Top Ten

May 26, 2009

Social scientists told research funds will flow again

Speaking at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Carleton University on Monday, Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear called on researchers to bring him their ideas for next year's investments. Goodyear says he is looking onward to next year's budget, and is "firmly committed to working with all of you to determine where future investments are most needed." At current funding levels, researchers in social sciences and humanities are less likely to receive federal funding than those in natural or physical sciences. Globe and Mail

CCA report finds little direct application of business research outside academe

According to a new report from the Council of Canadian Academies, the activities of Canada's scholarly community in the areas of management, business, and finance rank above the world average, but there is a disconnect between the research and its application outside of academe. The report recommends that additional funds earmarked in the 2007 federal budget for business and management research be used to support large, multi-year, collaborative projects whose objective is to improve the performance and competitiveness of Canadian business. CCA News Release | Read the full report

Lethbridge College turns to reserve fund to avoid deficit

In order to ride out the economic downturn, Lethbridge College will dip into its reserve fund. The move would help the college avoid ending up with a $6-million deficit by the end of 2013. The school has taken a "deliberate strategy" to avoid layoffs and program cuts. Departments are tightening their budgets and positions vacated by retirement or resignation may remain unfilled. The college hopes to generate extra funds by increasing international student enrolment. Lethbridge Herald

uToronto urged to hire interpreter co-ordinator for deaf students

Students held a rally outside the University of Toronto's accessibility services building last Wednesday to protest the inaccessibility issues deaf students face. The rally's organizer, the only deaf undergraduate student at uToronto's downtown campus, would like to see the university hire an interpreter co-ordinator. uToronto stopped hiring on-call interpreters 2 years ago, leaving deaf students to find their own. The student had to drop some courses this year because she couldn't find an interpreter. Rabble

Confederation College opens marketing research lab

On Monday, Confederation College launched its new consumer and public marketing research lab. The 1,200-square-foot facility -- a partnership between the college and Thunder Bay-based research firm Northern Insights -- features a reception area, an observation room, a debriefing office, and a testing room. While money generated by the lab will go to Northern Insights, the company leases space from Confederation and hires college students. The firm also provided funds for capital expenses. Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal

Kwantlen interested in establishing satellite campus in Delta

Speaking at a Delta Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Wednesday, Kwantlen Polytechnic University president David Atkinson said a satellite campus could be built in Ladner in the next 3 to 5 years. The university has had conversations with Delta regarding Paterson Park, a former harness track, and has a committee looking at various possibilities for the land's future. In the early 1990s, Kwantlen purchased the eastern half of the park from the Delta Agricultural Society, while the municipality later bought the rest. Atkinson said a continuing education centre could possibly be run at the site. Delta Optimist

CBC investigation uncovers illicit reselling of U-Passes in Metro Vancouver

A CBC News investigation found 35 students in Metro Vancouver selling U-Passes on Craigslist, even though the discounted transit passes come with photo ID and are non-transferable, and selling them violates the terms of use. The investigation also discovered that bus drivers don't usually check the U-Pass photo against its holder. To curb the problem, the director of the city program at Simon Fraser University suggests TransLink assign a transit police officer to occasionally e-mail warnings to U-Pass sellers running ads online, and to carry out regular fare checks on buses and SkyTrains. CBC

CAUT signs international agreement to safeguard academic freedom

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has joined sister organizations worldwide in signing international agreements to help protect academic freedom and monitor the work of private firms in higher education. CAUT's associate executive director says that while academic staff support the internationalization of PSE, there is concern that colleges and universities are embracing commercial imperatives rather than educational values as they compete with for-profit education providers to set up branch campuses abroad. CAUT News

US colleges offer online calculators to determine education cost

In 2011, all US post-secondary institutions must have a "net price calculator" on their websites with which prospective students can figure out how much it will cost them to attend college. A number of schools, such as MIT and Princeton, already have such tools in place. The calculators are more likely to provide a closer approximation of the true costs of particular institutions than general online calculators or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, described by MIT's director of student financial aid as "like using a shotgun to kill a house fly." New York Times

Oxford poetry professor resigns over scandal

On Monday, Ruth Padel resigned from her recently elected position of Professorship of Poetry at the University of Oxford after she admitted to publicizing charges that her rival for the position, Derek Walcott, had sexually harassed a former student in the early 1980s. Padel acknowledged that she sent e-mails to 2 journalists pointing them to a book which carries allegations made against Walcott, who was recently hired as the University of Alberta's first distinguished scholar in residence. Walcott withdrew from the Oxford competition because the allegations resurfaced. Oxford will now hold another election for the position. Oxford News | Associated Press | Agence France-Presse | Edmonton Journal