Top Ten

June 7, 2010

$15 million for UCN The Pas campus expansion

The Manitoba government announced yesterday a $15-million investment in the University College of the North campus in The Pas, funding renovations to the existing campus and a new library and child-care facility. The schematic design includes a 24-unit, on-campus housing development for students and their families, as well as enhanced new facilities to meet the long-term needs of key academic programs. The expansion will also include an Aboriginal centre, a student lounge, and centralized administrative offices. Manitoba News Release

$12 million for Cégep de Sainte-Foy infrastructure

The federal and Quebec governments announced Friday a joint investment of over $12.2 million from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for a new academic building at Cégep de Sainte-Foy. The facility will accommodate students in 4 programs relating to arts and applied arts. The building will house about 500 students and 50 professors. Ottawa is contributing nearly $4 million to the project, while Quebec is investing over $8.2 million. Quebec News Release (in French)

Nunavut rejects funding request from Akitsiraq Law School

The Nunavut government has turned down a funding application from the Akitsiraq Law School Society, who had sought $3.57 million over 6 years to pay about 70% of the cost of running the second phase of the Akitsiraq Law School, whose first phase produced 11 law graduates in 2005. The second phase, to have been run in partnership with the University of Ottawa, would have accepted 25 students. In a letter to the law school society on Nunavut's decision, the territory's finance minister writes that "in a time of limited resources, our focus is on improving our school system from kindergarten to Grade 12." Nunatsiaq News

Christian education group calls for national forum on academic freedom

Christian Higher Education Canada, which represents 33 evangelical post-secondary institutions across the country, would like to see a national conference to bring together "all stakeholders within higher education" to discuss academic freedom. The idea for such a forum came following CHEC's annual general meeting last week, where members discussed the recent visits and reports by delegations of the Canadian Association of University Teachers to 3 CHEC institutions, including Trinity Western University. CAUT was investigating whether the requirement that faculty at these schools adhere to an "ideological or faith test as a condition of employment" violated academic freedom. In a news release, CHEC "notes with concern the accusation by CAUT against some of its member institutions suggesting they do not practice academic freedom." The organization's concern is "based on the seemingly arbitrary attitude of CAUT that it alone has the authority to define the meaning of 'university' and 'academic freedom' within Canada and that those who do not accept its definitions are in some manner deficient." Margin Notes

OCAD, McMaster presidents appear on The Agenda

Ontario College of Art and Design president Sara Diamond and outgoing McMaster University president Peter George were guests on Friday's episode of TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin. In her interview, Diamond discusses OCAD's university designation, its strategic plan to connect art and design to fields such as engineering and medicine, and its contribution to Toronto's cultural sector. In his interview, Peter George reflects on his 45 years at McMaster, hoping his legacy will be seen mainly in terms of developing the institution as a more student-centred university. One of his regrets is that he would have liked to have done more for the humanities and social sciences. George expresses support for tuition deregulation, with increased fees to address quality issues, such as student-faculty ratios. The Agenda

VIU to discontinue credit card option for tuition payment

Effective this September, Vancouver Island University will no longer accept credit card payments for tuition or for student union and activity fees. The cost to administer credit card payments at the university is over $420,000 per year, with credit card fees between $330,000 and $340,000 annually. A VIU spokeswoman says the university believes these funds can be better used to develop quality programs and services for students. VIU joins a number of Canadian institutions that have either stopped accepting credit cards for tuition payments or are considering such a policy. Nanaimo Daily News

Rope-rescue tower opens at JIBC

Federal and provincial politicians joined Justice Institute of British Columbia representatives Friday to officially mark the completion of a new 4-storey rope-rescue tower and classroom expansion at the institution's Maple Ridge campus. The rope-rescue tower allows JIBC to train up to 300 people annually for rescues in multi-storey buildings and high-angle environments. In addition to high-angle rescue, the tower will support confined-space rescue, ladder rescue, and firehose-handling training. The institution's fire and safety division will also benefit from a classroom addition to accommodate the growing demand for training in the fire and safety field. BC News Release

UWO launches Centre for Human Immunology

The University of Western Ontario announced last Wednesday the creation of the Centre for Human Immunology, a London-wide, multidisciplinary initiative led by the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Lawson Health Research Institute. The centre's initial 17 members will work to better understand the human immune system so that better vaccines against infections and cancer, improved organ transplantation, and new therapies for allergies and autoimmune diseases can be developed. Western News | London Free Press

uCalgary launches redesigned homepage

A Top Ten subscriber from the University of Calgary notified us that the university recently launched a new-look homepage. The redesigned homepage is dominated by a large, rotating graphic banner highlighting news and events at the institution. The homepage includes links to student, staff, faculty, and alumni profiles, and to the university's video microsite. At the top of the homepage, visitors will find links to uCalgary's RSS feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter account. uCalgary website

Canadian users of Facebook surpass 16-million mark

New research reports that the number of Canadians on Facebook passed the 16-million users mark in May. Over 912,000 Canadians signed up for the social networking site last month, representing a 6% increase in membership. Overall, Canada is the fourth largest market on Facebook, on a per capita basis, following Iceland, Norway, and Hong Kong. However, among larger nations with at least 10 million citizens, Canada is No. 1. Canadian Press