Top Ten

October 22, 2008

uWaterloo announces 6-month "postponement" of hiring, spending

On Monday, University of Waterloo president David Johnston announced a 6-month "postponement" of hiring and major spending at the university, giving uWaterloo time to assess the impact of the global economic downturn on its financial position. In a letter sent to faculty and staff, Johnston says uWaterloo is in excellent financial health, but the outlook is "profoundly uncertain" as governments work to stabilize their markets and economies. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Lakehead U seeks $45 million to replace fire-damaged building

Lakehead University is asking the Ontario government to cover $45 million of the cost of replacing the school's Braun building complex, which was damaged in a fire in July. A portion of the building has been closed since then, forcing those who used it to seek space elsewhere on campus. Lakehead's president says while repairs could be made to the building, it makes more sense to replace it with a modern, energy-efficient facility. CKPR

UBC sues former employee for fraud, theft

The University of British Columbia is suing a former employee for stealing over $34,000 worth of materials for his own use over a 6-year period. Jan Patocka, who worked as a minor works site supervisor, was fired in May after UBC hired a private investigator and conducted an audit of purchase orders. The suit alleges 65 purchase orders were placed for material not used in or needed for UBC projects, and 349 withdrawals were made from UBC stores, also not used in or needed for projects. Vancouver Sun

$10 million for UNB wellness centre

Yesterday, the New Brunswick government announced a $10-million investment in the Richard J. Currie Centre at the University of New Brunswick's Fredericton campus. The $50-million centre, slated to open in May 2010, will feature a human performance lab, fitness assessment centre, and 2 large gymnasia. Daily Gleaner

Canadian universities have difficulty recruiting talent

A new report concludes that Canadian universities face increasing global competition in recruiting and retaining talent while dealing with the retirement of a generation of researchers and professors. The report, released to university presidents on Tuesday at their annual AUCC meeting, says half of those researchers and instructors will likely leave universities by 2016 because of retirement. As more young people attend university, schools will need 10,000 to 15,000 more researchers and professors. To meet this demand, Canada will need to produce more masters and PhDs and attract talent from abroad. CanWest News Service

Canadian universities contribute to over 1/3 of national research

Canadian universities are contributing more to the country's research than do university sectors elsewhere in other developed nations, according to a new report from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. In 2007, Canadian universities performed 36% of the nation's research and development, compared to 14% of US research done by American universities. That same year, Canadian universities contributed at least $60 billion to the national economy. AUCC News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the full report

Student aid not reaching those in most need

A new study from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation concludes that while federal and provincial governments have substantially increased student aid in the last decade, the share going to those who need it the most is on the decline. In 2007, student aid hit a record $7.1-billion, but only 61 cents per dollar was awarded based on need, compared to 80 cents 10 years ago. The study found that the growing use of tax credits and postgraduate rebates is causing an increasing share of aid going to those who can already afford PSE. CMSF News Release | Globe and Mail

Maclean's hosts online campus fair

On Wednesday, Maclean's hosted a virtual university and college fair online, in which over 14 universities and 10 colleges participated. Each school had a booth with virtual representatives available to chat and answer questions about their respective institution. The fair featured live audio of guest speakers, chat forums, and scholarship information. If you missed the fair, check out Ken's blog. Maclean's OnCampus Virtual Fair

Collège Boréal launches environmental-themed recruitment campaign

Last week, Collège Boréal, a Francophone institution with campuses across Ontario, unveiled a new recruitment campaign with an environmental theme. At the heart of the campaign is a Smart Car convertible, which students who register with Boréal before September 21, 2009 are eligible to win. By giving away an environmentally-friendly car, the college hopes to raise students' awareness about the environment. In keeping with the environmental theme, the campaign's website asks visitors to contribute their "green" ideas. Northern Life | (in French)


College fundraising letter gives young alumni the "blahs"

An attempt at humour in Massachusetts-based Framingham State College's fundraising letter to young alumni backfired, leaving recent graduates more insulted than willing to give to the school. Part of the letter reads: "With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah..." In all, the letter featured 137 "blah"s. A college vice-president issued an apology for the solicitation. The letter wasn't a complete failure, though; about 40 alumni donated a total of about $2,000. Boston Globe | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the letter