Top Ten

August 24, 2007

$111 million for Alberta campuses

The Alberta government has announced $350 million for infrastructure repair and capital equipment upgrades to more than 100 public buildings across the province, including $111 million for colleges and universities.  The Calgary Herald observes that uCalgary alone has $300 million worth of deferred maintenance, while SAIT, Mount Royal College, and ACAD together have another $112 million in urgent needs. Cynics suspect the move is in response to sinking government approval ratings in recent weeks. The Calgary Herald | Alberta News Release | CBC 

Ontario colleges need another $400 million

Fanshawe College president Howard Rundle issued a provocative media release this Tuesday, calling upon all parties in the upcoming Ontario election campaign to boost college funding by $400 million by 2011, and make room for 30,000 additional students. He observed that, while Fanshawe's operating budget has increased 55% over the past 4 years (against a 7% increase in student enrolment),  it will need another $20 million over the next 4 years to expand by up to 3,000 students. The London Free Press 

uVic to lead $112 million ocean floor facility

Researchers from the University of Victoria will lead a $112 million "megaproject" that will build a scientific observatory on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.  Neptune Canada will use cable links to "plug the ocean into the Internet."  Undersea gadgets including robotic vehicles, video cameras and seismometers will gradually be added, expanding the breadth of information gathering. A similar US facility is being built off the coast of Washington state, and will be linked to Neptune.  Can adian Press | CTV | u Vic News Release  

Rotman's dean named "all-star" in Business Week

The dean of uToronto's Rotman School of Management has been named one of 10 business school "all-stars" on  Dean Martin is the only non-US individual included in the list, and is credited for pioneering the philosophy that "corporate managers should become flexible problem-solvers, not sophisticated number-crunchers."  His research focuses on global competitiveness, business design and corporate citizenship.  uToronto News Release | Top 10 Business All-Stars

Saskatoon struggles to find room for 23,000 students

Saskatoon's mayor and the presidents of uSaskatchewan, SIAST and SIIT are asking Saskatoon residents to take student boarders into their homes, due to a student housing shortage.  23,000 students require affordable accommodation in the city, and SIIT reports that 20% of its students are struggling to find housing. The City of Saskatoon will be launching a multimedia ad campaign to promote the benefits of having a boarder. City of Saskatoon News Release

Carleton union gets strike mandate for September 5

Staff at Carleton University have voted 94% in favour of going on strike if no deal is reached with administration.  The staff will be in a legal strike position as of September 5.  A CUPE national representative states, "Carleton’s administration has a habit of pushing things to the wire, dragging their heels and refusing to make serious attempts to settle contracts until faced with strike or lockout."  CUPE News Release 

BC schools compete with "dead-end jobs"

BC's low unemployment rate is a significant threat to the province's colleges and universities.  With unemployment at its lowest in 30 years, BC PSEs are reporting slow but steady drops in enrolment.  Some predict that skills programs will increase, due to the surge in trade employment. One student says "I can’t see there ever being a need for universities; everyone has a help-wanted sign up." Camosun College has launched ads comparing the chore of studying to the difficulty of "trying to love a dead-end job." The Victoria Times-Colonist

Canadian schools propose bargain Mars expedition

Several Canadian universities have proposed an extraordinarily affordable Mars trip in 2009.  Northern Light would be led by York University, and would involve researchers from uAlberta, uCalgary, UNB, uSask, uToronto, uWaterloo, uWinnipeg, UWO, McGill and SFU.  By using a commercial launch vehicle built from converted missiles, costs will be around $20 million.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Word of mouth earns trust from youth

College students and young people in general are heavily influenced by peer review, and see blogs and social network sites as valuable and trustworthy sources of information and opinion.  A survey reveals that word-of-mouth is the most preferred way students like to learn about new products, making online WOM efforts an effective way of reaching the young adult demographic.  85% of college students reported that they primarily learned about products via word of mouth.  eMarke ter

Playboy launches site for college bunnies

With the launch of Playboy U, Hugh Heffner brings the world "an exclusive college-only non-nude social network," where students can create a profile, join clubs, connect with friends and get into the campus social scene. A ".edu" email address is required to enter the site, so that "high schoolers, old dudes and your Mom can't join" -- but that may mean Canadian students are out of luck, too. The Chronicle of Higher Education |