Top Ten

April 26, 2010

Human rights tribunal rejects York U prof's complaint against university

On Friday, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario dismissed charges by York University professor David Noble that the institution punished him for challenging its former practice of cancelling classes on Jewish holidays, finding no proof to support Noble's claims. The adjudicator found no evidence York U retaliated against the professor by issuing a news release about a pamphlet he wrote criticizing the influence of the "Israeli lobby" over the university's fundraising foundation. The ruling also rejected allegations York U threatened Noble with reprisal in 2005 if he held classes on Jewish holidays in violation of the policy, which he did not do until 2008. Toronto Star

NAIT academic staff file grievance over program suspension proposal

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's academic staff association has voted to file a grievance against the school's president and his executive team over the proposal to suspend 13 programs, which was later rejected by NAIT's academic council and referred to a joint staff, student, and administration committee. The association's president says the lack of consultation cause a major crack in a relationship that had been co-operative for years. "We have just lost so much trust and belief between us and the main office." The association wants a promise that such big decisions will not be sprung on them again. Edmonton Journal

uManitoba kicks off $150-million Project Domino

Yesterday marked the start of Project Domino, the largest and most ambitious redevelopment project in the University of Manitoba's history, with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new student residence building. The 360-bed residence will be built on the south side of campus and is the first of several facilities that will be constructed or rejuvenated under Project Domino, a multi-year, $150-million plan to retrofit buildings for 21st century use. uManitoba News Release | CBC

uAlberta renames virology institute for $28-million gift

On Friday, the University of Alberta's virology laboratory was renamed the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology following a $28-million gift from the Li Ka Shing Foundation (Canada), the largest cash donation in uAlberta's history. Supported by a $52.5-million investment from the Alberta government, the institute aims to develop new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests to enhance human health worldwide and reduce the impact of viral infections on the global economy. The institute will also recruit top-level researchers to provide world-class learning opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students in virology and related fields. Alberta News Release | uAlberta News | Edmonton Journal

UFV begins construction of new Chilliwack campus

Construction is underway at the former military engineering school at CFB Chilliwack where the University of the Fraser Valley is building a new campus. The campus plan includes an Aboriginal longhouse, a student "town hall," and an indoor courtyard. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2011. Chilliwack Progress

Ontario to make policy changes to protect, retain international students

Yesterday the Ontario government announced it intends to introduce amendments to the Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act that would, if passed, allow the province to better protect students and safeguard the quality of higher education in Ontario. The amendments would strengthen the government's ability to shut down unscrupulous and unauthorized education organizations and prevent them for taking advantage of foreign and Ontario students. Changes have also been made to the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program whereby provincially-trained international PhD graduates will no longer need an offer of employment to apply to the program to be fast-tracked for permanent residence. Ontario News Release

$8 million for UoGuelph Barcode of Life Project

The Ontario government announced Friday an $8.1-million investment in the University of Guelph-based International Barcode of Life project, the largest biodiversity genomics project in the world. The university's Biodiversity Institute of Ontario will be the scientific hub for the project, which will officially launch in the fall. The funding builds on a $5-million provincial investment in the project in 2008. UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

BC invests $4 million in skills and training program for Aboriginal people

On Friday, the BC government announced it is investing nearly $4 million in a new program to help build skills and training for more than 600 Aboriginal people in communities across the province. The Aboriginal Training for Employment Program will deliver job-related training in essential skills and introductory trades training, along with mentoring, coaching, and other retention tools through public, private, and Aboriginal-controlled training organizations around BC. 17 Aboriginal organizations have partnered with industry education and training providers to deliver services in more than 60 communities. BC News Release

Kwantlen receives $2.5-million donation

BC philanthropist Irving Barber announced yesterday a $2.5-million gift to Kwantlen Polytechnic University -- the largest donation in the school's history -- to help students overcome obstacles and complete their post-secondary education. Barber, who dropped out of school in Grade 11 and was later offered the opportunity to attend university after World War II, was inspired to make the donation after a Kwantlen student told him the institution's approach to education helped build confidence in herself. The money, to be granted over a 5-year period, will enable Kwantlen to help its existing students reach graduation, says the school's president. Vancouver Sun | Canadian Press

CNA president resigns

Newfoundland and Labrador's education minister announced yesterday that College of the North Atlantic president and CEO Jean Madill has tendered her resignation, which has been accepted by the province. A search will begin immediately for an interim president, while the province's deputy minister of education will assume the role of acting president. NL News Release