Top Ten

April 22, 2010

McGill plans to go ahead with self-funded MBA

McGill University says it will forge ahead with plans for a self-funded MBA program, despite repeated warnings from Quebec's education minister that her department will "punish" the school if it implements the tuition hike. In January, Michelle Courchense said she would cut funding to McGill if it increased tuition for the program. She vowed this week to tax back nearly all of the $29,500 tuition should McGill follow through on its plan. The dean of McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management says university officials will be talking to the minister in hopes she will recognize the school's MBA as a "good pilot test case" at a time when the province is looking to raise university tuition fees in 2012. Montreal Gazette

Budget surplus, enrolment growth fuel Centennial College expansion plans

Due to strong enrolment growth and cost control, Centennial College ended its fiscal year with a $10.8-million budget surplus. The college exceeded all of its 2009-10 enrolment targets with international visa student enrolment up 71%, domestic enrolment up 10.5%, and Second Career program enrolment of 1,745 students -- the largest in Ontario. The school is responding to the need for more teaching space by acquiring the Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies from the Toronto District School Board in time for fall classes. Centennial is proposing an $18.5-million investment in its Ashtonbee campus, which will bring a new library, student services space, and upgrades to the gym and fitness facilities. In addition to the surplus, the college has grown its endowment by 30%. Centennial College News Release

MUN seeks input on renaming Grenfell

A Memorial University committee is seeking input from the public on the renaming of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the university's Corner Brook campus. In recent years, the term "college" in Grenfell's name has presented challenges for student recruitment outside Newfoundland and Labrador, for securing research grants, and in attracting faculty and staff to a place not clearly labelled as a "university." The committee has defined 3 general goals for a new name: it should reflect its relationship with MUN; reflect the long-standing association the campus has had with the name Sir Wilfred Grenfell; and must not include the word "college." Grenfell News Release

Manitoba publishers concerned over outsourced management of uWinnipeg bookstore

Officials with the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers are worried their books will be shut out of the University of Winnipeg's new bookstore after the institution decided to outsource operation of the facility to Chicago-based textbook giant Follett Corporation. One publisher says the company has no idea what trade books -- the industry term for general-interest books -- will sell in Winnipeg. uWinnipeg maintains that Follett has given assurance that it will be responsive to the local market. Winnipeg Free Press

"Find Your Fit" at Durham College

Durham College recently launched a microsite called "Find Your Fit" that is designed to attract students to under-subscribed programs while exposing them to what the college has to offer. The interactive portal includes video testimonials from current students in the college's 8 schools about their respective programs. Visitors to the microsite can view programs from each school to see what is still available for September 2010 enrolment. Find Your Fit

VIU wins SCUP planning award

The US-based Society for College and University Planning will present to Vancouver Island University the 2010 Award for Institutional Innovation and Integration, recognizing the university for developing and implementing an innovative planning process in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. A description of VIU's Nanaimo Campus Master Plan and Integrated Planning Process will be published on SCUP's website, in the October issue of Planning for Higher Education, and in the Tribute to Excellence newspaper in coming weeks. VIU News

6 post-secondary schools among Canada's greenest employers

The University of Alberta, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Georgian College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and the University of Victoria are among the 50 national workplaces chosen as Canada's Greenest Employers for 2010. One of the reasons uAlberta was chosen is that it is in the midst of a multi-year $25-million energy management program. BCIT was chosen in part for its new Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Practices committee. Georgian College was selected in part for its Centre for Sustainable Technologies. One of the reasons Kwantlen was selected is that it has a dedicated Energy Management Team. NAIT was chosen in part for operating Canada's first high-voltage commercial fuel cell, which currently provides 12% of the school's electricity. UVic was selected in part for its program to convert old traditional lawns into native plant demonstration gardens. Canada's Greenest Employers 2010

uOttawa to eliminate sale of bottled water on campus

On September 1, the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with its student federation, will be the first university in Ontario to put a complete and immediate stop to the sale of bottled water on its campuses. Members of the uOttawa community are encouraged to find other ways to quench their thirst for water, such as filling up cups, glasses, and re-usable bottles at the nearest fountain or tap on campus. Since 2008, uOttawa has invested more than $100,000 to revitalize its water fountains, and another $75,000 will be invested next year. uOttawa News Release

Recalling positive experience influences alumni giving, study finds

A recent study from the University of New Hampshire found that asking students to recount a positive college experience made them more likely to make a donation. Researchers asked participants to recall either a specific positive or a specific negative college-related memory. Those who were asked to recount a positive memory were more likely to donate to their institution, and also indicated a stronger desire to attend a class reunion. The students did not seem to realize that recalling a positive experience had influenced them. When asked to cite reasons for giving, they came up with general responses such as "I believe education is one of the most valuable things a person could have." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

College students report addiction to media

New research from the University of Maryland observes that American college students are addicted to media, describing their feelings when they have to abstain from using media in the same terms associated with alcohol and drug addictions. The study concludes that most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to go without their media links to the world. Researchers asked 200 students to give up all media for 24 hours and to blog about their successes or failures. Participants wrote in length about how they hated losing their personal connections, that their lack of access to media such as text messaging and Facebook meant that they couldn't connect with friends far and nearby. UM Newsdesk | Study website