Top Ten

September 11, 2008

AUCC promotes PSE issue in federal election

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is promoting PSE as an issue in the upcoming federal election by sending the 5 main party leaders a questionnaire about PSE investment and university research. AUCC has sent an open letter to the leaders, asking them to commit to enhancing university research, making PSE more accessible, and strengthening Canada's global reputation. AUCC has also created an election website, where the leaders' replies to the questionnaire will be posted on October 3. AUCC News Release | Universities Matter

$1-million deficit at FNUC

According to its latest audited financial report, the First Nations University of Canada ran a $1-million deficit last year. To cope, the school has cut its travel budget and some programming, as well as instituted a hiring freeze. FNUC is negotiating with the provincial and federal governments for more core operation funding. The school received $600,000 less than expected from its tuition-sharing agreement with the University of Regina. Unlike uRegina and the University of Saskatchewan, FNUC does not receive bailouts to compensate for tuition revenue lost due to the province's mandated tuition freeze. CanWest News Service

Maclean's releases rankings of Canadian law schools

On Wednesday, Maclean's released its second annual rankings of Canada's law schools. The University of Toronto ranked first for elite firm and faculty hirings. The University of Victoria was the top school for the national reach indicator, which measured the extent to which leading firms outside a school's region hires its graduates. McGill University placed first for the most graduates who serve as clerks at the Supreme Court of Canada. Maclean's OnCampus

E-mails suggest NL interference in MUN presidential search

E-mails and notes obtained by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Opposition indicate the provincial government intervened in Memorial University's presidential search, according to MUN's faculty association. The documents show the education minister had a list of questions prepared, including some on MUN's role in advancing provincial agenda, before meeting with 2 candidates in January. MUN's faculty association's president says the questions show the minister intended to vet the candidates. CBC | Canadian Press

uSask seeks private developer for residence

The University of Saskatchewan has put out a request for proposals to develop an 800-bed student residence after the university concluded it cannot build the residence with government support and student rents alone. With enough on-campus housing to accommodate 6% of the student population, uSask lags behind its counterparts across Canada in terms of residence spaces. uSask aims to add 1,700 residence spots by 2012. In June, the Saskatchewan Housing Authority denied uSask's request for $19 million to fund the construction of 200 student family townhouses. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Update on uCalgary construction projects

In the most recent issue of OnCampus, the University of Calgary provides updates on construction projects falling under the university's $2.1-billion capital expansion. Projects underway include the Dr. Fok Ying Tung International House, which will accommodate visiting scholars and conference attendees. The House is slated to open next August. The Students' Union Wellness Centre will open in late fall, giving students quicker access to health care and other services. uCalgary's biggest construction project, the Taylor Family Digital Library, along with the off-site High Density Library, will increase and improve space for teaching and learning resources. uCalgary OnCampus

Preston Manning proposes masters program for politicians at Carleton

Reform party founder Preston Manning is currently in talks with Carleton University about establishing a masters degree to train politicians. The degree would be based on masters programs in political management in the US. Manning is also considering creating a smaller school in Calgary that would teach politicians and their officials how to effectively campaign. According to Public Policy Forum data, 32% of Canadian MPs do not have a university degree. Ottawa Citizen

SFU to open Blusson Hall

Next Wednesday, Simon Fraser University will officially open its $57-million Blusson Hall, which will house the school's health sciences faculty. The 3-storey facility is named after Vancouver philanthropists Stewart and Marilyn Blusson, who donated $12 million to the project. The complex exceeds LEED Silver standards, making it the greenest building on campus. The building features a green roof, sustainably harvested wood products, storm-water collection, and radiant-floor heating. SFU News Release

uWinnipeg launches "Doors and Windows" campaign

On Monday, the University of Winnipeg launched its "Doors and Windows" campaign, encouraging faculty, staff, and alumni to "reserve" a room in the new McFeetors Hall student residence. Donors will be recognized with their names placed on a wall, a plaque, and in the address of the room they helped build. Donors will also be profiled in a virtual commemorative book. The cost of naming opportunities ranges from $3,000 to $20,000. uWinnipeg News Release | Doors and Windows | Campaign brochure

Literacy among Aboriginals needs improvement

Literacy levels among Canada's Aboriginal population require improvement, according to a new report from the Canadian Council on Learning. The proportion of Aboriginal adults whose literacy skills are below Level 3 is at least 16% higher than for non-Aboriginals. The employment gap between those with strong and weak literacy skills among the Aboriginal population is wider than that for their non-Aboriginal peers. The higher education level Aboriginals attain, the stronger their literacy skills. To boost these skills, Aboriginals should be exposed to a more welcoming and engaging educational environment. CCL