Top Ten

June 9, 2010

Teacher unions may boycott Nipissing student teachers over honorary degree for Mike Harris

The president of the Ontario Teachers' Federation says the federation and its affiliates are vehemently opposed to Nipissing University conferring an honorary degree on former Ontario premier Mike Harris, as well as the possibility Nipissing's new learning library will be named after him. The opposition could include boycotting Nipissing student teachers, the federation's president warned. In a letter sent last month to Nipissing's board of governors, the OTF writes that "we cannot predict how teachers may demonstrate their displeasure" should Nipi ssing award Harris an honorary degree or name the library in his honour. The president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario has also written to Nipissing objecting to the honour. He told the North Bay Nugget there is "absolutely, no doubt" the issue of student placements would be considered for discussion if Nipissing follows through. Aboriginal groups have also opposed the honorary degree for Harris. The Nipissing First Nation has withdrawn its financial support of the learning library. North Bay Nugget | Read the letter from OTF

Montreal man charged for threat against John Abbott College

A Montreal man faces a charge of perpetrating a terrorist hoax and another of public mischief relating to a threat last year that targeted John Abbott College, a Montreal CÉGEP. The RCMP reports that Montreal police and the college received a letter in May 2009 warning of a potential terrorist attack against the school by a group of Pakistani students. An investigation revealed the letter was a hoax and the alleged attack was unfounded. 50-year-old Murad Hossain has been charged by summons and is to appear in court at a later date. Canadian Press

Oshawa invests over $7 million in UOIT downtown expansion

Oshawa city council has approved $7.5 million in municipal funding to help the University of Ontario Institute of Technology further its expansion into the downtown. Council voted unanimously to reallocate $5 million previously earmarked for a pool on the Durham College/UOIT campus to the UOIT Downtown Campus Initiative. The city also approved a $2.5-million grant. The campus initiative launched in fall 2008, when the faculty of education moved into a vacant downtown building. UOIT has since committed to a 30-year lease on the former Alger Press building for classroom and student services space. The university will also be leasing a 30,000-square-foot building behind the Regent Theatre, and using space in the basement of the Genosha Hotel for psychology labs. Durham Region News

RDC to establish satellite campus

Red Deer College has received municipal approval to set up a satellite campus in the Millennium Centre in downtown Red Deer. The college is proposing to lease all of the centre's third floor, and 15,260 square feet on the fourth floor. In a letter to Red Deer's municipal planning commission, RDC president Joel Ward writes that most of the resulting classroom space would be on the third floor, with computer labs and faculty and administrative offices on the fourth floor. Ward writes that renovations to the Millennium Centre space could start by December and be available for use in time for fall 2011 classes. Red Deer Advocate

NL premier names interim president of CNA

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams announced Tuesday the appointment of Bruce Hollett as the interim president of College of the North Atlantic, effective immediately. Hollett has held several deputy minister appointments, including deputy minister of education, and previously served as acting president of CNA. Former college president Jean Madill tendered her resignation in April, one day before it was revealed that financial errors at CNA's Qatar campus totalled $5 million. NL News Release | St. John's Telegram

Ontario university applications rise over last June

According to June undergraduate application statistics released yesterday by the Ontario Universities' Application Centre, there are 497,392 applications this month, up from 487,063 in June 2009. Applications from high school students have gone up 2.8%, while applications from non-secondary students are down 0.1% from this time last year. OUAC News and Stats June 2010

UBC increases entrance averages

The vast majority of students applying to the University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus this fall will need at least an A average, the highest marks ever required at the institution. UBC's faculty of arts now requires an 85% or higher average for admission, while some faculties, such as science, require even higher marks than the 86% needed for an A. UBC's associate director of enrolment says students' grades have been improving as the required averages have gone up, and he believes students will rise to the challenge of higher admission standards. Applications to UBC's Vancouver campus for September 2010 are up 9% over 2009 and 16% over 2008. Vancouver Sun

UoGuelph vet college opens pet health centre

A new teaching and learning centre opened Tuesday at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. The Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre will be a full-service veterinary hospital to integrate preventive and general medicine with nutrition, behaviour, public health, good citizenship, rehabilitation, communication, and animal welfare. Veterinary students will manage and operate the centre under the supervision of OVC veterinarians and technicians, who will serve as mentors, trainers, and evaluators. UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

84% of Grade 10 students in Ontario pass literacy test

According to results from the 2010 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, of the students who wrote the test for the first time, 84% were successful, maintaining the high rate of success seen over the last few years -- 85% in 2009, and 84% in 2008, 2007, and 2006. Of the 40,835 students who wrote the OSSLT and who had not met the standard in reading in Grade 6, 62% were successful. Of the 44,173 students who wrote the test and who had not met the standard in writing in Grade 6, 67% passed. EQAO News Release

Giving to education in US drops 3.6%

According to new data from the Giving USA Foundation, giving to education declined to an estimated $40.01 billion in 2009, representing a drop of 3.6%. This is the second consecutive year in which giving to education has decreased. Education received 13% of gifts last year, the second-highest category following religion, which accounted for 33% of the total. Overall, US charitable giving fell 3.6% in 2009 to $303.75 billion. Giving USA Foundation News Release | Inside Higher Ed