Top Ten

August 15, 2008

$100 million for uSask Academic Health Sciences complex

The Saskatchewan government announced last Friday it will commit another $100 million to the University of Saskatchewan's Academic Health Sciences Centre. The funding will go towards the D-Wing phase of the complex, whose construction began last summer.  The D-Wing will house graduate student space, research labs and offices, and an animal holding facility. Saskatchewan News Release

$37 million for Mazankowski Alberta Health Institute

Last Thursday, the Alberta government announced an additional $36.5 million in funding for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, a co-operative endeavour between the University of Alberta and the Capital Health Region. The money will support the completion of 3 additional levels at the institute, which will house research programs, specialized testing and imaging services, regional cardiac rehabilitation, and a virtual cardiac centre. The province committed over $180 million for the first phase of the facility, which officially opened in May. Alberta News Release | uAlberta ExpressNews | Edmonton Journal

New football stadium rumoured for uManitoba

Media mogul David Asper is rumoured to have his sights set on building a football stadium at the University of Manitoba. Asper is poised to take over ownership of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers once he secures a stadium location. His vision entails a state-of-the-art, public transit-accessible facility to be used by both the Bombers and the uManitoba Bisons. It's believed university officials approached Asper with an offer of free land, and that he is asking for $40 million in provincial and federal funding for the project. Winnipeg Sun

Mount Allison Gemini Observatory to open in fall

Mount Allison University will open its new observational astronomy facility this fall. All operations at the Gemini Observatory are solar powered, and robotic functions will be added to the facility within the first year of its operation. Built over this summer, the observatory was assembled entirely by a group of volunteers comprising members of the university community. Mount Allison News Release

uWindsor profs to hold strike vote

The University of Windsor's professors, librarians, and academic staff will hold a strike vote towards the end of the month after talks between the university and its faculty association broke off on August 1. The association's president said the administration's package was rejected because, from the association's perspective, it attempts to weaken the role of full-time faculty and uWindsor's research mission. The association is seeking a strong mandate in order to get back to the bargaining table. On its website, the association is providing updates and information on negotiations. WUFA | CAUT | Windsor Star

NBMBAA opens chapter in Toronto

On Thursday, the Toronto chapter of the National Black MBA Association -- the first international chapter of the US-based organization -- will mark its official launch by ringing the bell at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The association aims to provide black students with opportunities in business by showing them the benefits of graduate-level studies. The Toronto chapter will give recent graduates the chance to network and find role models. The organization hopes to have 250 members across Canada in the next 3 years, with chapters opening in Montreal and Calgary. So far there are 60 members. NBMBAA Toronto Chapter | Globe and Mail

uAlberta 2015 Universiade bid reaches obstacle

Edmonton and the University of Alberta's pursuit of the 2015 World University Games is facing an obstacle in the form of the federal government's support of Toronto's bid for the 2015 Pan American Games. While Edmonton's proposal is assured to still be on the table, sources say Ottawa will be hesitant to fund both events in the same year. If it comes down to a competition, one advantage the Edmonton bid has is that its $255-million budget is pennies compared to that of the Toronto Pan Am Games push, totalling $1.77 billion. Edmonton Journal

10 tips on smoothing the admissions process

In order to streamline the admissions process, it would be wise for institutions to adopt modern technology, writes Ann McClure. Maintaining electronic versions of applications and transcripts makes such material immediately accessible, thus saving time in sending copies across campus, and in answering prospective students' inquiries. Speaking of which, schools should post application status and FAQs online, reducing the numbers of calls to the admissions office. Using tracking tools to identify where "stealth applicants" live or how a prospect arrived at an institution's website would be useful in tailoring marketing efforts. University Business

Starfish aims at boosting retention

US-based Starfish Retention Solutions, founded by a former Blackboard Inc. executive, is rolling out several tools to help colleges improve student retention. Its Office Hours product offers Web-based scheduling for students to meet with instructors, helping those who feel too intimidated or busy to ask for a professor's time. The tool informs professors of who scheduled an appointment and why, as well as the student's current grade. Early Alert is a data-mining system warning professors and advisors about at-risk students. A number of US colleges are already mining student data to boost retention. Starfish Retention Solutions | Inside Higher Ed

"Graduate Junction" connects early-career researchers

In May, 2 graduate researchers at the University of Durham in Britain launched "Graduate Junction," an online global research community. The pair established the site to prevent isolation among researchers, as published literature reveals only completed work, and relevant conferences occur infrequently. Through profiles, groups, forums, and networks based on "research links," users can connect with those with similar research interests, regardless of members' discipline, institution, or geographical location. Graduate Junction | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)