Top Ten

February 24, 2010

uMontréal lecturers go on strike

Close to 2,500 Université de Montréal lecturers walked off the job yesterday afternoon, nearly 6 months after their contract expired. While the instructors had been staging a series of half-day walkouts, their union says the slow pace of contract talks have given them no choice but to hold a general unlimited strike. About 20% of classes will be affected by the strike, mostly impacting arts and science students, the education department, and evening courses for mature students. Any exams that were to be given by the striking instructors will be cancelled. CSN News Release (in French) | CTV

Postscript:  Mar 11, 2010
Negotiations resumed Monday between the Université de Montréal and the union representing 2,400 lecturers who have been on strike since February 24. Additional sessions were scheduled for yesterday and today in a bid to reach a settlement before cancelled classes and missed exams require uMontréal to extend the winter term for certain courses. uMontréal News (in French) | Montreal Gazette

No faculty strike at Ontario colleges

Faculty at Ontario's 24 colleges will not go on strike after the Ontario Labour Relations Board confirmed yesterday that a 51.45% majority accepted management's final offer in a province-wide vote 2 weeks ago. As a result, the offer becomes the new collective agreement for faculty for the next 3 years. OPSEU News Release | Ontario College Compensation and Appointments Council News Release

Reaction to Quebec university funding pact

Reaction from student groups, politicians, university heads, unions, and the media has been swift following the release Tuesday of the "Pact for the Competitve Funding of Our Universities," which advocates higher tuition fees. The Canadian Federation of Students says the report's recommendations would lead to skyrocketing debt for Quebec students, and the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec finds the ideas and solutions listed in the pact completely ill-conceived. Quebec's education and finance ministers state that education has always been a priority for the province, and the values outlined in the pact must remain the basis for decisions regarding university financing. The Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities, for whom the issue of university underfunding is a major concern, says the pact's suggestions include complex items warranting attentive examination. The Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec says the pact proposes an elitist, North American model far removed for Quebec's values of fairness. A freelance column in yesterday's Montreal Gazette argues that students can and should pay more for their education. CFS News Release | FECQ News Release (in French) | Quebec News Release (in French) | CREPUQ News Release | FNEEQ News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette

Selkirk College anticipates cuts to capital allowance

After clearing a 3-year debt in its operating budget last year, BC-based Selkirk College could be sent back into the red due to cutbacks expected in the province's next budget, to be announced Tuesday. The college's annual capital allowance is expected to be cut by 74%, reducing it from $1.4 million to $368,000. "There are many routine things, like putting fresh paint on the wall, that just won't happen this year," says the school's president. Selkirk is working to put aside contingency funds to use for emergency maintenance that may be required throughout the year. The College of New Caledonia and Northwest Community College have already been told their capital allowances will be reduced. Castlegar News

Brock to discipline students implicated in home invasion

Condemning a recent home invasion and assault in south St. Catharines, Brock University vows to take disciplinary actions should any of its students be found responsible for the incident. A university spokesman says depending on the severity of an off-campus offence, penalties could range from limited campus access to expulsion. The university and its student union are encouraging students to contact regional police if they know anything about the incident, in which a family alleges a group of students barged into their home and attacked a man after they were told to be quiet. St. Catharines Standard

$7 million for research at UoGuelph

The University of Guelph announced yesterday it has received over $7.2 million from the Ontario government to support 2 projects led by university researchers. The funding will support the creation of new bean varieties, and the engineering of new products from non-food crops for use in the manufacturing, automotive, and packaging sectors. The funding is part of a $69.5-million provincial investment for 21 projects involving 214 researchers across Ontario. UoGuelph News Release

Globe publishes "Colleges Spring 2010" report

On Tuesday, the Globe and Mail ran a special section on Canadian colleges. One article profiles 4 students studying business at NSCC, George Brown College, Cambrian College, and Okanagan College. Programs offered at many colleges across the country are helping immigrants bridge the credential gap. Instructors and deans say a passion for teaching and expertise make for a great college teacher. The Globe offers a taste of unique college programs, such as BCIT's prosthetics and orthotics diploma and Niagara College's brewmaster and brewery operations management program. The report also includes a feature on research projects at SAIT, NSCC, and Yukon College.

New George Brown College campus "animating" Toronto waterfront

In an interview with the National Post, the president of Toronto's George Brown College discusses the school's $100-million waterfront campus, set for completion in fall 2011. "It's finally animating the waterfront, taking 5,000 students down there," says Anne Sado, who promises the campus "will be an open, vibrant learning environment with lots of light." The first building will house the college's nursing, dental, health and wellness, and gerontology programs. George Brown hopes to talk to the city about teaming up to design the second building, which will house a gym and, potentially, a community centre. National Post

Future of FNUC art collection uncertain

With the First Nations University of Canada poised to lose over $12 million in annual funding from the Saskatchewan and federal governments, and with governance reforms on the horizon, the fate of the university's $1.2-million art collection is in jeopardy. "It would be tragic if it should come up on some auction block," says the collection's curator. If FNUC has to close its doors or continue under new "ownership," the curator says he'll try to repatriate the art collection to the main campus in Regina. The collection contains about 1,500 paintings, beadwork and other items, much of it spread across Saskatchewan on loan to FNUC's other campuses, in government offices, at the provincial legislature, and in other locations. Regina Leader-Post

Dal unveils redesigned homepage

On Tuesday, Dalhousie University launched a new-look homepage, changes to which are "temporary improvements as part of a much larger and more ambitious process." Dominating the tweaked homepage is a rotating graphic banner linking to the university's "Discover the Unexpected" recruitment portal. Visitors to the homepage can access a virtual campus tour and an "at-a-glance" slideshow. The homepage features links to Dal's presence on various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to the homepage are encouraged to provide feedback on the minor makeover. Dal News | Dal website