Top Ten

March 13, 2009

UWO freezes salaries of senior administration

In an effort to stave off layoffs and other cutbacks, the University of Western Ontario announced last Thursday a one-year salary freeze for 26 senior administrators,  including vice-presidents, associate vice-presidents, vice-provosts, deans, and the university librarian. News that outgoing president Paul Davenport will receive a $700,000 golden handshake and a $100,000-plus annual pension is raising concerns with the faculty association, whose president wonders how many jobs would be saved if Davenport received a regular pension. The association is trying to get a look at any contract signed by incoming president Amit Chakma, who begins his term in July. Western News | London Free Press

uWaterloo proposes 3% budget cut

In a letter sent to the University of Waterloo community, president David Johnston says the university expects to implement a 3% budget cut for the next fiscal year. Faculties and departments are being cautioned to "spend conservatively." Between May 2008 and February 2009, uWaterloo's investments funds dropped 22% in value. The school is working on developing additional sources of revenue such as international enrolment, professional graduate programs, and private support. The letter assures the university is "in good financial health" and can cope with difficult times. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin | Read the letter

uAlberta makes changes to investment reporting

According to The Gateway, a student newspaper, the University of Alberta has changed its policies for reporting on and approving university investments in response to issues raised by the province's Auditor General. In a report released last October, the Auditor General recommended that uAlberta provide increased levels of detail on investments to the Investment Committee to facilitate the monitoring of the school's investments, and implement approval procedures for new investment vehicles. The Gateway (student newspaper)

Federal Conservatives establish PSE caucus

Early last month, 20 Conservative MPs got together for the first meeting of a new post-secondary caucus. The caucus hopes to meet once a month and engage in a number of activities, such as meeting with university administrators and student groups, monitoring how the government is meeting the needs of the PSE sector, and providing advice to ministers responsible for PSE issues to ensure that policy is effectively implemented. Any Conservative MP whose riding includes a post-secondary institution is welcome to sit with the caucus. University Affairs

Courtenay approves NIC expansion plans

The City of Courtenay BC has given unanimous support to plans by North Island College to expand its Comox Valley campus to include a new trade skills development centre and health education building. One councillor says the project will be benefit the local economy and community, and would remove the need for students to travel outside of the Valley to get the training they require. Comox Valley Echo

Students across Canada experience homelessness for fundraiser

This week, students from 9 universities across Canada will take part in the national "5 Days for the Homeless." Participants will sleep outside on campus, rely on donates meals, and go without access to money or showers. The campaign, which was founded in 2005 by a group of University of Alberta business students, is designed to raise awareness of and money for local homeless charities. 5 Days for the Homeless 2009 | UoGuelph News Release | Western News

University should not be a "handmaiden to the economy"

Within the last generation or so, universities have become "credentialing factories, where vocationalism trumps liberal learning," observes Simon Fraser University professor Patrick Keeney in Friday's National Post. Education is not just about preparing students for the workforce; it is also about increasing our understanding of the human condition and developing a critical intelligence in order to live meaningful lives. This concept of liberal education has been replaced by a "crude economic utilitarianism," and Keeney writes that Canadians should now asks themselves if the trade was worth it. National Post

CMEC launches new website

Late last week, the Council of Education Ministers, Canada unveiled a redesigned website. The bright, easy-to-navigate site includes an overview of education in Canada and of the council's programs and initiatives. The site includes links to event lisitings, publications, and news releases. Visitors to the site can join CMEC's mailing list to stay informed about what's happening at the council. CMEC website

"Influence starts" at uWindsor

We've recently noticed the University of Windsor's "Be Influential" microsite. An introductory video explains that the university is a natural destination for those determined to become leaders. The portals features testimonials from students and alumni about how their education at uWindsor has provided them with the skills to succeed. Be Influential

Mobile advertising in Canada gaining popularity

In 2007, mobile advertising in Canada grew by 143%, with revenues reaching $2.7 million, according to a recent survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada. Revenues increased a projected 96% in 2008 to reach $5.2 million. Most of the mobile ad revenues came through text-message vehicles, followed by mobile content, mobile Internet display ads, and mobile applications. IAB Canada Newsletter | eMarketer