Top Ten

February 5, 2009

Mount Royal soon to become a university

Mount Royal College's efforts to be recognized as a university are about to pay off. Sources from the Alberta government say the province's spring legislative agenda, to be unveiled today, will include the Post-Secondary Learning Amendment Act, and the proposed amendment will allow institutions offering "baccalaureate degree programming in specified areas to have the option of having the term university in their names." Calgary Herald

uCalgary pro-life group may lose club status

On Tuesday, the University of Calgary Students' Union will hold a hearing into whether it should deny club status to a pro-life student group, whose members have been charged for trespassing on the campus for not complying with uCalgary's request to turn their graphic displays inward. The student union's president says "we don't tolerate any club that will violate university policy." Even if the pro-life group has its status removed, it will continue with its on-campus protests. Calgary Herald

Postscript: Feb 13, 2009
The University of Calgary Students' Union has revoked Campus Pro-Life's club status for violating university policy. The club, whose members have been charged with trespassing on campus, is appealing the decision. Calgary Herald

Trent computer server hacked

Trent University is alerting several donors and alumni after an off-site computer server was recently hacked when its firewall failed following a power surge. The server contained some public and private data on donors and alumni, such as names, job titles, and degree and credit card information. Trent IT staff determined the hacker was not interested in the data itself, but rather wanted to repurpose the server for his or her own use. The breach cost Trent about $20,000, and the university is considering suing the company that hosts the server. Peterborough Examiner

Orangeville seeks update on stalled Humber campus project

Orangeville town council is requesting from Humber College an updated status report on its Veteran Way campus, whose construction has yet to begun. A Humber official says the school must have at least 400 students enrolled in Orangeville before it moves from its current location in the town. Another factor cited in the project's slowdown is a lack of a sewer main to the property, but Orangeville maintains one exists. The lack of progress on the campus is frustrating the town, which has donated $3-million worth of land to Humber for the site. Orangeville Citizen

Maclean's releases student survey issue

The 4th annual university student issue of Maclean's magazine hit newsstands yesterday. Results from the NSSE and CUSC show smaller Canadian universities are outpacing their larger counterparts in terms of student engagement. Just 3 large research-intensive universities - McGill, McMaster, and Queen's -- appeared among the top 10 in enriching education experience. No larger universities made the top 10 in supportive campus environment, student-faculty ratio, and active and collaborative learning. Maclean's OnCampus

More PSE graduates essential to Ontario's economic future

In order for Ontario to become a leader in the "creative age," there needs to be a sharp increase in the number of college and university graduates, according to a new report released yesterday from the Martin Prosperity Institute. The report recommends boosting the PSE attendance of 18- to 24-year-olds to 60% from the current 40%. The report says higher education will be required for 70% of future jobs in Ontario. The report also suggests the province is not producing enough management graduates, but is outpacing the US in producing engineering and science graduates. Martin Prosperity Institute News Release | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star | Read the full report

Financial task force launched at McGill

With its endowment fund having lost 20% in value, McGill University has set up a task force to focus on economic uncertainty. The primary goal of the task force is to identify potential changes designed to improve fiscal management and responsibility across the university community. This goal will be achieved by exploring options on how to spend less without reducing the quality or level of services. The task force -- comprising 21 senior administrators, students, faculty, and staff -- will hold Town Hall-like meetings to discuss cost-saving measures and revenue-generating initiatives. McGill Reporter

"Discover the Difference" at Quebec universities

Earlier this week, the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities unveiled its new international recruiting image in Paris. "University in Quebec. Discover the Difference" communicates that "studying at a Quebec university provides an intense, life-altering, different experience in addition to a sound education." The image is being promoted through bookmarks, brochures, a banner, and a website. CREPUQ News Release | Universit├ęs Qu├ębecoises (in French)

Virginia Tech president defends international students

In an open letter to the school community, Virginia Tech president Charles Steger responds to scores of letters, e-mails, and phone calls from individuals questioning whether the school should accept foreign students after a Chinese student allegedly decapitated a fellow student, also Chinese, on campus last month. The student behind the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech was from South Korea. Steger calls the comments "troubling" and says the school is an "open and accepting community" that is enriched by its diverse student body. Associated Press | Read the letter

JuicyCampus now defunct

JuicyCampus, a controversial college gossip website, shut down yesterday, with the reason being the economic downturn, according to the site's founder. Having been investigated by the Connecticut and New Jersey attorneys general, JuicyCampus was heavily criticized for encouraging students to make malicious comments, and a number of campaigns from the higher education community were launched against the site. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | JuicyCampus Blog