Top Ten

April 27, 2010

CAUT may censure uManitoba over professor's dismissal

At a recent meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers council, delegates voted unanimously to begin the process of censuring the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority after an ad-hoc committee concluded that the university and the WRHA dismissed Dr. Larry Reynolds, a tenured professor of medicine at uManitoba, without just cause or due process. CAUT has informed both parties of the council's decision, and is urging them to work with the association to find a resolution acceptable to all parties. If the issue is not resolved by CAUT's next council meeting in late November, delegates have decided that censure will be imposed. CAUT News | Read the ad-hoc committee report

NL government accused of interfering in CNA affairs

Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP leader is accusing the province of not letting former College of the North Atlantic president Jean Madill manage her own institution. Madill tendered her resignation Sunday, a day before the NL government announced that financial errors at CNA's Qatar campus totalled $5 million. In a letter sent to college employees, Madill suggested the province was taking direct action in CNA's financial affairs and had bypassed her. The NDP leader says the letter raises several questions about autonomy in PSE, and that the provincial government must have hands-off with the day-to-day running of post-secondary schools. NL News Release | CBC

Ontario proposes official university status for OCAD

Yesterday the Ontario government proposed amendments to the Ontario College of Art and Design Act, which, if passed, will give official university status to the institution. Through the proposed amendments, the school's name would become the Ontario College of Art and Design University. The act would also officially recognize the role of the chancellor and revise the powers of the current board to recognize the creation of an academic senate. Ontario News Release | OCAD News Release

BC court ruling touches on bicameral nature of universities

University Affairs' Leo Charbonneau notes on his "Margin Notes" blog that some observers consider a recent ruling from the BC Court of Appeal important because it touches on the bicameral nature of universities. In 2007, the University of British Columbia's faculty association filed a grievance after UBC's senate approved a new policy on student evaluations on teaching, arguing the new policy violated the collective agreement. An arbitrator concluded that he had no authority under the agreement to pronounce upon the policy. The faculty association sought a judicial review of the arbitrator's decision, claiming he erred in rejecting its argument that UBC was a single entity employer whose constituent parts, include the senate, were bound by the agreement. The court dismissed the appeal, stating the power of academic governance is in the senate and the board is not entitled to interfere with its policy-making role in that regard by the terms of the agreement. Margin Notes | Read the ruling

Governance changes underway for NSAC

Nova Scotia Agricultural College is in the process of transitioning from a branch of the province's agriculture department to an institution governed by a board like the rest of the universities in Nova Scotia. Being a part of the government precludes NSAC from fundraising and applying for some research funding, as well as impedes its ability to hire and retain staff. The school would still be connected with government but will become more of an arm's-length entity. NSAC's president hopes to have the new structure in place by April 1, 2011. Truro Daily News

Manitoba proposes legislation on data collection regarding PSE, adult learning sectors

The Manitoba government announced yesterday legislative proposals to allow data collection to help guide further improvements to the adult learning and post-secondary education system while protecting students' privacy. Over the long term, education officials would gather information to answer questions related to student pathways and mobility, student retention and PSE completion, and the relationship between financial assistance and the time required to complete programs. Manitoba News Release

uSask fine arts centre in the works

Proponents say an arts centre planned for the University of Saskatchewan has the potential to turn the institution into the "next great fine arts university." Called the Clarion project, the initiative has been in the works for the past 4 years. The project is being designed as a state-of-the-art destination centre for artistic, creative, and performance work at uSask and for Saskatoon as a whole. The centre will include a performance theatre, a recital hall, a digital research centre, gallery space, workshops and studios for visual arts, and university classrooms. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | Clarion project website

MSVU names new president

Mount Saint Vincent University announced yesterday the appointment of Dr. Ramona Lumpkin as the institution's 12th president and vice-chancellor, effective October 1. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and a former Fulbright scholar, Lumpkin has been serving as principal of UWO affiliate Huron University College since 2001. Lumpkin has held administrative roles at Royal Roads University and the University of Windsor. Lumpkin succeeds former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough, who has served as MSVU's interim president since last August. MSVU News Release

New president appointed at NorQuest

Yesterday Edmonton-based NorQuest College announced the appointment of Dr. Jodi Abbott as the institution's next president and CEO, effective July 1. A former member of NorQuest's board of governors, Abbott will join the college from her current position as a senior vice-president for Alberta Health Services. Abbott succeeds Dr. Wayne Shillington, who announced his retirement in September 2009 after 13 years as NorQuest's president and CEO. NorQuest News Release

SIAST eligible for SSHRC funding

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology has successfully bid for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funding eligibility. The institution's associate vice-president of educational services says the eligibility will provide new opportunities for SIAST faculty to develop research projects that will benefit the people of Saskatchewan and contribute to the province's economic development. SIAST became eligible to apply for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funding last year. SIAST News Release