me about their world and their research interests.  Stefanie Bronson has been a dynamite researcher with a passion for student-centred policy.  She explained to me the complexity of Ford’s recent tuition cuts and showed how it may not be the best way forward.  You can read our piece in University World News here:


Franco-Ontarian Universities Refuse to Give Up

Since my daughter began school four years ago, I have been part of the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde – Ontario’s dynamic French-language public board.  Five years ago I was unaware of its existence, but a kind neighbour recommended it for our family, knowing we value linguistic diversity.  Since enrolling our children, we have had our eyes opened to vibrant Francophone community in Ontario that is comprised of recently-immigrated and long-time Canadians with many connections to Indigenous communities.  This community had a powerful vision to develop a Franco-Ontarian university.  Not only would the constituents be diverse, the pedagogy would be cutting edge.  After walking alongside my colleague Olivier Begin-Caouette and hearing his excitement for project, I was deeply grieved that the Ford government has cut the funding.  Fortunately, the planning committee are a savvy group and are willing to hold the charter tightly until funding becomes available again with the next provincial government.  You can read the editorial I wrote with Olivier here:


Ethnicity and Branch-campuses

Shakina and I are thrilled to announce our new publication is now available online –  “This barrier between:” the ethnic divisions of higher education in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.  Published in Higher Education by Springer.  Please email us for free read-only copies.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-018-0307-5

Many thanks to Shakina and Dr. Ruth Hayhoe for all their advice and support in this project.

Fordism and Ontario’s Higher Education

Image kindly borrowed from TorontoLife

There is nothing more risky than predicting the future.  And certainly this is true after a controversial election.  We do not yet know what Ontario’s election means for higher education, but we can take a look at past conservative governments and gain a sense of what is to come.  Read my piece in University World News here  –



Some great speeches on Free Speech

Last week we worked with the great people at OCUFA to once again host the Worldviews Lecture. This annual talk is held at OISE and brings in a top speaker to comment on a pressing issues that links higher education and the media.

This year we were fortunate to have Dr Sigal Ben-Porath as our guest speaker with a great panel discussion afterwards.  Here is my synopsis of the talk and the commentary surrounding it.  http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180313085859767

In 2019, you will want to attend the Worldviews Conference. It is held every 3 years and is handsdown the most interesting conference I’ve ever attended.  https://worldviewsconference.com/about-worldviews/

Precarious workers in Ontario’s colleges

I have had a string of excellent research assistants, but my current teammate is beyond excellent.  Emmanuelle Fick is not just a PhD student, she is an English instructor in George Brown’s construction faculty ensuring that our next generation of city builders can find jobs, develop reports and succeed in the knowledge economy.  Emmanuelle was also active in the recent strike and helped me to understand the issues that drove it.  Read our piece here http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20180124083515112&query=karram