Top Ten

July 5, 2010

HEC Montréal evacuated over bomb threat

HEC Montréal, the affiliated business school of the Université de Montréal, was evacuated Sunday morning after someone called 911 and claimed to have placed a bomb in a school building. Several exams were being held Sunday morning as part of the summer term and about 100 people had to be evacuated. No suspicious object or package was found during a police search, and the school was reopened around noon. Exams are being rescheduled. Montreal Gazette | Canadian Press

UBC faculty association appeals court decision on academic governance

The University of British Columbia's faculty association has appealed the BC Court of Appeal's recent decision on a case concerning a collective agreement. In May 2007, UBC's senate passed a new policy on student evaluations of teaching, a policy the faculty association alleged was in violation of its collective agreement with UBC. The association filed a grievance, which was referred to an arbitrator. The arbitrator concluded he had no jurisdiction to review the senate policy, and the BC Court of Appeal upheld his decision. In its application to the Supreme Court of Canada, the faculty association states that if the lower court's decision is allowed to stand, it "will have profound implications for virtually every university and for faculty across Canada." Margin Notes (University Affairs blog)

CBU's Mi'kmaq College Institute becomes Unama'ki College

On July 1, Mi'kmaq College Institute, based at Cape Breton University, transformed into Unama'ki College, signifying greater autonomy and increased resources to allow the college to realize the university's commitment to Aboriginal education more effectively. Unama'ki College will be home to a new cross-disciplinary academic department that will enable full- and part-time faculty to raise the profile of Indigenous Studies within CBU and in the communities of Unama'ki and beyond. CBU News Release

Bible college plans return to Peterborough

The Master's College and Seminary is expected to return to Peterborough after making an offer to purchase its original location where it had operated as the Eastern Pentecostal Bible College for 52 years. The college shut down in Peterborough in 2003 and moved to Toronto because its officials felt students needed access to more Pentecostal churches for training. Trent University leased the property in 2003 to handle the double cohort influx of high school students following the elimination of Grade 13 in Ontario, and left the property when its lease expired after 4 years. Most recently, a developer had a conditional deal to buy the property and convert it into a student residence for Trent, which wasn't interested in the proposal. Statement from MCS President | Peterborough Examiner

Many Ontario college students follow "non-traditional" PSE pathways

A recent analysis of PSE persistence for Ontario college students based on the Youth in Transition Survey, Cohort B dataset finds that a substantial portion of students follow what could be considered "non-traditional" pathways -- such as switching programs and taking breaks -- and that persistence rates are found to be much higher when viewed from this broader perspective. While nearly 27% of students leave their first PSE program by first year's end, the report states, over a third of these switch immediately to another PSE program, mostly again at the college level, many of these at the same college, and many of those who do leave PSE return in the few years following, with 23.5% doing so within a year of leaving. While the 5-year graduation rate is only 58.1% when measured with respect to the first program started, the rate jumps to 70.6% when those who graduated from another program are included. When those who have not yet graduated but are still in PSE are also included, persistence rates rise to nearly 77%. Read the report

Canadian institutions increasingly targeting India

"If you analyze the global environment, you have no choice but to move into India," says the dean of York University's Schulich School of Business, which plans to open a campus in India. The South Asian country is home to a growing share of the world's under-25 population, and Canadian universities, some short on students and funds, need to tap into that market, the dean reasons. Canadian schools are increasingly targeting India, and their interest in the nation is shared by federal and provincial governments. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has made strategic engagement with India a priority, and is organizing a mission of 15 Canadian university presidents to India for this fall. Higher education officials suggest Canadian schools collaborate to improve their visibility in India, which is overshadowed by counterparts in the US, UK, and Australia. Globe and Mail

$14 million for fisheries science research in NL

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced last Friday a $14-million investment to expand long-term fisheries science capabilities for the province. The government is investing in a suite of new fisheries science research programs, including the creation of a new Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research. The province will work with Memorial University and its Fisheries and Marine Institute to develop and implement these programs. The investment includes $5.25 million to charter an offshore fisheries research vessel, marking the first time in NL's history that the province will solely fund and deploy a fisheries science vessel. NL News Release | CBC

UPEI proposes $4-million library expansion

The University of Prince Edward Island is proposing to build a $4-million addition on its Robertson Library that would hold the institution's archival material. The 8,000-square-foot, 3-storey structure would include special meeting and exhibit space, in additional to being a storage facility for UPEI's print and art collections. The university is hoping the federal and PEI governments will contribute about half of the project's cost. CBC

Are college housekeeping services necessary during economic difficulties?

"No. But it is a great service," says an official at California-based Claremont McKenna College, who notes that the school's housekeeping staff have good relationships with students. Such relationships are encouraged at Indiana's Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, whose dean of students says the housekeeping service is "an imperative part of residence life," and probably one of the top selling points among students living on campus. Should it need to cut its budget, Rose-Hulman wouldn't eliminate the service, but could potentially reduce housekeeping staff. "It makes parents feel better that they know it's going to be cleaned once a week," says the director of residence at Ohio-based Xavier University, which has not looked at cutting the service, despite having "budget-cutting exercises." Inside Higher Ed

Indonesia, India lead Facebook growth in June

According to Inside Facebook's Global Monitor report for June 2010, Indonesia grew the most, adding over 1.19 million new monthly active users to a total of 25.9 million. While Indonesia did not surpass the UK to become Facebook's second-largest country after the US, as was predicted, the milestone looks closer than ever. India follows close behind with 989,640 new monthly active users over last month. India's population is large enough that it should drive some of Facebook's growth for a long time to come, Inside Facebook states. Rounding out the top 10 growers for June are the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and the US. Inside Facebook