Top Ten

November 22, 2007

$23 million for Medicine Hat College

Alberta has announced $23 million for improvements to Medicine Hat College, adding almost 600 additional student seats (400 in trades).  The investment "will help address industry demand by increasing student access to welding, automotive technician and heavy equipment technician programs."  $4.5 million will expand labs, $11.7 million will renovate a 36-year-old building, and $3.6 million will go to the College's Encana Power Engineering Technology Centre. 

UCFV enjoys $22 million "recycled" facility

UCFV students in Chilliwack have officially moved into their new "recycled" Trades & Technology Centre.  BC spent $21.6 million turning a military supplies store and motor pool into a new state-of-the-art learning facility, and 10 months later students are settled into their new classrooms.  The two-acre facility relieves a space crunch that was felt at the UCFV's Abbotsford campus.  The building is not yet open to public tours. 

Canadian ambassador donates $3 million to Carleton

William Barton, Canada's ambassador to the UN, has announced that $3 million of his estate will go to Carleton University.  This is the 3rd largest individual donation in the school's history, and will be used to create an endowment to support arms control and disarmament students through the international relations program. Mr. Barton served in the army during WWII, and then moved to Ottawa and worked as a researcher for the Defence Department before joining the foreign service.

Fanshawe exceeds fundraising goal by $2 million

With about 1,000 people in attendance at the school's anniversary weekend, Fanshawe College's president announced that the school's 3-year fundraising campaign had raised $17.2 million -- more than $2 million beyond its original goal.  Fanshawe has also released a book of photos by Richard Bain, to commemorate its 40 years as a college. 

York prof about $10 million disappointed

A labour arbitrator has ordered York University to pay history professor David Noble $2,500 in damages for violating his academic freedom. Noble, who is himself Jewish, issued a pamphlet in 2004 charging the university with being biased in favour of Israel and treating pro-Palestine student groups with a less forgiving hand. York issued a media release without prior discussion with Noble or the Faculty Association. York must remove the media release from its website, but Noble gets neither the $10 million in damages nor the apology he was seeking.

Assaults and harassment regular occurrences on campuses

According to Statistics Canada, 80% of Canadian female undergraduates experience some form of violence (physical, emotional or psychological) during "dating relationships."  This September saw a rash of sexual assault headlines from Canadian university campuses, and one official reports that an average of one sexual assault or harassment incident is reported every week at institutions across Canada.

Controversy brews over Molson "Campus Challenge" on Facebook

Molson Breweries launched a Facebook contest, Campus Challenge, asking students to upload pictures from campus parties. (Current front-runners are Memorial, uVic, UBC, UofT, and uGuelph).  Critics at Memorial feel party photos make them look bad, while at least one student at UWO is dismayed that his campus is in 8th place. To see the submissions, search for the "Molson Canadian Nation" group on Facebook. 

StatsCan predicts 9% drop in enrolments by 2026

While full-time PSE enrolment is projected to increase steadily until 2012 (five years from now), Statistics Canada predicts in a new report that demographics could lead to a 9% decrease in the 13 years following that. Alternative scenarios in the report would see enrolment plateau rather than plummet, possibly by raising male PSE participation levels to match those of females.

US Ivy league considers expanding to accept more top applicants

With applications soaring and admit rates falling, some US Ivy League universities are considering expansion. Stanford's president says that, by turning away record numbers of "exceptional and deserving students, we are denying Stanford the benefit of talent that could contribute to the university and society at large."  Yale is considering expansion as well, and Princeton is already in the third year of its expansion program.  Critics say the expansions are little more than attempts to "hoard" the best and brightest. 

Millennials -- Clued in or Clueless?

A marketing prof at the University of Notre Dame summarizes common misconceptions about the current youth cohort -- they read magazines but not newspapers, use iPods but not CD players, Facebook but not email, and are media-savvy. Not so, she argues, providing 10 things Millennials don't seem to know about marketing: among other things, they overestimate household incomes, fail to realize that Facebook is a commercial enterprise, don't know about truth in advertising legislation, don't realize that product placements are almost always paid, and are unaware of how much brands influence their behaviour.