Top Ten

April 19, 2010

SIAST cuts programs, staff

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology announced Friday it is suspending 6 programs and reducing capacity in another 6 programs to accommodate growth in other program areas. The changes will come into effect in the 2010-11 academic year. Students enrolled in the affected programs will be able to complete the year, and those in the first year of 2-year programs can complete the second year. Due to programming reductions, 20 SIAST employees received layoff notices last week, and another 4 employees received layoff notices in an unrelated reallocation of resources. SIAST News Release | List of Program Reductions | Regina Leader-Post | CBC

UoGuelph departments need to find $16 million in savings

One of the key objectives of the University of Guelph's 2010-11 budget is to continue to reduce the institution's structural deficit via a 4-year plan. Initiated in 2008-09, the plan aims to find $46.2 million in cost savings/reductions by 2011-12. This year, UoGuelph departments and units are required to find $16.2 million in savings. The university continues to build a contingency fund for an anticipated solvency pension payment scheduled for August. UoGuelph requires an estimated $280 million to make up the difference between assets and liabilities in the pension fund. The pension fund is one of the biggest challenges facing the school, and the pension payment will continue to occupy a major portion of advocacy efforts, including seeking relief from Ontario government funding rules. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin | Guelph Mercury

No program cuts at NAIT

On Friday, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's academic council voted unanimously against cutting 13 programs. One of the programs saved is the captioning and court reporting diploma program, which members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community say they rely on every day. About 2 dozen of them marched on campus Friday to express their concerns before the vote got underway. The programs proposed for suspension will now go to a special committee, which will review them individually and reach a decision by December. Edmonton Journal | CBC

uManitoba law faculty proposes 46% tuition hike

The University of Manitoba's law faculty will hold a consultation session on Friday over a proposal to increase tuition by 46.2% over 3 years. The faculty is one of at least 8 schools at the university that are developing proposals for large tuition increases. uManitoba's business school announced earlier this month a proposal for a 78.5% tuition hike over 3 years for its MBA program, and a 54.1% increase over 2 years for its undergraduate degree. uManitoba's faculty association president has called for a moratorium on any tuition increases, until schools justify the proposals to their students, and until the institution looks for other ways to prevent erosion on the quality of education. Winnipeg Free Press

Ottawa launches $15-million Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative

The federal government announced yesterday a new pilot initiative for southern Ontario universities and colleges that will provide up to $15 million to help small- and medium businesses move promising products, practices, and processes from the research and development stage to the marketplace. The initiative, under the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, is designed to create partnerships between smaller enterprises that would like to innovate, and post-secondary schools that have the applied research capacity to further develop those ideas and help bring them to market. FedDev Ontario News Release

Keyano College acquires land for permanent campus in Fort Chipewyan

Northern Alberta-based Keyano College has received land from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to establish a permanent campus in Fort Chipewyan. In addition to newer facilities for students, the new campus will also house simulators to train students for work in the oilsands. Construction of the $3-million campus is expected to begin sometime in May. Fort McMurray Today

Crandall U name change official

Atlantic Baptist University is now officially Crandall University after New Brunswick's lieutenant-governor gave royal assent to a private bill passed by the provincial legislature last week. The process of changing ABU's name began in February 2009 when the university's board of governors voted in favour of renaming the institution. Last August, the decision was endorsed by the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches. The new name honours Rev. Joseph Crandall, the patriarch of Baptist work in the province. The change celebrates the university's denominational heritage while helping it overcome the perception of exclusivity generated by a denominationally specific name. Times & Transcript

UOIT lecturer wins TVO's Best Lecturer competition

Rupinder Brar, a physics lecturer at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, has won TVO's 2010 Big Ideas Best Lecturer competition. Brar's winning lecture is titled "Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths." His win earned UOIT a $10,000 scholarship from contest sponsor TD Insurance Meloche Monnex. This is the second time in the competition's 5-year history that a UOIT lecturer has won the title of Ontario's Best Lecturer. TVO News Release

MacEwan president to step down

Grant MacEwan University president and CEO Dr. Paul Byrne announced yesterday his retirement from the institution in spring 2011. Byrne has served as MacEwan's president and CEO since January 1997. He had been at the school for 11 years previously, from 1977 to 1988, including serving as the business dean. MacEwan's board of governors will be launching a national search from the university's fourth president and CEO. MacEwan News Release

McMaster art history degree avoids chopping block

At a meeting last week, McMaster University's senate voted 15 to 10 against closing the art history program, with 8 members abstaining. McMaster's humanities dean has proposed discontinuing the degree based on declining enrolment, and redeploying resources to launch a new bachelor of fine arts degree that would combine studio art and art history. The proposal to end the art history program spurred considerable protest from inside and outside the faculty and beyond the university. The vote means that, for now at least, the degree continues in its current form. Hamilton Spectator