Top Ten

December 9, 2010

STU suspends men's volleyball team over hazing incident

St. Thomas University has suspended its men's volleyball team for the rest of the academic year following the death of a rookie player who attended the team's initiation party in October. Fredericton police have concluded that 21-year-old Andrew Bartlett had been drinking heavily at the party and later fell down some stairs at his apartment building and hit his head. A university review found the volleyball team gathered at an on-campus residence and later at an off-campus residence, where the hazing took place. The report states that by organizing the party, the team broke STU's statement of conduct, which prohibits team initiations. The institution is also reviewing its student conduct policies. CBC

Plan for uManitoba teaching doctors to be revised

A move to treat University of Manitoba teaching doctors as "independent contractors" -- which critics argue could strip them of academic freedom -- is being revised. Doctors in uManitoba's faculty of medicine and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority have been locked in talks for 5 months to create a Joint Operating Division (JOD) for about 300 doctors attached to the university in teaching, research, and clinical positions. The deal-breaker about the proposed JOD is that it would strip a physician's academic freedom to speak critically of the health-care system, says Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk. According to leaked memos, one proposal calls for physicians to provide managers with advance notice and a copy of remarks that "may relate to the operations of or affect the reputation of" uManitoba or the Health Sciences Centre. Winnipeg Free Press

Ontario calls for continued stimulus funding for skills training

In an open letter to the federal government, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy warned the shutdown of stimulus funding would throw 13,000 students out of programs like the PTP Adult Literacy and Employment Programs, deprive 29,000 students of help finding summer work, and remove training and job help for 7,000 new Canadians. "The effects of the recession aren't going to end on March 31, especially for those folks who don't have a lot of education," writes Milloy, whose letter urges Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley to keep providing an extra $315 million a year for training and literacy. In response, Finley did not pledge more money but invited Ontario to submit any requests for more funding during pre-budget hearings next spring.

Boréal to open new campus in Toronto

Collège Boréal president Denis Huber-Dutrisac unveiled Tuesday new developments and upcoming projects in the central-southwestern region of Ontario, including a new college campus project in downtown Toronto. In response to its steadily growing student population, Boréal is currently preparing to open a new 30,000-square-foot campus where services now offered at its 2 locations in Toronto will be housed in one location. The campus is expected to open in September 2012. Boréal News Release

Trent to move ahead with private residence plan

Trent University is moving ahead with its plan for a private-sector company to construct and operate a student residence on university-owned property at the Symons campus in Peterborough. Residence Development Corp., the company behind the project, has submitted a revised site plan application with the municipality with hopes to begin constructing a 4-building, 310- to 312-bed residence complex by the summer. The university plans to hold a public open house on the project in late January. Peterborough Examiner

Queen's computing school leads in North America in female enrolment

The School of Computing at Queen's University has a female enrolment rate of 35.8%, putting it well ahead of the Canadian average and making it a leader in North America. According to a recent study, women make up 11.2% of students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, and most computer schools have female enrolment numbers in the 10% to 20% range. Queen's has surpassed those figures in large part due to Women in the School of Computing, a group that supports female students and tries to encourage younger women to pursue computer science when they graduate from high school. Queen's News Centre

OCAD U releases results from survey on visual identity

In a survey of OCAD University students, alumni, and people from all around the world on the institution's visual identity, 40% of respondents felt the university's current visual identity needed a total change and it was time for a bold, new statement. 73% stated they were very familiar or felt well informed about OCAD University. Respondents were asked to provide 3 words to describe the institution's ideal future visual identity. Responses include "original, progressive, elegant," "dynamic, enterprising, innovative," and "outstanding, funky, inspirational." OCAD U News

uAlberta, Athabasca U will not renew Access Copyright license

The University of Alberta and Athabasca University have decided not to renew their license with Access Copyright, a Canadian copyright licensing agency. Access Copyright is proposing a new agreement to the Copyright Board of Canada that would increase its annual fee to $45 per full-time student from the current fee of $3.38. This would increase uAlberta's cost by more than $1 million a year. "We cannot afford such an exorbitant increase, nor do we want to pass it on to our students," says Athabasca U's associate vice-president of research. uAlberta's provost says it's not  just about the money. "We are genuinely concerned about some of the potential restrictions in the proposed license that may threaten our ability to use copyrighted resources in the classroom and may impinge other existing laws, practices or rights.” uAlberta ExpressNews | Athabasca U News

Capilano launches new website

We've recently noticed that Capilano University has redesigned its website. The top half of the homepage features a rotating graphic banner showcasing news and events at the institution. The easy-to-navigate site includes links to Capilano's Facebook page and YouTube channel. The university welcomes feedback on the new site through a link on its homepage. Capilano website

One-third of British universities at risk of closing, report says

According to a report by the University and College Union, Britain's main faculty union, more than one-third of universities in England are "at risk" of being closed as a result of cuts in government financing. The report evaluated each of the 130 universities in Britain based on 4 factors: its reliance on teaching funds it receives from the government based on student numbers; the proportion of that funding it would lose under the financing changes; the proportion of undergraduates from low-income backgrounds; and its reliance on students from outside the European Union, who pay higher tuition. The report singles out 4 universities as being "at very high risk," 23 at "high risk," and 22 at "high medium risk." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)