Top Ten

June 3, 2011

WLU approved for stage-one temporary pension relief

Like the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University has received approval from the Ontario government for stage-one temporary pension funding relief. Under provincial legislation, universities facing significant solvency funding deficits for their pension plans are allowed to apply for temporary funding relief. A WLU official says while the stage-one approval is good news, the relief is temporary and only applies to solvency deficits. WLU's pension plan has a going concern deficit of $60 million and is only 82% funded. Relief from the province does not address this. WLU News

Algoma U operations in Brampton, Timmins not affected by new policy on satellite campuses

Algoma University president Richard Myers says stricter rules on the creation of satellite campuses in Ontario should not affect the institution's operations in Brampton or Timmins. Myers says Algoma U has been careful not to label its Brampton or Timmins offerings as "satellite campuses"; rather, the university offers "extension programming" by offering accelerated business degrees to college graduates in Brampton and social work and community development programs in Timmins. Myers says it appears the Ontario government is targeting the issue of universities and colleges that have moved to create "significant presence" in other communities, only to require capital funding from the province. While Algoma U may pursue other opportunities outside Sault Ste. Marie, it will not be looking at establishing satellite campuses, Myers says. Sault Star

Funding for Laurentian architecture school would be safe, says Tory MPP candidate

If the Ontario Progressive Conservatives win the fall provincial election, the $21 million in provincial funding Laurentian University received last week for its new architecture school would be safe, says the party's Sudbury candidate, who responded to a charge by the city's Liberal MPP that a PC government would cancel "pet projects," such as the funding for the architecture school, if the Tories won the election. Sudbury's PC candidate says the party would keep the school in place. Sudbury Star

Queen's restructures Aboriginal Council

Queen's University has restructured its Aboriginal Council, giving Aboriginal people greater representation and strengthening the council's connection with governing bodies of the institution. Under the new composition, which has seen membership reduced from 44 to 24 members, Aboriginal community members make up 51% of the council. The Aboriginal Council of Queen's University ensures that Aboriginal people have access to PSE at the university, and that the institution is responsive to the broader needs of Aboriginal people. Queen's News Centre

4 Canadian universities share $12.5 million for climate change research

On Thursday the International Development Research Centre, together with Canada's 3 major research granting councils, announced a $12.5-million investment in 5 research teams under the International Research Initiative on Adaption to Climate Change. Each team will receive $2.5 million over 5 years to study how best to protect people, communities, and vital economic sectors that are most at risk from the effects of climate change. The Canadian universities with research teams awarded funding are McGill University, University of Regina, University of Waterloo, and University of Western Ontario. IDRC News Release

UoGuelph vet college opens Large Animal Clinical Skills Building

On Friday the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College officially opened its Large Animal Clinical Skills Building, which will provide vet students with hands-on experience in treating farm animals. Supported by a $2.3-million investment from the Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the 8,300-square-foot facility will provide a bright and flexible space for the vet college's large animal learning labs, allowing students and faculty to use modern technology and animal-handling equipment. UoGuelph News Release

CNA receives $2 million for oil and gas training facilities

College of the North Atlantic announced Friday a $2-million investment from the Hebron Project that will fund the development of 2 world-class oil and gas training facilities at the institution's Seal Cove and Ridge Road campuses. The facilities will enhance the college's training abilities as they relate to the resource sector, and increase its petroleum-related applied research capacity through a stronger college-industry partnership. CNA News Release

NS invests in new Halifax Marine Research Institute

The Nova Scotia government announced Thursday it will contribute $1.75 million over the next 5 years to the development of a new Halifax Marine Research Institute, which can provide training for people, apply research to new public policy, and increase the scale, quality, and impact of marine research. Led by Dalhousie University, the institute will link the province's academic and public sector marine-related research organizations with ocean-technology businesses to create long-term economic benefits in Nova Scotia. NS News Release | Dal News

William Shatner receives honorary degree from McGill

On Thursday William Shatner was given an honorary degree from McGill University, from which he graduated in 1952. The 80-year-old actor of Star Trek fame says he has turned down offers of other honorary degrees, but the one from McGill means something special. "To be lauded by my alma mater is an entirely earthly, joyous experience." Shatner advised graduates at Thursday's convocation not to be scared of taking chances or failing. Montreal Gazette | CBC

MIT aims to reach one billion with OpenCourseWare by 2021

In the first 10 years of its OpenCourseWare, where lecture notes and other course material are available online for free, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reached 100 million individuals. The institution's goal is to reach a billion minds by 2021. MIT has identified 4 focus areas with the potential to help it reach its goal: placing OpenCourseWare everywhere; reaching key audiences; creating communities of open learning; and empowering educators worldwide. MIT OpenCourseWare website | eCampus News