Top Ten

June 8, 2009

Donations to UWO top $57 million

Despite the economic downturn, the University of Western Ontario received nearly $57.5 million in donations during the 2008-09 fiscal year, just short of its $60-million goal. Notable gifts include $4 million from UWO alumnus Joseph Rotman, whose donation to the university's philosophy department established the Joseph L. Rotman Institute of Science and Values. Giving to Western

York endowment devalues by 18%

York University reports that its endowment fund dropped 18% in value in the last fiscal year. Despite the substantial decline, York's conservative investment strategy has left the university in a stronger financial position than other institutions. York will be able to distribute income from the endowment this year, although at a reduced rate. York president Mamdouh Shoukri has established a Steering Committee to ensure that the impacts of the devalued endowment are communicated to students, faculty, staff, and donors. York News Release

NBCC campus comes to Fredericton

As part of last week's announcement for joint infrastructure funding for provincial post-secondary institutions, the federal and New Brunswick governments announced $15 million for a new community college campus in Fredericton, to be built on University of New Brunswick grounds. Although the province did not allocate any funding for the new campus in this year's capital budget, Ottawa's $49-million contribution from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program has freed up some provincial cash for the project. The new campus is expected to open in fall 2011. Daily Gleaner | CBC

UCN receives $8 million for campus infrastructure

The federal and Manitoba governments announced last Friday $8 million in joint infrastructure funding for the University College of the North. The funds will support repairs and upgrades at most of the institution's 12 regional centres across northern Manitoba. Manitoba News Release | UCN News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

Enrolment boom at Sault College

The number of first-year students who have confirmed attendance for this fall at Sault College has risen by 23%, from 875 last June to 1,080. Applications to the college were up 10% over last year. The growth is being attributed to more aggressive and one-on-one marketing efforts. Recruitment staff have been "combing all corners" of Ontario for prospective students, and the college has also hired an Aboriginal student recruiter. Program reputation, word of mouth, and strong showings in several Key Performance Indicators are also factors contributing to the enrolment boom. Sault Star

Lakehead faculty grievance over Google e-mail dismissed

An arbitrator has dismissed a grievance filed by the Lakehead University Faculty Association that argued the university had violated a collective bargaining agreement when it adopted Google's e-mail service. The point of contention was that because Google is an American company, it is subject to the US Patriot Act, under which authorities can compel Google to hand over data without notifying Lakehead about the transaction. While the arbitrator acknowledged Lakehead exposed professors to greater danger with Google's system, he argued that the agreement does not specify the obligation to provide "absolute privacy to faculty members." CAUT Bulletin | Read the ruling

NWT students protest changes to scholarship program

About 50 PSE students gathered outside the legislature in the Northwest Territories last Thursday to protest changes to the NWT Student Financial Assistance scholarship program. The territorial government announced in March that it was eliminating the academic-excellence component of the program in order to save money. As the students rallied, MLAs passed a motion asking the government to reconsider its decision. Last month, the Ontario government changed the eligibility criteria for 2 student grant programs in order to control expenditures. CBC

uWaterloo opens new wing of optometry school

The University of Waterloo held an opening ceremony last Friday for the new wing of its school of optometry. The 2-storey addition features a 125-seat lecture theatre, uWaterloo's museum of vision science, and expanded space for the laser surgery centre. To cope with rising enrolment, the optometry school launched a $12.4-million fundraising campaign to support the expansion and renovation project. $8 million has been raised to date, including $500,000 from philanthropists Dr. Marta Witer, an optometry school alumna, and Ian Ihnatowycz, whose gift is recognized with the Witer Learning Resource Centre. uWaterloo News Release | Waterloo Region Record

Donor rate for education and research drops

According to new data from Statistics Canada, the donor rate for education and research organizations fell by 6% between 2004 and 2007. Education and research represented 2% of total donation value 2 years ago. 36% of Canadians with university degrees were among the top 25% of donors, compared to less than 20% without a post-secondary diploma. 91% of those with a university degree made a donation in 2007, compared to 72% with less than a high school diploma. Those with some PSE experience showed the biggest increase in donations, with average donations jumping from $316 in 2004 to $387 in 2007. Statistics Canada | CTV | 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating

Trend in US institutions creating signature scents

A number of American universities have developed or are interested in developing their own fragrances. Last August, Pennsylvania State University launched its exclusive women's perfume and men's cologne, which contain notes reminiscent of the school's colours and landscape. The University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill's scent was designed to embody the campus' old southern charm. The scents are created by Masik Collegiate Fragrances, which is currently working on scents for 5 other universities. A portion of each bottle sold goes to the clients' scholarship and athletic funds. CASE Currents (requires professional membership) | Masik Collegiate Fragrances