Top Ten

April 17, 2008

"Embattled" Queen's principal resigns

Karen Hitchcock in 2005

Karen Hitchcock, the principal of Queen's University, announced yesterday that she will step down at the end of April, less than 4 years into her term.  Hitchcock's time with the university has been controversial, particularly when students, faculty and alumni expressed their objection to her request for reappointment earlier this year.  Hitchcock is the first female, and first American, to hold the head position at Queen's.  She announced in an email to the community that she was withdrawing her application to renew her contract -- just hours before the board meeting that would have considered her reappointment.  CanWest News Service | The Globe & Mail | The Whig Standard

"OCAD University" receives board approval

OCAD's Board of Governors has voted in favour of changing the institution's name from "Ontario College of Art & Design" to "OCAD University."  OCAD has been working towards this shift since August 2007, to align the institution's name with its degree offerings. OCAD decided to keep its acronym to maintain ties to its past, and to reflect the community's "general fondness" for it.  While the school wanted to eliminate confusion caused by the word "college" in its name, it also wanted to maintain a clear connection to the internationally-recognized OCAD brand.  The Globe & Mail | OCAD News Release

One-year anniversary of Virginia Tech campus shootings

Virginia Tech's homepage April 16 2008

Thousands gathered on the Virgina Tech Drillfield yesterday to commemorate the anniversary of last year's shootings.  On the web, VT's homepage donned darker colours and displayed portraits of each of the 32 victims.  Here in Canada, schools continue to roll out text-messaging alert systems to be used in the event of a shooting, fire or other emergency.  UBC has managed to capture more than 40% of the student body so far with their system.  VT News Release | VT homepage | Maclean's On Campus

uOttawa Social Science faculty plans for expansion

The University of Ottawa has submitted a $150-million 5-year Facilities Expansion and Renewal Plan to its Board of Governors for approval.  The project includes the construction of a 15-storey academic tower, as well as renovations and enhancements at existing buildings.  The rapid growth of the university's Faculty of Social Sciences has already pushed the limits of the 2007 renovation plan, creating the need for a new academic tower.  uOttawa News Release

Manitoba puts $4 million into doctors, sends residents north

Manitoba has announced a $4-million investment in projects that aim to get more doctors into the province.  $2 million will go to graduates from uManitoba's medical school; the other half will fund the recruitment of foreign-trained doctors.  uManitoba has announced a new program that guarantees students the opportunity to study in the medical specialty of their choice, if they commit to a 2-year residency in northern Manitoba and a 2-year stint as a family doctor in the province.  CTV | The Winnipeg Sun

UCFV unveils new homepage

UCFV Homepage April 16 2008

Yesterday we noticed that the University College of the Fraser Valley had launched a newly-redesigned website.  The new homepage is clean and bright, and includes topical as well as audience navigation.  It also includes graphic pointers to program information and entrance awards, as well as a call button to request more information.  Although technically straightforward, the site serves several audiences, particularly prospective students.  UCFV homepage  (Please do tell us when you launch a new site -- email today@academica.ca )

John Cusack gives Ryerson students preview screening

John Cusack, star of dozens of films since the 1980s including Stand by Me and Being John Malkovich, dropped by Ryerson University to host a sneak-peek screening of his latest movie.  Ryerson's School of Image Arts students are the first North Americans to see the film, War Inc., which Cusack produced and co-wrote.  "Special presentations such as this one offer an important opportunity for students to get some insight into the ideas and creative process that shape a particular film."  Ryerson News Release

MSVU students put their money where their alma mater is

Last month, students at Mount Saint Vincent University voted in favour of a $275,000 gift to the University's $16-million capital campaign, "Building Tomorrow Together."  Students previously donated $434,000, bringing their total for the campaign to $709,000.  "This act sends a powerful message to our external community.  MSVU is endorsed by its students and great things are happening here."  MSVU News Release

The age of campus sustainability officers

As "greening" and sustainability efforts become more and more prevalent across campuses, so has the position of Campus Sustainability Coordinators.  It is estimated that there are as many as 150 CSO's across US institutions, "with more being hired every week."  Just 5 years ago, there were fewer than 50 people in this type of position.  A 2008 study finds that 90% of CSO's are in positions created within the last 10 years, and 74% created in the last 5 years. Schools are finding that having a CSO gives legitimacy and visibility to sustainability efforts, and also acts as a central point to organize efforts across departments and faculties.  Inside Higher Ed

Students flock to online confession website

Duke University's Center for Race Relations started the "Me Too" campaign to help students feel less alone while dealing with the stresses of education.  Students express that they have a hard time admitting they are having a hard time, because of the belief that other students are free from struggle.  Anonymous posts from students are posted on the project's blog for all students to read and identify with.  The project has been so successful that the site has had to ask students to limit their comments just to "confessions." Read Student Confessions | Me Too Homepage | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)