Top Ten

April 29, 2009

Morale among SJU faculty will take time to restore

A consultant's report calls for openness, transparency, and the need for senior management to restore a level of trust at St. Jerome's University, an affiliate of the University of Waterloo. The consultant was brought in following criticism from faculty, who complained about a management style that was arbitrary and being kept from their role in helping govern the institution. Earlier this year, SJU faculty voted non-confidence in president David Perrin, and in March formed a union. Perrin will encourage the board of governors to set up a task force to ensure the report's recommendations are implemented. Waterloo Region Record

Manitoba universities say tuition increase won't solve budget woes

With the Manitoba government having lifted the decade-long tuition freeze, provincial universities will receive additional funds, but the extra cash is not significant enough to address budget shortfalls. The University of Manitoba still needs to cut $13 million to balance its budget for the next year. Higher tuition will cover about $300,000 of Brandon University's $1.5-million budget shortfall. An increase in tuition will give the University of Winnipeg $760,000 as it tries to balance a budget of approximately $100 million. Winnipeg Free Press

Former UBC student given conditional sentence for causing lockdowns

A BC court has handed a former University of British Columbia student a one-year conditional sentence for sending threatening e-mails to the school last year, resulting in the biosciences building being shut down twice. At a sentencing hearing last month, the court heard that Hwi Lee made the threats in order to avoid giving an oral presentation. The judge told Lee he must learn to deal with the pressures and stresses thousands of other students face. CBC

Canada lags behind in attracting Indian students

Last year, Australia attracted 96,739 Indian students, the US brought in 94,563, and a mere 6,937 came to Canada. Less than 3% of Indian students wanting to study abroad choose a Canadian school, down from 5% 5 years ago. Part of the problem in marketing Canada in India is money, and another hurdle is that most Canadian universities do not recognize 3-year degrees from India. Schools are being urged to improve recruitment efforts after a report commissioned by Canada's Asia Pacific Foundation last year suggested that the Canadian colleges and universities that do recruit in India use a "fragmented, scattershot approach." Toronto Star

uWindsor board of governors approves $112-million engineering complex design

On Tuesday, the board of governors at the University of Windsor approved design plans for the $112-million Centre for Engineering Innovation, whose construction is slated to begin next month. The 300,000-square-foot facility will bring together uWindsor, business, and other partners in an environment to foster a direct connection between education, research, and industrial innovation. The centre is expected to create spin-off industries and lead to a growth in industrial research partnerships. The CEI will be ready to welcome students in summer 2012. uWindsor News Release | Windsor Star

Phase 2 of Niagara College Welland expansion project "shovel-ready"

Niagara College is prepared to embark on the second phase of development at its Welland campus should both the Ontario and federal governments grant the college the $35 million it requested of both. Phase 2 will include a new Niagara Applied Health Institute, the Niagara Industry Innovation Centre, and an expanded athletic centre. The first phase of the campus redesign was the expansion of the completed Skilled Trades and Technology Centre. Once the project is complete, the campus will have expanded to include 2,000 new training spaces. Welland Tribune

OCUFA releases ethics-themed issue of Academic Matters

"Ethics in the Academy" is the latest issue of Academic Matters, to be released this week. The magazine includes an article from McGill University professor and medical ethicist Margaret Somerville, who argues that universities are increasingly becoming intolerant environments, and that institutions must remain open and respectful in order to find the "shared ethics" necessary to maintaining healthy, pluralistic democracies. In a separate article, Linda Muzzin, who teaches at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, writes that the lengthy strike by York University teaching assistants and contract faculty reveals a need to address inequities faced by contingent faculty. Facing up to the dangers of the intolerant university: Bird on an ethics wire | Equity, ethics, academic freedom and the employment of contingent academics

Steelworkers set up shop in Kingston to recruit Queen's staff

The United Steelworkers Union has set up an office in downtown Kingston as part of its mission to organize the 1,800 non-unionized general staff at Queen's University. The union is committed to being in Kingston for the long haul to do whatever is needed to win a certification drive, which began last year when a small group of Queen's employees decided they wanted to unionize. The union is not allowed to recruit on campus, and Queen's organizers must limit their activities to breaks, lunchtime, and after-work hours. Kingston Whig-Standard

Nipissing announces winners in Best Blog contest

Nipissing University has named the winners of its Best Blog competition. "As it Develops at Nipissing University," written by Ian Wassink, won in the "Nipissing University's Pick" and "Most Discussion" categories, earning Wassink a $2,000 cash prize and a $500 campus shop gift card. Other winning blogs include "Life at Lunch...Adventures in Bento Blogging" (Funniest Blog), "(Not so) Anonymous" (Best Nipissing University Moment), and "This is Me" (Top Voted). 35 blogs were entered into the contest. Nipissing News Release | Best Blog contest winners

US colleges use social media tools to research, recruit students

According to a new report from the US-based National Association for College Admission Counseling, 26% of colleges use search engines to conduct research on prospective students, while 21% use social networking sites. Schools reported using these tools to verify information about applicants, especially if they are candidates for scholarships or entry into high-demand programs with limited space. 33% of admissions offices reported maintaining a presence on blogs, followed by 29% on social networks. 53% of colleges monitor social media for "buzz" about their school. 88% of admissions offices said using social media technologies as part of recruiting is very or somewhat important. NACAC News Release | Inside Higher Ed | USA Today | Read the full report