Top Ten

January 11, 2011

Concordia board chair speaks out on president's departure

In an open letter on Judith Woodsworth's departure from Concordia University, the institution's board of governors chairman states the university aims to rank among Canada's top comprehensive institutions within the next decade and be a first-choice university for students and faculty in Canada and worldwide in defined fields. "It was in this context and following discussions with members of the Board during the month of December that Dr. Woodsworth made the decision to resign." Woodsworth has confirmed in the media that she had been pushed out by the board after some members had lost confidence in her. An aide to Quebec's education minister says the minister wants to avoid a repeat of Concordia's recent experience, hoping and expecting "the board to assume its responsibilities so this does not happen again, to try to hold onto presidents and avoid paying out severance." Letter from the board chairman | National Post | Montreal Gazette

Report warns of big tuition hikes in NS

A report presented to Dalhousie University's senate Monday says undergraduate students in Nova Scotia could be paying 21% more in tuition if the provincial government does not renew its bursary program. Students enrolled in Dal's master of science program would pay 18% more, while medical students would see their tuition rise by 9%. Currently, every full-time NS university student receives a provincial government bursary. The bursary money comes from a trust, set up several years ago with one-time funding of $65 million. That funding runs out this year. The province's education minister promised Monday to renew the program, but would not say how much funding will be available. CBC

UVic professor's lecture sparks FBI call

A University of Victoria professor of indigenous studies says the FBI called her after she gave a lecture at a Minnesota university about Native American land rights. After her lecture in November, a student accused her of inciting violence against white people. The professor talked about a major land issue among Dakota people in the context of reclaiming that land by any means necessary. A male student who attended the lecture complained about the comment in a letter to a local newspaper, calling the professor's position terrorism. The professor says she has never advocated violence against white settlers or advocated Dakota people taking up arms to kill other people. She says the FBI called her last week to question her. She referred the FBI agent to her attorney, who has not yet been contacted by the agency. CBC

TWU to open early in temporary location in Richmond

Although Trinity Western University's new 2,000-square-metre campus in downtown Richmond, BC will not be ready to welcome students until September 2013, efforts are underway to secure temporary accommodations near the new facility. Once an "executive level teaching location" is secured, the plan is to start offering enrolment in liberal arts and other yet-to-be-determined courses, with classes kicking off in the temporary location in September 2012. TWU president Jonathan Raymond envisions growing the institution to over 6,000 students in the coming years and perhaps adding space in other nearby projects. Richmond Review

uCalgary launches Project Next

Yesterday the University of Calgary kicked off its campus-wide consultation process for Project Next, a strategic planning effort initiated by president Elizabeth Cannon. Over the next 2 months, all institutional stakeholders and community members will be invited to learn more about Project Next and share their views on uCalgary's future by visiting the project's website and answering a series of questions designed to spark conversation using social media. Members of the university community will also be invited to participate in a series of strategy workshops to engage in detailed discussions about the institution's future. The outcomes of Project Next are expected to be complete by July. uCalgary News | Project Next website

York U top Canadian institution in global survey of green campuses

York University has placed first in Canada and third worldwide in a global campus sustainability survey by the University of Indonesia. The UI Green Metric Ranking of World Universities 2010 rated participating institutions based on factors such as the percentage of green space on their campus, electricity consumption, waste and water management, and the application of eco-sustainability policies and efforts. The other Canadian universities listed in the ranking are Simon Fraser University (21), the University of Alberta (22), and Acadia University (59). Y-File | UI Green Metric Ranking of World Universities 2010

Confederation College takes recruitment drive to the mall

Over the holiday season, Confederation College sent a mob of recruiters and students to a local shopping mall wearing bright matching shirts emblazoned with the website Instructed not to mention who sent them, the group distributed business cards bearing the name of the site. Those individuals who visited were redirected to Confederation's recruitment website. Hits came in from well outside the college's catchment area.

uMontréal launches new future students website

Last Friday, the Université de Montréal launched its new future students site, whose principal mission is to facilitate the process of exploration and admission of prospective students to the institution. The website features a questionnaire through which students can discover programs based on their personal competencies and professional interests, a live chat with admissions and recruitment personnel, and links to the Facebook page and Twitter account for uMontréal's future student office. uMontréal News (in French) | Future students website (in French)

New degreed enrolment at uPhoenix drops 42%

In reporting its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011, Apollo Group said Monday that although degreed enrolment at the University of Phoenix declined 3.8% year-over-year to 438,100, average enrolment during the quarter grew slightly, resulting in a modest increase in revenue. Lower degreed enrolment at uPhoenix is in part the result of a 42.4% drop in new degreed enrolment. Apollo believes the decline is a result of adverse impact on the admissions process arising from changes in the way admissions and other employees are evaluated and compensated, the full implementation of university orientation, and continued refinement of the company's marketing approaches. Apollo Group News Release

Self-esteem boosts most pleasant activity among young people, research finds

In a pair of studies, US researchers found that college students valued boosts to their self-esteem more than any other pleasant activity they were asked about, including sex, favourite foods, alcohol consumption, seeing a best friend, or getting a paycheque. In one study, participants took a test which supposedly measured their intellectual ability. Afterwards, students were told if they waited another 10 minutes, they could have their test re-scored using a different scoring algorithm that usually produces higher test results. Participants who highly valued self-esteem were more likely to stay to get the new scores. "They were willing to spend their own precious time just to get a small boost in their self-esteem," says the lead researcher. Ohio State University Research News