Top Ten

December 17, 2007

uRegina students evacuated from exams during fire

Hundreds of University of Regina students were evacuated late last week when a fire started in one of the school's labs. A professor and student pulled the fire alarm when they were unable to contain the fire. Although no one was injured, one individual was taken to the hospital for observation. Students were forced to evacuate just minutes before completing an exam but will not be given extra time; the lost time will be taken into account when marking the tests.

Rotman School receives $18 million from namesake

Financier Joseph Rotman and his wife Sandra have announced another large donation to the school that already bears their family name. The Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto, is to receive $18 million in new funds from the couple. Just two weeks ago, the Rotman school also received $10 million from Marcel Desautels, previously the school's largest donor. Desautels has donated a total of $31 million, and the Rotmans a total of $36 million.

Tyndale University College to offer BEd

Tyndale University College & Seminary, in Toronto, has received final approval from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer a 12-month Bachelor of Education program preparing teachers for primary, junior and intermediate grades. Tyndale's first class of teachers will start in July 2008. The program will be distinct in delivering a learning experience that will challenge candiates to include values common to both education and faith.

SFU's downtown arts campus receives $3 million contribution

The new School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) at Simon Fraser University has received a $3 million donation from Vancouver businessman and SFU chancellor emeritus Milton Wong & family. The SCA is scheduled to move into its downtown home late in 2009, and "promises to become one of Vancouver's most exciting arts and culture venues." The facility will include innovative stage, cinema, studio and gallery space available to students and the community.

Brock receives $1 million for graduate fellowships

Brock University graduate students will benefit from new awards funded by a $500,000 donation from Dr. Raymond Moriyama, and matched by the Ontario Graduate Fellowship Program. Moriyama, an internationally-acclaimed architect, designed many of the buildings on Brock's campus, received an honorary degree from Brock, and has served as the university's chancellor. Revenue from the donation will be shared across each of the school's 6 faculties.

Harvard tuition capped at 10% of family income

Harvard University has announced that it will support lower-income families (defined as those under $180,000 per year!) by capping tuition at 10% of their earnings. Earlier this month, Duke, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford promised "free rides" to low-income students. Critics say that only a few students stand to benefit from these efforts, and are calling for schools to release money from some $380 billion that sits in tax-free endowment accounts. Harvard's announcement will require $22 million from its endowment, which has grown to $35 billion.

St. Thomas U delays winter term due to faculty negotiations

St. Thomas University in Fredericton has pushed back the start of its Winter 2008 term due to an upcoming faculty strike vote, scheduled for January 7-8. The term has been delayed 6 days to January 9, in order to create extra time for potential negotiations.

uToronto is peta2's most veggie-friendly campus

The University of Toronto has won the honour of "Most Vegetarian-Friendly University" awarded by peta2. uToronto came in ahead of 9 other Canadian institutions that were nominated for the honour. The winner was determined by an online vote that collected more than 10,000 votes. One uToronto student reports: "I was nervous about having to eat cafeteria food, but I was impressed."

UWO plays host to threatened species of bird

The University of Western Ontario is being honoured for its hospitable approach to its unique breed of "squatters." Canada's population of chimney swifts, a rare breed of bird, has declined by 95% over the last 40 years. Chimney swifts have found a very comfortable home in the brick-lined chimneys on UWO's main campus, and the university has opted to leave them in peace to nest, and hatch young inside the chimneys. The swift is listed as a threatened bird species.

Facebook, Apple among year's biggest brand blunders

"Even the best of brands can make dumb mistakes," and the Globe & Mail sums up the worst of them. The top blunderers, in order, were: Cartoon Network, Apple, American Sports, Facebook, Whole Foods, JetBlue, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Unilever and FEMA. The Cartoon Network's guerrilla marketing campaign ended up crippling the city of Boston with gadgets mistaken for bombs. Apple offended early adopters of its iPhone by cutting the price by two-thirds. Facebook tripped over its feet with its new Beacon product, which was accused of "trying to ruin Christmas."