Top Ten

June 27, 2011

Fired uOttawa prof sued for libel by former colleague

A University of Ottawa law professor is suing former physics professor Denis Rancourt for defamation, claiming $1 million in damages. Joanne St. Lewis claims Rancourt, who was fired from his department in 2009, made racist statements about her on his blog in discussing her professional relationship with uOttawa president Allan Rock. Rancourt says the statement was not racist, and that he will file a statement of defence within the 20-day period demanded by the court. Ottawa Citizen

$43 million for Seneca's King campus

As part of its long-term capital plan, the Ontario government announced yesterday a $43-million investment in a new building at Seneca College's King campus. The project will provide more space for students to learn and help Seneca renew and expand its community safety and health services training facilities. Ontario News Release

Algoma U withdraws post-graduate computer gaming technology program

Algoma University will no longer offer its post-graduate computer gaming technology program, whose final class will end studies in August. The first Canadian university to offer such a program, Algoma U, in partnership with Scotland's University of Abertay, began offering its first post-graduate degree program in 2007, 4 years after its planned start date. An Algoma U spokesman says that due to the modest number of students enrolled, and few Canadian students enrolled, the 2 institutions decided not to renew the application for ministry approval to offer the program. Instead, Algoma U and Abertay "will continue to develop supportive partnerships that provide opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions." Sault Star

Keyano suspends intake for music, musical instrument repair programs

Following a public and internal program review process, Keyano College's board of governors has decided to suspend intakes for the music and musical instrument repair programs for the 2011-12 school year. Keyano president Kevin Nagel says the suspension will allow the Fort McMurray-based college to re-purpose faculty and take an objective look at the programs' existing structures in order to determine the extent to which the existing structure was a major factor in the low enrolment outcome. Keyano News

India's demand for PSE offers benefits to Canadian universities

Vast numbers of Indian youth demanding a middle-class lifestyle and university education face a shortage of quality institutions in their own nation. Canadian universities are rushing to recruit those students, to develop joint study or research programs with Indian institutions, and even set up campuses in India. York University's Schulich School of Business plans to build a campus in Hyderabad. The University of Waterloo is considering the possibility of its own Indian campus. Schools such as UBC, uToronto, Carleton, and uAlberta have Indian strategies. For Canadian institutions, India's demand offers many benefits. Facing capped domestic tuition and dwindling student demographics, international students provide revenues to expand academic programs. Research and faculty links boost university reputations and help attract joint projects or bring talent to Canada. Joint programs help Canadian institutions offer Indians experience big multinational employers seek. Globe and Mail

uWaterloo on target for first-year enrolment

"We're on target in a weird kind of way," says a University of Waterloo registrar, who predicts that by the time the official count is taken on November 1, the institution will have fewer first-year students than last year's 5,981. The official target for fall 2011 first-year enrolment is 5,682, with arts, engineering, and math each looking for over 1,000 new students, and smaller numbers headed for applied health sciences, environment, science, and the 2 interfaculty programs (software engineering and computing and financial management). 6,238 students have accepted offers of admissions for September -- 10% more than the target. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Conference delegates identify best practices in attracting, retaining more Aboriginal students

At the recent Conference on Indigenous Issues in Post-Secondary Education at Queen's University, more than 150 educators and Aboriginal leaders identified best practices in attracting and retaining more Aboriginal students and considered how these practices can be more broadly applied across institutions. Resources identified for supporting Aboriginal students in higher education include a safe, secure, and welcoming campus to help Aboriginal students better transition; incorporating Aboriginal ways of knowing into the curriculum and hiring more Aboriginal faculty and staff; and PSE institutions building trusting relationships with Aboriginal communities. A report on findings and recommen dations from the conference will be issued in the coming weeks. Queen's News Centre

Nipissing, Canadore open Harris Learning Library

Canadore College and Nipissing University held a grand opening Saturday for their $25-million Harris Learning Library. The 56,000-square-foot, 3-storey facility is twice the size of the previous library and features more space for collaborative work and individual study. The library also provides increased connectivity with regional campuses and the ever-expanding world of digital resources available today. Nipissing News

NBCC Moncton celebrates new building, welding shop

Last Wednesday New Brunswick Community College's Moncton campus officially opened a new building and welding shop. The 43,900-square-foot facility will house programs in business administration, engineering technology, human resources management, and office administration. The New Brunswick government invested $20 million in the new facility and in renovations and repairs to the existing structure that includes a new roof, new windows, and a 9,000-square-foot welding shop. NB News Release

StatsCan study examines life-path outcomes associated with reading proficiency

New research from Statistics Canada observes that young people who had higher levels of proficiency in reading at the age of 15 had higher levels of educational attainment and income by the age of 25 than those with lower proficiency in reading. Youth with low scores in reading were more likely to have ended their education with high school completion or less. 54% of young people who had proficiency levels below Level 3 at age 15 had not completed any education beyond secondary school by age 25. Three-quarters of youth who had the highest level of reading proficiency at 15 has completed some form of higher education by 25. Statistics Canada