Top Ten

December 12, 2006

Alleged Bullying at Fanshawe College

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has slapped 7 health and safety orders on the administration of Fanshawe College in London, related to employee accusations of "bullying and a poisonous atmosphere" in the Continuing Education department. A complainant says the "toxic" atmosphere led to stress leaves and resignations. The union claims frustration over "years of inaction" and a "coverup" by administration. The Fanshawe College president launched an internal investigation, and one CE manager has been given other duties until the matter is resolved. London Free Press 

Record Numbers of Ontario Youth in Apprenticeship

Yesterday Ontario's minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that record numbers of high school students are starting their formal skilled trades training while still in high school. The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program provides co-op education and workplace-based experiences in the skilled trades to grade 11 and 12 students. 24,000 students are expected to take part in 2006-07, almost double the level of four years ago. Media release 

Concordia President Calls for Higher Tuition

The president of Concordia University, Claude Lajeunesse, has published a conference paper in which he insists "the status quo is not an option." He calls for more funding for PSE, and an end to Quebec's 12-year freeze on tuition fees, to end "the erosion of our very well respected system of higher education." Artificially low tuition in Quebec has encouraged PSE participation, but "taxpayers cannot indefinitely increase their share of university financing. Students must recognize the lifelong economic benefits that will accrue from their university education." PDF paper 

The Higher the Tuition, the Better

The New York Times reported yesterday that college popularity often rises with the price of tuition. Ursinus College in eastern Pennsylvania raised its tuition more than 17% in 2000, and within 4 years the size of the freshman class had risen 35%. Recently, Notre Dame, Bryn Mawr, Rice, Richmond, and others have also raised tuition to match their rivals, while also increasing financial aid. Average tuition rose 81% between 1993 and 2004, while campus-based financial aid rose 135%. At some US colleges, nearly 90% of students receive bursaries or grants. Americans "don't want cheap" but they do want a "deal." New York Times 

More Jobs Hasn't Meant Better Work

The Canadian Labour Congress is to issue its annual report card on the quality of life for Canadian workers today. Although unemployment hovers near 30-year lows, the proportion of workers stuck in low-wage jobs has crept up, and slightly more than one in ten earns "poverty wages that don't cover rent and food," while one in four has part-time or temporary work, or is self-employed. Canada has lost more than 63,000 "good-paying manufacturing jobs" this year, and replacements have been part-time or lower-paying. Maclean's 

Nipissing Alumni Revoke Award

The Nipissing University Alumni Association has decided to revoke the 2005 Alumni Achievement Award presented to North Bay elementary school teacher Derek Burke, who pled guilty earlier this month to a charge of making inappropriate sexual comments during an Internet chat with a 14-year-old boy. References to his award have already been removed from the Nipissing website. Nipissing media release | Timmins Daily Press article 

uWinnipeg Promises Boost to Cultural Landscape

At noon today, the University of Winnipeg's president, Lloyd Axworthy, and a significant patron will make a "major announcement" that will "enhance the University of Winnipeg and the cultural landscape of downtown Winnipeg." I haven't heard the rumours yet, but no doubt there will be a full media release for tomorrow's Top Ten. (Thanks to Ilana Simon at uWinnipeg)

700 Scientists Urge Ottawa on Pollution Law

Yesterday, an open letter to Prime Minister Harper signed by about 700 environmental science PhDs -- including at least 25 Royal Society members, 14 Canada Research Chairs, and 5 Order of Canada recipients -- was made public, says the Globe & Mail. The scientists want the federal government to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, to force industry to prove chemicals are safe before they are allowed on the market -- and cite the relationship between chemical pollutants and cancer, asthma, learning disabilities and hyperactivity in children. Globe & Mail 

Ivey School Launches Online Sustainability Network

Yesterday, the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario unveiled the Research Network for Business Sustainability, a new tool connecting researchers, practitioners, government policy makers and university educators to "help develop cross-sectoral solutions for some of the world's most intractable problems." The network promises "evidence-based best practices based on credible research." Western News 

George Brown Delivers "Peace of Cake"

This afternoon the media are invited to a photo opp at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital as George Brown College volunteers deliver 500 holiday "peace baskets" to war veterans. The project, led by GBC pastry arts chef Ian Gallacher, has spent a week baking enough fruit cake, gingerbread teddy bears, brownies, cookies, fudge, chocolate balls and shortbread to fill 1,500 baskets. Media release