Top Ten

December 11, 2008

Reports of gunfire at UQAM forces lockdown

The Université du Québec à Montréal was locked down Thursday afternoon as police investigated reports of gunfire or explosions at the university. Eyewitness reported seeing an armed man inside UQAM's education pavilion. While there were no reported injuries or signs of bloodshed, a Montreal police spokesman said officers found some suspicious evidence that armed person was on campus at some point. UQAM instructed students and staff through a voice-message system to stay inside. CanWest News Service | Canadian Press | CBC | CTV | Global TV

Donor lawsuit settlement costs Princeton $90 million

On Wednesday, Princeton University settled a 6-year donor-intent lawsuit by paying the Robertson family $90 million for legal fees and the establishment of a new foundation. To avoid creating tension with donors, schools should be clear about the intention of gifts, review the use of major donations, have clear guidelines that anticipate changes, stay in touch with donors, and include future heirs in conversation about the donor's intent. In July, the University of Toronto sold the David Dunlap Observatory, which an heir said went against donor terms. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Princeton News Release | Inside Higher Ed

Economic downturn signals "cash crunch" at York

In a statement released Wednesday to the York University community, president Mamdouh Shoukri warns that the worldwide financial crisis threatens to curb the school's ability to hire new staff, meet operating expenses, and provide financial aid to students in need. York's endowment and pensions funds have each experienced a drop of 19% this fall. If there is no significant improvement in the markets in the next 2 to 3 years, the pension fund faces a deficit in excess of $250 million. Y-File | Toronto Star

UoGuelph creates online budget page

The University of Guelph has designed a Web page dedicated to keep the university community up-to-date on budget issues and developments. The page includes information about UoGuelph's financial challenges, factors contributing to the situation, and the school's plan to recover. Visitors to the page are encouraged to submit suggestions for cost savings and revenue generation. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin | UoGuelph Budget Updates

FNUC student union responds to censure

The First Nations University of Canada Students' Association is calling on the school's board of governors to implement all the recommendations set out in a report by a task force set up in 2005 to review governance issues. The Canadian Association of University Teachers recently censured the university for ongoing failure to resolve governance problems. The student association says it is disappointed that FNUC and CAUT failed to engage in negotiations or meaningful discussions before CAUT censured the university. FNUCSA News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Union claims uSask is stifling free speech

The union representing University of Saskatchewan support workers who went on strike last year claims the university is restricting employees' right to free speech. uSask recently filed an unfair labour practice charge against the president of CUPE 1975 on the belief a column he wrote in a union newsletter interfered with the university's ability to negotiate with another union. The union's president says uSask is trying to stifle dissent on campus. A group of uSask faculty is referring the matter to CAUT. CUPE News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | CUPE 1975 Newsletter

uToronto TAs vote in favour of strike mandate

University of Toronto teaching assistants have voted in favour of giving their union a strike mandate. CUPE 3902, which represents the TAs, is seeking a 3-year contract that includes language on funding, wage increases, employment insurance top-ups for parental leave, and assistance with child-care costs. The last contract expired in April. York University TAs have been on strike since November 6. CUPE News Release

Trent #1 in CBC "green" campaign

A group of Trent University students and staff is leading in the CBC's "One Million Acts of Green" campaign. The project tracks the environmentalism of Canadians though online accounts set up by individuals and groups to record their environmentally-friendly deeds. The campaign has reached over half its target, and Trent has the #1 group with over 14,000 acts committed so far. The Trent group is being promoted through Facebook and e-mail lists. Acts include using a travel mug, taking public transit, and keeping public workstations on a powerbar so computers shut down when not in use. | One Million Acts of Green -- Trent profile

Sheridan College students ignore lockdown drill

When Sheridan College held a lockdown drill 2 weeks ago, several students in the college's learning commons would not participate, and the chair of the school's emergency preparedness committee says the students' indifference to the drill showed "extreme disrespect for our emergency response partners that make every effort to keep us safe." In February, Sheridan locked down following a gun scare. Last week, suspicious packages that turned out to be hoaxes were found at 3 campuses. Oakville Today

BCIT student blogs capture life on campus

Since the 2006-2007 academic year, the British Columbia Institute of Technology has provided a forum for students to blog about life at the institution. This year there are 9 student bloggers, enrolled in programs ranging from nursing and geomatics to broadcasting journalism and business administration. Each blogger has a profile describing their programs, career goals, and reasons for choosing BCIT. Recent posts cover final exams, Canadian politics, and the approaching winter break. BCIT's student blog page includes a link to the posts of past bloggers. My Life at BCIT