Top Ten

May 7, 2010

McMaster cuts 20 jobs

About 20 people working at McMaster University have lost their jobs, and another 30 to 70 staff reductions are necessary, according to the university's vice-president of administration. McMaster is consulting its unions and labour groups about plans for the remaining layoffs, which are expected in the next few months. The institution is trying to make cuts to its 9,500-member full-time workforce without affecting the quality of education or research, meaning most of the cuts are coming from service areas. McMaster is dealing with a shortfall that had been projected at over $40 million, and the school had warned earlier this year that layoffs could be necessary. Hamilton Spectator

Queen's projects $4-million shortfall

At a meeting last month, Queen's University's board of trustees approved the institution's 2010-11 budget, which projects a $3.8-million deficit. The budget forecasts much larger shortfalls in future years unless Ontario's PSE sector gets solvency relief from required payments against unfunded pension liability from the province. Beginning in fall 2011, Queen's must allocate funding for additional special pension payments to address the growing gap between employee and employer contributions to the plan and the current and future payout obligations. Along with the leaders of other Ontario universities, Queen's principal Daniel Woolf will continue to press the provincial government for solvency relief. Queen's News Centre

uAlberta proposes $50-million health and wellness centre

A new Students' Union Physical Activity and Wellness Centre is in the works at the University of Alberta. In February, the university's student body agreed to a non-instructional fee to support the centre. The 180,000-square-foot facility, costing between $50 million and $60 million, will house a 20,000-square-foot fitness centre, space for student recreation and study, and a new Steadward Centre for people with physical disabilities. The centre is expected to open in 2013. uAlberta ExpressNews

Dal plans $30-million student residence

The latest capital project at Dalhousie University is a new residence to accommodate 300 students. The project, costing between $30 million and $35 million, will be Dal's first multi-use building, with the upper floors dedicated to student housing, and the lower 2 floors featuring a combination of student services, arena support, and commercial spaces. The funding from the project comes in part from the sale of Fenwick Tower, as well as through student residence fees and by leasing portions of the non-residence areas of the building. The residence is set to open in September 2012. Dal News

NBCC Miramichi campus opens gathering centre for Aboriginal students

On Friday, New Brunswick Community College's Miramichi campus opened Mawiomi Place, a gathering centre for Aboriginal students. Mawiomi Place is part of a plan to increase the participation of Aboriginal people at NBCC, which is one of the key initiatives of the New Brunswick government's action plan on PSE. Opening the centre complements the college's mission to become a student-focused organization by providing an enhanced educational experience that is culturally relevant and responsive to Aboriginal students' needs. In further support of these initiatives, NBCC has hired 3 full-time Aboriginal co-ordinators for its Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Woodstock campuses, and a part-time Aboriginal co-ordinator at the Ne w Brunswick College of Craft and Design. NB News Release

NWCC opens longhouse

BC-based Northwest Community College held an opening ceremony Saturday for Waap Galts'ap, a longhouse built on the college's Terrace campus. A collaborative project initiated by NWCC in consultation with its First Nations Council and leaders of the local Tsimshian people, the longhouse will be a gathering place for student, college, and public ceremonies, functions and celebrations, as well as a showcase for First Nations art. NWCC president Stephanie Forsyth says the longhouse is a further expression of the school's commitment to ensuring First Nations students' culture and tradition are valued and respected at the college. Terrace Standard

Humber Centre for Urban Ecology wins architecture award

Humber College's Centre for Urban Ecology has won the Ontario Association of Architects Design Excellence award for the use of environmental technology elements promoting sustainability in its design. Some elements that make the centre environmentally unique include embedding the building into the earth to create an additional level of insulation, a "thermal chimney" to promote airflow throughout the facility, and a vegetated green roof for storm water management and passive cooling. Humber News

UBC-O joins Canada West

At its annual general meeting last Thursday, Canada West Universities Athletics Association accepted the University of British Columbia - Okanagan as a probationary member of the association. Effective this September, the UBC-O "Heat" will begin a 3-year term as probationary members, and will start interuniversity athletic competition in men's and women's basketball and volleyball in fall 2011. Canada West turned down applications from Vancouver Island University and the University of Northern British Columbia, as both schools did not meet the required 75% of membership approval for acceptance. Canada West also extended full membership status to erstwhile probationary members Thompson Rivers University and the University of the Fraser Valley. Canada West News Release

UVic plans to cull rabbits on campus

The University of Victoria plans to begin culling feral rabbits from an estimated population of 1,500 that have been digging burrows throughout the campus. Previous attempts to trap and sterilize the rabbits proved too costly, and the new plan entails trapping and euthanizing the animals. Part of the plan involves creating a rabbit-free zone around the university, while allowing a controlled population to remain in the centre of the campus. CBC

Canadian youth make small gains in employment

According to Statistics Canada figures released Friday, employment for young people aged 15 to 24 grew by 23,000 last month. The employment rate among 15- to 24-year-olds rose 0.5% in April, reaching 55.4%. Youth in Alberta made the most gains with a 1.6% increase in their employment rate, while Saskatchewan recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 63.3%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey