Top Ten

March 9, 2010

2 dead in shooting at Ohio State U

Early yesterday morning, an Ohio State University employee fatally shot a co-worker and wounded another before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot. In a statement yesterday, Ohio State U reported that at no time were any students in danger, and classes and work schedules would go ahead as usual. The incident follows recent shootings at Northern Illinois University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Ohio State U News Release | Update on Campus Shooting | Associated Press

Saskatchewan to investigate "unacceptable" use of FNUC scholarship fund

Saskatchewan's advanced education minister has asked the province's justice department to investigate what he calls the "unacceptable" use of a $390,000 scholarship fund at the First Nations University of Canada. The school's recently-appointed chief operating officer alerted the province that he had discovered the previous university administration used the fund, now standing at $15,000, to pay day-to-day bills, with the fund later replenished with future cash flows. The COO has asked the government for $100,000 to replenish the fund, but the minister says that won't happen at this point. "We have to get to the bottom of this before we talk about dollars." Regina Leader-Post | CBC

Mixed reaction to PSE commitments in Ontario throne speech

In response to Ontario's throne speech Monday, Colleges Ontario welcomes the province's commitment to produce more university and college graduates, stating that "the government clearly recognizes the demand for post-secondary education and training continues to grow." The Council of Ontario Universities says its institutions are up to the task of tackling the province's ambitious goals of increasing domestic and foreign enrolments and developing an online university, and look forward to working with the government on these goals. Not all are pleased with the throne speech. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations argues the plan to add 20,000 PSE spaces will harm the quality of education unless it is matched with increased operating funding for new faculty hiring and student support provision. The Canadian Federation of Students echoes OCUFA's sentiment, expressing disappointment that the throne speech made no commitment to address underfunding of provincial institutions. Colleges Ontario News Release | COU News Release | OCUFA News Release | CFS News Release

College students struggling with math at risk for not graduating, study finds

According to findings released yesterday by the Seneca College-led College Mathematics Project, a third of students in first-semester math courses are at risk of not completing their chosen program, as math is the basis for many fields, particularly business and technology. The study observes that success in college math is affected by course selection in secondary school, math learning before and in college, and the age and sex of students. The report recommends school and college instructors teach math in a practical and applicable way, and that all levels of education integrate "learning skills" to better prepare students for higher levels of education. Seneca News Release | College Mathematics Project

Massive scholarship program drawing more Saudi students to Canada

A front-page story in Saturday's Globe and Mail reports that in the space of 2 years, Canada has become the third most popular destination for students from Saudi Arabia, following Britain and the US. Approximately 10,000 Saudi students are studying at Canadian institutions, and between 2,200 and 3,000 new students are expected to come here at the end of the month. Driving the influx of these students is Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Scholarship Program, introduced to Canada in 2007. The program foots the bill for about 62,000 students to attend foreign institutions, providing tuition, health insurance, a monthly salary to cover expenses, and one return trip to Saudi Arabia each year. Globe and Mail

Globe runs "Report on Campus Research"

Yesterday the Globe and Mail published an 8-page section on research at Canadian post-secondary institutions. Despite the billions spent annually on university research, the challenge remains to turn discoveries into commercial products. Awarding the lion's share of research funding to the "Big 5" universities would be a "natural disaster," writes Brock University president Jack Lightstone, who argues that Canada needs more of its universities increasingly engaged in research and graduate studies. Jennifer Gardy, the "Nerd Girl" blogger for GlobeCampus, muses on the highs and lows of graduate research. Social science and humanities research does not get its fair share of credit for its economic and societal contributions. The section profiles 5 researchers making a name for themselves in new and emerging fields. Humber College's dean of research discusses the crucial role colleges and polytechnics play in innovation. The special report includes articles on solar research and rapid prototyping, also known as 3D printing

uWaterloo to house $34-million diabetes research network

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada announced Monday that the University of Waterloo, in alliance with McMaster University, will serve as the centre for the foundation's clinical trial network. The federal government has pledged $20 million to support the launch of the network, and the foundation is contributing nearly $14 million. uWaterloo's expertise in computer science and data management will be the backbone of the network, while McMaster will offer its experience in clinical trials. JDRF News Release | Waterloo Region Record

uAlberta student paper accused of making racist jokes in election piece

The Gateway, a student paper at the University of Alberta, is considering issuing an apology after some students complained about an election-day humour piece criticizing campaign posters that referred to the "brown guy in this election" and labelled one candidate a "love interest in a Bollywood blockbuster." One student wrote to the paper that "just because racist jokes are meant in jest doesn't mean it's appropriate." One candidate says the paper was "pretty critical, pretty rude," but doesn't think the piece was meant to be racist, unlike what happened in the University of Calgary student election, where some posters were marked with racist graffiti. Edmonton Journal | Poster Slam

Construction begins for new CTRC Humboldt facility

A sod-turning ceremony was held yesterday in Humboldt, Saskatchewan for a new school facility that will house Grades 9 through 12 and Carlton Trail Regional College, and will be connected to the Humboldt Uniplex, which includes a hockey arena, curling rink, and aquatic centre. Saskatchewan's advanced education minister says the new Humboldt Collegiate Institute will allow CTRC to offer more post-secondary training opportunities to students. The facility, which has received $18.5 million in provincial and federal funding, is expected to be completed next year. Saskatchewan News Release

uRegina embarks on new master plan

The University of Regina is developing a new master plan to guide campus development during the next 5 years and beyond. Proposals could include an addition to the Education Building, an extension of the Library Building, and more on-campus residences. uRegina began collecting ideas last night at an on-campus forum. The target for completion of the plan is this December, with implementation to begin in 2011. uRegina News Release | Regina Leader-Post