Top Ten

January 19, 2010

uManitoba shuts down on-campus fight club

The University of Manitoba has disbanded a fight club running in a third-floor squash court in the school's Frank Kennedy Centre. Late last year, a gym member notified recreation staff about seeing a man exiting the court with a bloody face. In its investigation, uManitoba uncovered a Facebook group with 87 members discussing fights at the centre. At least one consensual fight occurred, and there may have been others, possibly with spectators. 4 students and a casual staff member of the recreation centre were suspended from the facility for a month, while the other Facebook group members were found not to be participants. The Facebook group page has since been removed. uManitoba has increased security and monitoring to prevent further organized fights. Winnipeg Free Press | Winnipeg Sun | CBC

UBC-O awarded injunction in private road dispute

Access to the University of British Columbia's  Okanagan campus via Curtis Road has been restored after the university obtained a court order last week to remove a gate constructed by 2 property owners along Curtis Road that blocked bicycle and pedestrian access to the back of the campus. The court also granted a permanent injunction against the land owners, preventing them from blocking or otherwise obstructing the university's access over Curtis Road where the gate was located. UBC-O states the gate construction violated the terms of a right of way put in place many years ago to preserve and protect access for all property owners along Curtis Road and their invitees. UBC-O Public Affairs |

Enhanced recruitment efforts pay off for smaller Ontario universities

With its local high-school population dwindling, Laurentian University "had to improve the way we got our story out." The small, Sudbury-based institution boosted its recruitment efforts, blitzing high schools and introducing new scholarships. It appears Laurentian's efforts are starting to pay off, as figures released Monday show a 12.5% increase in applications among secondary students to the university. At Trent University, also a small institution, applications are up almost 15%, the largest increase among Ontario universities. After tough years of budget and enrolment shortfalls, Trent sought assistance from US recruitment experts. The university focused outreach efforts on mid-sized centres like Barrie and Newmarket, launched scholarships to attract top students, and adopted other strategies its vice-president of research says he can't talk about. Globe and Mail | OUAC Preliminary Stats (by university) | OUAC Preliminary Stats (by program)

Ontario TCU minister highlights results of "Reaching Higher" plan

Speaking at the Canadian Club in Toronto Monday, Ontario Training, Colleges, and Universities Minister John Milloy outlined the results of "Reaching Higher," a 5-year, $6.2-million plan introduced in 2005 to transform the province's PSE sector. There are 100,000 more students in Ontario's PSE system since "Reaching Higher" was launched. The number of graduate students has risen by 48% in the last 5 years, and today there are 120,000 apprentices training in the province, double the proportion when the McGuinty government took office. Since the plan's inception, Ontario has increased the amount of student financial support by 250%. Operating funding to universities and college has risen by $1.7 billion. Read the speaking notes

3 cases of E. coli reported at WLU

Wilfrid Laurier University reports there are 3 confired cases of E. coli-related illness involving members of its Waterloo campus community. Local public health officials have not yet determine whether the transmission of E. coli happened on campus. An inspection of WLU's food services kitchens uncovered no violations of food-safety practices or regulations, and public health officials confirm it is appropriate for the school to continue with its food service operations. The 3 affected individuals were treated at a local hospital and released, and each is recovering at home. WLU News Release

Lethbridge College eligible to receive NSERC funding

Lethbridge College has been approved to receive funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Researchers, students, and faculty at the college can apply to the Idea to Innovation program, and as co-applicants in collaboration with university faculty on research project grant programs. The college will also be eligible for institutional programs such as the College and Community Innovation program. BC-based Douglas College was recently awarded NSERC funding eligibility. Lethbridge College News Release

NL expands Graduate Employment Program

As part of its youth retention and attraction strategy, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is increasing funding for the Graduate Employment Program by over $2 million during the next 3 years, including $200,000 to expand the program for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The additional funds will boost the number of GEP placements available to youth by approximately 50%. The program is designed to help recent PSE graduates obtain valuable work experience as they enter the labour market to begin their careers. NL News Release

uMontréal optometry school celebrates centenary

This year, the Université de Montréal School of Optometry celebrates its 100th anniversary. The school is the first optometric institution in North America to have earned university status, the only French-language optometry school in Canada, and the only institution of its kind in the French-speaking world to offer a PhD program. Since its creation in 1910, the optometry school has graduated nearly 2,100 vision professionals. uMontréal has set up a microsite in honour of the school's centenary. uMontréal News Release | Visit the microsite (in French)

Education fundraisers in US predict 4% hike in giving

According to the CASE Fundraising Index (CFI), fundraisers for American schools, colleges, and universities predict that giving will increase 3.7% in 2010. The CFI results suggest that fundraisers at private schools and colleges are generally more optimistic about the 2010 than their peers at public institutions, which CASE's president says is because private institutions benefit from long traditions of support from their donors. For 2009, the CFI estimates that giving dropped 0.8% from the year before. CASE News Release

Yale recruitment video a "campy musical extravaganza"

Last Thursday, Yale University held a screening for its new promotion video, titled "That's Why I Chose Yale." The 15-minute video, produced in-house, begins with an admissions officer briefing would-be applicants and their families, and a question from a student prompts the officer -- and scores of students, faculty, and staff -- to break out into song and dance to tout Yale's student life and academics. Over 200 members of the Yale community took part in the video, which the school's admissions dean describes as a "campy musical extravaganza that also manages to convey the real spirit of the students and the place." The video received positive feedback at last week's screening, with some students liking that it displays a playful side of Yale. The video will be shown to campus visitors at information sessions and tours at the school's admissions office. Yale Daily News | Inside Higher Ed | Watch the video