Top Ten

May 14, 2007

New UNBC Teaching & Learning Centre Opens:

The University of Northern British Columbia officially opened its brand-new $31-million Teaching & Learning Centre last Friday.  The new facility will house almost 500 students, 41 labs, 8 classrooms, 11 study areas, 183 offices and a video conference room.  The university’s Environmental Planning program, which offers courses on hot-button issues like sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, stewardship and urban sprawl, will also take up residence in the building. The school also plans to use the new space to expand its health sciences, education, business and nursing programs.  BC News Release

SFU Health Science receives $12 million gift:

Steward and Marilyn Blusson are the generous individuals behind Simon Fraser University’s largest private donation to date.  The couple’s $12-million gift will see the new Faculty of Health Sciences building named Blusson Hall.  The facility will accommodate more than 800 new students in classrooms, offices, and labs designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and students working in health, arts, public policy and practice. SFU News Release

Yukon College employees claim betrayal:

Yukon College has appointed a new president – a candidate who apparenly wasn’t even on the short-list.  The school’s employees’ union responded aggressively when they found out a president had been selected who was not on the candidate list, nor involved in the selection and interview processes.  Dr. Terry Weninger, the freshly-appointed president, was a member of the advisory committee charged with selecting candidates.  More than 50 potentials were narrowed down to 8 final candidates by the committee, before Weninger’s sudden appointment.  The Whitehorse Daily Star

Universities are like "cod liver oil":

Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente rants that too many "C" students are being pushed into Canadian universities "because we've been brainwashed into believing that a university degree is essential to success." Citing sociologist Jim Coté, she reports that too many of these drifters "sit through lectures that bore [them] to stupefaction and crank out term papers that are scarcely literate," winding up without marketable skills, with a "meaningless credential," and living back in their parents' basements.  Globe & Mail (subscription required)

Biz school naming bargains:

Maclean's editor Tony Keller observes in his blog that the price for business school naming rights in Canada has risen sharply since the Iveys donated $11 million to the University of Western Ontario, perhaps because "few business schools remain." He urges investors to snap up the prestigious (but still no-name) business schools at Queen's, uAlberta, HEC Montreal -- or pick up the "underappreciated" biz schools at Ryerson, Dalhouse, Laval, Sherbrooke, Laurier, and perhaps Waterloo or Victoria. Keller's Blog 

Cambrian expands Power Engineering programming:

The popular stream of Power Engineering studies at Cambrian College is to have a new program in the Fall.  The Power Engineering Technology program will give students academic preparation and experience required to earn a second-class certificate as an operating engineer. Graduates of the program will fill industry demand in Northern Ontario.  All Power Engineering programs at Cambrian are recognized by the TSSA. Cambrian News Release

Manitoba Liberals want to increase tuition:

If elected, Manitoba’s Liberal leader has promised to thaw the province’s tuition freeze. The party has suggested it will instead cap tuition at the cost of inflation, and increase funding for universities by $10 million.  Red River College would receive $5 million to reduce waiting lists.  The Winnipeg Free Press

Carleton's culturally-sensitive approach to security:

Security officers at Carleton University recently met with their director to request sensitivity training, because of the diverse cultures that the university’s students represent.  The staff is now engaged in a program of understanding and sensitivity where they will learn from the students about their customs and conventions.  In a culturally diverse community, ignorance of different cultures can often exacerbate conflicts and security issues.  The Ottawa Sun

Undergraduate research helps get students into grad school:

UBC’s assistant dean and director of graduate enrolment services sat down with Maclean’s this week to talk about getting into grad school.  She emphasized that while all programs are different, marks remain the most important measure involved in selection -- barring relevant exceptions.  Research experience is a great way to beef up an application that might fall short in the marks department, and professional training is also seen as an asset depending on the program.  It is also important to talk to faculty before enrolment, to ensure that the students’ interests match up with the academics who will be directing their studies.  Volunteer experience is only valuable when it matches the skill set of the program area. Maclean’s

Ryerson hosts Montreal and Toronto leaders:

The mayors of Montreal and Toronto were headed to Ryerson to meet with top business schools and industry leaders last Friday. The Montreal-Toronto Business Rendezvous 2007 was founded on the belief that Canada’s future economic growth is linked to that of its largest cities.  The conference focused on issues of branding, reputation, diversity and sustainability and engines of economic growth.  Ryerson News Release