Top Ten

January 6, 2010

uAlberta offers voluntary retirement packages to trim budget shortfall

In an effort to reduce its anticipated $59-million shortfall, the University of Alberta is offering early retirement packages to experienced employees. According to an e-mail sent to university employees last month, the offer is being made to all workers who will be 55 or older as of July 31 and who have at least 10 years of steady employment at uAlberta. Other options the institution is exploring to reduce the shortfall are student fees increases, furlough days, and salary reductions. Edmonton Journal

uVic reviews hiring practices following fraud charge against former prof

The University of Victoria is reviewing its hiring practices after a former assistant adjunct professor was arrested last week and charged with fraud. Jason Matthew Walker, who taught 3 undergraduate courses and one graduate course in uVic's School of Child and Youth Care in 2006, is accused of falsely claiming to hold 2 doctoral degrees. The university's associate vice-president of faculty relations says the school is "very concerned" by the allegations against Walker, whose case has "raised our awareness to the dangers and the possibilities that somebody is misrepresenting their credentials." Victoria Times-Colonist

Report card gives Canada a "D" for PhD production

In its report How Canada Performs: A Report Card in Canada, the Conference Board of Canada awarded the country an "A" in education and skills, up from a "B" in 2008. In comparison to 16 other developed nations, Canada came in second to Finland in overall education and skills outcomes. However, Canada ranked last in terms of educating and graduating doctoral students, earning a "D" in this category. The report card states Canada will remain a "D" player in this area for some time, and offers Canada's failure to fund world-class universities as one explanation for the country's comparative weaknesses in high-level academic achievement. Conference Board of Canada News Release | Globe and Mail | Read the report card

uWaterloo, WLU anticipate surge in applications from immigrant children in GTA

Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are both bracing for a surge in applications from children of immigrants living in Toronto or the surrounding area. Registrars say the anticipated demand is related to the fact that immigrants to Canada overwhelmingly choose to settle in Toronto. Statistics show that in 2006, immigrants settling in Toronto were most likely to come from India or China, and these immigrants are more likely to have children attend university. Registrars say the Ontario government will have to find more funding for universities to expand to meet demand, or it will become more difficult to get into university. Waterloo Region Record

McGill earth and planetary sciences department awarded $4-million gift

McGill University has received a $4.1-million donation from alumnus Robert Wares and his company, Osisko Mining Corporation, in support of students and junior faculty members in McGill's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The gift will be used to help the department attract and retain top junior faculty, and also fund scholarships, fellowships, and a field study support fund. Part of the donation will be matched by the McConnell Challenge Fund, launched in 2008 by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. McGill News Release

NB invests $1 million to help Aboriginal students pursue PSE

Yesterday the New Brunswick government announced it is investing over $1 million to help Aboriginal students pursue higher education. The funding will support the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal students at UNB; STU; the NBCC campuses in Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Woodstock; uMoncton; and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Initiatives funded by the investment include UNB hiring an Aboriginal recruiting officer and establishing a bachelor's degree in First Nations governance and management, and uMoncton undertaking an analysis of provincial francophone Aboriginal training and learning needs. NB News Release

CBU to set up ESL course for struggling foreign students

Cape Breton University is forming a partnership with a private school to offer an ESL course to the university's international students to help them hone their English writing skills. While foreign students must pass language requirements to enter CBU, says university president John Harker, many still find it difficult to write in English in the way professors expect. Classes for the year-long ESL course will be held on CBU's campus, until a separate school in downtown Sydney is established. CBC

Brandon U to eliminate sale of bottled water on campus

Last month, Brandon University president Deborah Poff signed a Water Pledge committing the institution to eliminate the distribution and sale of bottled water on campus. Through the pledge, Brandon U has committed to upgrade existing water fountains and install new fountains and fill stations. Brandon U is the third university in Canada to officially commit to phasing out bottled water, following the University of Winnipeg and Memorial University. Brandon U News Release

NSCC among Canada's 50 best employers

Nova Scotia Community College has been chosen as one of the 50 best employers in Canada for 2010 in a recent study conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing firm. NSCC is the first educational institution to ever make Hewitt's list, which has been around for 11 years. NSCC president Joan McArthur-Blair says the college is a "great place to work because we care about the work we do -- changing lives through education." NSCC News Release

Brescia launches new site

Last month, Brescia University College, an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario, unveiled a redesigned website. Brescia's new site incorporates elements of the institution's new brand, including the tagline "Choose to Lead." Featured prominently on the homepage is a profile on Elise Maiolino, a current student who says "Canada's women's university was everything I was searching for." The site encourages students, faculty, staff, and alumnae to submit pictures for posting in the school's Flickr gallery, and profiles on how they are choosing to lead. Brescia News Release | Brescia website