Top Ten

March 15, 2007

New Brunswick Invests in PSE

The provincial government of New Brunswick announced its 2007-2008 budget on Tuesday, including $500,000 for community-based adult learning, and $7.9 million in capital funds for New Brunswick Community College .  As well, approximately $7 million will fund the removal of parent and spouse income from consideration in the assessment of student loans (effective this August).  GNB News Release | Dale Kirby's Blog 

Canadian Academic still Banned from the US

Dr. Karim Meziane, a Canadian physicist who worked in collaboration with UC Berkeley on an ongoing basis, is still banned from crossing the border because of "unlawful activates committed in Canada ." He is mystified, and is certain they have him confused with someone else. A representative from the Canadian Association of University Teachers reports that crossing the border is often an issue for Canadian academics, particularly those with Muslim backgrounds.  CAUT receives about 2 dozen complaints a year that echo the troubles experienced by Meziane. The Globe & Mail  

$25 Million Reno for Osgoode Hall

York University's board of governors has approved $25 million for removal of asbestos from, and major renovations to, the Osgoode Hall Law School. The 33-year-old building will go under the knife in June 2008, to make room for more classes in the building and an expanded library.  Student space will be moved from the basement to a location closer to faculty and staff space. Excalibur (Student Newspaper)

$7 Million Trades Centre for Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College has received $5 million from the Ontario government to renovate the former London Community Small Business Centre into an industrial and skills training centre.  The Centre will focus on fields and trades that are short on skilled workers in Ontario -- including aviation trades, which are a major issue for Diamond Aircraft in London.  The centre will hopefully train 1,000 students a year in industrial and skilled trades programs that will be designed either in response to industry need, or in line with the diploma programs offered at the college. The London Free Press

$199 Million for Environment Projects in BC

Tuesday at UBC, prime minister Stephen Harper announced federal funding of $199 million for a "hydrogen highway" in BC -- two hundred times the commitment made by the former Liberal government.  Most of the money will be used to create hydrogen fuelling stations for fuel-cell cars. The highway had been intended to launch with the 2010 Olympics, but the prohibitive cost of hydrogen cars has slowed consumer interest and the "highway" is now projected to be completed for a later date.  The Toronto Star

Kwantlen to Close White Rock campus

Kwantlen University College 's White Rock campus is closing at the end of term in April, due to lack of student enrolment.  The campus has shifted its course offerings several times since its opening 2 years ago, and is still operating at 60% of capacity.  White Rock costs Kwantlen $40,000 per term to operate. Students of all ages seem to prefer the Surrey campus, and were registering at White Rock only once main campus courses were full. The Peace Arch News

McMaster Stadium Late, Over-Budget

Construction on McMaster University's new football stadium is over-budget and over-schedule.  Low estimates and rising construction costs are bringing the facility in at $22 million, rather than the $13 million budgeted. Weather has also slowed construction, so the stadium may not be completed for its September launch date.  A $20 million student levy is being placed on students.  The school is hoping to offset the increased cost through grants and donations.  The Toronto Star

McGill Students frustrated over Disability Studies

Students complain that for 18 months, senior academics at McGill have evaded queries from the Office for Students with Disabilities.  The director, Joan Wolforth, is seeking a sponsor to create a Disability Studies program at the school, but has found only lack of interest and lack of awareness of the field. Research and courses in some departments at McGill have begun to touch on related issues, showing some recognition of DS as an area of scholarship. Disability Studies began appearing at Canadian universities only in the last ten years.  The McGill Daily  (Student Newspaper)

US Public Universities fall behind in Research

A new study assessing per-capita faculty research productivity suggests that American private universities are pulling ahead of their public counterparts in terms of research output. The dramatically different bottom lines of public and private institutions are making themselves felt as private school faculty move forward with research, but public institutions find themselves spreading funds thin. The methodology of the study's authors, Academic Analytics, is being questioned, and some are waiting for the National Research Council's annual departmental ratings as a comparison. Inside Higher Education 

Viacom sues Google / YouTube for $1 Billion US

Viacom is suing YouTube (and proud new parent company Google) for more than $1 billion in damages for alleged copyright infringement.  Tensions between Viacom and YouTube have been ongoing; last month Viacom demanded that more than 100,000 clips be removed from the popular video-hosting service. Several big media players, such as CBS and NBC/Universal, have reached licensing deals with YouTube, while others remain in conflict.  MWC News