Top Ten

April 25, 2011

York U student's death strikes nerve with international students' parents

The story of the death of York University student Qian Liu has been told worldwide, including in broadcasts on Chinese television, hitting a nerve among parents with children studying abroad. The mother of a University of Alberta student has told her child to pay a lot of attention when walking home very late. "My parents said Canada is not a safe country," says a University of Toronto student, who emphasizes that the incident would not have prevented her from coming to Canada. PSE recruiters acknowledge the effect of such a high-profile case on parents overseas, but say Canada's safety record should overcome those concerns. Globe and Mail

CSEE replaces former Harper aide amidst controversy

Founded by the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge, the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) has named an interim executive director while Bruce Carson, a convicted fraudster and former senior aide to Conservative Party Leader Steven Harper, is on leave from the school. Carson was caught in a potential conflict that saw him lobbying Ottawa for program dollars on behalf of CSEE, at the same time he was working in the Prime Minister's Office, according to letters sent to the federal ethics commissioner in 2009 from Harper's chief of staff at the time. Carson remains under RCMP investigation and was forced to take a leave of absence last month from CSEE due to an unrelated incident. The school's interim executive director says Carson "did a great job" establishing CSEE as a valuable player in the policy debate around energy and the environment. CSEE News Release | Calgary Herald

Mohawk College being considered to host Pan Am velodrome

The City of Hamilton and Mohawk College are talking about the possibility of the institution hosting the velodrome for the 2015 Pan American Games. Current plans for the velodrome call for an $11.4-million temporary facility, but Hamilton hopes to build a permanent velodrome, one that's rumoured to cost as much as $50 million. While Pan Am organizers say venues must have a long-term use for the community, Mohawk College says the project must enhance campus life for its students. McMaster University is scheduled to host a training pool for the Pan Am games and contribute $20 million to the pool's $45-million cost. Hamilton Spectator

uSask medical school to increase annual enrolment

The University of Saskatchewan's university council has approved the college of medicine's plan to increase annual enrolment from 84 to 100 students, starting in the 2012-13 academic year. The college's outgoing dean says increasing enrolment could mean more physicians will stay in the province. The Saskatchewan government is investing about $6.4 million in the college's expansion, which includes the hiring of more full-time faculty, community faculty, and administrative staff. The funding also allows the medical school to expand its residencies. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

NBCC to offer courses in First Nations communities

For the first time New Brunswick Community College is offering courses on First Nations reserves. NBCC president Marilyn Luscombe says it is hoped this will increase the number of Aboriginal people attending PSE institutions. More than 30 First Nations students will be able to enrol in the practical nurse program at the St. Mary's First Nation in Fredericton and an acute care program at Elsipogtog First Nation, north of Moncton. CBC

uRegina unveils strategic research plan

University of Regina president Vianne Timmons announced last Thursday a new strategic research plan that will help guide research at the university over the next 5 years. The plan identifies 3 signature research themes and 8 sub-themes reflecting areas of demonstrated expertise and sustained research excellence at the institution: sustainable development (energy and natural resources; environment); human development (health; human justice; safety and security; arts, culture, and heritage); and knowledge creation and discovery (information and communication; pure discovery-based research; community-based research). Since 2000, uRegina has doubled its external research funding. One objective is to build on that momentum, and support efforts to attract more funding, especially tri-council funding. uRegina News Release | Strategic Research Plan

Dal Libraries propose open access author fund

The Dalhousie Libraries have put forward a proposal to create an Open Access Author Fund at the university, which would defray or cover article processing fees charged by open access journals. The fund would not only support Dal researchers who might lack the funds needed to publish their work, but also encourage researchers to make their work available to the public. The University of Calgary, the University of Ottawa, the University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University have already set up such funds. Dal News

McGill, UBC, UWO listed in Princeton Review's "Guide to Green Colleges"

Last week the Princeton Review released its "Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition," which profiles 308 American and 3 Canadian post-secondary institutions that "demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation." The Canadian schools included in the guide are McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Western Ontario. The guide highlights McGill's continual investments in energy infrastructure improvements and conservation education and outreach efforts. The first university in Canada to adopt a sustainable development policy, UBC has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25% over the past 16 years, and offers over 300 sustainability-related courses, the guide notes. UWO is not just advancing sustainable practices, it's also defining them, says the guide, which highlights the institution's sustainable research initiatives and green building policy requiring all new construction and renovation to be LEED Silver or higher. Princeton Review News Release | Western News | Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition

uWindsor names winner in Facebook video contest

The University of Windsor has awarded an iPad to a fourth-year biology student for her winning entry in the institution's Facebook video contest. Garnering more than 1,000 "likes" on uWindsor's Facebook page, the entry shows that despite the fact the student and her sister, a third-year biology student, are very distinct people, uWindsor was the right choice for both of them. An education student won second place for his video focusing on favourite campus locations and relationships made at the institution, and a second-year communication student finished third for his video showcasing how the student experience at uWindsor can be enriched by getting involved in the various activities available. As a result of the contest, the number of likes for uWindsor's Facebook page rose by about 2,200, bringing the total to over 6,100. uWindsor Daily News | Watch the videos

Campuses can customize content on Google Map Maker

Google announced last week the availability of Google Map Maker for the US. The product allows people to add to and update the map for locations around the world. The "getting started" page for Google Map Maker includes a section for "Schools and Universities," which notes that institutions can label campus buildings, mark the outlines of those facilities to see a robust campus in Google Maps, and add footpaths to help students find shortcuts around campus. Google Blog | Google Map Maker | Inside Higher Ed