Top Ten

May 6, 2009

Ottawa introduces $75-million fund for Aboriginal training

On Monday, the federal government launched the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund. Providing $75 million over 2 years, the fund will support short-term, focused initiatives aimed at helping Aboriginals obtain the skills needed to benefit from economic opportunities. Ottawa is also investing another $100 million over 3 years in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program to help Aboriginals participate in the workforce. HRSDC News Release

CBU feels shortchanged in infrastructure announcement

Cape Breton University president John Harker writes in yesterday's Halifax Chronicle-Herald that Cape Breton residents have been shortchanged in last week's infrastructure funding announcement. The university's funding proposal for the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment was denied; instead CBU is receiving over $3 million from both the federal and Nova Scotia governments to renovate and energy retrofit 3 buildings. While the school welcomes that funding, Harker wonders "who in this community can appreciate it when the university is singled out for denial of a major opportunity, a transforming one, when that denial is not explained, and I suspect cannot be?" Halifax Chronicle-Herald

uToronto business board approves flat tuition fee

Last week, the University of Toronto's business board approved a flat tuition fee proposal in which full-time students enrolled in the arts and science faculty would pay for five courses, no matter how many classes they take. The proposed change would apply to new students only; current students would be exempt for up to 5 years. The proposal goes before the governing council on May 20. uToronto students have filed a court application to stop the proposal from moving forward. uToronto News

MUN needs to enhance regional engagement, report says

According to a new report from Memorial University, post-secondary institutions like MUN must play a larger role in engaging Newfoundland and Labrador's various regions to benefit from social and economic growth. The report recommends MUN adopt a plan of action for facilitating and enhancing local engagement as part of its strategic plan. It also suggests the university create an inventory of the extent and types of regional engagement it undertakes. The province is also urged to consider offering grants for locally-focused research. MUN News Release | Read the full report

Olds College inches closer to wetlands goal

Olds College, based in Olds Alberta, is nearing its fundraising goal for its $3.2-million Treatment Wetlands and Botanical Garden, whose construction is slated to begin this summer. Instructors and students will use the wetlands to develop, demonstrate, and test new ways to treat water from agricultural or industrial runoff. The project will have a desalinization system and wetland pins to remove chemicals and nutrients. Red Deer Advocate

Hamilton residents oppose proposed student residence

Homeowners in west Hamilton are petitioning a development proposal to construct a 10-storey student residence beside the Cadbury plant, arguing it will devalue their properties and create tension between the plant and residents. The homeowners also argue the project would violate the community's secondary plan, including exceeding height restrictions. Some city councillors are expressing reservation about the development, stating that if the residence goes ahead on what was once identified as employment lands, Cadbury's would relocate to another municipality. Dundas Star News

VIU business school earns international accreditation

The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs has awarded the Vancouver Island University School of Business with accreditation, making VIU the third ACBSP-accredited business school in Canada. The association's director of accreditation says VIU has demonstrated strengths in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, faculty and staff focus, and student outcome assessment. VIU News

UoGuelph vet college featured on W-Five

The University of Guelph and its Ontario Veterinary College were featured on last Saturday's broadcast of CTV's W-Five. The half-hour segment took viewers behind the scenes of the vet college's animal cancer centre. This is the second time W-Five has produced a feature on OVC; in 2004, the show followed faculty, students, clients, and patients at the OVC Teaching Hospital. UoGuelph News | Watch the segment

Institutions should consider helicopter parents as partners

Rather than deny access to parents who seem combative, colleges and universities should welcome them to the campus community as partners and define an appropriate role for them, observes Marjorie Savage, director of the parent program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in the latest issue of CASE Currents. Parents can contribute to institutional goals in key areas such as recruitment, retention, affinity, and advancement. To demonstrate that parents are considered partners, schools should dedicate a clear link to parents on their homepage, as well as provide handbooks or newsletters outlining campus policies and resources. CASE Currents (requires professional membership)

Twitter has trouble retaining users

Despite Twitter's immense growth, the microblogging site is struggling to retain users, according to figures from Nielsen Online. The company reports that Twitter's month-to-month retention rate is just 40%. Prior to recent celebrity attention, the rate was below 30%. The research indicates there are not enough new users to make up for defecting ones. With its current retention rate, Twitter can expect to reach a maximum of only 10% of Internet users. Nielsen Online blog | Marketing Magazine | eMarketer | CBC