Top Ten

April 12, 2010

Academics question York U's handling of Israel/Palestine conference

York University is facing new charges from academics over its handling of the Israel/Palestine conference last summer. Event organizers say senior officials overstepped the boundaries of academic freedom by taking actions the organizers claim interfered in the conference planning, by suggesting the inclusion of new speakers and the relocation of the event to avoid a political storm of "tsunami proportions." A York U law professor says a new report reviewing the conference damages the organizers' reputations by questioning their academic credentials to hold the conference and does not address their concerns. Globe and Mail

Ontario institutions need to be more accountable over public funds, says premier

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty told the Globe and Mail's editorial board Friday that the province's colleges and universities need to be more accountable for the public dollars that support them. Beyond rising enrolments, post-secondary institutions have not delivered the same kind of results as elementary and secondary schools, McGuinty said. "Can I honestly say that I have got qualitative improvement as a result of these investments? I don't think so, and we need to talk about that." McGuinty said he needs to have "honest conversations" in the coming months with campus leaders about what they can expect in return for the funding they receive. Globe and Mail

uOttawa president responds to Citizen's coverage of internal report

Tasked with looking for ways to reduce spending and increase revenue at the University of Ottawa, a steering committee comprising financial experts and university board of governor members observes that uOttawa "faces significant deficits, its much-vaunted new focus on research is not financially sustainable and its students are seriously dissatisfied with what the university offers," reported the Ottawa Citizen Sunday. In response what he calls an "erroneous portrait" in the Citizen story, uOttawa president Allan Rock writes that the institution remains "in a very strong financial position as a result of a history of fiscal prudence." "Astonished" to read the suggestion that the university's focus on research is "unsustainable," Rock points out that uOttawa ranks second in Canada for peer-reviewed grants in medicine and science. Ottawa Citizen | Read Rock's response

$82 million for new UCN campus in Thompson

The Manitoba government announced yesterday an $82-million investment in the construction of a new 84,000-square-foot University College of the North campus in Thompson. The campus will be 19,000 square feet larger than the original campus, providing modern education and training facilities based on sustainable design principles. The site map for the project includes a 24-unit, on-campus housing development for students and their families, and new facilities to meet the needs of key academic programs with new classrooms, laboratories, and student services. Manitoba News Release

$12 million for enrolment support at McMaster, Mohawk College

Yesterday the Ontario government announced over $12.3 million in funding for McMaster University and Mohawk College as part of the 5-year Open Ontario Plan to help increase enrolment and support programs. McMaster will receive more than $9.5 million, and Mohawk College will receive over $2.8 million. McMaster Daily News

Strike at uMontréal ends

Université de Montréal lecturers voted Sunday to accept a contract offer and end a labour dispute that began in mid-February. uMontréal says students enrolled in classes taught by lecturers may see their winter term extended to May 9 to make up for the course material missed during the strike. The university and the lecturers' union reached a pact late last week after Quebec's education minister ordered both parties back to the conciliation table. uMontréal News (in French) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

uCalgary pro-life group cited for campus trespassing again

Last Thursday, the University of Calgary issued legal notices of trespass to 10 members of a campus pro-life group after they refused to comply with the school's request to turn their graphic poster display inward. This is the fourth time the group has been issued campus trespassing notices. In November, charges of trespassing against 6 group members were stayed after it was determined there was not enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution. In a statement, uCalgary says that it has advised members of the pro-life club that since they are not willing to compromise on their display, they are not welcome on campus for protests. uCalgary News | Calgary Herald

St. Clair breaks ground for technology and trades centre

St. Clair College held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for its $5.1-million technology and trades centre at the Thames campus in Chatham. The centre will offer 8 programs, with a focus on electrical and green technology programs. The president of the college's board of governors says the centre, along with the healthplex and new residences, will bring more students to the community. Chatham Daily News

Mount Allison president on cross-Canada tour to promote school

More than a month after a recruitment trip in Asia, Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell is hitting the road to sell the university in Canada. Campbell says the cross-country trip will help ensure Mount Allison is part of what is now a world-wide competition for funding, top-ranked students, and educators. The tour is meant to prove the institution is not what Campbell calls the "Bud Light" of the Canadian world. "We're a specialty school, a specialty beer. We're the craft beer." Planned stops include Montreal; London, Ontario; Toronto; Calgary; Vancouver; and Victoria. Telegraph-Journal

Fleming College's Frost campus to ban sale of bottled water

Fleming College's Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ontario will be bottled-water free this time next year under a new plan to phase out the sale of bottled water on campus. A joint initiative developed by students and supported by faculty, staff, and administration, the plan to end the sale of bottled water on campus includes the immediate identification of "Bottled Water Free Zones" on campus, an audit of access to public water on campus, and a plan to upgrade availability of public drinking water. The University of Winnipeg was the first post-secondary school in Canada to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. Fleming College News