Top Ten

May 4, 2009

$348 million for Alberta campus infrastructure

The federal and Alberta governments announced yesterday over $348 million to support 28 post-secondary infrastructure projects across the province as part of Ottawa's $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. For example, the University of Alberta will receive $100 million for upgrades to its chemistry and biological sciences buildings, and to equip the Health Research Innovation Facility. Industry Canada News Release | Edmonton Journal

$100 million for genomics research in Ontario

Yesterday the Ontario government introduced a new fund aimed at recruiting and retaining the best and brightest genomics researchers in the province. The $100-million Global Leadership Round in Genomics and Life Sciences will support globally-significant projects aimed at accelerating new knowledge that could lead to prevention, better treatment, and cures for diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The new fund will be administered by the Ontario Research Fund, an arm of the province's Ministry of Research and Innovation. Ontario News Release | Globe and Mail

$23 million for 2,000 NSCC seats

In his budget address yesterday, Nova Scotia's finance minister announced that the province's commitment to bringing university tuition levels down to the national average is on track. The government will commit $22.6 million to add 2,000 more seats at Nova Scotia Community College by 2013, for a total of 12,400 seats throughout the province. This funding is in addition to an earlier investment of $123 million, which supported the construction of the new campus on the Dartmouth waterfront. NS Budget 2009

Queen's faculty association says layoffs are already happening

In response to Queen's University principal Tom Williams' warning that layoffs will be inevitable beginning next year should there be no plan to reduce salary costs, the university's faculty association says job cuts are happening right now. The association says Queen's plans to re-hire fewer contingent faculty in the fall, and the university will not fill 54 full-time tenured positions over 3 years as professors either retire or leave the institution. The association's president says cutbacks will hurt the university's long-term academic mission, and that as the student-faculty ratio increases, students may think twice about choosing Queen's over other schools. QUFA News Release | Kingston Whig-Standard

"Crisis" at TWU

At his state-of-the-university address last week, Trinity Western University president Jonathan Raymond stated that the institution is in crisis. The university's "condition, accrued over several years, is chronic, and potentially fatal." Raymond cited increasing debt, a significant drop in enrolment, and a very small endowment as some of TWU's challenges. The university's latest strategic plan focuses on increasing enrolment, marketing and alumni relations initiatives, reducing debt, growing endowments, and living within the school's means. TWU News | Langley Advance | Read the address

Sodexo Canada donates $6 million to Brock

Last Friday, Sodexo Canada, Brock University's food services provider, presented the university with a $6-million gift in support of the $75-million "Bold New Brock" campaign. Sodexo and Brock also announced a new $9.5-million Niagara Marketplace project, which will involve the enclosure of the Thistle Complex courtyard to develop a 500-seat dining and social space. Construction will free up the current Tower cafeteria, which will be converted into a marche-style marketplace. Construction of the Niagara Marketplace will begin this month and be completed by January 2010. Brock News Release | St. Catharines Standard

Fire strikes uRegina residence

A fire broke out at a University of Regina student residence last Friday night, forcing the evacuation of students and a group of Grade 9 to 12 students staying for the evening while in town for a concert band workshop. The fire was contained to an electrical conduit area in the basement, and the cause of the blaze won't be known until an investigation is finished. The evacuees were allowed back into the building 8 hours later once power was restored and the smoke cleared. Regina Leader-Post

York students, faculty sound off on false fire alarms

York University students and professors, in school an extra month due to the strike, are upset over a string of false fire alarms that are disrupting tests. One frustrated father whose daughter's calculus exam was cancelled because of a fire alarm has written to president Mamdouh Shoukri asking him to draw up guidelines handling false fire alarms. Over 350 students and staff at the Keele campus have signed a petition calling for a fix to the problem after a bomb threat was called in last week. Toronto Star

Majority of health graduates in Canada work in field of study

According to data published in the latest issue of Education Matters, Statistics Canada reports that of the 96% of health graduates from the Class of 2000 who were employed within 5 years of finishing school, 79% reported working in health occupations. Of these, about half were working as registered nurses, 11% as physicians, and 9% as pharmacists. 10% of health graduates from the Class of 2005 had left their home province to study and a slightly higher proportion moved to a different province in the 2 years following graduation. Alberta was the only province with net inflows of both students and graduates. Statistics Canada

Flurry of anonymous gifts in US fuels media frenzy

In recent weeks, at least 14 American colleges, many of which are relatively young or low-profile, have received unsolicited, anonymous gifts, fuelling interest from major news outlets. Why were these schools chosen? Where is the money coming from? Why is anonymity so important? The story has highlighted the tricky balance development offices must strike between taking advantage of the positive media attention while respecting the donor's request to be unidentified. The president of the University of Iowa Foundation has refused an interview with ABC, and says it would be a shame for the media to uncover the elusive philanthropist's identity. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)