Top Ten

June 8, 2010

OCAD officially a university

The Ontario College of Art & Design is now "OCAD University," the institution announced yesterday. The Act to change OCAD's name was introduced in late April as part of Bill 43, the Post-secondary Education Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010 and also included language to officially recognize the role of the institution's chancellor, modify the powers of the board of governors, and create an academic senate. OCAD University president Sara Diamond says "our new name makes clear for our current and future students, alumni, faculty, Ontario and the world our role as Canada's leading institution for art and design education and research." OCAD U News Release

UPEI ordered to rehire forced-to-retire employees

Following up on its ruling in February that the University of Prince Edward Island's mandatory retirement policy is discriminatory, the PEI Human Rights Commission has ordered the university to reinstate 3 employees who were forced to retire in 2005, and cease its policy of mandatory retirement. The total cost for UPEI to implement the order will exceed $1 million, which is double the increase to its government operating grant for the main campus in 2010-11. In a statement, UPEI says in light of this financial challenge, "restrictions on hiring and on discretionary expenditures are anticipated." The university is appealing the commission's February ruling through the PEI Supreme Court. The case is ongoing. UPEI Statement | Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

SIIT relocates Regina campus

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies is relocating its Regina campus to larger space in order to accommodate the school's growth. The institute offers 6 classes for about 100 students, but once the next academic year begins that number is expected to grow with the introduction of new programs, such as health-care aide. The site co-ordinator for the Regina campus says the new facilities will bring some positive changes for students with larger classrooms and more room for additional services. The relocation is expected to happen over the summer. Regina Leader-Post

Canada India Education Council launched

On May 25, the Canada India Education Council was officially launched at a reception in Toronto attended by several education experts from both countries, industry representatives, and politicians. A national non-profit, membership-based organization established to exclusively operate within the burgeoning Canada-India education corridor, CIEC has a strong presence in both Canada and India and will work to enhance ties and create opportunities for academic institutions and learners from both nations. CIEC plans to organize "Synergy 2010" this September in Toronto, bringing together education experts and stakeholders from both countries to reflect on opportunities and challenges. The council is also planning a delegation of Canadian institutions early next year to strategic cities in India. CIEC Announcement

Canadian universities need to make a real investment in foreign students

In a 2-part column published in University Affairs, University of British Columbia-Okanagan principal Doug Owram writes that Canadian universities need to think of international students from a long-run perspective, which means making a real investment to ensure that, whatever short-term fluctuations are brought on by economic cycles or government policies, an institution is structured to attract and graduate larger numbers of strong international students. Budgeting around foreign undergraduate enrolment needs to be treated more deliberately, Owram states. Incentives need to be given to programs that attract international students, while considering the overall balance of foreign and domestic undergraduates. Most of all, institutions need to invest in the students' success after they arrive on campus. University Affairs

Investments in education more critical than ever, says report

In a new report from the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity, the Toronto-based think-tank urges federal and provincial governments to continue to place post-secondary education high on the list when considering their spending priorities. The report notes that funding ought to focus on 3 priorities: increasing the number of masters degrees attained; expanding access to universities, especially for youth from demographic groups who are less likely to participate in PSE; and improving the student experience in universities. "If Canada is to be an economy that is competing on creativity and innovation," the report states, "our workers and managers need the skills and knowledge to thrive and many of these come from robust educational opportunities." Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity News Release | Read the report

UWO president wants to "open up" university to the world

Speaking at the Rotary Club of London Monday, University of Western Ontario president Amit Chakma said he wants to "open up" the university to the rest of the world. One of Chakma's biggest goals is to increase UWO's undergraduate international student population from 3% to the provincial average of 6%, and to some day approach the higher percentages of institutions such as the University of Toronto and McGill University. One of the ways UWO can continue to increase its presence on the world stage, said Chakma, is the new Canada-US Institute, the first of its kind in Canada. Landing big-name researchers such as neurologist Adrian Owen -- recently announced as one of the 19 inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chairs -- shows UWO is heading in the right direction. London Free Press

WLU expands services for Aboriginal students

Wilfrid Laurier University has created the position of Senior Advisor: Aboriginal Initiatives to enhance post-secondary opportunities for Aboriginal students. The senior advisor will oversee activities related to Aboriginal initiatives at WLU, and will help develop future programming. In addition to the new position, the university has established an Aboriginal Education Council, which will provide leadership for the implementation of initiatives to further engage Aboriginal communities in support of post-secondary objectives. The council -- comprising Aboriginal community members, students, staff, faculty, and members of WLU's senior management team -- will meet throughout the year at the university's Brantford, Waterloo, and Kitchener campuses. WLU News Release

UOIT president to retire

University of Ontario Institute of Technology president Dr. Ronald Bordessa announced Monday he plans to retire at the end of his current contract in June 2011. Until his retirement next year, Bordessa will preside over the opening of the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence, the Clean Energy Lab, the move of the social science and humanities faculty to downtown Oshawa, and the opening of the Energy Research Centre next spring. UOIT's board of governors will immediately begin a comprehensive search process that will engage stakeholders to make sure an exceptional leader is hired. UOIT News Release

Public Utah university raises questions with Mormon-themed recruitment ads

Southern Utah University is raising questions about whether a public institution should play on faith to recruit students following the university's recent advertising campaign portraying the school as an ideal setting to prepare for a mission -- the 2-year proselytizing tour of duty many college-age Mormons serve. As a legal matter, says the associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, public institutions should steer clear of favouring one religion, race, or gender over others, except to address the lingering effects of past discrimination. The associate executive director calls Southern Utah U's campaign "troublesome" and recommends Utah's public schools avoid religious pitches without commensurate efforts to recruit members of non-Mormon faiths. Salt Lake Tribune