Top Ten

April 26, 2011

Carleton president ordered to provide testimony in Virginia corruption case

A US judge has rejected Carleton University president Roseann O'Reilly Runte's request to excuse her from the corruption trial of former Virginia legislator Phil Hamilton. "Changing her schedule on short notice, if possible, would greatly inconvenience both Dr. Runte and negatively reflect on the university, whom she will be representing (at) a variety of functions in the coming two weeks," states the legal memorandum filed in support of her motion to be excused. Runte was president of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia when Hamilton landed a position with the university in June 2007. Earlier this year, Hamilton was indicted on bribery and extortion charges for the manner in which he arranged his job with Old Dominion's teaching-training centre. Runte has said she had no involvement in Hamilton's hiring at Old Dominion, and that she did not know he was on the institution's payroll until made aware of it by a Norfolk newspaper in 2009. Ottawa Citizen

Concordia grad student association asks court to recognize CFS referendum results

Concordia University's Graduate Students' Association (GSA) is asking the court to recognize a referendum in which students voted to discontinue their membership in the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian University Press reports. Held last spring, the referendum saw students vote 456 to 148 against remaining members of the CFS, which did not support the vote and has not recognized the results. In its motion to institute proceedings, the GSA claims the CFS national executive violated both CFS regulations and Quebec law in denying a referendum on continued membership. The GSA is also seeking $100,000 in damages for alleged violation of students' rights under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The GSA's lawsuit comes a month after the Concordia Student Union filed a similar suit. CUP Newswire

Population of Aboriginal learners rises at uCalgary

The University of Calgary has seen a significant increase in the number of Aboriginal students enrolled in university credit courses and degree programs over the last 3 years. Since 2008, the institution's Aboriginal student population has risen by 33%. This translates to 482 self-identified Aboriginal students enrolled compared to the 361 self-identified students 3 years ago. Recent initiatives attributed to the increased number of Aboriginal learners on campus include the N.A.P.I. Ambassador Aboriginal Youth Outreach and Leadership Training Program, the Aboriginal Student Access Program, a newly revised Aboriginal student admission policy, and a more focused Aboriginal student recruitment strategy. UToday

Yukon College appoints new president

Yukon College's board of governors announced yesterday the appointment of Dr. Karen Barnes to the position of president, effective July 1. A graduate of the University of Alberta, Barnes has worked in the higher education field for her entire career. Before joining Yukon College, where she has been the vice-president of education and training for the past 3 years, Barnes worked at Lethbridge College and NorQuest College. For the past several years Barnes has worked with the Association for Canadian Community Colleges, chairing the Calgary conference program committee, on the jury panels for national teaching and staff awards, and as a faculty member for the ACCC Leadership Development Institute for Potential Deans and Directors. Yukon College News Release

UBC to remain a member of CIS

The University of British Columbia announced yesterday that it will stay a member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and will not apply to join the National Collegiate Athletic Association, of which Simon Fraser University is the first non-US member. UBC considered switching its athletic membership due in part to concerns CIS was limiting the opportunities available to student athletes, with key concerns being scholarship limitations and the changing competitive landscape created by CIS membership growth. "Although the CIS has not yet resolved these issues, I believe that progress is finally being made," says UBC president Stephen Toope, who affirms that the institution will take a leadership role in promoting reform in CIS -- in governance, in the creation of 2 divisions within Canada West, and in the rules concerning athletic scholarships. UBC News Release

UoGuelph, AIMS form agreement on science education in Africa

The University of Guelph has signed a memorandum of agreement with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) to support its Next Einstein Initiative's One for Many scholarship program. The Next Einstein Initiative aims to create a Pan-African network of 15 centres of excellence in mathematics, technology, and science over the next decade. UoGuelph is the fifth Canadian university to join the initiative, to which the Canadian government has pledged $20 million to support the creation of 5 AIMS centres across Africa by 2015. UoGuelph president Alastair Summerlee says he hopes the university will be able to recruit graduates from these programs to study at the institution. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin

VCC launches new ad campaign

Vancouver Community College is running a new transit and radio advertising campaign that positions the institution as "the only true, urban academic experience -- providing a real education toward a real career in the real world of downtown Vancouver." Campaign material features the VCC acronym on which the emblem of a star is emblazoned, making the institution "the unofficial capital of Vancouver." Featuring city sound effects, the radio ads proclaim that "VCC is more than a school, it's a community." Creative samples

Thousands of spots may be lost after 3/4 of English universities plan to charge maximum fees

Up to 36,000 English university spots may have to be cut after the final figures for next year's tuition fees were confirmed. 74% of universities plan to set tuition fees at the new maximum level of £9,000 next year, raising questions about the British government's funding plans. The figures show the average fee next year will be £8,500, £1,000 more than the government expected. As most of the fees will be paid in upfront student loans, the government may have to find an extra £450 million a year by 2014. This has sparked fears that up to 36,000 university spots -- equivalent to 10% of English students admitted to English institutions last year -- could be cut to address the crisis. Ministers have warned institutions that if the majority set fees at or close to £9,000, they will face cuts to funding and student spots. Daily Mail

Americans have varied, often inflated views of PSE access, study finds

New research from Indiana University observes that many Americans have inflated views of minority students' opportunities to attend college, yet a large contingent -- around 43% of survey respondents -- believe that low-income students have fewer opportunities for PSE access. A quarter of the people interviewed believe minority and low-income students are in a better position than middle-class students with regard to college access. According to the study, qualified students from low-income families were perceived as having less opportunity than other groups, while qualified students who are racial and ethnic minorities were perceived as having more opportunity than other groups. Researchers found that income or educational level played little role at all in determining views on PSE access. Indiana U. News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

uPhoenix develops app for iPhone, iPod touch

The University of Phoenix is offering students a new way to participate in the online classroom with the launch of its PhoenixMobile App for the iPhone and iPod touch. With the application, students will be able to participate in discussion forums; draft and post to discussion threads, and reply to others' posts; view, edit, and save drafts of discussion comments created on uPhoenix's eCampus site; view message flags, discussion questions, and class announcements; and receive real-time alerts when marks are posted and when their instructor posts new information. Apollo Group News Release | PhoenixMobile App