Top Ten

August 19, 2009

Research, international and Aboriginal students subject of AUCC's 5-year spending recommendations

In its pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada recommends the federal government significantly boost financial contributions to university research with $400-million investments a year for 2 years, followed by increases of $250 million in each of the subsequent 3 years. AUCC suggests Ottawa contribute $20 million a year for 5 years to an international student recruitment strategy. With regard to efforts to expand university education opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians, AUCC recommends new funding of $65 million for the first year, followed by increases of $55 million in each of the subsequent 4 years. Read the submission

$4 million for UNBSJ Canada Games Stadium upgrades

The Canada Games Stadium at the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus will undergo upgrades following a $3.6-million investment announced yesterday for the project. The federal government and the City of Saint John have each pledged $1.4 million, while the university is investing $800,000. The project involves resurfacing the 400-metre, 8-lane track; installing an infield synthetic turf; and renovating the stadium and grand stands. UNB News Release

uSask business school to set up downtown campus

A $2.5-million donation from the Nasser family of Saskatoon is allowing the University of Saskatchewan's Edwards School of Business to establish a downtown campus. In honour of the gift, the campus will be named the K.W. Nasser Centre. The new campus will be used for several programs, such as the MBA and the new Aboriginal Business Administration Certificate. A grand opening for the campus is scheduled for September 24. uSask News Release

Mount Royal on alert for fraudulent parking passes

Mount Royal College officials will be watching out for fake parking passes this fall after an offer to create counterfeit passes was posted on an online message board. The school's parking passes for the fall term have been sold out since early July. Any students caught with fake passes will be brought up on non-academic misconduct charges, and police will be notified. In the last few years, about 40 students have been caught trying to pull off similar activities. CBC

Columbia U, Ottawa taken to court to prevent seismic testing off Vancouver Island

3 Canadian environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and New York-based Columbia University in an attempt to prevent a US research project involving seismic tests in a marine protected area 250 kilometres southwest of Vancouver Island. The organizations argue the foreign affairs minister cannot grant clearance to a foreign vessel expected to harass marine mammals, which would violate Canadian law. Researchers say the safety of marine mammals was a key part of the planning process for the project. Living Oceans Society News Release | Globe and Mail

Criticism leads Hydro-Québec to discontinue donations to private schools

Hydro-Québec announced Tuesday it would no longer make donations to private high schools after the Quebec-owned utility came under fire by opposition parties alleging conflict-of-interest on the part of Hydro-Québec president and CEO Theirry Vandal, a former student of grant recipients Collège Notre-Dame and Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, the latter of which offers CEGEP-level instruction. Vandal is also chairman of the board at Collège Notre-Dame. Both schools returned the donations following media reports about the controversy. Montreal Gazette | CTV | CBC

Historic houses moved to make way for uAlberta student housing

2 historic homes are on the move in the Edmonton neighbourhood of Garneau this week to make way for new graduate student housing for the University of Alberta. The institution is planning a set of 4 low-rise apartment buildings to accommodate an additional 200 graduate students. To make room for the apartments, 3 homes will be demolished in addition to the 2 houses being moved. The apartments are expected to open in September 2010. Edmonton Journal

uMontréal launches podcast campus tours

The Université de Montréal has introduced podcast tours of its campus. The institution has set up a Web portal where visitors can download podcasts, of which there are a dozen so far, to their MP3 players so they can listen to the audio guides when they visit the campus. Users can also listen to the podcasts on the microsite. The podcast tours, which feature archived radio clips from the CBC, include commentary from uMontréal alumni such as former Quebec Premier Bernard Landry. uMontréal News Release (in French) | Podcast tour portal (in French)

Campus tours at American institutions do an about-face

Several post-secondary schools in the US are now instructing their campus tour guides to walk forward alongside prospective students and their parents, rather than walk backward in front of them. The about-face not only reduces the risk of guides tripping over tree roots or bike racks, but also offers visitors a more natural experience. Student guides are also being asked to eschew school statistics and historical tidbits in favour of personal anecdotes. In the 3 years since Arkansas-based Hendrix College overhauled its campus-visit program, the number of students visiting the school has increased by 25%, with the number of applications rising by a similar percentage. New York Times

Mascot rebranding at Nicholls State U spurs controversy

The redesigned mascot logo for Louisiana-based Nicholls State University is generating controversy within the institution's community. The updated Col. Tillou mascot, named for the school's founder, has some likening it to a soldier from the Third Reich or a member of Soviet Russia's Red Army. A Nicholls graduate who created a Facebook group opposing the new mascot describes it as a "very angry Nazi soldier," while another says the "new image seems evil, faceless and inhuman." A Nicholls official says that while the university has no plan to abolish the new logo, the redesign could fade away within a couple of years if no one purchases merchandise bearing the logo. Times-Picayune | "I hate the New Tillou (a.k.a the 'Nicholls Nazi')" Facebook group