Top Ten

February 5, 2010

FSIN dissolves FNUC board, puts senior staff on leave

At a closed-door assembly last Thursday, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations voted to dissolve the board of the First Nations University of Canada. A resolution approved at the assembly calls for the creation of an interim board of "non-political First Nations academic professionals." The board's first order of business would be to place FNUC senior administration on leave pending the results of an audit into allegations raised by the school's former CFO, who is suing the university for wrongful dismissal. The Saskatchewan government has decided to cut over $5 million in funding from FNUC due to a loss of confidence in the school's governance. Regina Leader-Post

Ontario universities continue to face major financial challenges, WLU president says

While the economy is showing signs of improvement, fundamental challenges remain in Ontario's PSE system, says Wilfrid Laurier University president Max Blouw. At WLU, budget managers across all academic and administrative departments have been directed to reduce costs or increase revenue by 1.5%. Managers must also submit plans to cut their budgets by nearly 6% in 2011-12. Last year, the university directed departments to trim budgets by 5%. WLU is working with the Council of Ontario Universities to address funding issues with the province. A pre-budget submission from WLU to the government highlights 2 key issues affecting most Ontario universities: structural deficits and pension pressures. WLU News Release | Read the pre-budget submission

SSHRC distributes $20 million for community-university projects

The federal government announced last Thursday funding of up to $1 million each over 6 years under the Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) grants, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, for 20 large-scale research projects. Among the largest offered by SSHRC, CURA grants support joint projects between researchers based at post-secondary institutions and community-based organizations. SSHRC News Release

Canadian youth make gains in labour market

Employment gains in January were driven in part by young people, according to Statistics Canada figures released Friday. Employment for individuals ages 15 to 24 increased by 29,000, pushing the unemployment rate down from 16% to 15.1%. This is the first notable employment gain among youth since the beginning of the downturn in fall 2008. Youth in BC made the most gains with a 1.2% increase in their employment rate, while Saskatchewan recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 62.8%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

UWO seeks to boost international-student enrolment

At a recent meeting, the University of Western Ontario's board of governors approved amendments to the institution's first-year enrolment target, as UWO wants up to 100 additional foreign students to increase diversification in the classroom. In recent years, the number of first-year students at the university has been nearly all domestic students and a small handful of international students. Of the 4,450 first-year students UWO plans to attract for 2010-11, the university is aiming for 220 foreign students. UWO plans to boost international recruitment and provide scholarships to attract the best foreign students. Western News

MUN task force releases report on Aboriginal-student recruitment

A Memorial University task force charged with examining methods of enhancing the recruitment and success of Aboriginal students recently submitted a comprehensive report to the university's president. The report includes 22 recommendations describing initiatives under 4 thematic issues: encouraging high-school completion by Aboriginal people; success at university through on-campus support; appropriate educational programming; and co-ordination of MUN's existing Aboriginal expertise. MUN News | Read the report

Red River College names interim president

Red River College announced last week that Cathy Rushton has assumed the role of institution's interim president and CEO, succeeding Jeff Zabudsky, who is now president of Sheridan College. A graduate of the Universities of Toronto and Manitoba, Rushton has been the college's chief financial officer since 1995, overseeing the school's annual budgeting process and managing several college departments. Red River College News

Enrolment up nearly 6% at Okanagan College

Okanagan College reports that January enrolment figures show approximately 5.7% more students attending the school's campuses than in January 2009. Students are also taking more courses this term, with registrations up 10.8% overall from the year before. The college's Vernon campus experienced the largest percentage growth, with 15.6% more students compared to 2009. In terms of course registrations, the Penticton and Salmon Arm campuses recorded the largest growth -- 19.1% and 17.4%, respectively. Okanagan College News Release

Proposed reform of UBC education program focuses on social justice, diversity

Social justice and diversity issues would become dominant themes in every course offered by the University of British Columbia's education faculty should a major program overhaul be approved. The proposed reform would ensure students wanting to become teachers are better prepared to work with ESL, special-needs, and Aboriginal students. There would also be a mandatory French course for those hoping to teach at the elementary level, where teachers must now deliver French lesson in intermediate grades, even when they have no training. If the university's senate approves the redesign, the associate education dean does not expect changes to take effect before 2012. Vancouver Sun

Nipissing marketing campaign encourages road trips to campus

In a bid to raise its profile among high school students, Nipissing University unveiled Friday a new marketing initiative called the "Road Trip Challenge." Through an interactive website, students can go on a virtual road trip to Nipissing's North Bay campus. Students can use the site to invite their friends to go on an actual trip to Nipissing for 3 open house events in March. Each invitation counts as an entry into a draw for an Apple MacBook. The campaign site includes an "Ask a Student" section, an "Alternative Road Trip" to various locations, and a photo gallery of Nipissing's campuses, residences, and the City of North Bay. Nipissing News Release | Road Trip Challenge