Top Ten

February 11, 2009

SJU faculty lose confidence in school president

Faculty at St. Jerome's University, a Catholic institution affiliated with the University of Waterloo, have lost their trust in president David Perrin, according to a recent no-confidence vote. In a statement, the faculty association's president says Perrin "has failed to address the collapse of morale at the institution and has tried to suppress academic freedom." The board of governors chair says the board maintains its support of Perrin, has brought in an external consultant, and will continue to listen to the concerns of faculty and staff. Kitchener-Waterloo Record

Why universities pick presidents outside their own ranks

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson observes there is a recent trend among Canadian universities appointing presidents from outside their own institutions. Most recently, Queen's University named University of Alberta arts dean Daniel Woolf as its newest principal. Memorial University acting president Eddy Campbell has been recommended for the University of New Brunswick presidency. Why are few presidents promoted from within? Simpson writes that administration is often accused by faculty of a number of sins, and if a candidate has worked within a university, chances are he or she has made too many enemies to be given the top job. Globe and Mail

Federal government appears to have pro-university bias

In a guest column published in Tuesday's Winnipeg Sun, Red River College president Jeff Zabudsky writes that he thought the view about university being preferred over college was changing until he read the federal government's latest budget. Earmarking just 30% of the $2-billion infrastructure fund for colleges makes no sense in terms of labour requirements and economic need, Zabudsky observes. It strikes him that Canada's PSE system "has taken a step backward when our federal government arbitrarily carves up this funding on the basis of outdated perceptions of the value of colleges versus universities." Winnipeg Sun

No apologies for top-dollar recruitment at McGill

At a Town Hall-style meeting on Tuesday, McGill University principal Heather Munroe-Blum said the university does not apologize for paying top dollar to attract the world's best and brightest administrators and professors, even when a particular hiring does not work out. Instead of being criticized for the "mismatch" involving Ann Dowsett Johnston, McGill should be praised for its many successes, including for being "almost singlehandedly" responsible for most of Montreal's demographic growth from outside Quebec in the last decade. Montreal Gazette

Laurentian opens new recreation centre

On Monday, Laurentian University officially unveiled its new recreation centre, whose opening had been delayed. An addition to the Ben Avery Physical Education Centre, the $10-million facility features an indoor 200-meter track, a rock climbing wall, 2 squash courts, 2 multi-purpose courts, an expanded cardio/weight room, and an athletic therapy clinic. Laurentian News Release | Northern Life

Timmins gives Collège Boréal campus construction belated approval

Earlier this week, Timmins city councillors unanimously approved Collège Boréal's local campus, construction of which began last June. When the city was asked to approve the Site Plan Control Agreement bylaw, which gives the project official approval to proceed, some city councillors expressed concern about the campus being well under construction while legal papers were not yet signed. The city's chief administrative officer and mayor stressed the importance of having the campus in Timmins, and the latter says nothing illegal has been done regarding the project. Timmins Times

MIT #1 in global university website ranking

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology tops the Cybermetrics Lab's biannual Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which measures "the performance and impact of universities through their Web presence." With the rankings having been designed in part to promote free access to teaching materials, it's no surprise MIT made the top spot, given that its OperCourseWare project boasts the largest collection of free academic content in the world. The University of Toronto took 24th place, making it the highest-ranking Canadian institution. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Webometrics Ranking of World Universities

uToronto leading Canadian school in CASE Accolades Awards

The winners of CASE's 2009 North American regional Accolades Awards have been announced, and the University of Toronto is the top Canadian winner with 8 awards (1 gold, 4 silvers, 2 bronzes, and an honourable mention). York picked up 7 (3 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronzes, and an honorable mention). uWaterloo received a gold, silver, and 2 honourable mentions, while Carleton took a gold, silver, and bronze. Sheridan College earned a gold, and Ryerson and UWO each received an honourable mention. List of 2009 Accolades Award winners | Y-File

$1 million for masonry design training at uSask

The Saskatchewan Masonry Institute Inc announced Saturday a $1.25-million donation to the University of Saskatchewan to establish the Saskatchewan Centre for Masonry Design. The centre will ensure masonry is an essential part of training for architects and engineers studying in uSask's college of engineering. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Aurora College cancels Aboriginal wellness worker program

Aurora College, in Inuvik NWT, is terminating its Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention diploma program due to a lack of funding and a high drop-out rate. A current student says most of her class has dropped out because of an overly intense curriculum that was not designed to meet the needs of locals. College officials say the program may be offered in the future in a different format. Last summer, the college cancelled its traditional Inuit arts program. CBC