Top Ten

April 5, 2008

BC budget cuts more likely to be $60 million

Late last month, the BC government announced a sweeping 2.6% cut in base funding for its PSE institutions, reallocations of per-seat funding, and a new emphasis on priority programs that was expected to hurt university budgets and boost college budgets. The cuts were estimated to mean a $16-million reduction, but two BC faculty confederations have sounded the alarm, and are now estimating the cuts at as much as $60 million. They say the provincial government is "spinning the situation." Maclean's

More BC colleges face program cuts, faculty layoffs

Last week we reported that sudden budget cuts would likely mean faculty layoffs and program cuts at Vancouver Community College, Malaspina and UCFV. Now, Douglas College has also stated that program cancellations and faculty layoffs will be the only way to avoid a $2.3-million deficit, and Selkirk College has confirmed that 3 programs will be cut, including the West Kootenay Teachers Education program which has been running for 18 years. "We know the Minister wants everyone to believe that there's no reason to be concerned, but his plan will mean layoffs and the loss of programs for thousands of BC students." Douglas College media release | Kootenay Western Star 

Tentative agreement for Laurier, faculty union

350 part-time faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University went on strike March 19th. This weekend, WLU administration announced a tentative agreement with the Faculty Association on "all substantive issues related to the strike."  Both sides are currently discussing a return-to-work protocol to go into place early this week.  Students are growing anxious as their exam period quickly approaches.  WLU Labour Update

$140 million announced for clean energy researchers

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources announced $140 million in new research funding last week during his tour of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy at the University of Calgary.  Gary Lunn announced a call for proposals for two new funds that will focus on accelerating the development of clean energy technologies in CanadauCalgary News Release | ecoEnergy Technology Initiative

$5-million alumni donation to uManitoba entrepreneurship centre

A generous University of Manitoba graduate, Stu Clark, has presented the University's Asper School of Business with a $5-million gift.  Clark says, "my university experience helped create the opportunities that I've taken advantage of in my life, and now it's time to give back."  The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship will remain linked to the Asper School of Business.  uManitoba News Release

3-day CMSF / EAN forum in Toronto this week

Yesterday marked the first day of the "Neither a moment nor a mind to waste" conference, an international gathering of PSE stakeholders in Toronto, including Academica Group CEO Rod Skinkle. The conference will explore "homegrown" approaches and global best practices to improve PSE participation, access, and completion.  Dale Kirby, an assistant professor of PSE studies and a presenter at the conference, was kind enough to post 4 discussion papers prepared for the event.  Conference Website | News Release | Dale Kirby's Blog

$100 million RFP closes for Alberta police training centre

The province of Alberta has received 9 expressions of interest in response to its Call for Proposals for a new centralized police college, to be established in Fort Macleod, 165 km south of Calgary.  The province appealed to the private sector for "help shaping what the $100 million college should look like."  The Edmonton Journal

uToronto, UBC among 25 top diversity employers in Canada

The University of Toronto has been named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers of 2008.  This is the university's first year entering the competition, and they were judged on criteria covering women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Canadians, and Gay and Lesbian employees.  uToronto joins 24 other employers across the country in receiving this honour, including the University of British Columbia -- the only other higher ed institute to receive the award.  uToronto News Release

Ryerson announces anti-racism task force

After an arson incident targeting East African students in February, Ryerson University community members came together to participate in a "Say No to Racism" rally, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 28th.  Ryerson president Sheldon Levy started the day with the announcement of a new Task Force on Anti-Racism, to examine systemic discrimination and ensure Ryerson is showcased as a "cosmopolitan university" and a leader in this areaRyerson News

Saudi Arabia improves higher ed

With a comprehensive $3.5-billion, 25-year strategy developed a year ago, Saudi Arabia's government has started revamping its higher education system to better serve the country’s development and labour market requirements.  Cooperation agreements have been signed with leading universities in the US, Europe and Asia, and 12 new universities opened in the last 4 years, to total 20. According to a report published by the Economist, Saudi Arabia places 7th for per capital universities and spending -- beating France, Spain, Russia, Japan, Egypt, Italy, Poland and Malaysia. Arab News