Top Ten

May 5, 2010

McMaster spent over $66,000 to keep president's contract confidential

The Hamilton Spectator reports that McMaster University spent $66,600 on legal fees over a 2-year period in order to keep details of president Peter George's contract from being released to the newspaper. In August 2006, McMaster denied the Spectator's request to release the contract, and the newspaper won an appeal with Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner in January 2008. The university then applied to the province's Superior Court of Justice for a judicial review, but released the contract just ahead of the court date. The president of McMaster's faculty association says the $66,600 figure is "a significant waste of money." "The fundamental issue is that the president's contract caused enormous damage to McMaster's reputation," he says. "The question that one has to ask is, 'Was the damage caused by the release of the contract or the fact that it was written in the first place?'" Hamilton Spectator

Who are the highest-paid university profs in Canada?

According to a new report from Statistics Canada, that would be full professors, excluding medical/dental, at the University of Toronto, earning an average $157,566 in 2007-08. Including medical/dental, the average salary among full professors at uToronto is $150,381. Full professors at the Universities of Calgary and British Columbia earned an average of $146,809 and $146,422, respectively, in 2007-08. Among the lowest-paid professors are those at Cape Breton University ($98,676) and Trinity Western University ($78,231). Read the report

CNA responds to salary errors at Qatar campus

In a statement released Tuesday on salary overpayment errors at College of the North Atlantic's Qatar campus, the college's board of governors chair says the school acknowledges there was a mistake made in the interpretation of the comprehensive agreement and supports the external review process being undertaken by Newfoundland and Labrador's education department. The chair says CNA has put into place processes to prevent such an occurrence in the future. The board chair says the college is committed to working with employees as it moves to rectify these errors. CNA News Release

UNB board too large, says PSE group

Shared Vision Group, an organization committed to improving PSE in the Saint John region, believes the 44-member University of New Brunswick is too large and unwieldy. The group is calling for the number of members on the volunteer board to be trimmed to a figure reflecting other universities in the province. St. Thomas University has 25 members on its board of governors, while the Université de Moncton and Mount Allison University have 27 and 24 members, respectively. The vice-president of UNB's Saint John campus says the issue is under review by the university. Telegraph-Journal

Carleton in talks with for-profit PSE firm about foreign-student college

Carleton University is in discussions with Navitas, an Australian-based for-profit education company, about establishing a college for international students at the university. Navitas would provide English language courses and preparatory courses for foreign students hoping to attend university in Canada. Carleton is currently in university-wide consultation with stakeholders about the proposed college. Navitas has set up colleges at Simon Fraser University and the University of Manitoba, and is in talks with Dalhousie University. Dal's faculty association has expressed concerns about the proposed partnership with Navitas, stating it could damage the school's reputation. WA Business News

Ontario universities should not rely on international students to fund system

In light of the Ontario government's plan to increase foreign-student enrolment in the province by 50%, there needs to be assurance the government's intentions have the best interests of international students at heart, writes Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations president Mark Langer in an article published in The Mark. Given the nature of under-funding in Ontario's university system, foreign students are a "convenient salve," Langer writes. The danger is that international students become the means to finance the expansion of the PSE system, which is unfair to these students. Langer states that institutions should not rely on foreign students to fund the growth of Ontario's university system, and investment is needed now to ensure every student receives a high-quality, affordable education. The Mark

Holland College paramedicine programs awarded maximum CMA accreditation

Holland College's Primary Care Paramedic and Advanced Care Paramedic programs recently earned 6-year accreditations, the maximum number of years for which a program can be accredited, from the Canadian Medical Association. The institution's Advanced Care Paramedic - Distributed Learning program has received the maximum 2-year accreditation allowable for new programs. The accreditation ensures students and prospective employers that the training received in the programs meets or surpasses national standards, enabling students to apply for positions across Canada with confidence, and to apply for national certifications. Holland College News Release

Langara signs ACCC sustainability protocol

Langara College has adopted the Association of Canadian Community College's Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability. Under the agreement, the college commits to providing leadership to both internal and external communities and integrating sustainable operations and environmental stewardship in its delivery of education. The protocol asks participating schools to maximize contributions to a sustainable future across environment, economic, and social dimensions. Langara is among 48 other Canadian colleges to sign the agreement. Langara News

For-profit PSE firm names Clinton honorary chancellor

Laureate Education Inc., a Baltimore-based for-profit higher education company, announced last week that former US president Bill Clinton has accepted the role of honorary chancellor of Laureate International Universities, the company's global network. In his role, Clinton will advise the group of universities in areas such as social responsibility, youth leadership, and increasing access to PSE. Clinton will also encourage civic engagement and youth leadership during appearances at campuses and in print and online messages to the nearly 600,000 students in the Laureate network. Laureate News Release | Baltimore Sun

Taiwan to accept Chinese students

Students from mainland China will soon be able to study at universities in Taiwan after Taiwanese lawmakers agreed over the weekend on compromises on the issue. The Democratic Progressive Party agreed to drop its opposition as long as the education ministry accepted extensive amendments that would, among other things, prevent Chinese citizens from working in Taiwan following graduation. Opponents have argued that students could flood Taiwan's small PSE system and take up the best jobs if allowed to enter the workforce. If the legislation passes quickly, mainland students may be able to enrol in Taiwanese institutions as early as this fall. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)