Top Ten

May 11, 2007

Carleton faces 4th high-profile resignation:

Carleton University’s Associate VP of Student & Academic Support Services is the institution’s fourth high-profile departure within the last year.  Ann Tierney will relocate to fill a very similar position at uCalgary, as vice-provost of students.  Last month, Carleton’s athletics director and dean of business both stepped down, apparently because of administrative shifts caused by the sudden departure of the university’s president.  Tierney has stated that her resignation is not similarly due to the change in leadership, but that she is very excited to be working with Carleton’s former VP Academic again in Calgary.  The Ottawa Citizen

$103 million for Ontario research projects:

Details of recently-funded Ontario Research Fund Infrastructure program recipients are starting to come out.  Ontario announced $103 million across 35 projects to be funded by the program.  The funds go towards providing researchers with the tools needed to stay on top of their fields, such as improved lab space, equipment and software. 188 industry partners have provided matching funds.  McMaster researchers received an astounding $13.7 million in funding, the most of any single institution.  Funding Details | Ontario News Release | McMaster News Release

NAIT declared NSERC eligible:

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has been approved to apply for NSERC research grants, meant for funding industry-based research that addresses problems in the marketplace.  NAIT is now part of a select group of academic institutions that has been approved to apply for NSERC funding.  BCIT and NAIT are the only eligible technical institutes thus far.  NAIT intends to establish itself as a leader in industry-based research, particularly in the fields of manufacturing, mechanical, electrical, chemical, biology and health sciences.  NAIT News Release

Alberta reinforces education ties with China:

Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education and Technology heads to China this weekend to strengthen ties with the powerful nation.  The goals of the visit are to finalize technology agreements between Alberta and China, and to increase the number of collaborations between researchers, students, educators as well as the business and public sectors. The Minister will speak to researchers at a bioscience workshop.  Alberta News Release

Reaching Higher to update Sheridan campus:

Sheridan College’s Davis campus in Brampton is scheduled for $7.5 million in upgrades thanks to the Reaching Higher Plan.  The funds will update facilities and cover maintenance costs.  Sheridan has increased enrolment by 30% over the past 6 years.  Ontario announced $365 million in the 2007 budget for improving learning environments across the province.  The Brampton News

MPHEC releases maritime PSE statistics:

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission has released statistics on full-time faculty at the region’s universities.  The data, by province and by university, is available for public download on the commission’s website.  Student-faculty ratios appear to have remained stable over the last 5 years.  31% of faculty were 55 years of age or older in 2004-05, a 2.5% increase since 2000-01.  Full-time faculty were more likely to be found in Social Sciences or Humanities (19%), than in Fine and Applied Arts (4.7%).  PEI News Release

Authorities weigh in on the future of east coast PSE:

The number of high school graduates in the maritime provinces is expected to peak in 2008 and then drop the following year.  The CEO of MPHEC is telling eastern schools to expect recent increases in enrolment to go into reverse over the next few years.  Currently more than 30% of 18-to-21-year-olds in NS, NB and PEI already go to university: the national average is 23%.  The reputation for high quality education has enabled Atlantic schools to draw students from across the country, despite some of the highest tuition rates.  As school-age demographics decline across Canada, the East will be increasingly relying on its strong educational reputation in the face of tougher competition for students.  The Halifax Daily News

Brock, Niagara students mentor 60 grade 9 students

The Niagara Catholic Mentor Connector pilot program was developed to increase the success of at-risk students. In October 2006, 60 Niagara grade 9 students were partnered with mentors at Brock University, and Niagara University in New York state. In March, a web portal was launched to set up chats between high school students and mentors, and also to allow younger students to post essays and receive feedback from their mentors. The high school students receive one-on-one attention, and soon-to-be teachers get to practice interacting with students.  All the messaging on the website is recorded, and online services are offered until 10pm each night.  The universities are currently considering a 5 year commitment, after the success of this year’s pilot project.  The Welland Tribune


US public divided over cell phone advertising:

Studies show that more than 50% of respondents have no intention of adding cell phone marketing to their strategies in the near future.  33%, however, are watching developments with interest.  Some companies are actively collecting numbers for contests and free offers, while others are marketing their efforts as “text mailing lists”.  The public seems to be on the fence, with half saying get into mobile and the other half saying wait a bit. Campus email accounts are sitting untouched for weeks at a time, and while not perfect, cell phone strategies might be an effective way of reaching students. Teamed up with online communications, students’ connections with their home towns and friends at other universities are being better maintained -- some say at the cost of campus community.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Marketing Profs

A thought for Mother's Day from McGill:

McGill researchers have found another reason to thank your mom this weekend: motherly love might actually change your genetic code, making you less fearful and less stressed-out later in life.  The discovery is significant, as it implies that the genetic code is not locked into place prior to birth, but rather adjusts during life. Tests were conducted on rats, who received different amounts of licking from their mothers. Those who received more attention saw an alteration in the gene that governs the brain’s response to stress. Animals raised with increased motherly attention are less easily frightened and more adventurous.  Guardian Unlimited | McGill News Release