Top Ten

October 12, 2011

Brandon U faculty go on strike

Members of the Brandon University Faculty Association went on strike yesterday after negotiations with administration broke off early Wednesday morning after failing to come up with an agreement. The major issues in the negotiations have been wages and language issues. The strike leaves approximately 3,000 students shut out of classes. A forum was held yesterday to inform students about their options during the labour action. This is the second faculty strike at Brandon U in just over 3 years. Brandon U website | Students' Union website | CBC

uWindsor faculty set strike deadline

On Tuesday, the Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) passed a motion to set a strike deadline for October 19. WUFA says progress has been made with both parties making compromises; however, it argues that administration "continues to insist on a radical restructuring of the pension plan." uWindsor and the association will resume negotiations Monday with the assistance of a provincially appointed mediator. uWindsor Daily News | WUFA website | Windsor Star

Postscript: Oct 20, 2011

The University of Windsor and its faculty association reached a tentative agreement Tuesday night, averting a strike by faculty members. The faculty association's bargaining team is recommending acceptance of the 3-year agreement. uWindsor Daily News | WUFA website | Windsor Star | CBC

CSEE suspends programs after former executive left it with debt

The CBC reports that Bruce Carson, a controversial former PMO aide, charged thousands of dollars in personal expenses to the federally funded Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) -- a collaboration of the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge -- which he headed for just over 2 years. CCSE's board has written off about $15,000 in taxpayer funds that Carson spent on personal expenses during his final month on the job, says the board chairman. Having taken the Carson affair "very seriously," the board, which includes the presidents of the 3 universities, decided that suing him for all the personal expenses charged to CSEE would be "throwing good money after bad," the chairman says. CSEE has hired a new interim director with an urgent mandate to find out what Carson was up to during his time at the school. Until that happens, the chairman says CSEE has suspended all its programs expect for already funded academic research projects. The school replaced Carson after a lobbying scandal involving him broke in March. CBC

$204 million for Canada Research Chairs

Speaking at the University of Guelph yesterday, Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear announced a federal investment of $203.9 million in 253 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs at 56 degree-granting PSE institutions across the country. The investment includes a further $10.2 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards. CRC/CFI News Release

Saskatchewan Party unveils student aid pledges

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced Tuesday that if re-elected, a Saskatchewan Party government would introduce 2 new initiatives to help students and parents with the cost of PSE. Starting in 2012, the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship would provide every new provincial secondary school graduate with up to $2,000 that can be applied to reduce tuition fees at any post-secondary school or recognized training course in Saskatchewan. Under the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings, the party would match 10% of contributions to a child's RESP account, to a maximum of $250 annually. That is in addition to the 20% grant already provided by the federal government. Saskatchewan Party News

NIC trades enrolment dips

There are 175 students enrolled in North Island College's trades and technical division this fall, down 23 from fall 2010. However, the number of students in the apprenticeship and technical division has risen by 53 to a total of 134, a result of the new Trades Centre at the Comox Valley campus, a NIC official says. While the total number of students at NIC has risen by 3% over last year, overall class registrations have remained flat. However, the Comox Valley and Mount Waddington campuses bucked the trend of more students taking fewer courses, reporting a 3% and 18% increase, respectively, in total fall registrations. International-student enrolment at NIC rose by 10% this year for a total of 80 students. Comox Valley Echo

$1-million gift to uSask funds scholarships

On Tuesday, the University of Saskatchewan celebrated a $1.1-million gift from Silvercorp CEO and uSask alumnus Rui Feng, who received his PhD in geology. The donation is providing funding for scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in geological sciences, and an additional award for a graduate student in any field. The donation was made in March 2011, and scholarship recipients were notified last month. uSask News Release

TRU releases draft academic plan

After a year of public consultation, BC's Thompson Rivers University has posted a draft of its academic plan, which will be up for discussion at town hall meetings in Kamloops and Williams Lake later this month. The document asserts that over the next 5 to 10 years, TRU will establish itself as a destination campus for local, regional, national, and international students by offering a standard of education excellence in the context of: recruiting and supporting academically high achieving students; supporting the social mobility of students; offering access to learning to a variety of student groups, such as mature/returning students, first-generation students, and students at TRU's regional centres; offering flexible and alternative learning models and opportunities; and fostering excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. Draft Academic Plan

uAlberta TURN Program aims to help first-generation residents adjust to university life

New this year, the University of Alberta's TURN Program (Transition to University: Residence Network) is designed to help first-year students living in residence adjust to university life. With preference given to first-generation students, the program's 15 accepted students were among the first to move into residence and took part in various orientation programs. During the first term, the students will participate in group discussions and workshops, reviewing the first few weeks of university life and preparing for exams together. The second term will focus on how students can contribute to the experience of others in the residence community. First- and second-semester components include a conversation with a faculty member over coffee. The program is believed to be the first of its kind for first-generation students in Alberta. TURN Program

1/3 of Canadian Internet users use mobile device to go online

In 2010, 80% of individuals aged 16 and older went on the Internet for personal use, reports Statistics Canada. Among Internet users, one-third went online using a wireless handheld device. 59% of these users were under the age of 35, and 60% had at least a decade of online experience. 47% of these users came from households in the highest income quartile. Statistics Canada reports that 58% of Internet users went on social networks last year, including 86% under the age of 35. Female users (62%) were more likely than male users (54%) to use social networks. Statistics Canada