Top Ten

March 5, 2010

Mixed reaction to PSE, research investment in federal budget

While many organizations, such as AUCC, ACCC, and Polytechnics Canada, welcome the latest federal budget's measures to grow research and innovation in the country, some argue the investments are insufficient. CAUT is disappointed to see just $32 million go to tri-council budgets, which executive director James Turk says doesn't begin to make up for last year's cuts. CAUT also states the budget provides no new support for institutions to deal with increasing enrolment, and no relief for students struggling with high debt loads and tuition fees. The CFS echoes this sentiment, and also criticizes the budget for failing to address the PSE participation gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. CFHSS News Release | AUCC News Release | ACCC News Release | CREPUQ News Release | COU News Release | Polytechnics Canada News Release | CAUT News Release | CFS News Release (Aboriginal students) | CFS News Release (Innovation) | CFS News Release (PSE underfunding) | CASA News Release | University of Toronto Post-doctoral Association News Release

uManitoba asked to reconsider allowing Israeli Apartheid Week events

In a letter sent last month, B'nai Brith Canada asked the University of Manitoba to reconsider its decision to allow Israeli Apartheid Week events on campus this week. Speaking at a news conference last Thursday, the Jewish organization's senior legal counsel stated the events have spread misinformation and hatred on campuses in other cities, and should be banned from universities in Winnipeg. The IAW events will go on as planned, uManitoba president David Barnard wrote in response, stating that the university is committed to a respectful work and learning environment that includes academic freedom of thought and expression. Winnipeg Free Press | Winnipeg Sun

$8 million for NWRC student housing development

The federal and Saskatchewan governments announced last week a joint $8.4-million investment in North West Regional College's $9.2-million student housing project, which received approval from Meadow Lake city council in January. The project will see 3 townhouses built to accommodate 94 students and family members in 40 furnished, individual suites. Construction begins next month. WEDC News Release | Meadow Lake Progress

McMaster releases new president's contract

McMaster University has posted online the 5-year contract of incoming president Patrick Deane, who begins his term on July 1. Deane will receive an annual salary of $340,000 with a maximum 15% performance bonus (compared to $524,000 for current president Peter George). Perks include a $10,000 annual car allowance, up to 6 weeks of vacation time, and paid membership at the Hamilton Club. The contract does not include any form of post-retirement benefits or access to McMaster's contributory pension plan, both of which are proving difficult to maintain as the university faces a financial crunch. The public posting of the contract is part of McMaster's ongoing move towards greater transparency. The university released George's contract in 2008 following a 2-year battle with the Hamilton Spectator over a freedom-of-information request. Hamilton Spectator | Read Deane's contract

uWindsor investigates suspected cheating on mid-term exam

The University of Windsor's academic integrity office is probing a possible case of cheating on a mid-term psychology test that may result in over 1,000 students having to rewrite the exam. The office will determine whether or not questions used on the exam were distributed before the test was administered. An e-mail sent to students states evidence suggests a test bank was compromised, therefore exam results are deemed invalid and students must retake the test. Windsor Star | CBC

Cambrian shelves broadcast new media program

Late last month, Cambrian College's board of governors decided to suspend the school's broadcast new media program due to declining enrolment. The college may resurrect the post-graduate program should there be renewed interest in the community. Students currently enrolled in the program will not be affected. Northern Life

MacEwan students, staff challenge pool closure

Some Grant MacEwan University students have launched a campaign urging the institution to reverse its decision to close its pool in favour of an expanded fitness centre. One student is organizing rallies and a poster campaign, while another is starting a petition to keep to the pool open. A Facebook group dedicated to the cause yielded over 750 members within 24 hours of its creation. In a letter to MacEwan's public-relations department, one university employee described the pool's removal as "an active deterrent to fitness." Edmonton Journal | "Save the Grant MacEwan Pool" Facebook Group

UVic pro-life group protests club status revocation

Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life club at the University of Victoria, took to campus grounds last Tuesday to protest the UVic students' society's recent decision to revoke the group's club status. YPY's president says the society is acting in a discriminatory matter by denying the group resources just because it may hold a view some may see as unpopular. The student government cited 35 harassment complaints directed at YPY as the reason to revoke the group's status until the definition of "harassment" and other policies are clarified. Saanich News

Laurentian graduate TAs join CUPE

Graduate teaching assistants at Laurentian University recently voted to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The 233 graduate TAs will join the union's growing family at the university. CUPE already represents 20 sessional instructors at Thorneloe College, an affiliate of Laurentian, and 60 food service workers at the university. CUPE News Release

NAIT, SAIT listed among Alberta's best workplaces

The Northern and Southern Alberta Institutes of Technology have been recognized by Alberta Venture magazine as 2 of the province's best workplaces. NAIT was chosen as the best workplace for working parents, while SAIT was selected as the best workplace for benefits. Both institutions were finalists in the best overall workplace category. SAIT News Release | Alberta Venture