Top Ten

June 29, 2010

uOttawa president talked out of inviting Coulter back, documents show

According to documents obtained by the Canadian Press, University of Ottawa president Allan Rock wanted to invite right-wing American commentator Ann Coulter back to campus after a scheduled speech in March was cancelled, but his advisers talked him out of it, warning that Coulter's appearance would only result in another media circus. The documents show Rock had advised uOttawa's provost to write to Coulter asking her to respect Canadian speech laws during her visit. uOttawa initially considered whether there was any valid reason to cancel the talk, and quickly determined there was none, the released material reveals. During the controversy, Rock was advised to stay under the media radar. Rock told uOttawa's senate in April he used "intemperate language" with colleagues to describe Coulter, about whom he said he knew little before researching online, and acknowledged that the provost's letter could be seen as having a chilling effect on free speech. Canadian Press

Former Carleton hockey coach sues university

A former men's hockey coach at Carleton University is suing the institution for withdrawing what he thought would be a 4-year contract extension, and then dismissing him altogether in late April. In a suit filed last week, Fred Parker is seeking $400,000 in damages for breach of contract, another $100,000 for defamation, and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages. Carleton announced April 30 it had ended its 4-year relationship with Parker, a decision the school said it made because it was unable to reach an agreement with him. In his court filing, Parker claims he acted candidly and reasonably in negotiating a new contract and that his dismissal "violated good faith and fair dealing." Ottawa Citizen

Postscript: Feb 16, 2012

Carleton University and Fred Parker, its former men's hockey coach, have reached a settlement after nearly 2 years of often acrimonious negotiations between the institution and Parker, who has received the equivalent to approximately a 3-month severance. Parker had filed a lawsuit against Carleton in June 2010 for withdrawing what he thought would be a 4-year contract extension, and then dismissing him altogether in April of that year. Ottawa Citizen

uToronto student groups decry police raid

On Monday, student unions, campus groups, and labour organizations at the University of Toronto released a joint statement condemning the G20 Integrated Security Unit's raid of the university's Graduate Student Union building on Sunday, which resulted in about 70 people arrested, including 2 executive members of the graduate student union. The GSU stands by its decision to accommodate dozens of protesters during the G20 summit. A union executive says it informed uToronto administrators that guests would be staying at union headquarters. In a statement, the GSU says it "categorically denies any involvement in any undemocratic activity." UTSU News Release | GSU News Release | Globe and Mail

More Canadian university grads enrolling in college

Fuelled in part by a slumping job market, Canadian colleges are seeing a rise in applications from people already with a university degree. "The colleges have become kind of a finishing school for university graduates," says former Seneca College president Rick Miner, noting that colleges work very closely with business and industry so they are aware of labour market needs. Postgraduate students interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education report enjoying the rigorousness of their college program or the more practical education at colleges. The trend is leading administrators to rethink how they serve students. Centennial College, for example, had developed specific postgraduate courses in fields such as communications, health care, and technology. Colleges need to be somewhat cautious when catering to postgraduates -- they often have higher expectations about services and amenities and have different needs, says Centennial president Ann Buller. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing launched

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of Public Schools - International, the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and Languages Canada signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday to establish the Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing. The consortium will aim to provide leadership, co-ordination, and added value to the education sector's marketing efforts to attract international students to Canada. This initiative includes an action plan outlining innovative approaches to enhance visibility in key markets. The consortium will propose the action plan as a basis for a partnership with federal, provincial, and territorial governments. AUCC News Release

HEQCO releases series of reports on student success programs

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario kicked off its Student Success Conference Monday with the release of 5 reports evaluating student success programs at provincial institutions. An analysis of Nipissing University's UNIV 1011, an optional, for-credit course that provides supplementary training to first-year students, found a correlation between successfully completing the course and Year 1 to Year 2 retention. A study of Huron University College's Writing Proficiency Assessment observed a significant increase in overall score between a first-year assessment and a second assessment during a student's graduating year. Carleton University's Peer Assisted Study Session program significantly improved academic success among participating students, researchers found. A qualitative analysis assessing the effectiveness of Lakehead University's Gateway Program in helping non-traditional students indicated that most students found the program helped them to develop the academic skills needed to be successful in university and to integrate into university life. An assessment of intervention projects at 10 Ontario universities found that NSSE item and benchmark measures are generally unable to detect the effects of the relatively modest interventions undertaken.

NBCC Allied Health Building under construction

Construction is underway for the New Brunswick Community College Saint John Allied Health Building, based at the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus. The $20-million, 43,000-square-feet facility will house programs such as practical nursing, medical laboratory technology, and personal service worker. Construction of the building is to be finished in spring 2011. NB News Release

Algoma U to build Fine Arts and Music Education Centre

Algoma University will renovate part of the former Windsor Park Hotel in Sault Ste. Marie to create the Fine Arts and Music Education Centre, scheduled to open in 2012. The 21,000-square-foot centre will feature enhanced studio space, multi-purpose classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and performance and gallery spaces. The centre is one of the projects that will be partially supported by the $6-million Essential Elements fundraising campaign. Algoma U News Release

Majority of biz schools have more to learn about sustainability

In its seventh annual Knight Schools ranking, Toronto-based publisher Corporate Knights reports that there are strong leaders when it comes to sustainability in business education, but the majority still has a lot to learn. Despite low average scores in the undergraduate and MBA categories this year, the leaders continue to set the bar high, making the top ten a competitive ranking. The University of Waterloo and York University's Schulich School of Business maintained their first-place ranking in the undergraduate business and MBA categories, respectively. The University of Calgary received the top score in engineering, while the University of Manitoba placed first in actuarial science, a new category in this year's ranking. The ranking includes a spotlight on Algonquin and Seneca Colleges. Corporate Knights News Release | Knight Schools 2010

UVic launches new feral rabbit management plan

The University of Victoria has developed a new long-term feral rabbit management plan, which establishes rabbit-free zones on campus and an area where a sustainable population of feral rabbits can remain. Feral rabbits will be removed from designated rabbit-free zones over the next year through a combination of humane trapping/euthanasia and community-arranged sterilization and relocation to government-authorized facilities that community organizations can arrange. The plan also includes the option to incorporate a trap/sterilize/release or vasectomy option into the management program for the rabbit-control zone when the focus shifts to that part of campus in 2011. UVic News Release | Read the plan