Top Ten

March 31, 2010

McMaster president to address conflict in business school

Outgoing McMaster University president Peter George is expected today to present the institution's business faculty with a plan to deal with a conflict that has divided the school into 2 camps -- those who want controversial business dean Paul Bates gone, and those who support him. Some business professors are worried the problem is harming the school's national reputation and potentially dissuading prospective students just as it is getting ready to open its $27-million satellite campus in Burlington in September. At the centre of the conflict are unproven allegations against Bates, including bullying, intimidation, and management failure. George scheduled today's meeting after a new report from McMaster's human rights office called for "immediate intervention" in the matter. The report favours striking a 3-person committee to take over management of the business school until the conflict is resolved. Whatever the president proposes, Bates says he has no thoughts of stepping down. Hamilton Spectator

UVic, student group in dispute over unauthorized campus garden

A dispute over garden space at the University of Victoria led to the arrest of one student who blocked the crew repairing the damaged lawn. In protest of what a group of students call a failure by UVic to provide adequate community-garden space, the "Food Not Lawns Collective" dug up the lawn in front of a campus library last Wednesday and planted 10 garden beds, which were removed the next day by UVic maintenance staff accompanied by Saanich police. The students planned to install another garden yesterday. A UVic spokesman says the school has not heard back from the group on offers to meet in response to a request for a meeting. Victoria Times-Colonist | CBC | Victoria News

Ottawa provides $3 million to help FNUC students finish school year

Federal Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Chuck Strahl announced Tuesday his department will invest up to $3 million to allow students currently enrolled at the First Nations University of Canada to complete their academic year, which ends August 31. The funds, coming from the Indian Studies Support Program, will be directed to an eligible post-secondary institution for expenses related to programming for FNUC students. Under the program, eligible expenses include those supporting the development and delivery of college- and university-level courses for First Nation students, and the research and development of First Nation education. INAC News Release | Regina Leader-Post | CBC

Ottawa asked to clarify budget item on UPEI funding

Prince Edward Island's innovation minister says the province and the University of Prince Edward Island have asked the federal government to clarify an item in its recent budget that refers to a $30-million investment in the university. It is not clear whether it is money already spend or new funding. The question of whether the funding is new is significant because UPEI has proposed a new centre of excellence to be part of the government's new BioCommons Research Park. The university and PEI are asking Ottawa for a $30-million investment over 5 years for the park, but the federal budget does not specify whether the funding mentioned for UPEI is intended for the centre of excellence. Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

Today's students paying more for less, says OCUFA report

A new report from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations observes that declining quality and rising tuition fees mean that university students in the province are paying more money for less education. When measured against several key indicators of learning quality, such as engagement with full-time faculty and high-quality labs, students in the 1960s received a better education than today's students, and for a bargain price. The study notes that in the 1960s, students learned in small classes and benefited from brand-new facilities, and now Ontario has the highest student-to-faculty ratio in the country, and much of the campus infrastructure in the province is decades old. OCUFA stresses that renewed government investment in PSE is the only way to ensure the value of an Ontario university degree for today's students and following generations. OCUFA News Release | Read the report

What Ontario university and college presidents are making

According to the Ontario government's Public Sector Salary Disclosure list, McMaster University president Peter George, who will retire in June, is the highest-paid university president in the province, earning $524,435 in 2009. He did not, however, receive the highest salary among university employees. Former University of Waterloo vice-president academic and provost Amit Chakma, who is now the president of the University of Western Ontario, made $737,640 last year. Rick Miner, former president of Seneca College, received the highest salary of provincial college presidents in 2009, earning $414,137. Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2010: Universities (Algoma U to uSudbury) | Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2010: Universities (uToronto to York U) | Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2010: Colleges

STU launches feasibility study on programming for satellite campus in Miramichi

St. Thomas University has commissioned a feasibility study on potential programs for a proposed satellite campus in Miramichi. The study will involve consultations with key education and business stakeholders in the region and a review of what program possibilities and financial impact the "college of extension" could have for STU and the New Brunswick government. The feasibility study will examine the possibility of expanded course offerings; new research centres; teaching and in-service training in criminology and gerontology; and the potential for using the college to offer courses and professional prerequisite courses for Aboriginal students. The study is expected to be completed this summer. Times and Transcript

uManitoba football stadium project accelerated

Representatives from the Manitoba government, City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and the University of Manitoba announced yesterday a plan to accelerate construction of a new $115-million community-owned football stadium at the University of Manitoba. Construction of the stadium will begin this summer, with an opening in time for the 2012 CFL and Bison football seasons. An additional $22.5 million in federal, provincial, and municipal funds will be invested in fitness facilities at uManitoba. Manitoba News Release

UBC student pub loses liquor license for serving minors

University of British Columbia administrators have ordered an on-campus pub to stop serving alcohol until further notice after "three strikes" of being caught serving underage patrons. Although the pub is operated by the university's Graduate Student Society, UBC controls the liquor license, which was rescinded as of last Friday. A letter signed by UBC's legal counsel states the university is no longer confident the graduate student government can operate the pub in a manner that observes liquor laws and promotes responsible drinking. Vancouver Sun | CBC

Facebook to introduce changes to "like" button, fan pages

Facebook has announced plans to replace the "become a fan" concept for branded pages with the more prevalent "like" button, and brands will no longer accumulate "fans," but rather "connections." The change also affects engagement ads, with the "become a fan" verbiage disappearing in favour of the "like" button and thumbs-up icon. The social network is likely introducing this change as part of preparations for developing a "like" button that can be deployed on the non-Facebook Web. Advertising Age