Top Ten

July 15, 2009

uCalgary expected to cut 200 positions

In an internal memo addressed to staff Tuesday, University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten warns of at least 200 job cuts this fall in an effort to reduce a $14.3-million shortfall. To manage the deficit, the university plans to increase enrolment and cut its 2009-10 operating budget by 3%. Weingarten blames the economic downturn, citing the poor market performance of the university's endowment funds and pension plan. He notes more job cuts beyond the 200 expected will likely happen in the future. Calgary Herald | CBC

Postscript: Oct 2, 2009
A University of Calgary spokeswoman confirms that 40 employees at the institution have lost their jobs this week. The staff reductions are meant to bring university support staff numbers in line with other institutions. A union representing some staff at uCalgary says 23 of its members working in IT services lost their jobs on Tuesday. In July, uCalgary president Harvey Weingarten announced that 200 positions would have to be cut at the university. Calgary Herald

New visa requirements jeopardize study plans of Mexican, Czech students

Students from Mexico and the Czech Republic planning to study at Canadian institutions this fall are being told they may require a temporary travel visa on top of their study permit, given new visa rules effective today. Schools such as the Universities of Alberta and Regina are assessing the impact of the new requirements, and are contacting incoming students from both nations to ensure they get the information they need as soon as possible. Regina Leader-Post | Edmonton Journal

$20 million for new conservatory at Mount Royal

The Alberta government announced Tuesday $20 million towards the construction of a new conservatory and performance hall at Mount Royal College. Plans include a 650-seat performance hall, 82 studios, 16 practice rooms, 2 large studios, and various classrooms and rehearsal areas. The federal government will consider pledging up to $20 million from the Building Canada Fund for the project. College officials hope to break ground for the new Mount Royal Conservatory by next spring, with an opening slated for fall 2011. Alberta News Release | Mount Royal News | CBC | Calgary Herald (video)

Past Miramichi councillor says city needs university

John "Jake" McLaughlin, a former Miramichi NB city councillor, says the provincial and federal governments have ignored the town's desire for a university. He says the lack of such a facility has caused Miramichi to be passed over for several high-end projects, such as a research centre. While the city's community college campus offers university courses, McLaughlin claims the school has not received its fair share of government funding. If ever another academic facility comes to Miramichi, McLaughlin would like it to be polytechnic in nature. He is considering launching a petition to get the government to act on this issue. Miramichi Leader

Concordia joins Project Hero

Concordia University announced Tuesday that it is the first Quebec university to participate in Project Hero, a program in which 4-year scholarships are offered to children of Canadian Forces personnel killed in the line of duty dating back to February 2002. Project Hero is the brainchild of Kevin Reed, whose goal is to have every university in Canada partake in the program. uRegina is considering offering such a scholarship, and confirmed participants include Brandon U, uCalgary, uWindsor, uOttawa, and MUN. Concordia News Release

Postscript: Sep 23, 2009
McGill University is the latest institution to take part in Project Hero, a program in which 4-year scholarships are offered to children of Canadian Forces personnel killed in the line of duty since 2002. McGill is the second university in Quebec following Concordia to partake in the program. McGill News Release

UFV student group pushes for Abbotsford-Chilliwack bus link

Members of the Students for Sustainability at the University of the Fraser Valley are circulating a petition calling for a public transit link between Abbotsford and Chilliwack so students and commuters travelling between the 2 communities can do so without using a vehicle. One group member says the current system forces some students to buy a car, and another student believes the commuter service would foster unity between the UFV campuses in both cities. Several individuals who have lent their voice to the petition say they are unable to take certain courses or programs because of a lack of public transportation. Abbotsford Times | Read the petition

Videos promoting uWindsor campaign win international award

A series of video spots produced as part of the University of Windor's "Being Influential" promotional campaign has picked up a bronze at this year's Telly Awards, a major international video and film competition. The videos have been screened on TV and in cinemas across Ontario. A series featuring students, faculty, alumni taking part in influential work launched Tuesday on uWindsor's redesigned homepage. uWindsor Daily News | Watch the videos

UTM launches new portal for first-year students

The University of Toronto at Mississauga recently unveiled a new microsite to help new students make a successful transition to university life. utmONE consolidates information, programs, and services of interest to incoming students starting their studies this September. Through the site, visitors can access pertinent information about UTM, watch videos about several on-campus support services, register for transition programs, and sign up for a monthly e-newsletter. uToronto News | utmONE

Obama pledges $12 billion for community colleges

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama outlined his 4-part, $12-billion program to help the country's 2-year colleges reach and train more Americans for the "jobs of the future." $9 billion would go towards "challenge grants" with which colleges can create, enhance, and evaluate efforts to encourage program completion. $2.5 billion is allotted for construction and renovation, while $500 million will be used for open online education. Some of the funds could be available by the 2010 budget year beginning October 1. Obama is aiming for a community-college enrolment rate of 11 million students by 2020, up from the current rate of 6 million. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Associated Press

University-attending men just as likely to be victimized by violence as women

According to a new study from the University of British Columbia, male students in university are equally likely as their female counterparts to have been victims of physical or emotional violence. 17% of men and 16% of women surveyed reported emotional or physical violence in the last 6 months. Nearly half of the emotional violence and 20% of the physical violence reported by both genders came from intimate partners. Of those who experienced violence, 59% of young men and over a third of young women said they had been drinking when the violence occurred. UBC News Release