Top Ten

September 19, 2011

Job action at SIAST, Ontario colleges end

Classes resumed yesterday for Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology students as administrators and bargaining groups representing academic and professional services staff have accepted recommendations by the mediator. The tentative agreement to be negotiated in the coming week will be valid until June 2012, at which time negotiation on a new 3-year contract will begin. Meanwhile, Ontario college support staff are returning to work today as OPSEU and the College Employer Council have reached a tentative agreement. A ratification vote conducted by Ontario's labour ministry will be held in the near future, when terms of the agreement will be released. SIAST News Release | SGEU News | Regina Leader-Post | OPSEU News Release | College Employer Council News Release | Canadian Press

Canadian scientist caught padding resumé, grant applications with non-existing research

A Canadian scientist has been found padding his CV and federal grant applications with studies that "were not found in the published literature." NSERC has stripped the scientist of his grant over the repeated use of the "falsified publications," and has banned him from applying for more funding for 5 years. NSERC claims that cutting off the scientist's grant will send a "strong message" that such misconduct is not tolerated. The council will not identify the professor or the university where he teaches, saying the Privacy Act does not allow it to disclose details of research misconduct cases. Critics say this must change. Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk says allegations of misconduct must be investigated in private, but he thinks a finding of research misconduct should be made public. Postmedia News

Student takes uWindsor to tribunal over right to record lectures

Before a Human Rights Tribunal last Thursday, a University of Windsor student accused the institution of having him suspended and arrested twice for audio recording a class to accommodate his hearing processing disability. The student has been in a dispute with uWindsor since 2004 when a social work professor refused to allow him to audio tape a class. The student's disability was assessed and the institution gave him accommodation letters every semester for 9 years before the dispute arose to allow him to record lectures. The professor objected to the recording because students were to share their own experiences. In response to the student's case, uWindsor's senate passed a bylaw in April 2006 allowing professors to bar note taking and audio recording during parts of lectures where there is personal discussions or self-disclosure. The student is demanding uWindsor repeal 2 senate bylaws, pay tuition for the remaining courses he needs for his degree, or pay for schooling elsewhere. Once this case is concluded, the student plans to seek reversals of his academic suspensions in Superior Court. Windsor Star

uWinnipeg raises $135 million in capital campaign

The University of Winnipeg has completed its "A World of Opportunity" capital campaign, raising $135 million. During the campaign -- the largest fundraising initiative in uWinnipeg's history -- the institution's endowment fund rose from $21 million to more than $38 million, and over 300 new scholarships, awards, and bursaries were established in support of students. The campaign has supported a number of capital projects, such as the Buhler Centre and McFeetors Hall: Great-West Life Student Residence. uWinnipeg News Release

uSask celebrates opening of InterVac

On Friday the University of Saskatchewan officially opened the $140-million International Vaccine Centre (InterVac), part of the university's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization. The largest facility of its kind in North America, InterVac will provide specially designed facilities for scientists to safely conduct research into diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, influenza, tuberculosis, and prion diseases such as chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease. The centre is expected to be operational early next year. Saskatchewan News Release | uSask Research News

Perimeter Institute opens Stephen Hawking Centre

On Saturday Waterloo-based Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics held a grand opening ceremony for its Stephen Hawking Centre, named after the famed physicist. While Hawking could not attend the opening of the new 55,000-square-foot wing, he visited Perimeter last summer and said he thoroughly enjoyed that visit. Now expanded to 120,000 square feet, the facility can house 250 researchers, up from the approximately 100 it housed before the addition. Between Hawking's endorsement and research chairmanship, and the announcement that world-renowned physicist Dr. Xiao-Gang Wen will serve as Perimeter's first Isaac Newton chair, the hope is the growing institute will attract even more big names and bigger ideas in the years to come. Waterloo Region Record

Alberta invests nearly $9 million in uLethbridge capital projects

Last week Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Minister Greg Weadick joined University of Lethbridge officials in announcing $5.6 million in capital maintenance and renewal funding to support infrastructure upgrades to the institution's original Physical Education building, which is now part of the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness. Work on the upgrades is slated to begin next summer.  Weadick also made a surprise announcement of $2.3 million to begin the development process for a science complex at uLethbridge. The funding allows for site selection refinement, space planning, and other related functions to move the building process forward. uLethbridge News (Physical Education building) | uLethbridge News (science complex)

NS only province to reduce university operating funding this year, says ANSSA report

According to a new report from the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations (ANSSA), university students in Nova Scotia have begun the new academic year in the only province to reduce operating funding to universities this year. In February the provincial government announced a 4% reduction in universities' grant funding for the 2011-12 school year. In its report ANSSA highlights a number of benefits of PSE accrued to individuals, communities and regions, and the province. The group states that government, universities, and local communities must work together strategically to boost participation for individuals from under-represented groups in PSE. "Supporting higher education, by preserving and improving upon the levels of funding, quality and accessibility that already exist, is a must for the future of Nova Scotia," the report concludes. ANNSA News Release | Read the report

$7-million donation to SFU funds new Hellenic Studies centre

Simon Fraser University is expanding Hellenic academic programming with the launch of its Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, created by a $7-million gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The expanded programming includes a undergraduate program for Greek, Balkan, and Middle East studies; a joint history/humanities major in Greek language, literature, and culture; and graduate programs for Greek history, language, and culture. An important element of the centre's support of Modern Greek language will be the training of language instructors for North American elementary and high schools. The centre will also focus on expanding current Greek for Chinese language instruction programs. SFU News Release

Grenfell breaks ground for residence

On September 9 Memorial University's Grenfell campus held a ceremony to mark the start of construction of its new residence, which will accommodate 200 students. Each of the residence's suites will feature 2 private bedrooms, a shared washroom, and a small entry way. The residence will also include communal food preparation areas and laundry facilities. As was recommended in the Newfoundland and Labrador government's White Paper on Public Postsecondary Education, the campus will share the residence with the College of the North Atlantic. Up to a quarter of the rooms in the facility will be made available to CNA students. Grenfell News