Top Ten

September 16, 2009

Court rejects senior administrator's dismissal complaint against Acadia

Last week, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ruled that Paula Cook MacKinnon was not demoted from her job as Acadia University's vice-president of student affairs when responsibility for enrolment was handed to other senior management. Cook MacKinnon sued the university and its board of governors after leaving her position in 2007 when then-president Gail Dinter-Gottlieb assumed responsibility for student recruitment and admissions in the face of an enrolment crisis in 2006. Cook MacKinnon viewed the change as a demotion and a breach of her contract. In his ruling, the judge stated that Dinter-Gottlieb and the board were unhappy with Cook MacKinnon's projection for enrolment numbers, believing it to be unrealistic. Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Advocacy campaign challenges planned cuts to Alberta PSE budget

On Tuesday, Public Interest Alberta launched a province-wide advocacy campaign that urges the Alberta government not to cut funding to higher education. The province is forecasting a 0% increase in PSE operating grants for the next 2 budgets. The campaign calls on the public to challenge the proposed cuts to PSE funding by contacting MLAs, and advocating for better quality and more accessible and affordable higher education. Public Interest Alberta News Release | Campaign Backgrounder | Edmonton Journal

First-year enrolment boom at OCAD

The Ontario College of Art & Design reports that its enrolments of first-year students from the province's high schools have risen by 30% over last year. Enrolments of all first-year students, including out-of-province, international, and mature students, have jumped by 14%. 79% of all first-year students enrolled this fall at OCAD selected the school as their first choice post-secondary institution. OCAD News Release

HEQCO study finds correlation between income, university application rates

A report released yesterday by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario finds than students in low-income neighbourhoods are 13% less likely to apply to university that those living in high-income neighbourhoods. The report found that the gap in application rates in the last decade has remained relatively constant, and perhaps has increased slightly. The paper attributes this to tuition rate deregulation in the 1990s, as well as to scholarships based primarily on entry grades. The study also found that living close to a university led to higher application rates, along with attending a school with higher level performance on the grade 9 math EQAO test results. HEQCO News Release | Read the study

uToronto opens nanotechnology research lab

Yesterday the University of Toronto's applied science and engineering faculty officially opened a state-of-the-art nanotechnology research laboratory. At the heart of the lab is a $6.5-million electron beam lithography system, which can define features as small as 10 nanometres -- about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The lab is one of only 2 of its kind in the country, and will be open to both academic and industrial researchers across Canada. uToronto News

Free high school courses at CCNB

Starting Monday, the Coll├Ęge communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick will offer a free program for adults wanting to take high school courses at night. The New Brunswick government is investing $230,000 for the college's 5 campuses to deliver night courses. Classes will be offered in French and English, depending on the area served. NB News Release

Manitoba NDP leadership candidate proposes reinstating tuition freeze

Steve Ashton, a candidate for the leadership of Manitoba's governing NDP, says he would reinstate the tuition freeze his government lifted this spring. Ashton also pledges to boost funding to PSE to keep costs from rising at least until the next provincial election, scheduled for 2011. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

CBU launches new athletics logo

On Monday, Cape Breton University introduced a new CAPERS Athletics brand design and logo, which depicts a charging Gaelic warrior reimagined as a modern-day athlete. The new image represents the fierceness, strength, pride, and determination of the university's student athletes and teams. CBU Athletics News

uRegina unveils new website

We've recently noticed that the University of Regina has launched a new-look website. The redesigned homepage, which bears the phrase "Realize it starts with you," is dominated by a flashing graphic depicting pictures of students. The website links to uRegina's social media directory, which features the school's various Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and video stream on Flickr. The homepage also includes links to recent news releases and a video message from president Vianne Timmons. uRegina website

PSE policymakers urged not to base decisions solely on college rankings

In a new issue brief, the US-based Institute for Higher Education Policy states that the debate around the appropriate use of college rankings in federal and state policymaking has overlooked several key aspects, such as the data limitations inherent in rankings that restrict their usefulness to policymakers, and the potential of rankings to shift institutional behaviours in ways that may negatively affect public policy goals. IHEP recommends that policymakers take precautions to ensure that college rankings are used only as a part of overall system assessment efforts, support the collection of data to be used to develop more policy-relevant rankings, and leverage public attention to rankings to shape general notions of college quality and further equity goals. IHEP News Release | Read the issue brief