Top Ten

April 15, 2008

Union drive for 12,000 part-time college staff in Ontario

The Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) applied to the Labour Relations Board yesterday to be certified as the union representing more than 12,000 part-time college teachers and support staff across Ontario.  What is believed to be the largest union organizing drive in Ontario history started last fall, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that collective bargaining is a protected right in Canada, overturning Ontario's ban on unionization of part-time college staff.  The Toronto Star

UBC unveils $80-million Barber Learning Centre

Last Friday, the University of British Columbia unveiled its new $79.7-million Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.  Dr. Barber donated more than $20 million to the project back in 2002.  The new facility is built around the refurbished core of the original UBC main library, which was built in 1925.  The Learning Centre also includes Canada's first robotic library storage unit, study space, a lecture theatre, meeting halls and seminar rooms.  BC News Release

Astronaut to head new McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics

Dave Williams has spent almost 18 hours walking in space, is a reknowned physician, a professor in the Department of Surgery at McMaster's DeGroote School of Medicine, and the newest physician-scientist at McMaster University.  Williams will lead the new McMaster Centre for Medical Robotics at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.  "The recruitment of Dr. Williams illustrates the leadership role we have cultivated in the development of state-of-the-art medical robotics."  McMaster News Release 

Lakehead predicts $6-million shortfall

Lakehead University will not cut programs, despite facing a $6-million shortfall in next year's $110-million budget. "The university will be looking at other areas to make reductions." Apparently the Council of Ontario Universities has indicated that several universities face budget deficits for the coming year, despite infrastructure funding announced last month. COU's president is working with the province on a plan to help universities with their operating budgets.  Thunder Bay's Source

Canadian students borrowing more, paying off less

According to new statistics released by the Canada Student Loan Program, PSE students borrowed 17% more in 2005-06 than the year before -- totalling an average of $5,631 annually.  25% of borrowers extended their repayment period to make their monthly payments more manageable.  The Coalition for Student Loan Fairness points out that the 12% jump in payment period revisions might be why the government brought in $49 million more in interest revenue than expected. Maclean's On Campus

New CSL ad campaign promotes flexible student loans

Human Resources and Social Development Canada has announced a major new national advertising campaign that will support the Canada Student Loans Program.  The multi-media campaign will be on TV, in buses, in transit stations and online.  The campaign message focuses on the flexibility of the program to accommodate individual student needs. A TV spot appears on the CSL website,  HRSDC News Release | Watch Ad Online

New Brunswick campaigns to engage student voters

Elections New Brunswick is hoping that students at New Brunswick Community College will sign up to vote in upcoming municipal elections.  Students are encouraged to register either in the town where they are studying, or in their hometowns.  Students often feel disconnected from both their hometowns and their campus homes come election time, and they pass up the chance to vote. Students might get more interested in municipal politics if they considered noise bylaws, for example.  The Telegraph-Journal

Aboriginal education needs to improve

Last week's "Neither a moment nor a mind to waste" conference in Toronto saw a call for Canada's colleges and universities to reach out to adult learners and new immigrants, and to improve aboriginal education -- in order to survive in the global economy.  David Stewart-Patterson used his keynote speech to point out that Aboriginal students are unique, in that they are the one group of students for whom the federal government, not the provinces, is responsible.  Maclean's On Campus

Nipissing, Canadore launch $7-million capital campaign

Last Friday, Nipissing University and Canadore College officially launched a $7-million capital campaign for the new, shared $25-million Learning Library. The new facility will more than double the size of the existing library, and provide much-needed space and resources to students at both institutions.  The province committed $18 million in January, and almost $2 million in private donors were announced last week.  Nipissing News Release

How VirginiaTech weathered deadly brand crisis

Virginia Tech enrolled a record-breaking number of students last year, and applications for next year are up higher than ever.  The school's capital campaign brought in $83.8 million last year, an 11% increase over last year.  Rather than being branded in tragedy, VT brings words to mind like resilience, strength and resolve. PSE marketing professionals reflect that "Hokie spirit" and strong branding caused stakeholders to stick with the school and develop even deeper loyalty.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)