Top Ten

March 22, 2010

FNUC dismisses president, VP of finance

The First Nations University of Canada's new board of governors has dismissed the university's president and vice-president of finance and administration, who were among six senior administrators suspended last month when an interim board was put in place. The board's chairwoman says that since being established, the new board has been focusing on FNUC's financial security and sustainability, and addressing governance issues. Regina Leader-Post (president) | Regina Leader-Post (VP of finance)

uOttawa warns Ann Coulter to respect Canadian speech laws

In a letter sent to right-wing US pundit Ann Coulter, scheduled to give a talk at the University of Ottawa today, the institution's vice-president academic and provost advises her to review Canada's hate speech and defamation laws before her appearance at uOttawa. The letter asks Coulter "to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind" while as a guest on campus. uOttawa's student federation does not support Coulter speaking on campus -- its president barred a volunteer organizer from putting up posters promoting the upcoming appearance. Coulter spoke at the University of Western Ontario yesterday evening, and has a speaking engagement at the University of Calgary on Wednesday. National Post

Postscript: Mar 24, 2010
Speaking at the University of Western Ontario Monday night, right-wing US pundit Ann Coulter stated she was a victim of a "hate crime" following a letter from a University of Ottawa senior administrator asking that she use "restraint, respect and consideration" in her scheduled address at uOttawa. Coulter says the letter targeted her as a member of an identifiable group -- conservatives -- and as such, she plans to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission alleging hate speech. National Post

uMontréal to sell former convent to relieve debt

In light of its precarious fiscal situation, the Université de Montréal will sell the former convent Mount Jesus and Mary so it could be converted into condominiums. With an annual deficit of $15 million and a debt of $154 million, uMontréal says it would irresponsible to keep a facility where 85% of the area is unoccupied and costs more than $1 million every year to maintain, insure, and secure. In a statement, the university says "all avenues have been carefully considered and led to the same conclusion: the sale is the only sensible decision." QMI Agency

$6-million trades building for NSCC Marconi campus

The Nova Scotia government announced yesterday the construction of a new $6-million skilled trades building for the Nova Scotia Community College's Marconi campus in Sydney. The 2-storey facility, which will house 5 programs, including a new combined metal fabrication/welding program, will feature shop space, classrooms, offices, and a green design meeting LEED standards. Construction of the facility will begin this spring, taking a year to complete. NS News Release

CFS-O task force on campus racism releases report

Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario's task force on campus racism released its final report, based on 17 public campus hearings and individual submissions in 2009. The report outlines dozens of recommendations to address systemic racism within Ontario's colleges and universities, focusing on the classroom, campus life, faculty hiring, new-student orientation, curriculum, security, administrative policy, and admissions criteria. CFS-O urges all levels of policy and decision makers to implement the task force's recommendations, all of which are in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. CFS News Release | Read the report

HEQCO-commissioned book calls for improvements in PSE teaching quality

A new book commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario argues that PSE institutions need to enhance faculty teaching practices in order to improve student learning outcomes. A compilation of essays by internationally-renowned experts in teaching and learning, Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education cites practices of convenience, such as the traditional lecture and multiple choice exams, as being particularly problematic. The book identifies several strategies for improved teaching and learning, including support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, professional-development opportunities, and a focus on curriculum assessment and development. HEQCO News Release | Read the book's executive summary

uToronto students approve levy for Pan Am facility

62% of University of Toronto Scarborough students who voted in a recent referendum approved a financial levy to support a new athletics and recreation complex that will serve as one of the venues for the 2015 Pan American Games. The $30-million student contribution represents 18% of the total value of the $171-million complex, with the remainder to be contributed by uToronto and federal, provincial, and municipal governments. uToronto News | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

Niagara College technology program receives national accreditation

The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board has awarded national accreditation status to Niagara College's Construction Engineering Technology program, making it the first program of its type to be accredited in Ontario, and second in Canada. Later this month, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists will present the program with a national accreditation certification. Niagara College News

Secondary-school graduation rate rises in Ontario

The Ontario government reports that in 2009, 79% of students in the province graduated with a high school diploma. Since 2003-04, more than 52,000 young Ontarians received a high school diploma. Higher graduation rates are part of the province's new Open Ontario Plan, which also promises 20,000 new post-secondary spots this year. Ontario remains committed to reaching an 85% secondary-school graduation rate by 2010-11. Ontario News Release

Today's youth no worse than their parents

New research from the University of Western Ontario and Michigan State University finds no evidence of meaningful change in egotism, individualism, life satisfaction, antisocial behaviour, and the importance of social status, among other areas, over the last 30 years. There are, however, a few differences between Millennials and their counterparts in the mid-1970s. The study observes that today's youth are less fearful of social problems, more cynical, less trusting, and have higher educational expectations than previous generations. Globe and Mail | Read the study