Top Ten

January 9, 2009

Latest FNUC firing frustrates Saskatchewan advanced education minister

Saskatchewan Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris says he is "a little frustrated" by the recent high-profile firing at the First Nations University of Canada as the school tries to recover from a "reputational challenge." The dismissal of Shauneen Pete, vice-president of academics, comes days after a government-funded report conducted by an external review committee was submitted to FNUC's board of governors. Norris hopes the board will approve the report. The Canadian Association of University Teachers says the review may do little to change its decision to censure FNUC. Regina Leader-Post

$4 million for CCNB -- Bathurst campus infrastructure

Last Wednesday, the New Brunswick government announced a $3.6-million investment in infrastructure upgrades at the Bathurst campus of the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. Improvements include a new 13,000-square-foot multi-purpose shop to be added to the existing trades site, with courses focusing on plumbing, pipefitting, and other construction trades. The new space will add another 100 seats to campus, bringing its total capacity to 1,000. NB News Release

Proposed athletics, recreation upgrade at UVic

The University of Victoria's board of governors has approved preliminary planning and a funding feasibility study for renovations to the aging McKinnon Building -- part of the school's sports facilities -- and the construction of a new adjacent athletics complex. The new complex would include 2 gymnasia, a climbing wall, and fitness and weight areas. Should construction be approved this spring, the new facility could be ready by September 2012. UVic hopes the project will help attract students. Nearly 2/3 of students access UVic's athletic and recreation facilities and services. UVic News Release | Victoria Times-Colonist

UWO opens Student Recreation Centre

Last Monday, the University of Western Ontario opened its Student Recreation Centre, which is being funded largely by students. Last week, the $35-million facility operated under limited hours, and normal operating hours will resume today. A 50-metre swimming pool is set to be complete early next month, while miscellaneous classroom space and other areas are in the final stages. Western News

St. Lawrence College nursing home project cancelled

A project to build a 168-bed nursing home on St. Lawrence College grounds has been shelved as one of the partners -- Extendicare Canada Inc -- pulled out of the agreement due to the economic downturn and lack of capital. Ontario's health ministry was about to contribute $12 million to the project. A Kingston MPP hopes to speak with the province's health minister about pursuing other partners. The nursing home would also have served as a training ground for SLC students in programs such as nursing, personal support, and paramedic training. Kingston Whig-Standard

York seeks government-supervised vote on offer to striking TAs

Last Friday, York University requested the Ontario Ministry of Labour conduct and supervise a secret-ballot vote by striking teaching assistants and contract faculty on its latest offer. A York spokesperson says the decision is a "necessary step" in ending the strike and having classes resume. CUPE 3903, which represents the striking employees, is "frustrated and disappointed" by York's call for a forced ratification vote when 90% of those who attended a general membership meeting last Thursday rejected the offer. York News Release | CUPE News Release | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star | Maclean's OnCampus

uSask announces winners in $50,000 BioVenture Challenge

Last Thursday, the University of Saskatchewan announced the co-winners of the $50,000 grand prize in the BioVenture Business Plan Challenge, a competition designed to promote and develop "bio-economy" business ideas in the province. The prize will be split between a uSask commerce graduate developing an "in situ bioremediation" process for use on contaminated soil and a pair of PhD students developing a biodiesel plant that uses waste vegetable oil as a feedstock. The 5 finalists in the competition will receive coaching and mentorship to refine their business plans. uSask News Release | BioVenture Challenge Finalists

UOIT, Durham College anticipate application boom

Because of the cooling economy, both the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College expect more applications for their fall programs. UOIT believes more high school students will be eyeing the university in order to meet future job market demands. The school projects an increase of 500 students in September. Durham College is receiving a lot of interest from individuals wanting to take advantage of provincial programs such as Second Career. The college will offer 2 new energy-sector programs in the fall, and may expand its winter intake. Durham Region News

Ottawa schools partner to help students affected by transit strike

Ottawa's 4 post-secondary institutions have partnered in order to ensure students, especially those in joint programs, are able to attend classes while the OC Transpo strike continues. Algonquin College, La Cité collégiale, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa have agreed to link their respective shuttle services, thereby allowing students from one school to use the shuttle service of another. Students are encouraged to check institutions' websites for updated shuttle information. uOttawa News Release

Understanding Facebook culture on campus

The authors of Online Social Networking on Campus: Understanding What Matters in Student Culture offer student affairs administrators guidance on using social networking tools and on whether or how to monitor student use. Officials should recognize that Facebook is a student space through which the line between reality and a digital world can be blurred. Because students have reservations about faculty presence of Facebook (known as "creepy treehouse"), professors should neither request students to be "friends," not accept students' invitations. Inside Higher Ed