Top Ten

December 10, 2010

Supreme Court turns down UBC faculty association's appeal request

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied the University of British Columbia Faculty Association's application for leave to appeal a BC Court of Appeal decision that upheld an arbitrator's ruling that he did not have jurisdiction over a grievance that senate policy on student evaluation of teaching violated the collective agreement. This past April, the BC Court of Appeal held the arbitrator's 2008 ruling that UBC's University Act granted authority over governance of academic matters to the senate, which the university's board of governors could not limit in any collective agreement it negotiated. CAUT Bulletin

Manitoba to cover med school cost for graduates working in certain areas

The Manitoba government announced last Thursday a new program under which the province will fully cover the medical school costs of students who agree to work in areas of Manitoba that are most in need of doctors. Under the program, Manitoba med students will have access to up to $61,000 over 4 years in exchange for a 2-and-half-year commitment to under-serviced communities. The program is part of the Manitoba government's plan to provide all Manitobans with access to a family doctor by 2015. Manitoba News Release

Niagara College anticipates 7% increase in winter term enrolment

Projections indicate a 7% enrolment increase for the winter 2011 semester at Niagara College. This follows a 5.5% increase for the fall 2010 term at the institution, which was in line with a province-wide increase of 5.9% for Ontario colleges. With this continued growth, enrolment at Niagara College will surpass 9,000 students this year. Niagara College News Release

NAIT appoints new president

Last Thursday, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology announced the appointment of Dr. Glenn Feltham as the institution's sixth president and CEO, effective March 1, 2011. A graduate of uAlberta, Queen's, and uWaterloo, Feltham will join NAIT after 6 years as the dean of the University of Manitoba's I.H. Asper School of Business. Prior to that, he was a professor in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Commerce, where he was the head of the accounting department. NAIT News Release

Confucius Classroom comes to Algonquin College

Algonquin College announced Friday it will be the home of Ottawa's first Confucius Classroom, opened by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. The main goals of the Confucius Classroom at the college are to facilitate Chinese language instruction to people in the Ottawa area, enhance the understanding of Chinese language and culture, and strengthen educational and cultural collaboration between China and Canada. Algonquin College News Release

George Brown, McGill, SFU among Canada's most family-friendly employers

George Brown College, McGill University, and Simon Fraser University are among the 2011 winners of Canada's top 25 family-friendly employers. One reason George Brown College was selected is that all employees begin with 3 weeks' paid vacation and 5 days off during the Christmas holidays. McGill was chosen for its 12-month paid salary leave program and phased-in retirement program. SFU was selected for offering parental leave top-up to 100% of salary for 37 weeks for new biological and adoptive parents. Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers 2011

Virginia Tech violated law in 2007 shooting response

In a report released last Thursday, the US Department of Education found that Virginia Tech broke the law when it waited 2 hours before warning the campus that a gunman was on the loose, too late to save 32 students and faculty who went to class and were killed in the April 2007 shooting spree. The report rejects Virginia Tech's defence of its conduct and confirmed the institution violated the Clery Act, which required that students and employees be notified of on-campus threats. Virginia Tech could lose some or all of the $98 million in student financial aid it receives from the US government, and could be fined up to $55,000 for 2 violations -- failing to issue a timely warning and not following its own emergency notification policy. Associated Press

Postscript: Apr 3, 2012

An administrative judge has overturned a $55,000 fine the US Education Department imposed on Virginia Tech for failing to issue a timely warning on the day of the campus shooting in April 2007. The judge's decision says the 2-hour period before an alert went out ""was not an unreasonable amount of time in which to issue a warning...If the later shootings at Norris Hall had not occurred, it is doubtful that the timing of the e-mail would have been perceived as too late." Virginia Tech officials say they are "satisfied" with the judge's ruling, but that "there is no glee" given the events in 2007. Inside Higher Ed

British lawmakers approve sharp increase in university tuition fees

In a move that drew new rounds of student protests, British lawmakers approved last Thursday a bill to allow English universities to increase undergraduate tuition to as much as £9,000 a year from the current rate of £3,290. The increase, to take effect for the academic year beginning in fall 2012, will transform many English universities into the most expensive PSE institutions in the world. The £9,000 rate is a cap the government described as an "absolute limit," intended only to be charged by a small number of institutions, with most universities expected to set their tuition closer to a "basic threshold" of £6,000. But according to a new report, most institutions will have to charge an average tuition of nearly £7,000 to maintain current revenue levels in the face of government cuts. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

UK business school offering MBA program on Facebook

The London School of Business and Finance's Global MBA program is billed as "the world's first internationally recognized MBA to be delivered through a Facebook application." Facebook is providing the school with a pool of global students eager to click away for their MBA. Students can initially download the Facebook application to watch videos, read lecture notes and case studies, and take part in Wall discussions about a selected topic for free. If users want to work toward a formal MBA credential, tuition fees kick in. A full Global MBA program costs $23,000. Toronto Star | LSBF Global MBA Facebook application

8% of Internet users in US use Twitter

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 8% of the American adults who use the Internet are Twitter users. Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 are significantly more likely to use the microblogging service than older adults, the study found. Minority Internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white Internet users, and urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as their rural peers. The report observes that women and the college-educated are also slightly more likely than average to use Twitter. According to numbers crunched for The Chronicle of Higher Education, 18% of college students who go online use Twitter. Results from our 2010 University and College Applicant Study show that 3.5% of Canadian university and college applicants use Twitter. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report