Top Ten

April 23, 2010

CAUT lifts FNUC censure

At the Canadian Association of University Teachers council meeting on Friday, delegates voted unanimously in favour of lifting the censure imposed on the First Nations University of Canada. CAUT censured the institution in December 2008 over stalled reforms to the university's board structure and governance. In recent months, major reforms have taken place -- the board and senior administrators were dismissed, and new partnerships have been established with the University of Regina and the Saskatchewan government. CAUT hopes the lifting of censure will convince the federal government to restore funding it withdrew from FNUC. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

US man charged in suicide death of Carleton student

On Friday, US authorities laid charges against Minnesota nurse William Melchert-Dinkel for his involvement in the suicide of Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji in March 2008. Transcripts of multiple online chat sessions show Melchert-Dinkel attempting to persuade Kajouji to hang herself while he watched. Kajouji's case sparked a debate about privacy on campus. Carleton officials were aware of the young woman's deteriorating mental health but declined to inform her parents. Ottawa Citizen

Postscript: Mar 17, 2011
On Tuesday, a judge found former Minnesota nurse William Melchert-Dinkel guilty of aiding 2 suicides, including that of Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji, who took her own life in 2008. One Carleton student told the CBC that in the years since Kajouji's death, teachers have begun checking up on students when they start showing signs of mental stress. In a statement on the conviction, Carleton says it knows the news "will not ease the pain felt by those who knew and cared for Ms. Kajouji." Carleton Statement | Ottawa Citizen | CBC

Millions for PSE in PEI budget

As outlined in Prince Edward Island's 2010-11 budget, tabled Friday, the province's commitment to higher education will increase over $9 million this fiscal year, from $80 million to more than $89 million. The budget reiterates the government's $6-million commitment to expand Holland College's presence in western PEI. The province is allocating $2 million to fund the George Coles Bursary in the coming year. PEI News Release | PEI Budget 2010

CFI distributes $28 million for research

The Canada Foundation for Innovation announced Friday $27.87 million in support of 118 projects at 32 Canadian research institutions. The investment, made under the foundation's Leaders Opportunity Fund, will benefit the work of 156 researchers. The funding includes over $6.4 million awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program designed to contribute to the rising operating and maintenance costs of CFI-funded infrastructure projects. CFI News Release

Over $11 million for McMaster-led stem cell research

Last Thursday, the Ontario government announced an $11.5-million grant from the Ontario Research Fund's Global Leadership Round in Genomics and Life Sciences competition for a group of researchers at McMaster University's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. In collaboration with research institutions and universities in Waterloo, Ottawa, and Toronto, the McMaster research team is developing stem cell-based therapies that could be used as a "tool kit" to repair damage caused by serious diseases such as cancer. Ontario News Release | Hamilton Spectator

Over $3 million for Boréal Institute of Trades

The Ontario government announced Friday $3.5 million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation's Infrastructure and Community Development Program to support the construction of Collège Boréal's new Institute of Trades. The contribution is in addition to $5.5 million granted as part of the Strategic Capital Infrastructure Program. The 80,741-square-foot facility will increase enrolment by 500 students over the next 5 years. Ontario News Release

Humber opens Arts & Media Studios

Friday marked the grand opening of the new Humber Arts & Media Studios at Humber College's Lakeshore campus. The college has partnered with the Toronto District School Board to lease the former Lakeshore Lions Arena for 20 years. The 53,000-square-foot facility was renovated to house programs in Humber's School of Creative & Performing Arts and School of Media Studies & Information Technology. The facility features acting, cabaret, dance, film, media and television studios, rehearsal rooms, technical labs, a scene shop, a carpentry shop, a lecture hall, and offices. The building will accommodate over 700 students, and includes a gymnasium to be used by the college and the local community. Humber News Release

Seneca receives EPI student retention award

The Educational Policy Institute has presented to Seneca College the 2009 Outstanding Student Retention Award in recognition of the development and implementation of the [email protected] program. Launched 4 years ago, [email protected] aims to promote a positive college experience and work with students to increase engagement, persistence, and graduation rates. Since the program's implementation, students involved are 28.6% less likely to withdraw from their academic program, 22.6% more likely to successfully attain academic promotion, and more likely to see an increase in their GPA of 1.25 points. Seneca is the first Canadian post-secondary school to receive this award. EPI Student Success (page 14 of PDF)

Concordia opens access to university research

Concordia University's academic community has passed a Senate Resolution on Open Access encouraging all faculty and students to make their peer-reviewed research and creative output freely accessible online. This past year, the university launched Spectrum, an open-access digital repository. The Senate Resolution encourages all of Concordia's researchers to deposit their research and creative work in Spectrum. Concordia News Release

Trend in US institutions offering guarantees to students

A number of post-secondary schools in the US are offering students assurances in terms of securing jobs or timely graduation. Michigan-based Albion College recently unveiled the "Albion Advantage," a plan to help graduates who struggle to fulfil career goals by finding them internships or offering them a free semester of non-credit study. Earlier this year, the University of Maine at Farmington introduced a pledge that all students would finish their degrees within 4 years or their remaining courses would be free. Lansing Community College, also in Michigan, recently announced a money-back guarantee to students who did not find a full-time job within a year of completing certain programs. In Canada, the University of Calgary offers a 4-year graduation guarantee, and the University of Regina guarantees students jobs within 6 months of graduation. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)