Top Ten

November 3, 2009

Violent on-campus arrest of UWO student under independent investigation

The University of Western Ontario has enlisted the expertise of a former Ontario Provincial Police commissioner to undertake an independent review of the arrest of a UWO student last month that raised concerns about how a campus safety incident was managed. The review will look at policies and procedures, such as whether the situation was preventable, and the training and resources available to campus police. The review will focus only on campus police as UWO does not have jurisdiction over London police. Recommendations from the review will be made public. Western News | London Fress Press

Charges stayed against uCalgary pro-life student group

6 members of Campus Pro-Life, a student group at the University of Calgary that defied school officials by refusing to alter a graphic poster campaign, will not go to trial on charges of trespassing. The charges were stayed after it was determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution. In a statement to the media, uCalgary says it "remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of campus and will take some time to reflect on this development. The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and faculty are paramount issues." Calgary Herald | CBC

Arbitration board dismisses grievances filed against FNUC

On Monday, an arbitration board dismissed 5 grievances filed by the University of Regina Faculty Association against First Nations University of Canada concerning the events of February 2005. In that month, the school's chairman at the time directed an investigation that involved the suspension of several senior officials at FNUC, as well as a forensic audit that led to criminal charges being laid against a former vice-president. The board found no evidence to support the grievances filed by URFA, who alleged the actions in 2005 constituted a lockout and a breach of academic freedom. Regina Leader-Post

Union membership vote for Ontario college part-timers challenged

The Ontario College Compensation and Appointments Council is challenging a recent province-wide vote by part-time support staff at Ontario colleges to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The council argues the union did not get the required 35% of support staff to sign union membership cards to conduct a valid vote. Depending on the outcome of the challenge, the ballots might never be counted. OPSEU is seeking an Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing as soon as possible to resolve the issue. NUPGE News Release | Waterloo Region Record

Poster campaign criticizes uAlberta president's comments on male enrolment

In an interview last month on the issue of attracting more men to university, University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera said she is "going to be an advocate for young white men, because I can be." Samarasekera's comments prompted a group of uAlberta students to launch a satirical poster campaign last week to protest the president's assertion that young white men need help. One poster states "Only White Men Can Save Our University," while another reads "Women: Stop! Drop! Men: Enroll!" A member of the Samarasekera Response Team says if the president feels the need to advocate for someone, it should be women and people of colour. Edmonton Sun | CBC

NB introduces legislation to give colleges more independence

According to legislation introduced by the New Brunswick government to make provincial colleges more independent, 2 boards -- one francophone and one anglophone -- will be set up for the New Brunswick Community College system. Each will have its own CEO and president. NB's PSE minister says being arm's-length from the provincial government will give the colleges more opportunities to create partnerships with private companies. CBC

Humber opens trades and technology centre

On Monday, Humber College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Centre for Trades & Technology as part of the launch of Skilled Trades and Technology Week, an annual event hosted by Skills Canada that promotes and raises awareness of skilled trades and technology careers in the country. The 95,000-square-foot facility features 2 full-sized townhomes and dedicated labs for programs including construction, plumbing, welding, electrical, home renovation, woodworking, cabinetmaking, and building systems. Humber News Release

Globe and Mail runs "Report on MBA Schools"

Tuesday's Globe and Mail featured a special section on business schools. The Graduate Records Exam has emerged as an alternative to the GMAT. Dual and joint business degrees are fast becoming marketing tools. Several business schools are undergoing expansion. While instructors swear by team-based work, some students worry the practice affects their grades. The special includes a Q&A with University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business dean Leonard Waverman. The "Report on MBA Schools" also profiles distance MBA programs, a fellowship program that helps graduates work at non-profit organizations, and partnerships in India. Last week, the Financial Post ran a special section on Canadian MBA programs

Tuition at 58 US private colleges surpasses $50K

According to a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis of College Board data, 58 private colleges in the US now charge at least $50,000 for tuition, fees, room, and board, up from just 5 colleges last year. Some private-college advocates argue that the listed prices might create a false impression that private institutions are unaffordable. The president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says 8 out of 10 students receive grants. Among 42 private schools whose list price for tuition and other fees was over $50,000 this year, the average grant per full-time student was just over $13,000 in the 2008-09 school year. Meanwhile, another Chronicle analysis shows that 23 college presidents earned over $1 million in total compensation, and 110 made more than $500,000 in the 2007-08 fiscal year. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | New York Times

Using learning technology to predict student success

Like Purdue University, Arizona-based Rio Salado College has developed a predictive modeling system on student success using information collected from learning management systems. The college assesses the risk level of students based on when, and how frequently, they log into their course homepage. Instructors are notified a week into classes about the medium-risk students so they can reach out to those students and try to get them on track. Unlike Purdue, Rio Salado and Capella University, a for-profit online institution, do not inform students about their risk status; however, both schools will eventually start to inform students when a bad outcome is predicted. Inside Higher Ed