Top Ten

June 11, 2009

Goodyear defends actions in conference interference

Federal Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear told the Waterloo Region Record that he makes no apologies for asking that a grant be reviewed for a forthcoming academic conference to discuss the future of Israel and Palestine, and will not resign as demanded by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. "I have no intention of taking that request seriously." Goodyear says he has received hundreds of e-mails from individuals and Jewish groups complaining about some speakers who will attend the conference, which takes place at York University later this month. Meanwhile, the National Graduate Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students has joined the call for Goodyear's resignation. CFS News Release | Waterloo Region Record

CAUT calls uOttawa reporting system a "snitch line"

As part of a policy on fraud and safe disclosure, the University of Ottawa has introduced a trademarked system called ClearView Connects with which university employees can report anonymously any incidents of wrong-doing relating to uOttawa activities. CAUT executive director James Turk, who calls the tool a "snitch line," says such a system has no place at a university, and argues it "creates an atmosphere of mistrust and secrecy." A uOttawa official states the university's fraud and safe disclosure policy is "just good governance." Ottawa Citizen

CUPE protests job cuts at McMaster graduation ceremonies

CUPE Local 3906, which represents sessional instructors at McMaster University, picketed 2 McMaster convocation ceremonies yesterday to inform the public about layoffs as a result of the "major restructuring plans" taking place at the university. The union says McMaster has eliminated 71 courses taught by sessional faculty in the coming budget year. Hamilton Spectator

Co-locating NBCC, UNBSJ debated

Corporate leaders, politicians, and media in Saint John believe the city would be better served if the Centre for Excellence in Energy and Construction slated for the local community campus be built as part of a "knowledge cluster" at the University of New Brunswick--Saint John. The province's PSE minister is not open to the idea, stating that he does not want to restart the furor that ensued 2 years ago when the government wanted to convert UNBSJ into a polytechnic. Supporters of locating the facility at UNBSJ say doing so is simply co-locating the college and university, not merging them into a new institution. Saint John Telegraph-Journal | Minister won't bend | One campus, two schools | A double standard?

Enrolment boom at CNC Mackenzie campus

In the 2008-09 academic year, the number of full-time students enrolled at the Mackenzie campus of BC-based College of New Caledonia jumped by 89% to 170 from 90 students the year before. To meet the increased demand, the college has hired 13 more employees, including 9 full- and part-time faculty. The enrolment growth is being attributed to the closure of sawmills and a paper mill in the area within the last year. Prince George Citizen

uWinnipeg introduces socially responsible food service

The University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation and SEED Winnipeg have joined forces to establish a new university food service company designed to provide nutritious, affordable, and ethnically diverse food options. Diverse Food Services will employ about 25 individuals, particularly newcomers, immigrants, and Aboriginal people, who will be invited to invest in its ownership. The food service aims to use local and organic ingredients, reduce transportation costs, and decrease the dependency on food grown with pesticides and herbicides. The new food service starts operating this summer. uWinnipeg News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

uLaval offers students, staff free bikes

Université Laval has partnered with Véloville, a local organization, to provide its community with free bicycles. For 3 years, uLaval ran a free-bike pilot program for students living in residence, and now the program is being extended to all students and staff in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. Participants have access to 40 bikes, and can use them up to 6 hours at a time. uLaval News (in French) | CBC

NAIT wins national award for live-Tweeting event

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is a gold winner in the social media category of the 2009 Canadian Public Relations Society National Annual Awards. NAIT picked up the prize for using Twitter to live-microblog the launch of its Hokanson Chef in Residence program with celebrity chef Rob Feenie in January. 2009 CPRS National Annual Awards

Over 100 US institutions fail financial strength test

According to new data from the US Department of Education, 114 private non-profit degree-granting colleges failed the department's financial-responsibility test. Schools that fail require extra monitoring on their use of federal student-aid funds. The 65 colleges with the lowest scores must also post letters of credit with the department to safeguard the loan and grant money flowing through their schools. In the last year, at least 5 schools who had failed the test either closed, merged with a wealthier non-profit institution, or were sold to a for-profit college company. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US studies find Democratic states appropriate more PSE funding

According to a new US study, Democrats spend more on higher education than do Republicans. Schools in close proximity of statehouses have an edge over other campuses, the report found, as do those with more alumni in key positions in state government. In a forthcoming 20-year study, researchers found a link between Republican legislative strength, Republican governors, and the relative strength of governors and lower levels of state spending on colleges. Both studies suggest research universities tend to be favoured in states with a flagship and multiple research universities. Inside Higher Ed