Top Ten

December 3, 2010

Queen's student dies after falling through campus library skylight

A first-year Queen's University student has died and another student was taken to hospital after the pair fell through a library skylight last Thursday evening from the roof of Duncan McArthur Hall, the institution's education faculty building. The deceased has been identified as a 19-year-old male from Saudi Arabia, and the injured student is an 18-year-old male from Mississauga. Police continue to investigate the incident. This is the second fatality at Queen's this semester. On the first day of class in September, an 18-year-old male student was found dead on campus. His death is believed to have been caused by a fall from his residence room window. Queen's News Centre | Kingston Whig-Standard | Globe and Mail

Mount Royal Conservatory receives $20-million donation

On Friday, Engineered Air CEO Don Taylor and his family announced a $20-million gift to the Mount Royal University Conservatory, making it the largest single private donation the university has received in its 100-year history. Mount Royal's expansion includes a $73-million integrated performance and teaching facility, slated to open in 2013. It will be named The Bella Concert Hall at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in honour of family matriarch Marybell Taylor. The gift completes the funding required to build the new Conservatory. Funding for the project includes $20 million from each of the federal and Alberta governments and $10 million from the City of Calgary. Mount Royal News Release | Calgary Herald

uToronto renames Institute of Child Study for $5-million gift

Clinical psychologist Eric Jackman has donated $5 million to the University of Toronto's Institute of Child Study (ICS). In recognition of the donation, the university has renamed the 85-year-old ICS the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Jackman's lead gift to the $12-million ICS Building campaign launches the public phase of the campaign, of which more than two-thirds has been raised. uToronto News | Globe and Mail

uCalgary prof won't be disciplined for assassination remark

The University of Calgary is not considering any disciplinary action against a political science professor after he seemed to advocate the assassination of Julian Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. Tom Flanagan made his remarks on a live CBC program and later apologized. uCalgary says it has received numerous complaints about Flanagan from students, professors, and alumni. In an open letter to the university's president, a number of former students wrote that Flanagan's "prompt apology is most certainly welcome, but unfortunately for the U of C's reputation, the damage has been done." A uCalgary spokesman says the professor was representing himself, not the institution, when he made the remarks and had a right to his own opinion. Calgary Herald

uRegina student union seeks court injunction against CFS over referendum ballot counting process

The University of Regina Students' Union (URSU) announced last Thursday it will seek a court injunction against the Canadian Federation of Students in a bid to push forward the CFS referendum ballot counting process. In late October, uRegina students voted in a referendum to determine whether or not the student union would remain a member of the CFS. The URSU states that provisional ballots have been verified by the university's registrar's office, but the counting delay comes as a result of a disagreement between the union and the CFS regarding the eligibility of First Nations University of Canada students to vote in the referendum. URSU News Release | Regina Leader-Post

MUN study explores characteristics of effective instruction in higher ed

4 Memorial University researchers have published the final report on their research investigating students' perceptions of effective teaching in PSE. An online survey of MUN students takes into account the opinions of students studying both on campus and via distance education, with the intention of determining if the characteristics of effective teaching in an online environment are different from those in the traditional classroom setting. The 9 characteristics of effective teaching on-campus students identified, in order of the number of times they were mentioned in the survey results, were: respectful, knowledgeable, approachable, engaging, communicative, organized, responsive, professional, and humorous. In slight contrast for distance ed students, the order was: respectful, responsive, knowledgeable, approachable, communicative, organized, engaging, professional, and humorous. MUN News Release | Read the study

TRU signs agreement with The Open University of China

Thompson Rivers University's Open Learning Division and The Open University of China (OUC) have signed an agreement that will see both parties establishing a joint centre at OUC in Beijing to collaborate on a broad range of academic activities, including joint research and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition training (PLAR). Starting early next year, TRU Open Learning will begin training OUC academic staff in the philosophy, practice, and application of PLAR. Delegations from China will attend training sessions at the BC Centre for Open Learning facilities in Kamloops and at TRU Open Learning's Vancouver Centre. TRU News

"Are you wearing your BCITee?"

For a class project in a public relations course, some British Columbia Institute of Technology students produced a mock infomercial to promote the institution. The resulting video pokes fun at "UniversiTees," with the infomercial's male co-host stating that "for a lot of people, a UniversiTee just doesn't fit." At the same time, the video underscores the benefits of a "BCITee" -- "You can wear your BCITee full time, part time, at day or at night. It will last your entire career." BCIT Update

Flash mobs at UoGuelph, SAIT

We recently reported on a trend in US colleges organizing flash mobs. The trend appears to be making its way to Canada. Late last month, a group of University of Guelph students danced on tables and stripped down to their underwear in the University Centre in a "strip mob" protest against the Senate of Canada's voting down of Bill C-311, the Climate Accountability Act. Last Thursday, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Students' Association flash-mobbed unsuspecting students with a rendition of "Footloose" in the school's Burns Rotunda. UoGuelph News | Guelph Mercury | SAIT flash mob video

Youth employment rate unchanged

According to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey, while employment among youths was unchanged last month, there were fewer young people look for work. As a result, their unemployment rate dropped 1.4 percentage points to 13.6%. Since June, the youth participation rate has declined 2.1 percentage points to 63.2% in November, the lowest rate since August 1999. 15- to 24-year-olds in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador made the most gains last month with a 1.1 percentage point increase in the employment rate in this age group in both provinces, and Alberta also recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 61.9%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey