Top Ten

April 15, 2011

Alberta auditor general urges ACAD to tackle "internal control" issues

The Alberta College of Art + Design is facing a large number of problems, such as a lack of financial controls and how it handles suspected fraud, the province's auditor general warns in his semi-annual report, released Thursday. The auditor general calls on the institution to tackle a variety of "internal control" issues, including drafting a fraud policy and code of conduct for staff and developing a better way to approve fees under the extended studies program. While ACAD has made a number of encouraging improvements recently, it must develop a number of new measures to protect itself from financial risks, the auditor general says. An ACAD official says the school has already moved on a number of suggestions the auditor general put forward. Overall, PSE issues noted in the report revolve around improving financial reporting, preserving endowment assets, and bolstering internal control systems. Calgary Herald | Report

UQTR launches $6.5-million fundraising campaign for Drummondville campus

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Foundation announced last Monday the official launch of a $6.5-million fundraising campaign in support of the Drummondville campus project. Of this sum, $500,000 will be invested in an endowment fund for scholarships for students at the new campus. UQTR has raised more than $5 million to date. Expected to be completed by fall 2013, the Drummondville campus will accommodate about 1,000 full-time equivalent students. Areas being considered for initial academic training include education, administration, accounting, computer science, social work, nursing, and certain engineering fields. UQTR News Release (in French)

Confirmations at Algoma U up nearly 50%

Algoma University has seen a significant rise in the number of students who have accepted offers of admission for September 2011, with early numbers indicating an almost 50% increase over the same time last year. Perhaps most significant, Algoma U states, is the increase in confirmations from students coming directly from secondary schools outside Northern Ontario. Many of these are students from the Greater Toronto Area, where Algoma U has focused marketing and recruitment efforts over the past few years. Algoma U News Release

Report examines employment experience of Ontario PSE graduates with learning disabilities

According to a new report commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, students with learning disabilities from Ontario PSE institutions are largely gaining employment they find to be satisfying, but the disability continues to impact these students' lives, with nearly 72% indicating that it has affected workplace performance, and 62% choosing not to disclose their learning disability to their employer out of fear of being judged or embarrassed by co-workers. The study observes that self-disclosure does appear to be influenced by the age, gender, job satisfaction, and educational level of the person making the disclosure. While this group of graduates with learning disabilities accessed campus careers services infrequently, disability services offices played an important role in these students' lives, the report states. Research Summary | Full Report

Selkirk College names new president

Selkirk College announced Thursday the appointment of Angus Graeme as the BC-based institution's new president and CEO. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and Royal Roads University, Graeme has worked at Selkirk College for nearly 20 years, beginning as an instructor, followed by successful service as department head, school chair, dean, and vice-president of academic and student development. Having assumed the position of president on Friday, Graeme replaces Marilyn Luscombe, who led the college for the last 10 years before accepting the leadership position at New Brunswick Community College. Selkirk College News

First-year seminars return to UoGuelph

Suspended 2 years ago due to inadequate funding, the University of Guelph's first-year seminars program will return in the fall with support from a number of donors, including a $1-million pledge each from the alumni association and the board of governors' vice-chair. Introduced in 2003, the seminars are designed to provide an interactive small-group learning experience for new university students, with enrolment capped at 18. Aiming to challenge the mind of the new student, the program was popular from the get-go, but the small class sizes made the seminars very expensive to run, leading to the suspension. The program director says the seminars are among her favourite courses to teach; by being challenged and engaged, she says, students "learn how to learn, to experience the joy of learning." UoGuelph News

Algonquin College students produce lip dub

Algonquin College joins a number of other post-secondary institutions in Canada whose students have filmed a lip dub. Hundreds of students, staff, and alumni gathered at the shoot last month to show off their school spirit and the college's learning facilities. The lip dub was organized and promoted mainly through a dedicated Facebook page, where people suggested songs (the lip dub was choreographed to Michael Bublé's "Hollywood"), scheduled meetings, and shared the final product. MyAlgonquin News | Algonquin College LipDub Video Facebook page

SFU's Beedie gains Klout on Twitter

Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business lays claim to the highest-rated Klout score among Canadian business schools. Klout measures influence on Twitter by using a number of data points from the microblogging service, including follower counts, retweets, list memberships, and unique mentions. With a Klout score of 52 as of April 12, Beedie surpassed the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business (51) and Concordia University's John Molson School of Business (47). Beedie began tweeting in early 2010 to stay connected with its many stakeholders. Since then, the school has used Twitter to follow and learn what the stakeholders are up to, to disseminate school news and research, and to further dialogue with this community. SFU News

Fewer young people employed in March, reports StatsCan

According to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey, the number of employed 15- to 24-year-olds dropped by 17,000 last month, with notable losses in part-time work. The unemployment rate for this age group was little changed at 14.4%. Compared to 12 months earlier, youth employment rose by 0.5%. Youth in Manitoba made the most gains in March with a one percentage point increase in their employment rate, which sits at 61.9%, the highest recorded youth employment rate among the provinces. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

Many cheaters overly confident about academic ability, study finds

New studies from the US observe that a majority of students cheat, and those who do often have inflated expectations of how they can perform without the opportunity for academic misconduct. In a survey of 40,000 students at public and private high schools, 59.4% of respondents admitted to cheating on a test, and a third said they had cheated on a test twice or more in the past year. In another study, students who were given the opportunity to cheat on a test predicted they would perform just as well on a second test when they did not have the chance to cheat. The results suggest some cheaters set themselves up to fall behind academically after becoming overly optimistic about their abilities. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)