Top Ten

October 14, 2009

$69 million for Concordia campus infrastructure

The federal and Quebec governments announced yesterday close to $69 million from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for capital projects at Concordia University. The funds will support the construction of 3 major research facilities: the PERFORM Research Centre (to house laboratories for specialized teaching and training in athletic therapy and cardiorespiratory physiology), the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, and a new Environmental Chamber. Concordia News Release

RMC part of $300-million military training infrastructure upgrades

The federal government announced Tuesday nearly $300 million for infrastructure projects at CFB Kingston and the Royal Military College. Funds directed to the college will support renovations to dormitories and an academic complex, as well as a new security and access control program. National Defence News Release | Kingston Whig-Standard | CBC

CANARIE distributes over $10 million for IT research

On Tuesday, CANARIE -- Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network -- announced the second-round winners in its flagship IT research funding program. CANARIE has awarded $10.5 million to 9 projects. Post-secondary institutions receiving funding include McGill University, the University of Calgary, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Victoria. CANARIE News Release

Ryerson requests $20 million to renovate Maple Leaf Gardens

Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy says it would cost the institution $60 million to transform Maple Leaf Gardens into a university sports centre, and Ryerson hopes Ottawa will cover one-third of the costs. In a referendum earlier this year, students voted to contribute $20 million from student fees towards converting the arena into home ice for the school's hockey team. Ryerson and Loblaw Cos. Ltd., owner of the Gardens since 2004, plan to fundraise another $20 million. Under current plans, Loblaw would run a grocery store on the main floor, while the university would convert the top 2 storeys into an arena, basketball and volleyball courts, and a gym. Toronto Star

uAlberta considers layoffs, fee hikes to address projected $59-million shortfall

Administrators at the University of Alberta have begun tallying the number of layoffs that might be needed to make up for a projected $59-million budget shortfall next year. School officials have been exploring ways to reduce costs since late August, after the Alberta government said institutions will face a freeze in operating funding as a best-case scenario in the next budget. uAlberta is considering raising the basic tuition fee for specific faculties, and saving money through efficiencies, such as centralizing the e-mail system. Edmonton Journal

Voluntary retirement plan at uLethbridge

In order to save money over the next 2 fiscal years, University of Lethbridge officials are moving forward with alternate budget planning and the implementation of a voluntary retirement program for employees and faculty with over 20 years of continuous service. Anticipating a 0% increase in provincial PSE funding, uLethbridge estimates a $5-million shortfall in 2010-11, and an additional $6-million shortfall the following fiscal year. After a thorough review of its current budget, the university would move to reduce the shortfall by asking units to tighten their budgets through cuts to positions, programs, or non-essential services. The Legend

Sault College unveils new logo


Sault College Logo

 On Tuesday, Sault College launched its redesigned logo. Inspired by an earlier version of the college logo, the shape of the emblem represents the 3 Great Lakes coming together at a centre point to indicate the school's central location. The blue and green colour scheme signifies water and land to emphasize Sault College's environmental focus. The new logo will be phased in over a 2-year period by the year 2011 to reduce waste and costs, and to promote an eco-conscious approach to branding. Sault College News Release

TDSB proposes video advertisement in Toronto high schools

The Toronto District School Board has sent out a request for proposals for a pilot project to install digital information screens in Toronto high schools, and the supplier of video signs would have the right to sell space on them to cover equipment and operating costs. While the paid content would be "non-commercial" and limited to such promotions as post-secondary recruitment, some education watchers are raising concerns about the project, with one calling it a "slippery slope." Globe and Mail

New data suggests growing acceptance of online degrees among employers

In a poll conducted this summer by the US-based Society for Human Resource Management, 76% of human resources professionals surveyed said they view online university degrees more favourably than they did 5 years ago, and 58% reported that individual courses taken through online universities are considered as credible as traditional university courses. Of the companies that provide tuition assistance for courses, 95% of survey respondents reported no difference in terms of tuition assistance between staff studying through accredited online schools and those studying through accredited traditional institutions for the same degree level. ThomasNet News

British college uses Facebook as a retention tool

The media curriculum manager at Gloucestershire College, based in England, says "there has been a significant improvement in retention" at the institution, which is being attributed to the advent of social networks. Facebook pages for individual courses have helped students bond with each other, work together as a team, and maintain their connection with staff, and as a result, the manager says, there has been a reduction in number of students dropping out of courses. Meanwhile, at City of Sunderland College, also in England, a pilot project using Facebook has proven a useful method of reminding students of assignment deadlines. BBC