Top Ten

November 23, 2009

Durham College should not receive local funding, says former employee

Greg Milosh, a retired 25-year employee of Durham College, told Durham Region council's finance committee last week that it should turn down a funding request from the college to help pay for its Whitby campus expansion, stating that giving the school money is outside the Region's "mandated responsibilities." Milosh says Durham College's "history of controlling costs has been terrible," and he questions the "audacity and nerve to go to another level of government to ask for a bailout." The college's president says if the Region dismisses the request, the school would have to find other sources of funding to complete the third phase of the expansion project. Durham Region News

$13 million for uMoncton health training programs

Through the Consortium national de formation en santé (National Consortium for Health Training), Health Canada will contribute another $12.6 million to the Université de Moncton to help train francophone doctors. Since 2003, uMoncton has received over $20 million for this project, and the new funding, announced Friday, will carry the program through to 2013. uMoncton will continue growing the number of French-speaking health professionals by boosting access to various training in key areas such as nutrition, respiratory therapy, and medical laboratory sciences. The funds are part of an overall amount of $86.5 million awarded to the consortium, an organization that brings together 11 francophone colleges and universities outside Quebec. Times and Transcript

uSask seeks $13-million increase in provincial operating grant

According to an annual operations forecast recently approved by the University of Saskatchewan's board of governors, for the 2010-11 academic year, the university is requesting from the provincial government an operating grant increase of $13.2 million, a $10-million increase to the annual capital allowance, and continued investments in key capital projects. The operations forecast projects a balanced budget in 2010-11. uSask plans for a tuition revenue increase of 4.5%, which is expected to bring in $3.6 million more than the current year. uSask News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | Read the operations forecast

York introduces degree verification service

York University has developed a Web-based degree verification system called "YU Verify" for employers, immigration officials, and other institutions wanting to check whether someone holds a genuine degree from the university. York has also made changes to its degrees and transcripts as part of efforts to strengthen and safeguard the integrity of the school's degrees. A Toronto Star investigation last December revealed how a former York student was producing fraudulent university degrees and transcripts, and that a student was able to gain entrance into York's law school with a phoney degree. Following the report, Osgoode Hall Law School toughened admission procedures. Toronto Star | YU Verify

Dal to shut down research reactor

The board of governors at Dalhousie University has approved a $6.4-million decommissioning of the institution's nuclear research reactor, a task expected to take about 2 years. Run by chemistry department staff and located in Dal's Life Sciences Centre, the Slowpoke reactor is designed for neutron-activation analysis. Dal's director of environmental health and safety says the university has decided to decommission the reactor because the chief operator is retiring, and it "just isn't used for the original research for which it was intended." Halifax Chronicle-Herald

OCUFA concerned about dangers of commercialization in higher-ed system

In a new report examining the recent trend to view university education exclusively as an economic enterprise, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations recommends the balance between economic interests and the traditional values of liberal arts education be restored at provincial universities. To accomplish this, the province's research policies must recognize the importance of basic research and invest more in the humanities and social sciences. In partnership with universities, the Ontario government should take a leadership role in educating students on the value of PSE as an end in itself, not just as a stepping stone to a career. OCUFA News Release | Read the full report

Catholic college planned for Peterborough

A new Catholic-based liberal arts college is expected to open in Peterborough next September. The local bishop is raising $1.6 million to get the college started. The bishop says the school would be run by professors from the US-based Institute of the Incarnate Word, and would be open to all denominations. The college would offer theological courses, as well as traditional liberal arts courses such as English, philosophy, and history. While there is no formal partnership yet with Trent University, the bishop says Trent would benefit because the college's student could enrol at Trent as well for courses. Peterborough Examiner

Groundbreaking for Okanagan College Centre of Excellence

On Friday, Okanagan College held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $28-million Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. Once complete, the 7,000-square-metre facility will offer programming in geo-thermal, onsite alternative energy resources, building envelope construction, refrigeration mechanics, and applied conservation technician. The centre will provide space for start-up companies to develop new ideas, and host research and development activities in partnership with industry and non-profit organizations. BC News Release

SLC begins revitalization of Cornwall campus

St. Lawrence College broke ground Friday for its Cornwall campus revitalization project, which received $10 million in joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding. One of the most visible signs of change at the campus will be a new entrance and stair tower for Moulinette Hall. On top of new mechanical and electric systems, the hall will also see several interior renovations, such as improved athletic facilities. Plans include new computer labs, chemistry and physics labs, a nursing simulation lab, and a paramedic lab. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. SLC News Release | Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

Enrolment boom at SPU

Saint Paul University, federated with the University of Ottawa, reports that full-time undergraduate enrolment is up 23.4%. Undergraduate enrolment has increased by nearly 19%, and full-time student enrolment has risen by 7.2%. SPU believes this upsurge in enrolment is due to its personalized approach, high-calibre programs, world-renowned professors, and academic excellence. Enrolment figures also show that 20- to 39-year-olds represent the highest percentage of students at the university (58%), international students account for 12% of the school population, and 22 nations are represented in the student body. SPU News