Top Ten

June 13, 2011

uAlberta medical dean apologizes after allegedly plagiarizing graduation address

University of Alberta medical students say they are embarrassed after Philip Baker, the dean of medicine, allegedly plagiarized his speech to the graduating class at the convocation banquet Friday evening. Students say big parts of the speech were taken verbatim from a medical school graduation address delivered by surgeon Atul Gawande at Stanford University last year. In an apology letter to students, Baker admitted the theme and much of the content of his address was similar to Gawande's. Baker said Gawande's address inspired him so he used parts of it to illustrate his points. A uAlberta spokeswoman told the Edmonton Journal that the institution is aware of the incident and will be investigating. Edmonton Journal | CBC

uRegina lecture series cancelled over complaints

Profs in the Park, a lecture series organized by the University of Regina's Faculty of Arts and the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, came to a controversial end only one day after it started. A lecturer who scheduled to make a presentation titled "Solidarity with Palestine: The Case for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel" was told to change her topic or it would be cancelled. The professors involved in the lecture series decided to change the venue but future plans are unknown. Sources told the Regina Leader-Post that the decision to censor the series was fuelled by complaints brought forward by one or more city officials. Regina Leader-Post (Profs quit lecture series) | Regina Leader-Post (City officials brought forward complaints)

Dal med school probation lifted

Dalhousie University's undergraduate medical program is off probation and fully accredited for the next 6 to 8 years. The US-based Liaison Committee for Medical Education notified Dal's med school of its intent to assign "accreditation on probation" to its undergraduate program in 2009 following a routine review. During the probationary period, the program remained fully accredited. Dal News | Canadian Press

UOIT opens Automotive Centre of Excellence

Yesterday the University of Ontario Institute of Technology officially opened the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence, a state-of-the-art facility that offers a full range of testing facilities allowing for full climatic, durability, and lifecycle testing, including one of the world's largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels. The centre is owned by UOIT and will operate as an independent test facility, available to rent by manufacturers of all descriptions, start-up companies, and researchers in Canada and around the world. UOIT News Release

Quebec waives cap penalties on CÉGEP enrolment

The Quebec government has suspended penalties for the coming academic year that generally apply to CÉGEPs that exceed their enrolment caps for Montreal Island colleges and ones in the immediate surrounding area. The waived penalty will also apply to 3 off-island colleges. CÉGEPs can normally surpass their enrolment caps by up to 10% but after that a financial penalty kicks in. A government spokesperson says the education department is continuing to work with the Fédération des cégeps to explore other measures to help CÉGEPs deal with the extra students, notably in terms of space and equipment needs. Montreal Gazette

6 suggestions to improve quality of undergraduate experience

In an open letter published in University Affairs, Arshad Ahmad, president of the Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, offers university presidents 6 suggestions to improve the quality of the undergraduate student experience. Ahmad's suggestions are: listen to more students and parents; identifying institutional learning goals can drive deep approaches to learning; teaching effectiveness measures must be more comprehensive than those currently in use; embrace and champion a broader definition of scholarship; globalization demands interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning; and institutional prestige has little or no relationship to the quality of education. University Affairs

MSVU launches Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice

Mount Saint Vincent University's Institute for the Study of Women has changed its name to the Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice to reflect the contemporary realities of the institution's continuing commitment to gender equality and women's studies. MSVU says the institute will live its vision by undertaking research that coordinates, supports, and builds capacity among feminist researchers and creative artists at the university, other campuses, in community groups and organizations. MSVU News

Manitoba approves new trade regulation for water, waste-water technicians

The Manitoba government has approved a new regulation that will provide the education and training requirements leading to the certification of water and waste-water technicians. The new apprenticeship program is another option offering operators the necessary training to meet the requirements for certification as set out by Manitoba Conservation, the Provincial and Territorial Water and Wastewater Certifying Authority, and the Association of Boards of Certification. Manitoba News Release

UK-India partnership aims to triple university spots in India

Last week the British and Indian governments announced the second phase of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, originally launched in 2006. The project takes account of India's goal to boost its student numbers from 13 million to about 40 million by 2020, which will entail the creation of 800 new universities. The second phase of the initiative features "a five-year strategic plan to transform leadership and management in Indian schools, higher education and further education institutions." Times Higher Education

New university ranking system has DIY element

A new tool called U-Multirank focuses on some of the same areas that the best-known international university rankings do, but allows users to determine how much they want to weigh each factor. Described as "a new instrument to create personalized rankings," U-Multirank relies on indicators in 5 subject areas: teaching and learning; research; knowledge transfer; international orientation; and regional engagement. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | U-Multirank