Archive for academia

Some help for Kwantlen students during the pandemic

A message from my university:

The Kwantlen Student Association [KSA] has donated $100,000 in emergency funding for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. To match this generous gift, KPU will also donate $100,000.

“The KSA always strives to represent its students, and we hope that with this donation, we can give students financial assistance to reduce financial hardships they might face due to COVID-19,” says David Piraquive, president of the KSA.

The funds will be available from March 30 to any student registered for the Spring 2020 term. Students are eligible for up to $250.

“During these unprecedented times, many people will face financial hardships and this includes KPU students. We are deeply grateful to the KSA for this generous gift, and we are proud to partner with them in this effort by matching their donation. Our collective efforts will help our students financially as they try to navigate the current situation,” says Dr. Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor of KPU.

For students who require more emergency funding, there are other grants and bursaries available to students who meet specific criteria. For more information about student financial aid and to apply, visit kpu.ca/awards.

Additional message tweeted me from KPU:

Students can begin applying March 30, closer to the end of day. There will be a form on http://kpu.ca/awards. For more information please contact the student aid office.

I’ve sent this out to all my current students directly – and posted the message here for my former students who follow basil.ca.

KDocs

KDo

Kwantlen Polytechnic University‘s Social Justice Film festival gets better every year. I’m very lucky the films will be shown just down the street from my home.

“Intimate supervision”: Surveillance on campus

This Washington Post report – holy crap:

Short-range phone sensors and campuswide WiFi networks are empowering colleges across the United States to track hundreds of thousands of students more precisely than ever before. Dozens of schools now use such technology to monitor students’ academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health. …

Instead of GPS coordinates, the schools rely on networks of Bluetooth transmitters and wireless access points to piece together students’ movements from dorm to desk. One company that uses school WiFi networks to monitor movements says it gathers 6,000 location data points per student every day.

School and company officials call location monitoring a powerful booster for student success: If they know more about where students are going, they argue, they can intervene before problems arise. But some schools go even further, using systems that calculate personalized “risk scores” based on factors such as whether the student is going to the library enough.

The dream of some administrators is a university where every student is a model student, adhering to disciplined patterns of behavior that are intimately quantified, surveilled and analyzed.

cross-posted from nocontest.ca

h/t Clarissa

Can I get class credit for that?

My beloved province is home to so many financial ruses and scams.

This story amused me more than it should have.

Almost six months after the B.C. government asked post-secondary institutions to stop taking large cash payments for tuition, many [universities] have closed the loophole identified in Peter German’s report on money laundering. [German is a former high-ranking RCMP officer leading a province-wide investigation into money laundering and the gambling industry.]

Contained among the recommendations … was concern that B.C. universities and colleges could be vulnerable to money laundering.

The report included an example of a student who went to an unnamed college with a duffel bag containing $9,000 in cash and asked to deposit it.

“Peter German has advised that people are paying thousands of dollars in suspicious cash for multiple semesters in advance and then seeking refunds by cheque,” Attorney General David Eby said at a new conference in May. “Our post-secondary institutions must not be used to launder money, and we are asking them to review their policies to put a stop to it.”

Since then, many of B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions have moved to end the practice, including Thompson Rivers University and the University of the Fraser Valley. …

Several schools are still reviewing their policies. [My employer] Kwantlen Polytechnic University … still accepts cash but is “looking at the possibility of moving to a fully online payment model and recently adopted a new online payment method for international students.”

A Bargain!

EngineeringCommunicationIngreBasil

I didn’t know until last week that there was an Indian edition.

It was a fun project written with a dear friend.

New Chalk

KPU_Homepage

I begin my sixteenth year at Kwantlen Polytechnic University today. This summer I’m teaching a couple sections of Advanced Professional Communications and one of Technical Report Writing. These are healthy, hearty classes! I am looking forward to meeting my new students. This gig has been such a blessing.

[Addendum – this came in from my university’s administration a couple hours ago: “Surrey RCMP have alerted us to an unsubstantiated threat against KPU, specific to today.  The threat is not specific to any one campus.  Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and with the highest regard for the safety and security of our students and employees, KPU is evacuating all buildings immediately and closing all five of its campuses for the remainder of the day.  All classes at all campuses are cancelled for rest of the day and our buildings will remain closed while security reviews the situation.” No update on this yet.]

genius sister

Jenny

I actually have two genius sisters! But it is the younger of my two younger sisters, Jenny Basil, who just won The Claire Tow ‘52 Distinguished Teacher Award. “The award, in the amount of $10,000, recognizes a senior member of the faculty for outstanding qualities as a teacher and for being a role model to students and other faculty” at Brooklyn College.

I am a pretty talented, even occasionally inspired professor, but I am not a genius by any stretch. I am delighted I can count on my siblings.