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Letters to the editor


More funding needed for single parents

Having been a single parent and student through both a master’s and PhD, I can say that this scholarship – even with the 25 per cent increase (“Higher-education scholarships and fellowships miss the mark by $8,500,” September-October 2022) – does not cut it when it comes to the needs of single parents. Obtaining a graduate degree is a substantial pathway out of poverty for many of us, and especially those of us who do not have any form of child support. The structure of so many scholarships, which seem to be based on a minimum-wage type of standard, while helpful, remain woefully inadequate. This is even more true now with the skyrocketing inflation.

Nancy Stevens
Dr. Stevens is an assistant professor as well as co-chair for the Indigenous studies program at Nipissing University.

Sobering advice

As a retired professor who, in a happier era, secured a tenure-track position after eight years of contracts, I found Stuart Chambers’s advice to sessionals sobering (“Advice for sessionals,” July-August 2022). He says that faced with a scheduling nightmare, or having to make a decision about adopting a colleague’s course at a few hours’ notice, to “accept … willingly.” The lessons you then teach must be “directly related to a course’s major themes…on target…and interesting,” and to that end you should “own the subject matter.” The ideal being to teach “upwards of seven or eight courses annually.” In between, publish. This from someone who declares “I love my job.”

Chambers suggested that the system has been characterized as “exploitive.” No kidding!

Richard Harris
Dr. Harris is a professor emeritus at McMaster University.

The importance of the superclusters

Canada took a major step by investing in superclusters to encourage collaboration between academia and the private sector to speed up knowledge/technology transfer for societal use, and also for better education and training of the next generation of talent.

Protein Industries Canada, for example, is in an ecosystem developed through more than a century of research, innovation, and education in agricultural sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. It fulfils an important role to further hasten the collaboration between the academy and industry. This ecosystem also includes the Global Institute of Food Security, created through a partnership involving the Government of Saskatchewan, Nutrien, and the University of Saskatchewan. The collaboration among entities such as USask, PIC and GIFS is critical to providing the technologies urgently needed by producers and food processors.

Most of the evidence until now, and the early indicators of what lies ahead, point to the success of superclusters. Therefore, it is great that Canada decided to provide funding for the superclusters in the recent budget.

Baljit Singh
Dr. Singh is the vice-president, research at University of Saskatchewan.


In our September-October issue (“U of Ottawa’s med school aims to train more Inuit doctors”), we incorrectly attributed a quote to Inuk physician Elaine Kilabuk. The quote should have been attributed to Sarah Funnell, First Nations family doctor and director of the University of Ottawa’s faculty of medicine’s Centre for Indigenous Research and Education.

in our September-October issue (“Student-run harm reduction program at UBCO expands into Okanagan”), we incorrectly stated that Okanagan is a city, when it is a region.

in our September-October issue (People), we incorrectly referred to Monica Foster, the new vice-president of finance and administration at St. Francis Xavier University, as Monica Fraser. We regret this error.