Top Ten

April 18, 2008

Ontario universities warn some programs "a little bit at risk"

The Council of Ontario Universities reports that skyrocketing enrolment is forcing universities across the province to consider cutting courses and leaving vacancies created by retiring faculty in order to balance their budgets.  COU is calling on the provincial government to reassess long-term PSE funding due to this year's 5% application increase.  While infrastructure funds have been provided, the schools have yet to see any increase in operating funding.  McMaster University in particular has gone on record that there will likely be fewer faculty on campus next year despite "overflowing classrooms." CBC | The Toronto Star

UOIT considers leasing downtown space due to campus crowding

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is considering a 10 to 15 year lease on a former ScotiaBank building in downtown Oshawa, to alleviate a campus space crunch caused by a 24% jump in applications.  Without adding space off-campus, the school is faced with building portables.  Leasing the downtown building would cost about 60% less than building portables on the school's campus.  One option would be to relocate BEd classes downtown. Durham Region News 

Camosun College launches new website

Camosun's new website - April 17 2008

Victoria-based Camosun College recently unveiled its redesigned website. The homepage is bold and bright and displays attractive graphics. The colour-coded tabs located at the top of the homepage ease the search for program and course listings, student services and online services. The site is also convenient in that it lists hours for such services as the registrar and library on its main page. Camosun homepage (Please do tell us when you launch a new site - email today@academica.ca)

University presidents denounce Dal / Memorial B.Ed

In a letter to the editor of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, the presidents of Mount Saint Vincent University and Acadia University denounce the recent B.Ed partnership between Dalhousie University and Memorial University. The letter's authors cite the 2007 Report and Recommendations of the Review Panel on Teacher Education in Nova Scotia, which concluded there was an oversupply of teachers in the province and existing educational partnerships should be discontinued. Last week, Nova Scotia's education minister recommended ending such joint educational programs. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald

uOttawa students outraged over proposed Code of Conduct

Students at the University of Ottawa are upset about a new draft policy that would impose "harsh academic sanctions for behavior not related to academics."  The draft Non-Academic Code of Conduct was apparently prepared without student consultation and "targets students and their rights to freedom of expression, of mobilization, and of assembly on campus."  The code potentially forbids criticism of the university's administration, as well as the right to strike. In just 24 hours, 500 student signatures have been collected through paper and online petitions.  uOttawa Graduate Students' Association media release

Postscript: April 29, 2008

Now a university-wide consultation process has begun. A revised version of the code will be presented to the school's Board of Governors and Senate in the fall. uOttawa News Release

McGill faces "conflicting interpretations of the Quebec Labour Code"

The Quebec Labour Department has released a report that finds McGill University "bent the law" by having professors do the work of striking teaching assistants.  Last week, a Labour Department investigator found an assistant professor without managerial status who said he was doing the work normally done by a teaching assistant -- a violation of the Labour Code.  The investigator is calling for a hearing to investigate the matter.  McGill's position is that professors are responsible for everything that happens in their courses, including work often done by TAs.  The Teaching Assistants' union plans to file a grievance against the university.  The Montreal Gazette

NS plans budget surprise, ANSSA plans independent review

Nova Scotia's education minister is hinting that this spring's provincial budget will include a surprise for students.  Earlier this week, the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations called out the province and asked for a long-term plan for PSE in the province.  The Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations announced this week that it is planning its own review of education: "There is a great deal wrong with the system and a number of challenges that we have to address."  The Chronicle Herald  (PDF on ANSSA website)

UofT assures Tyndale students of equal consideration

As it becomes more established in the university community, Toronto's Tyndale University College has been reaching out to Canada's prestigious graduate schools to ensure Tyndale grads are considered for programs along with students from other Canadian schools.  Recently, Tyndale has received confirmation that it is included in the list of "Recognized Institutions" considered by the University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies.  Tyndale Admissions Blog

York to offer dual degree program with Fudan University

York University will soon be offering dual degree programs in partnership with Shanghai's Fudan University.  Students will spend 2 years at each institution, and graduate with degrees from both.  "With increasing numbers of students seeing themselves living and working internationally throughout their careers, there's a huge attraction to having a credential with this recognition."  Graduates' credentials will be recognized in both countries, facilitating grad school and job applications in either country.  York News Release

New Facebook tool measures writing on the walls

Facebook Lexicon Tool

One of the best arguments for jumping onto the social media band wagon is that the game will go on, whether or not you choose to play.  Maybe your school is already "officially" on Facebook, or maybe it has been decided that now is not the time for your institution.  Regardless, it might be informative to pop by Facebook's newest tool.  The "Lexicon" tool trolls all the "walls" of Facebook to find whatever keyword you tell it to (perhaps the name of your institution).  This is just one way to get an impression of the buzz surrounding your school's brand -- now if only they would let us read the wall posts!  Facebook Blog | Lexicon Tool