Top Ten

January 4, 2010

NL announces more autonomy for Grenfell

On December 16, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced several initiatives to increase the independence of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the Corner Brook campus of Memorial University. The province has requested that MUN's board of regents change Grenfell's name to Memorial University of Newfoundland--Corner Brook, submit a separate budget for the campus to the province, and position Grenfell's principal on the senior executive committee. NL also announced a $6.5-million investment in Grenfell to support marketing and recruitment efforts, reduce the school's existing operating deficit, and establish a Sir Wilfred Grenfell Secretariat to support the school as it implements key priority areas for growth. NL News Release | MUN News Release

Ontario college faculty to hold strike vote

On January 13, full-time faculty at Ontario's 24 colleges will vote on whether or not they favour a strike. The Ontario Public Services Employees' Union, which represents 9,000 faculty members, says management's decision to break off negotiations has left the union with no choice but to organize a strike vote. "Their refusal to bargain is forcing a needless disruption of the students' studies." Ontario's College Compensation and Appointments Council states that given the current economic climate, OPSEU's settlement position continues to be unaffordable, and that its proposals "significantly impact on the delivery of academic programs and college governance." Thousands of students concerned about a potential strike have turned to Facebook to oppose strike action. One Facebook group titled "Ontario College Students Against A Strike" has over 17,700 members. The possibility of a strike has some Second Career program registrants likening the situation to another layoff. College Compensation and Appointments Council News Release | OPSEU News Release | Canadian Press | Metro News | "Ontario Students Against A Strike" Facebook Group

Ontario MTCU fines unregistered music college in Toronto

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities has levied a fine of at least $36,000 on the Toronto School of Music, an unregistered college that has also been ordered to cease advertising unapproved vocational programs and issue refunds to students who were registered in those programs. As of December 4, the school has been fined $2,000 per day for every day it continues to advertise its vocational programs on its website. The college's founder says he is trying to register his school and insist there are no students currently enrolled in vocational programs. The founder says he has no plans to refund tuition to past graduates. The fines are part of new measures the MTCU introduced 2 months ago to crack down on rogue private career colleges. Toronto Star

uWindsor to discuss future of medical school following resignations

University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman plans to meet with the "principal partners" of the institution's medical school -- a satellite program of the University of Western Ontario's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry -- to discuss the school's future following the recent resignations of the program's associate and assistant deans. The resignation of the associate dean in particular upset faculty members, who wrote to the school's directors at UWO to say their acceptance of the resignation left faculty "with a mistrust of leadership from London and...has hurt our relationship and willingness to communicate." The recent developments have some calling for a stand-alone medical school in Windsor. Windsor Star | CBC

uCalgary cuts gifted children programs

In a letter posted online last month, the University of Calgary's education faculty announced that due to the market downturn's effect on the endowment fund that supports the Centre for Gifted Education, the university would not renew the contract of the centre's acting director, who was providing free counselling to parents and gifted elementary and high school students. The former director will continue to offer counselling on a fee-for-service basis. The centre's summer camps and Saturday programs have also been discontinued. The centre's resource library will remain open. The education faculty is pursuing fundraising opportunities for the centre to attract a research chair in gifted education. Read the letter | Calgary Herald

CFI distributes $59 million for research projects, infrastructure

Last month, the Canada Foundation for Innovation announced over $59 million in support for 262 projects at 40 research institutions across the country. The funding includes nearly $45.7 million awarded under the Leaders Opportunity Fund, and another $13.7 million awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program meant to contribute to the rising operating and maintenance costs of infrastructure projects funded by the CFI. CFI News Release

uLethbridge appoints new president

The University of Lethbridge announced last month that Dr. Michael Mahon has been named the new president of the institution, effective July 1. A graduate of the Universities of Manitoba, Alberta, and North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mahon began his academic career at the University of Manitoba, and currently serves as the dean of uAlberta's physical education and recreation faculty. uLethbridge News Release | Lethbridge Herald

Sheridan breaks ground for Mississauga campus

Last month, Sheridan College held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $46-million campus in Mississauga's city centre, where over 1,700 students will attend classes when the campus opens in fall 2011. The 150,000-square-foot campus will accommodate 1,200 business students, as well as 560 spaces for new Canadians being retrained to enter the labour market. Once the second phase of the campus is built after 2011, potential student enrolment could total 5,000. Sheridan News Release | Mississauga News

Ottawa rejects funding for Brantford campuses' recreation complex project

Although the federal government turned down an application for $15 million in stimulus funding for a sports and recreation complex proposed for downtown Brantford, the local YMCA and its post-secondary partners -- Wilfrid Laurier University, Nipissing University, and Mohawk College -- plan to move forward with the project, exploring alternative funding sources. One option would be for WLU to hold a student referendum on introducing a fee to support the construction of the complex. The university is awaiting word on a $500,000 grant through FedDev Ontario that would cover the project's planning costs. Brantford Expositor

Domestic enrolment in math, information sciences declines

In an analysis of trends in university graduation between 1992 and 2007, Statistics Canada found that only one field of study saw a decrease in the female share of graduates in this time period -- mathematics, computer sciences, and information sciences. Also, the proportion of graduates from this field accounted for by Canadian males has been on the decline since 2004. These decreases have been offset by increases in the number of foreign students, especially males, graduating in math and computer and information sciences. Statistics Canada