Top Ten

April 13, 2010

NAIT considers cutting 13 programs

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's academic council will vote Friday on a budget proposal that could eliminate 13 certificate and diploma programs and as many as 50 teaching positions. Because of a shortfall in provincial funding, NAIT needs to find nearly $10 million in budget cuts. A spokeswoman for the institution says the program cuts would save NAIT $2.8 million. If the proposal is approved, it will be sent to NAIT's board of governors for a vote on May 10. Edmonton Journal | CBC

uCalgary approves $450 non-academic student fee

On Monday, the University of Calgary approved a non-academic fee of $450 to be rolled out over the next 3 years to cover several school services. The university's provost says it has been a difficult process to reach the decision to introduce the fee, but at a time when uCalgary is posting a $37.6-million deficit, all parts of the institution have to help, including students. uCalgary needs to find a way to make up $2.4 million it had expected from proposed tuition increases for professional programs that were rejected by the Alberta government last week. Calgary Herald | CBC

uToronto launches Munk School of Global Affairs

Yesterday the University of Toronto launched its new Munk School of Global Affairs, a product of the largest single philanthropic gift in the institution's history -- $35 million from gold-mining magnate Peter Munk -- and $25 million from the Ontario government. The school will initially offer a master's degree in global affairs and later add undergraduate and doctoral programs. The school's students will be required to go outside the country for 4 months to work with a global corporation, institution, or non-government organization and learn how to build international networks. uToronto News | Globe and Mail

Mining academy planned for Flin Flon

A consortium of industry and public-sector partners will soon unveil plans for a state-of-the-art mining academy in Flin Flon, Manitoba. Sources say the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy, which will operate as a department of the University College of the North, may include the latest technology in automated underground mining equipment simulators previously unavailable in the province. The federal government is set to invest $920,000 in the project, and Manitoba plans to announce details of its participation in the next few weeks. Winnipeg Free Press

Carleton takes over organization of Orientation Week from student association

In a statement released yesterday, the Carleton University Students' Association reports that the university has assumed the responsibility of Orientation Week, which had been previous organized by the student government. The university announced yesterday new elements to Orientation Week as part of Carleton's ongoing efforts to enhance student services and implement best practices. The student government says university administration cited providing misperceptions of university life, limited accountability for volunteers, and traditionally under 50% participation of the new student body as the reasons for Carleton to take over the organization of Orientation Week. Over 100 students have written to Carleton's president asking that the CUSA-run Orientation Week be reinstated. CUSA News Release | Carleton News Release

McMaster plans $15-million warehouse retrofit for auto research centre

McMaster University is looking to convert part of a warehouse at its Longwood Road research park into an automotive resource centre. The institution is hoping to start a $15-million retrofit at the warehouse as early as this summer, depending on the availability of requested federal funding. Tenants in the McMaster Auto Research Centre would work directly with the $65-million CANMET materials research lab across the road. That facility is on schedule to open by October. Hamilton Spectator

BC funds new health professional program at CNC

The BC government announced Saturday it is providing the College of New Caledonia with nearly $2.7 million for equipment and start-up costs and more than $590,000 in annual funding for a new medical radiography technology diploma program. CNC will welcome the first students to the program in September 2011. The 2-year program includes a practicum in a health-care facility that provides students with hands-on clinical experience. BC News Release

Alberta privacy commissioner approves uAlberta's switch to Gmail

After reviewing a privacy impact assessment submitted by the University of Alberta on its plans to outsource its e-mail services to Google, Alberta's privacy commissioner says the university has done what it reasonably can to ensure the protection of personal information. The commissioner states users of uAlberta's e-mail system must be informed that their e-mails will reside in the US and will be subject to American laws. uAlberta has agreed to inform the student body and employees that it will not be able to guarantee protection against possible disclosure of e-mails residing in the US. Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta News Release | Edmonton Journal

uOttawa among best employers for new Canadians

The University of Ottawa is the only post-secondary institution among the 35 national workplaces chosen as the Best Employers for New Canadians for 2010. One of the reasons uOttawa was chosen is that it classifies new Canadians as a distinct employment equity group within its "Access uOttawa" diversity recruitment pilot project. Best Employers for New Canadians 2010 | uOttawa News Release

Canada's first credit union for PSE students in the works

A pair of University of Waterloo students are looking to launch Canada's first credit union for the university and college community in the Waterloo Region. The proponents of the Waterloo Banking Project believe a credit union could do great things for students, such as offering "micro-loans" designed for when a student is running out of funds for living expenses at the end of one semester, but will have money coming in from a co-op placement or a summer job. The students are surveying students, alumni, staff, and others at uWaterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College -- people they hope will be the credit union's future customers -- on what kind of services might be in demand. Waterloo Region Record