Top Ten

February 14, 2007

$42 Million for Ag Research in Saskatchewan

The federal and provincial governments have announced $41.5 million in funding for the Saskatchewan agricultural sector, with $28 million of it going to the University of Saskatchewan and projects with biofuels.  Three new research chairs will be added to uSask, and another at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.  $10 million will be split between two new facilities at uSask: a new Feed Technology Centre and a grain innovation lab at the already existing Crop Development Centre. The Star Phoenix | CBC

$19 Million in CFI Funding Extends CRKN

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network is a national digital database of natural and health sciences resources. The Canada Foundation for Innovation has announced $19.1 million to expand its infrastructure to include social sciences and humanities resources as well. The CRKN will be hosted through uOttawa, but available remotely at all 67 participating Canadian universities .  Only the largest academic institutions can afford to subscribe to a comparatively large selection of resources; CRKN will make these resources available nation-wide to 800,000 researchers and grad students. 50% of Canadian researchers are in Social Sciences and Humanities.  CBC | uOttawa News Release

Bomb Threat at Brock

: After a telephoned bomb threat late last week, police and canine units swept the Walker athletic complex at Brock University but found no explosives. The fitness centre was evacuated, disrupting several athletic activities, but it was re-opened several hours later. The student newspaper quotes a Brock source who laments the tendency for bomb threats to occur near exam time. The Brock Press

University Land Goes Commerical

Yesterday's Globe & Mail reports that UBC Okanagan is planning 60 acres of commercial development on campus, including a hotel, research facilities and offices for companies that work closely with the university. Watermark developments plans to build a 285-acre village adjacent to the campus, including shopping and housing for students, faculty and staff. SFU has been developing its "UniverCity" community for five years now, while Royal Roads is planning a conference centre and major hotel. Schools are increasingly seeing commercial development as a way to "make the most" of their land holdings. The Globe & Mail 

uOttawa Invests $450 Million Over 10 Years

uOttawa has revealed details of an aggressive renewal and expansion plan with a price tag of $150 million, above and beyond the $300 million spent over the last five years.  The proposal, which is subject to board approval, includes the creation of the new Rideau River and Alta Vista campuses, and the completion of the new Desmarais Building of the University's downtown campus.  A new amphitheatre and the creation of Place de l'Université are also proposed.  A backgrounder of the plan is available online (PDF).  uOttawa News Release 

Strategic Planning at MSVU

Mount Saint Vincent University launched a strategic plan drafting process in October 2006 that has so far achieved approximately 70% internal participation in the process. Delegates at the "Educating Women/Women's Education" conference, held recently at MSVU, released a statement of concern that MSVU is considering reducing its emphasis on women's education in its official mission statement. Males represent 15% of the student body and 40% of faculty. The Halifax Chronicle Herald | MSVU News Release (Conference)

uToronto Launches "ULife" Portal to Student Activities

uToronto has launched ULife, a website that brings together more than 1,000 student clubs, organizations and activities available to students across all three of the school's campuses.  The site includes profiles for both students and organizations, and the public affiliation of individuals is expected to make clubs seem more accessible. Contents include co-op programs, film appreciation clubs, sports teams, activism, local outreach projects, research opportunities, paid and un-paid work opportunities. UofT News Release 

Overachieving Students No Longer Enjoying University

A feature in yesterday's Toronto Star interviews several students at Ryerson and uToronto who say school is no picnic. "I thought it was going to be about expanded horizons and all that crap they feed you in high school," says one bitter student, who tries to work 20 hours a week as a TA/RA, and 20 hours a week on "her own web design company," on top of her full-time studies. Although 48% of twenty-something university students are employed, many graduate facing significant debt, and often "Quarter-Life Crisis." And the university experience is shifting from personal growth and development (and fun), into a hellish rush to the finish line. The Toronto Star

US Colleges Increase E-Recruitment

A survey by Media Logic reports that e-marketing is on the rise among higher-education institutions in the US.  86% of schools are using e-marketing to reach prospective students, 62% to reach alumni, 42% to reach donors, and 38% to reach current students. Only 8% report using newer channels such as,, or instant messaging to reach students. Media Logic News Release

Facebook's First Online Predator

Originally exclusive to high school, university and college students, opened its network of 8 million users to the public last September. Within four months, the number of users has doubled to 16 million, two-thirds of whom are registered as students. The site is divided into 47,000 separate networks, each of which can only fully access its own membership. Nonetheless, last week a man was charged for posing as a teenaged girl on Facebook to lure a 15-year-old boy. University Business