Top Ten

December 20, 2006

uGuelph Receives $4.8 Million from Class Action Suit

One of the largest class-action settlements in Canada was recently settled, in favour of consumers of vitamin products over alleged price fixing. Several universities with doctoral programs in food and nutrition, or veterinary medicine schools, were awarded about $20 million in the public interest, to support research and education related to vitamins. Individual compensation was not considered viable, since millions of Canadian consumers had been affected. uGuelph media release

Nova Scotia Government Fires Entire School Board

All 13 trustees of Nova Scotia's largest school board, beset by constant bickering, squabbles over seating arrangements and allegations of racism, were fired suddenly yesterday by the province's education minister. The trustees were violating their own code of ethics, unable towork together and show mutual respect. The Halifax Regional School Board will be dissolved and replaced by a former bureaucrat until municipal elections are held in October 2008. Globe & Mail

UBC Surveys Experts for "Next Big Thing in 2007"

The University of British Columbia released results from its second annual "Survey of Experts" yesterday, gathering faculty projections for "the next big thing that will impact our lives" and making them available to reporters looking for New Year's fodder (bet you wish YOU had thought of it!). Predictions this year include personally customized drugs, biofuel made from wood, assessing animal emotions, Segway scooters for people with disabilities, "a new science of faith," and "alternative existence in parallel virtual worlds." UBC media release

UWO and Brescia Purchase 60 Acres of Land

The Ursuline Sisters, who founded Brescia University College in 1919, have now sold the land and buildings to the College, and about 13 acres of adjacent land to the University of Western Ontario, with which Brescia is affiliated. The sale will allow Brescia and Western to plan for future growth. Western News

UCFV President in China and India

Skip Bassford, president of the University College of the Fraser Valley in BC, has just returned from an official visit to China and India with BC premier Gordon Campbell. In Beijing, Campbell signed an agreement for cooperation in education with the Chinese minister of education, and Bassford signed four new agreements with Chinese institutions. In India, Bassford visited students in the new Bachelor of Business Administration program UCFV offers with Sanatan Dharma College. UCFV media release

Most Vegetarian-Friendly Universities in Canada

A national contest sponsored by peta2, the world's largest youth animal rights organization, garnered thousands of votes for the "most vegetarian-friendly college or university in Canada." McMaster came in first place, followed by uVictoria, uWaterloo, Simon Fraser and Mount Allison. The demand for meatless meals on Canadian campuses has never been higher, and young people are leading the charge. According to peta2, nearly one-quarter of all college students ask for vegan options in school cafeterias. Peta2 website

McMaster Receives Archives of Franklin W. Dixon

Leslie McFarlane (aka "Franklin W. Dixon") wrote 20 novels in the Hardy Boys series, starting with "The Tower Treasure" in 1927. Now, McFarlane's family has donated reams of correspondence, diaries, personal photographs and early writing to the McMaster University library. The collection includes two first editions of the Hardy Boys novels, and McMaster plans to seek out first editions of all 20 books penned by McFarlane, at a potential cost of up to $100,000. Maclean's

Stats on Marketing by US Colleges

A recent survey of marketing efforts at 55 US colleges reports that 47% use web marketing; 18% pay for higher search engine placements; 16% use podcasts; 61% include a virtual tour of campus on their website; and overall 54% of applications are submitted online. Despite the emphasis on web recruitment, 86% of US colleges still publish a print viewbook, and 75% publish their own magazine. Although almost 80% have used radio advertising, only 26% have advertised on cable TV in the past two years. The full report is available for $295 US from Primary Research Group.

Sustainability Continues to Sweep the Academic World

Yesterday, USA Today picked up on the trend toward campus sustainability and social responsibility. An increasing number of colleges are getting 100% of their energy from renewable sources, and next month Arizona State University will launch the first School of Sustainability in the country. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has quintupled in size this year. USA Today

US Colleges Focus on Academic Counselling

ABC News reports that colleges across the US are devoting more time, money and staff to students who can't decide on a major, to enhance retention and prevent delayed completion. At some colleges, 39% of freshmen are undecided on their major. Initiatives range from enhanced counselling staffs and centres to peer tutoring, fields-of-study fairs, and bulletin boards featuring a "Major of the Month." ABC News