Top Ten

March 31, 2009

$256 million in additional appropriation for NS universities

The Nova Scotia government announced yesterday $256 million in additional appropriation for university funding. The province's finance minister says university funding must continue to be a top priority for the government, especially during the economic downturn. The spending will reduce the 2008-09 budget surplus. NS News Release

Court orders UBC to pay back $4 million in parking fines

A BC Supreme Court judge has ruled that the University of British Columbia has been unlawfully issuing parking tickets since 1990, and has ordered the school to pay back over $4 million in fines to thousands of violators. In 2006, a Vancouver chartered accountant launched a class-action lawsuit against UBC on the issue of improper collection of fines and towing of cars. Up to the beginning of the trial, UBC argued that the fines were lawfully collected under the University Act, but then admitted that the practice was illegal. Vancouver Province

Layoffs still a possibility at UWO

At a town hall meeting on Monday, University of Western Ontario officials announced that layoffs have not been ruled out as the institution faces projected deficits of $11.3 million and $10.6 million over the next 2 years. Although 35 positions have been terminated through voluntary departures, it may not be enough to eliminate layoffs. Attendees of the town hall meeting were told the university's share of $150 million of infrastructure funding from the Ontario government may not be sufficient to stave off job cuts. Western News | London Free Press

$3-million deficit projected at Georgian College

Georgian College is expected to have closed out the fiscal year with a projected shortfall of $2.8 million. The college hopes a share of funding from the Ontario government will erase the operating deficit. President Brian Tamblyn says government funding has not kept up with rising enrolment in the school's diploma and degree programs. In the meantime, the college will draw from a $6-million reserve. Midland Mirror

UoGuelph cuts women's studies, organic agriculture programs

On Monday, the senate board of undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph made the decision to eliminate the university's women's studies program and organic agriculture major due to low enrolment. Next week, the senate will decide on the fate of 2 technology-related programs offered at Guelph-Humber. Following the decision, students in the women's studies programs stuck Post-it notes bearing messages expressing their frustration on bulletin boards and doorways at the University Centre. Guelph Mercury

Conestoga to revive volleyball program

After a 16-year absence, varsity men's and women's volleyball will return to Conestoga College next season. While some universities across Canada are making cuts to sports budgets or eliminating teams altogether, a Conestoga spokesperson says a projected 8% enrolment increase at the college means the school can afford to add teams to its varsity roster. In a few years Conestoga may revive its basketball teams, which, along with volleyball, were cut in 1993 due to budgetary constraints. Waterloo Region Record | Globe and Mail

SFU opens Faculty of Environment

Today Simon Fraser University officially launches its new Faculty of Environment, which houses the institution's School of Resource and Environmental Management, the department of geography, the Environmental Science program, the Centre for Sustainable Community Development, and the Graduate Certificate in Development Studies. Due in part to the anticipated faculty launch, enrolment figures have increased over last year. The faculty has 552 undergraduate students, 123 graduate students, and 39 faculty members. SFU News Release

uCalgary campaign encourages use of campus services

The University of Calgary has launched a campaign called "Keep It On Campus" to promote the use of on-campus services in order to boost revenue generated by these services. Approximately $24 million in generated every year through the Catering & Food Services, Hotel & Conference Services, the Bookstore, and the MicroStore, and these funds are reinvested in the university to help enhance the overall student, faculty, and staff experience. This fall, uCalgary will open its first on-campus hotel, thereby increasing its guest accommodation and conference service capabilities. UToday | Keep It On Campus

Carleton president discusses university's future with Citizen editorial board

Last Friday, Carleton University Roseann Runte met with the Ottawa Citizen's editorial board to talk about her vision for the university. In the hour-long discussion, Runte described her goal to strengthen the university's reputation for innovation, enhance community relations, invest in academic programs related to environment and sustainability, and have Carleton earn a Nobel Prize. She also discussed potential collaboration between the university and the newspaper in which journalism students produce content for the Citizen, and business students work with the paper on advertising and promotions. Ottawa Citizen

Osgoode Hall receives $1-million donation for new dispute resolution centre

York University's Osgoode Hall Law School has received a $1-million gift from the Paul B. Helliwell Foundation to go towards a new multi-million dollar high-tech facility consisting of an electronic courtroom and specially designed space for alternative dispute resolution. To be named the Paul B. Helliwell Centre for Innovation in Dispute Resolution, the facility will assist law students, researchers, courts, mediators, and arbitrators in exploring new methods to resolve disputes. Y-File