Top Ten

January 18, 2010

CÉGEP instructor, founding UQAM professor among dead in Haiti earthquake

2 Quebec professors are among the casualties of last week's earthquake in Haiti. Denis Bellavance, a Cégep de Drummondville computer science professor, was lecturing at a university in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. Students who survived the building's collapse managed to retrieve Bellavance's body and those of 60 students. Georges Anglade, a retired geography professor who helped set up the Université du Québec à Montréal, and his wife died in the quake when the house they were in collapsed on top of them. Quebec universities will observe a moment of silence this afternoon in memory of the earthquake's vicitms. UQAM News (in French) | Montreal Gazette | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)| CREPUQ News Release

York grad pleads guilty to on-campus sexual assaults

Daniel Katsnelson, a former York University student, pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually assaulting 2 female students in a York residence in September 2007. According to an agreed statement of facts, after a night of drinking, Katsnelson and his friend Justin Connort, who both graduated from York in 2006, ended up at the university's Vanier residence and entered the building, "hoping to get lucky." The court heard that Katsnelson had intercourse with 2 young female students without their consent. Kastnelson is scheduled to be sentenced March 26. Connort pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Toronto Star | National Post

Lack of co-ordinated funding hindering Arctic research

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Nature, University of Alberta earth scientist John England states that a lack of co-ordination in Artic research funding in Canada is leaving researchers without the support needed for fieldwork. England points out that funding for travel and support from the Polar Continental Shelf Program is not distributed in partnership with money from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. "So researchers with grant money in their pockets, and government affirmation that their research is important, often can't afford to pay for their fieldwork." England writes that the underlying problem is a lack of a national polar policy, which would "commit Canada to clear objectives and better co-ordinate research activities." Nature | CanWest News Service | CBC

Construction launched for NBCC campus in Fredericton

Construction has started on the new Fredericton campus of the New Brunswick Community College. To be located at the University of New Brunswick, the $15-million facility will accommodate programs in health, business administration, information technology, engineering technology, and social services. Meanwhile, construction will soon begin on Phase 2 of the Centre of Excellence for Energy and Construction at the Saint John community college campus. The $25-million facility will house a variety of engineering technology programs. Both projects are slated for completion in spring 2011. NB News Release

Ottawa, Manitoba invest $7 million in uWinnipeg's CREATE project

The federal and Manitoba governments are investing a total of $7 million towards 34 research and teaching labs as part of the new UWin CREATE -- the University of Winnipeg Commercialization Research and Education Alliance for Science, Technology and the Environment. In a boost to UWin CREATE's research and teaching capabilities, Cisco Systems Inc. is providing a $2-million endowment to the institution for the Cisco Chair for Collaborative Technologies. The company is also donating a 2-endpoint Cisco TelePresence virtual meeting system to uWinnipeg, to be used for distance education and for researchers to collaborate across Canada and around the world. Manitoba News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

$4 million for uRegina CO2 storage research centre

The federal government announced last Friday a $4-million grant to the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2, which is based at the University of Regina. The centre will use the funds to purchase equipment and undertake activities to become fully operational. The centre was launched in November 2008 with a $10-million investment from the Saskatchewan government and Royal Dutch Shell. Western Economic Diversification Canada News Release | Regina Leader-Post

ACAD president to step down

Alberta College of Art + Design president Lance Carlson announced his resignation last Wednesday after serving as the head of the institution for 6 years. His resignation, which comes into effect June 30, came as a surprise to ACAD's board of governors, whose members are "very sorry he is leaving." While many praise the way Carlson has raised ACAD's profile, discontent has built among faculty, who voted no-confidence in Carlson's leadership last spring. Calgary Herald

Demand grows for spots at Ontario universities

According to figures released yesterday by the Council of Ontario Universities, the number of high school applicants to provincial universities rose 2.7% to 86,542 from 84,300 last year, and the number of university choices jumped 2.1% to 375,278 from 367,739 in 2009. There has been a 42.6% increase in applicants since 2000. Non-secondary school applicants (mature, returning, transfer, out-of-province, and international students) are also tracking 2.7% higher, and could represent over 45,000 applicants by the end of the application cycle in September. COU News Release

Applications up 23% at Sault College

We're especially pleased to report that Academica Group client Sault College has seen applications for next year rise 23%. The rise in applications follows a turnaround in the fall that saw the institution go from stagnant enrolment to an increase of over 400 students. The application surge is being attributed to the momentum the college has generated across Ontario for some of its niche programs, such as aviation and adventure recreation. Another reason cited for the increase is the launch of 10 new programs in the fall. Sault Star

uWindsor students decry parking lot closure

The closure of a 400-car parking lot at the University of Windsor in order to bring in construction materials for the new engineering building has resulted in complaints from students having difficulty finding a spot on campus. A uWindsor spokeswoman says there's still parking to be found, particularly at the farthest reaches of campus; however, one student says those far-flung lots are unacceptable. "Are they expecting us to walk 20 or 25 minutes to campus?" Some students have suggested the university open the usually half-full faculty lots to students to alleviate the crunch, but they cannot be used by students, says the spokeswoman, as faculty come and go throughout the day. Windsor Star