Top Ten

December 21, 2007

uAlberta dentistry faces malpractice lawsuit

 The University of Alberta's Faculty of Dentistry is being sued for $6.5 million by an Arctic miner who lives in Edmonton.  Eric Hiller claims that malpractice by uAlberta dental students cost him five teeth.  What was originally $120 in dental work turned into $1,500, followed by a tooth and mouth infection and "unbearable" pain.  He is asking for $1 million per tooth, and an additional $1.5 million for pain and suffering.

College / University bridge-building in SW Ontario

Western Ontario's college and university presidents are coming together to discuss bridges between institutions.  "Employers are looking for a higher level of general education and a higher level of job-specific training."  Laurier, uGuelph, uWindsor and McMaster University leaders will meet with Niagara, Mohawk, Fanshawe, Lambton, Conestoga and possibly St. Clair College colleagues.  Greater collaboration between colleges and universities could address some of the projected demand for Toronto university seats.

NSAC president gets his wish -- 6 months after resigning

The former president of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College cited the school's link to the province when he resigned last summer.  "As a president, I had all of the responsibility and none of the authority."  Half a year later, the province has tabled a bill to give the school its independence.  It is hoped that the school will now be able to pursue increased federal and private research funding, previously prevented by its connection with the province.  NSAC's $6 million research budget is expected to increase to $10 million over the next few years.

uWindsor launches endowment billboard campaign

The University of Windsor has launched an internally-designed billboard campaign encouraging local residents to "Invest in Knowledge" and help build the university's scholarship endowments.  18 billboards, each highlighting a different field serviced by uWindsor graduates, will be released over the next 3 months.  Donations and matching funds from the government have increased uWindsor's scholarship endowments by almost $20 million since 2003. 

BC researchers dip into provincial data warehouse

BC's colleges and universities are being given access to a "vast geographical database" via a memorandum of understanding with the Integrated Cadastral Information Society, the Integrated Land Management Bureau, and the Ministry of Education.  Research in environmental science to computer science to urban planning will benefit the entire provincial community.  The up-to-the-minute database has been built over 20 years and includes resource allocation, utility infrastructure, First Nations territory, plus water, land and energy distribution and use. 

Students eager for internships with small business

Student interns are increasingly being given the opportunity to help Canada's small businesses "calm the waters during frenetic times."  Unlike co-ops, which are full-time paid placements, internships can be part- or full-time, and are not necessarily paid.  Many students are eager to work with a small business because of the increased opportunity for hands-on experience in more than one area and the opportunity for increased responsibility.

Millennials bursting with online content to publish on your site

64% of online teenagers aged 12 to 17 are creating content online -- up 7% from 2004.  User-generated content promises to become increasingly common, and opportunities to "join the conversation" will become increasingly expected.  47% of teens have posted photos; 33% of teens share creative works; 33% work on webpages or blogs for others (individuals or groups); and 28% have their own blog (up from 19% in 2004).  Blogging is particularly popular with girls, while boys are twice as likely to share videos. 

Online lectures turn profs into worldwide celebrities

A 71-year-old physics professor at MIT has spawned an international cult following, thanks to online video lectures delivered "with the panache of Julia Child bringing French cooking to amateurs and the zany theatricality of YouTube's greatest hits." The stars of iTunesU includes MIT's Walter Lewin, along with Hubert Dreyfus (Philosophy at Berkeley) and Leonard Susskin (quantum mechanics at Stanford).  Queen's University is currently the only Canadian institution featured on the iTunesU homepage.

Google Open Encyclopedia takes on Wikipedia

Google's new "Open Encyclopedia" promises to identify authors and their credentials.  The project is seen as a possible competitor for Wikipedia, the popular community encyclopedia with more than 2 million English articles.  Wikipedia is written by a combination of experts and users, with little way to tell who wrote what.  Will Google's new model produce a better online resource, or will Wikipedia's non-hierarchical approach continue to be the online information bigwig? 

Students prefer Christmas almost 7 times more

Christmas is the favourite holiday of almost 71% of US post-secondary students, according to a study of "holiday branding" by Ball State University.  Thanksgiving weighed in at 11.3%, followed by Independence Day at 5.5% and Hallowe'en at 5%.  The strong preference for Christmas over the holidays is attributed to "rich family and religious traditions" and abundant marketer spending.  (It couldn't have anything to do with the gifts!)  Thanksgiving earned runner-up with associations of family, good food and a four-day weekend.