Top Ten

August 7, 2008

NL Premier, MUN Board of Regents speak out

Earlier this week, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams told the media Memorial University's board of regents asked for the province's assistance in its presidential search, and denied claims of political interference in the university's autonomy. In a statement released Wednesday, the board said the premier indicated he would be willing to meet with candidates, and no intervention occurred until Education Minister Joan Burke rejected 2 candidates after interviewing them. The board is also calling on the province to amend provisions in the Memorial University Act allowing cabinet to approve or reject a presidential candidate. St. John's Telegram | MUN Board of Regents Statement 1 | MUN Board of Regents Statement 2 | Canadian Press

York University's "Transit Domination"

York University dominates St. George Subway Stop 

St George Subway "Station Domination"

In early May 2004, York University launched a "Station Domination" ad campaign at the St. George TTC subway stop, one of the busiest junctions -- and perhaps not coincidentally, the station immediately below the University of Toronto campus. A crowd of highly energized York student volunteers coupled with signature York red-and-white advertising messages provided an early morning jolt to sleep-dazed commuters. Student supporters offered commuters York-branded Metropass holders with information about the University and buttons that promoted the subway extension to York. Every possible surface on every level seemed covered with a York banner, and all of the platforms' display advertising space carried the York message of interdisciplinary excellence.

York University and their Student Volunteers

The "station domination" strategy was chosen to launch York's "Interdisciplinary University" brand campaign, which has run ever since, and was "the first-ever fully integrated advertising campaign by a Canadian university." The campaign is designed to position York as a different kind of academic institution, one that offers a modern, interdisciplinary approach to study and research. Richard Fisher, chief communications officer, explains, "This campaign is about being an interdisciplinary university where we question every angle, innovate and break down traditional boundaries. York brings together thinkers from every discipline and also allows students to combine majors in completely different fields. That is an important part of the York U difference. Most universities communicate with big pictures of students and buildings... We have tried to get at what it is our university brings to our students."

York Y File Headline News item

York's 2007 Above-Ground Transit Campaign

In 2007, in the weeks leading up to the Ontario Universities' Fair, York extended its transit strategy to encompass above-ground vehicles, such as the King Street streetcar (pictured above) shrink-wrapped as a giant fish, with ads for York dominating the interior as well. A GO train car was to be shrink-wrapped with a giant spider web as well, and banner ads were established on subways and buses throughout the TTC system.

York U Alumni Matters

$5 million for new uToronto research institute

Yesterday, the Ontario government announced a $5-million investment in a new research institute at the University of Toronto. The institute, focusing on non-partisan policy research and analysis on issues affecting Ontario, will be housed in uToronto's School of Public Policy and Governance. The institute will provide a home for visiting researchers and students, and foster relationships with universities and researchers across Ontario and the globe. Ontario News Release

Ottawa universities plan for expansion

Ottawa's 2 universities are seeking out more space to keep up with the rising student population. The University of Ottawa has issued a request for proposals to house its library warehouse in a 30,000-square-foot property, including 12,000-square-feet of office space, after the lease to its current, and smaller, warehouse expires in 2010. Meanwhile, Carleton University has filed a site plan control application with the city for the new 7-storey Canal Building. Along with its partner project, the River Building, the Canal Building will accommodate more academic program and graduate student space, and feature a 400-seat theatre. Ottawa Business Journal

Georgian to open marine training centre in fall

With the help of various levels of government and the Canadian marine industry, Georgian College will open its Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre at its Owen Sound campus on November 21. For the last few months, the Owen Sound campus has undergone a $7.8-million renovation to update facilities and equipment at the centre. The 20,000-square-foot facility will feature 4 navigational training bridges for marine simulation, as well as integrated navigation systems. The centre will also house a comprehensive library of vessel models. Georgian News Release

Relocation underway at UWO Support Services Building

Last week saw the first 2 waves of University of Western Ontario employees relocating to the school's new $30-million Support Services Building. The full move will be completed by mid-October, freeing up substantial space in the centre of the campus for academic purposes. The first settled-in tenants are reportedly happy with their new "digs," whose functionality and efficiency brings different support units in closer contact with one another. Western News

uRegina student union wants extra revenue to fund PSE

The president of the University of Regina Students' Union hopes the Saskatchewan government will invest more in the province's PSE system following last week's announcement of an additional $3.1 billion in resource revenue. URSU's president would like to see the extra funds go towards a 10% reduction in tuition at the province's 2 universities and SIAST, putting students on the same level as their Manitoba counterparts. She also hopes the government would lower interest rates on Saskatchewan student loans. Last month, Vancouver Island University students called on the BC government to invest its $3-billion surplus in PSE. Regina Leader-Post | Saskatchewan News Release

CSA hopes to avoid Ontario college support staff strike

The College Student Alliance hopes Ontario college support staff and management reach a new collective agreement before the end of the month, when the current province-wide contract expires. Last month, support staff voted in favour of authorizing a possible strike. CSA's president says the threat of a strike just weeks before the start of the fall term could affect start-up and students' overall college experience. CSA has also developed a website to provide up-to-date information on the potential strike. Bargaining teams for both sides resume talks on Tuesday. CSA News Release | | Canadian Press

Why college retention strategies fail

At this week's conference of the Centre for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, enrolment expert David H. Kalsbeek offered 5 reasons why student retention practices fail. College officials tend to steer away from a focused, quantifiable measure of success. Schools should invest in a retention strategy office, rather than say it's everyone's responsibility. Colleges place too much effort on at-risk students, when they should be reaching those in "the centre of the curve." Kalsbeek says it's misguided to assume persistence and high graduation rates are indicative of strong retention strategies. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

How US PSEs are plugging the "brain drain"

As the "brain drain" battle wages on, a number of US public colleges and universities are turning towards specific initiatives to retain valuable faculty. Boosting faculty salaries is a primary pre-emptive tactic. Several schools are setting aside cash, lobbying state government for money, or reverting to private fundraising to support salary increases. Others are offering lighter workloads, more graduate students and support staff, and time for research to entice faculty to stay. In cash-strapped times, institutions will limit counter-offers in the event outside offers come from less prestigious schools, or will focus retention efforts on faculty considered "high productivity." The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Butler U mascot has blog, YouTube channel

Indiana-based Butler U takes university community blogging to a whole new level by including Butler Blue II, its official mascot, in its roster of student and admissions official bloggers. Launched in January, "The Life and Times of Butler Blue II" is a collection of the 4-year-old English Bulldog's musings on campus activities and his role as a university representative, as retold by his parents. Blue even has his own YouTube channel, with videos of him playing in a sprinkler and eating a watermelon. "Blue2TV" brings a live feed of Blue in his office. The Life and Times of Butler Blue II | BlueTube | Blue2TV