Top Ten

January 21, 2011

CAUT to investigate complaints at uAlberta medical school

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has struck an ad hoc committee to investigate the situation of clinical faculty at the University of Alberta's faculty of medicine and dentistry. The committee will investigate allegations of pressure on tenure track clinical faculty to leave tenure track positions contrary to the collective agreement, pressure from the administration on clinical faculty to accept new standards for promotion and tenure, and questionable practices regarding the appointment to administrative positions. The committee will report on its findings and make any suitable recommendations. CAUT

Top uSask administrators criticized over law dean selection

Some members of a search committee for a new law dean for the University of Saskatchewan are angry after senior officials apparently overruled the committee's choice and pitched another shortlisted candidate to the institution's board of governors in a private meeting. Critics worry about the centralization of power in the hands of uSask's top administrators and the board of governors, whose meetings are closed to the public. They say this incident will make it more difficult to recruit talented people to sit on time-consuming, volunteer search committees. The board's vice-chair says the committee is "advisory" and the board is free to make the final decision. The faculty association's vice-chair says if administrators are not happy with the search committee's choice, they should not overrule it. Instead, the search should be declared "failed" and start again.  Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uManitoba did not "muzzle" math prof in PhD dispute, judge says

A Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench judge said Thursday the University of Manitoba did not "muzzle" math professor Gábor Lukács over academic integrity. The judge reserved her decision on the key issue before her -- whether the professor had the legal right to sue uManitoba in order to rescind a PhD awarded to a math student who had twice failed a crucial comprehensive exam and claimed to suffer from extreme exam anxiety. The judge told the professor's lawyer during his presentation of his case that the evidence indicates the university ordered Lukács to desist over privacy issues, not on discussion of academic integrity. uManitoba suspended Luckács for 3 months without pay this past fall for allegedly disclosing the student's private health information. His grievance hearing is set for June. Winnipeg Free Press

RCMP seize thousands of illegal university textbooks in Montreal

As part of an investigation into offences under the Copyright Act, RCMP officers conducted 4 searches in photocopy stores in Montreal in the past few weeks in order to end the activities of groups involved in the illegal distribution and sale of photocopied university textbooks. The RCMP stated Thursday it has seized some 2,700 counterfeit books and digests, as well as a significant quantity of material used for copying. The total value of the books seized is estimated at nearly $540,000. The RCMP arrested 13 individuals in the course of police operations. Charges under the Copyright Act could be filed at the end of the investigation. RCMP News Release | Montreal Gazette

CFI distributes $61 million in research infrastructure funding

The federal government announced Friday an investment of over $61 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support the work of 339 leading researchers and 245 projects at 48 universities across Canada. The funding includes more than $47.1 million awarded under CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund, and more than $14.1 million awarded under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, a complementary program designed to contribute to the rising operating and maintenance costs of CFI-funded infrastructure projects. CFI News Release

Ontarians want PSE system open to the world, poll finds

According to a new study, 54% of Ontarians polled believe it is important that provincial post-secondary institutions reach out to the world and attract more international students to come and study in the province. In an apparent contradiction, 58% of respondents also feel that the primary focus should be on offering programs to students here at home. 65% believe it is important to attract professors from other nations to come and teach in Ontario. 42% think university degrees from abroad should be recognized as equivalent to university degrees awarded in Canada, while 31% hold the opposite view and 27% are unsure. 56% of respondents oppose the Ontario government's recent initiative to create 75 new scholarships aimed at foreign students pursuing PhDs at Ontario universities. OCUFA News Release

UVic business school earns international accreditation

Earlier this month, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited the business programs at the University of Victoria's Peter B. Gustavson School of Business following a thorough program review, evaluation of the teaching environment, and an examination of course relevance to the needs of business. This is the second accreditation for UVic's business school, which received the European Quality Improvement System accreditation in 2007. Out of 12,000 business schools around the world, there are 66, or about half a percent, with both accreditations. The other Canadian business schools with both accreditations are Queen's, UBC Sauder School of Business, SFU, uOttawa Telfer School of Management, HEC Montréal, and uLaval. UVic News Release | Victoria Times-Colonist

Carleton opens Canal Building

Carleton University became the first university in Canada Thursday to complete a major construction project supported by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program when it opened its new Canal Building. The 6-storey, 100,000-square-foot facility will house programs in biomedical, sustainable energy, environmental, and aerospace engineering. The building is one-half of Carleton's extensive Waterfront Project. The federal and Ontario governments contributed $52.5 million to the 2 buildings, the single largest capital investment in Carleton's history. The second half of the project, the River Building, will open this fall. The 140,000-square-foot facility will house the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, the School of Journalism and Communication, and the School of Public Policy and Administration. Carleton News Release

uWaterloo opens Summit Centre for the Environment in Huntsville

The University of Waterloo celebrated Friday the official opening of the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment in the Ontario resort town of Huntsville. The facility was built for use in last year's G8 summit, and now the Town of Huntsville has made it available for use by uWaterloo, primarily the environment faculty. Devoted to teaching and research activities, the Summit Centre will host research field work, meetings and conferences, and short courses and executive training courses. An ecology laboratory will be added by the end of the year. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine will also operate a research lab in the centre starting this spring. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

US education fundraisers anticipate rebound in giving in 2011

According to a survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), fundraisers for US schools, colleges, and universities estimated that giving to their institutions increased an average 3.7% in 2010 over the previous year. They also predicted further growth of 5.6% in 2011. The January CASE Fundraising Index's predicted increase of 5.6% in 2011 is almost identical to the 5.7% prediction made last July for the period covering July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011. Fundraisers at independent schools -- private, K-12 institutions -- were the most optimistic, anticipating an average 6.2% increase in giving to their institutions in 2011. Their peers at public colleges and universities were the least optimistic at 4.8%. CASE News Release