Top Ten

June 30, 2009

Trespassing charges against fired uOttawa professor dropped

A University of Ottawa spokeswoman says that trespassing charges against former physics professor Denis Rancourt have been dropped. In December, Rancourt was suspended and barred from campus over a grading dispute. 6 weeks later, he was arrested when he arrived on campus to attend a weekly film series he had hosted since 2005. Rancourt was fired at the end of March following a unanimous vote by uOttawa's board of governors. He is fighting his dismissal. Ottawa Citizen

Pungent smoke forces evacuation of 2 MacEwan buildings

Fire crews evacuated students and staff from 2 buildings at Grant MacEwan College's downtown Edmonton campus Monday morning after pungent smoke filled a parkade when an electrical panel shorted out. The dangerous goods response team was present as firefighters were not sure how dangerous the smoke was. Fans were used to ventilate the parkade. The building re-opened later Monday for evening classes and shifts. Edmonton Journal

4 BC university presidents among highest-paid public sector executives in province

According to 2008-2009 public sector compensation reports released Monday by the BC government, former University of Northern British Columbia president Don Cozzetto, who stepped down last summer over an apparent disagreement regarding PSE funding levels, was the highest-paid executive, earning $647,025, which includes a $554,000 severance package. Among the 10 highest-paid executives are UBC president Stephen Toope ($575,813), SFU president Michael Stevenson ($483,665), and uVic president David Turpin ($467,671). BC News Release | Vancouver Sun | Executive Compensation Disclosure

Ottawa announces $8 million for 4 international research alliances

On Monday, the federal government announced $8 million in funding for 4 research teams under the International Community-University Research Alliance program, which partners university-based experts from Canada with those in developing countries to work with community members who will directly benefit from the research and training. The 4 teams will receive $2 million each over 5 years, and include researchers from uOttawa, VIU, Dal, and uMontréal. The projects will focus on coastal adaptation to climate change, the impact of poverty on the environment, services for at-risk youth, and mental health. IDRC News Release

Application boom at Northern College

Northern College is reporting a 24% increase in applications over last year. Much of the growth is in the college's health sciences, veterinary sciences, and engineering technology and trades programs. In order to meet the growing demand for its electrical engineering technician/technology program, Northern College has increased the cap on the first year of the program from 54 seats to 72. The Ontario government's Second Career program has helped boost applications to the college. Northern College News Release

CCNB Edmundston halts 3 tourism and hospitality programs

The New Brunswick government announced Monday that the hotel and restaurant operations, tourism, and international tourism programs offered at the Edmundston campus of Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick have been temporarily suspended due to low enrolment. The campus will set up consultations to determine whether the training programs offered by the Atlantic Centre of Excellence in Tourism are meeting the needs of the tourism industry. Students who enrolled in the programs have been notified of the suspension and have the opportunity to move into another field. NB News Release

Ottawa, Ontario contribute $2 million to WLU pool renovations

On Monday, the federal and Ontario governments announced $2 million in joint funding for repair work on Wilfrid Laurier University's 50-metre swimming pool. The investment is in addition to $2.2 million raised to renovate the pool, which is expected to re-open by the end of September. WLU News Release | Waterloo Region Record

Alberta makes additional investment in uLethbridge sports complex

The Alberta government announced last Friday $1.3 million in funding for the University of Lethbridge Regional Stadium and Field Complex, following a $2-million investment the province made in January 2008. The sports complex will feature a new football and soccer field, track and field facilities, and a grandstand. The complex will be available for community use. Alberta News Release

NSCC IT campus undergoes expansion, renovation

On Monday, construction began on the $6-million expansion and renovation of Nova Scotia Community College's Institute of Technology campus in Halifax. When it is completed in September 2010, the renewed campus will feature a new library and student learning commons. The campus renewal is one of 14 Knowledge Infrastructure Program projects taking place at 10 NSCC campuses. NSCC News Release | Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Singularity U opens doors

Singularity University, a new interdisciplinary institution designed to train emerging leaders to prepare for what lies ahead regarding advancing technologies in order to "address humanity's grand challenges," welcomed its first 40 students on Sunday. Based at NASA's Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley, the university offers 3- and 10-day executive programs, as well as a 9-week graduate studies program. Tuition ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 US. The school's chancellor is futurist Ray Kurzweil, known for his claim that by 2030, a moment, known as the "singularity", will be reached when computers will outsmart human beings. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Singularity University