Top Ten

January 25, 2007

Universities Ranked on Sustainable Endowment

Sustainability is all the schools are buzzing about. 100 public and private North American institutions got their grades yesterday in the "College Sustainability Report Card," and only four made it to the A's.  More than half of the schools considered received C's. The evaluations considered 26 indicators reaching from green building initiatives to endowment investment policies.  Canada 's McGill, uToronto and UBC were in the report and received a "B+", and two "B-"s respectively.  Despite its B-, UBC was included in the "A" List and was commended for its ECOTrek program, the largest water and energy retrofit in any Canadian university and an annual saver of $2.5 million CDN.  Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Inside Higher Ed | Sustainable Endowment Institute

Concordia Says End the Freeze to End the Crisis

Average annual tuition in Quebec is $1,668, compared to the national average at $4,347. Last week, McGill's president told the province that its higher-education system was in a state of "crisis": faculty-student ratios are increasing, classrooms and labs are deteriorating, libraries are limited. This week, Concordia is calling for the end of Quebec 's 13-year tuition freeze, saying additional funds from both students and government will be needed to allow the universities to continue providing quality education.  Globe & Mail

Laurentian Students Demonstrate Against Tuition

As long as there is tuition, there will be student protests. Laurentian University students will be holding a theatrical demonstration today, in mourning for the death of affordable PSE. The event serves to draw attention to the provincial government's decision to end the tuition freeze in Ontario . Demonstrators will deliver a coffin filled with $6.8 million dollars of "student debt" to the Liberal MPP's office. A eulogy will also be delivered. Students nationwide will recognize a day of action against rising tuition on February 7, 2007. Canadian Federation of Students release 

Francophone Literacy Still Lagging

Francophone literacy in Canada has improved, but Anglophones are still faring better according to data from the "2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey" released yesterday by StatsCan. The survey included more than 23,000 Canadians, who were given the option of taking the test in either French or English. 42% of our adult population scored below Level 3, meaning they would struggle with difficult texts. Broken down, 39% of Anglophones were below level 3, compared to 56% of Francophones.  New Brunswick saw the widest literacy gap between speakers of our two official languages, with two-thirds of Francophones below level 3 versus 51% of Anglophones. In Quebec , 43% of Anglophones scored below level 3, as did 55% of Francophones. Statscan

Ryerson and UWI Launch Caribbean Distance Nursing Program

On Friday, Ryerson University ’s G. Raymond Chang School and the University of West Indies will launch their sharp new distance education program in nursing. Approximately 35% of nursing positions in the Caribbean go unfilled: this program will use new media to enable UWI to increase its capacity and provide training throughout the Caribbean . With a lower number of physicians in the region, nurses are particularly important. Currently 67 students are enrolled from Jamaica , St. Lucia and Belize Ryerson media release

New uOttawa Campus Moves Forward

uOttawa will be operating out of its second satellite campus by September 2008. With the downtown campus struggling to contain 37,500 students, the university purchased land formerly used by Algonquin College for $7 million. The site is conveniently adjacent to the downtown campus, located on Lees Avenue , but also might require potentially costly environmental cleanup. Part of the property was used as a landfill in the early 1900's, and is leaking coal tar into the Rideau River . CBC | The Charlatan

YMCA Signs onto uWaterloo Expansion Proposal

On Monday night, the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA committed to help fund a new family YMCA near uWaterloo's campus. The recreation facility would be 45,000 to 50,000 square feet, and part of a proposed project that would also include a joint city/university branch library, and a new 23-acre sports field on UW's west campus.  The potential cost of the project to the city is $23 million and the proposal will go before city council later this year for final approval.  Waterloo Chronicle


Student Wins First Canadian Gold: Canada won its first medal at the World University Games yesterday. Anne Maltais of Montreal won bronze in the women's 500-metre short-track speed skating race, posting a time of 45.249 seconds.  Canada took only one medal in the 2005 games, down from 10 in 2003. Five of the 2003 wins had been in short-track, which wasn't contested in 2005. Both the men's and women's curling teams are competing strongly. Toronto Star

Court Rules uMissouri No Claim to Immunity

The US federal appeals court ruled that the University of Missouri could not claim immunity from a private lawsuit as a state entity. Under the 11th Amendment of the US Constitution, the school would normally have been protected by the state. Previous rulings upheld Missouri 's immunity, but the federal appeals court found that when the university initiated and participated in the contested Patent and Trademark Office interference against a private company, Vas-Cath, it waived its right to immunity by voluntarily invoking federal jurisdiction. Inside Higher Education

E-Books Make Slow Progress

US bookstores are offering digital versions of textbooks at 40-50% less cost than printed versions, but sales are slow. According to the National Association of College stores, the average cost of books and supplies for 2005-06 was between $801 and $904 per student. The Universal Digital Textbook program, by MBS, has expanded from 136 digi-titles in 2005 to 1,300 now. There are an estimated 125,000 textbook titles in all. Digital textbook sales made up less than 2% of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers total text sales. Publishers predict an e-book boom once it starts, but so far measurable interest is weak. Miami Herald