Top Ten

August 3, 2011

Academics fronting ghostwritten medical articles should be charged with fraud, say uToronto profs

Academics who receive credit as guest authors of scientific and medical journals ghostwritten by industry writers should be charged with professional and academic misconduct and fraud, even if the articles have factually correct information, argue a pair of University of Toronto law professors. They suggest that a more successful deterrence from lending names to ghostwritten articles would be through imposing legal liability on guest authors. uToronto News

uWaterloo, WLU receives over $12 million in research funding

The Ontario government announced Tuesday $12.7 million in Ontario Research Fund money to support researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. The funding supports 25 projects -- 2 at WLU and 23 at uWaterloo, where the money is distributed among 6 faculties. Many of the funded projects focus on long-term environmental sustainability. The funding also supports what Ontario deems "other strategic areas of research." uWaterloo Daily Bulletin | Waterloo Region Record

End of Access Copyright agreement may mean fee hikes at uCalgary

Along with several other universities, the University of Calgary has ended its longstanding arrangement with Access Copyright, which had demanded a steep fee increase. uCalgary's chief librarian says managing copyright issues on its own will mean new costs the institution will have to pass along to students. However, the new contract terms Access Copyright was pushing would have been even more costly, he says. A rumoured change coming to federal copyright legislation could mitigate the growing burden on universities, the chief librarian says. CBC

Peterborough approves Trent private residence site plan

On Tuesday Peterborough city councillors voted 8-3 to approve the site plan for the first phase of the privately owned and operated student residence complex at Trent University. Trent president Steven Franklin had argued the institution needs a modern residence complex to compete with other universities to attract new students, but the university does not have the funds to build the complex without partnering with a private developer. Peterborough Examiner

Lambton College unveils "audio brand"

Starting in September Lambton College will use a custom jingle package in all its radio advertising. The package includes several variations of the jingle melody covering different musical genres. There are also "short stingers" that can be added to sound files, including videos, TV ads, or video ads produced for the Web. The jingle package, which features rock, pop, and country versions, can be heard on YouTube. Lambton News Release

US college fundraisers expect 4.7% increase in giving in 2010-11

According to survey results released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, fundraisers at US educational institutions estimate that giving during the 2010-11 academic year rose by 4.7% over the previous year. They also predict further growth of 5.5% for 2011-12. Fundraisers at public colleges and universities estimate that giving to their institutions grew by 2.6%, while fundraisers at private institutions estimate that giving increased 5.7% over the year before. CASE News Release

How to address declining student empathy

The supposed decline of empathy among college students has led to wide speculation about potential causes, write a pair of University of Michigan professors for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Educators less keen to place the blame on politics might consider changes in the student population's relationship to work, family, and PSE. Cultural trends, such as reality TV and online socializing, also play a role. A person's ability to empathize can improve, the professors write. Research has observed that empathy can increase when students are trained to improved their interpersonal skills or ability to recognize other individuals' emotions. The professors suggest that educators worried about declining empathy should think about how to include techniques such as role-playing exercises involving another person's feelings or situation in their classrooms. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

New book serves as guide to DIY credentials

Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U, has published a new book titled The Edupunks' Guide to Guide to a DIY Credential, which is designed as a guidebook to navigate non-traditional pathways to advanced learning. Sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the book is described as "a comprehensive guide to learning online and charting a personalised path to an affordable credential using the latest innovative tools and organizations." Inside Higher Ed | The Edupunks' Guide to a DIY Credential

Indian minister proposes single admissions test

Kapil Sibal, India's human resource development minister, is pushing for a single exam to replace the system of students writing multiple tests for college admissions. In order to realize his dream of having a single college entry test in place by 2013, Sibal's ministry has struck a committee to re-examine the test methodology for selecting students for undergraduate admissions. The committee is expected to complete its report next month. Sibal has been working to overhaul the college admissions system to distance it from the recent unrealistic 100% cut-offs fixed by some institutions. India Today

Apollo Group purchases Carnegie Learning

Apollo Group Inc., the parent company of the University of Phoenix, announced Tuesday it has entered into an agreement to obtain 100% of the stock of Carnegie Learning Inc., a publisher of research-based math curricula, for $75 million US. In a separate deal, Apollo has agreed to acquire related technology from Carnegie Mellon University for $21.5 million US, payable over a 10-year period. As a subsidiary of Apollo Group, Carnegie Learning will continue to service the K-12 market. Given Apollo Group's PSE focus, the company plans to evaluate strategic alternatives for the K-12 portion of the business in order to support Carnegie Learning's continued success in this area. Carnegie Learning News Release