Top Ten

July 8, 2010

uWaterloo president chosen as Canada's next Governor General

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday that University of Waterloo president David Johnston will succeed Michaƫlle Jean as Governor General on October 1. A legal scholar, Johnston has held teaching positions at Queen's University and the University of Toronto, and is a former University of Western Ontario law dean and former McGill University principal. A Companion to the Order of Canada, Johnston is praised by Harper for having "a strong record of public service, a broad base of support and an impressive list of achievements." PM of Canada News Release | COU News Release | AUCC News Release | Globe and Mail | Waterloo Region Record

Federal funding aims to promote science, engineering careers to youth

Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear announced Wednesday funding for 51 organizations to encourage the next generation of young scientists and engineers to learn about fields such as robot programming, environmental science, and renewable energy. More than $3 million will be invested through the NSERC-administered PromoScience program. Organizations funded through these grants include universities, non-governmental organizations, museums, science centres, and other groups from across Canada. NSERC News Release

Humber Orangeville lands sought for sports facility

A group of businessmen in Orangeville, Ontario is asking the municipality to help them secure 8 acres of land for a 6,500-square-metre indoor sports facility, and the group would like to have the building situated at the Humber College lands. In 2006, Orangeville donated 28 acres of land on Veterans' Way to Humber for a new campus, a project that has been delayed several times, and college officials now predict it will be 2011 or 2012 before construction begins. The director of Humber's Orangeville campus says the group's proposal is currently under consideration. Orangeville Banner

Redeemer runs $5-million fundraiser for soccer complex

In partnership with Ancaster Soccer Club, Redeemer University College is running a $4.8-million fundraising campaign to address the need for soccer infrastructure in Hamilton. The "Field for All Seasons" campaign will raise the funds needed to renovate Redeemer's existing field and build a new 4-season international-sized field with a field house, providing world-class facilities to attract players and teams from across Hamilton and southwestern Ontario. The campaign has so far garnered $2.75 million. Redeemer News

6 Canadian institutions pick up platinum Hermes Creative Awards

6 Canadian post-secondary schools are among the platinum recipients of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals' Hermes Creative Awards. Wilfrid Laurier University earned 2 platinum awards in the brochure and writing/publication article categories. Other winners include Athabasca University (video/marketing [service]), College of the North Atlantic (book), the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences (microsite), the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business (magazine), and Grande Prairie Regional College (magazine). WLU also received 2 gold awards for Campus magazine, and CNA picked up a gold in the photography category (the complete list of gold recipients is not yet available online). CNA News Release | WLU News Release | 2010 Hermes Creative Awards

US study finds link between adjuncts and retention rates

According to new research from the US, first-year students who have many of their courses taught by adjuncts are less likely than other students to return as sophomores. The study's authors note that students with typical (for their institutions) use of adjunct instructors would see between a 10% and 30% decrease in their odds of coming back for their second year, compared to students taught by those on the tenure track. The researchers suggest that colleges consider having adjuncts teach more of a mix of courses, including upper division courses, and that they consider policies that would get more tenure-track faculty teaching first-year students. Inside Higher Ed

Trend in US colleges offering orientation to parents

Many American post-secondary institutions are holding orientations for parents and other family members of incoming students. At Massachusetts-based Stonehill College, the parent orientation includes a long lecture on "letting go". During its parent orientation, Northern Michigan University plays tapes of upperclassmen recreating actual calls they made home. Parents only hear the student's side of the call, after which they are asked to imagine their own reactions before being told what really happened. Such events prove to be popular. A Northeastern University spokeswoman says at least 85% of students have parents who also attend its programs. Associated Press

Today's college students studying less, study finds

New research from the US shows that over the past 50 years, the number of hours the average college student studies each week has been steadily dropping. According to an analysis of time-use surveys, the average student at a 4-year college in 1961 studied about 24 hours a week, while today's average student hits the books for just 14 hours. The researchers do not believe student employment, changing demographics, or technological advances to be the root cause for less studying time. However, they do suggest what might be causing it is the growing power of students and professors' unwillingness to challenge them. Boston Globe

Social science makes significant growth in Asia, Latin America

According to a new report from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, social science from Western nations continue to have the greatest world-wide influence, but the field is seeing significant growth in Asia and Latin America. For example, in China, spending on the social sciences has increased 15% to 20% a year since 2003. Meanwhile, social science research has been in decline in Russia and the other former Soviet Union states. The report finds that two-thirds of social science journals in the world are published in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. UNESCO News Release | Inside Higher Ed | Read the report

Teens more alert with later school day, study finds

Giving teenagers an extra half-hour to begin their school day leads to more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and even healthier breakfasts, according to a small study appearing in this month's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In explaining why even 30 minutes can make a big difference, researchers say teens tend to be in their deepest sleep around dawn, when they typically need to get up for school. Interrupting that sleep can leave teens groggy, especially since they tend to have difficulty falling asleep before 11 pm. Associated Press