Top Ten

October 28, 2011

uToronto among international bidders to build $450-million campus in New York

The University of Toronto is part of a team of international institutions making a bid to construct a $450-million urban sciences campus in Brooklyn, New York. Part of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ambitious plan to develop a world-class engineering and research commercialization facility, the deal includes a promise of municipal-owned land and $100 million in seed capital. uToronto's partners in the bid include New York University, the City University of New York, Carnegie-Mellon University, the Indian Institute of Technology, and the University of Warwick. uToronto's provost says the proposal calls for 50 permanent and rotating faculty, new housing on the site, and corporate partnership agreements with Cisco, IBM, and Siemens. The site the group is proposing for the campus was once used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. New York officials will release a short list of finalists later this fall, with a winner to be announced by year's end. Globe and Mail

Expelled uWaterloo student pleads guilty after BB gun waved during study hall fight

An 18-year-old man pleaded guilty last week to a single count of assault following an incident in July in which police responded to reports of a handgun being waved around during a fight at the University of Waterloo's Student Life Centre. The young man was one of 2 men expelled following the incident, which came to a peaceful end when police officers learned it was only a BB gun and found it tossed in a garbage can. Receiving a conditional discharge, the man is now appealing his expulsion. A 20-year-old man still faces several charges, including pointing a firearm. Waterloo Region Record

Women in varsity sports shortchanged in participation, coaching opportunities, study finds

Canada has a long way to go in offering equal opportunities for female student-athletes and leaders, according to new research from uToronto's Centre for Sport Policy Studies. Athlete participation data were analyzed based not only on the number of varsity sport opportunities across all Canadian universities, but also on the gender split in the student body. While men comprise 44% of the university student body, they have 56% of the opportunities. The exact opposite is true for women, who represent 56% of students and enjoy 44% of the varsity team spots. The study also found that women make up just 19% of head coaches and only 17% of athletic directors. Researchers recommend Canadian Interuniversity Sport and its 4 regional counterparts revamp their gender equity policies based on the study's results, create an immediate 50% target toward proportional female participation, and develop a plan for improving leadership opportunities for women in coaching and senior administration. uToronto News

uSask president's comment on Sask. Party candidate a conflict, says prof

A University of Saskatchewan professor argues that a personal endorsement by president Peter MacKinnon in a campaign brochure for Saskatchewan Party candidate Rob Norris is in conflict with the role of the university president to stay neutral. MacKinnon is quoted as saying: "Rob Norris is the finest minister responsible for post-secondary education that I have been privileged to work with in my (13) years as (president)." MacKinnon says he made the comment at a plaque unveiling ceremony for the Academic Health Sciences Centre in early September, well before the writ of election was dropped. He says the comment was a matter of public record and Norris "was entitled to use it." The professor says the comment is critical in a back-handed way of previous PSE ministers, and that in September, the fixed election date made it widely known a campaign was forthcoming. MacKinnon says the comment was meant as a thank you to Norris for improving higher education, and not as a jab at previous ministers. The professor argues that the comment could make it difficult for uSask to deal with future governments. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

UWO releases 2010-11 Survey of Graduating Students

According to the University of Western Ontario's latest Survey of Graduating Students, 83.6% of respondents were satisfied with the overall education they received from the institution. Library access via Web (40.9%), campus safety (34.3%), and student health services (31%) topped support unit satisfaction. MD and dentistry students were most likely to recommend UWO to a friend (100%), while education students were least likely (80.8%). The survey found that students attended UWO for one of 3 reasons: quality of programs (41.3%), career-relevant programs (32.8%), and good social atmosphere (27.5%). Nearly a quarter of respondents planned to enrol in a graduate program following graduation, a quarter planned to seek employment, and a quarter said they had a job lined up after graduation. Of those who had a job lined up, 69.3% said they would be working in fields closely related to their area of study. Western News (Page 5 of PDF) | 2010-11 Survey of Graduating Students

SLC re-opens upgraded Moulinette Hall

St. Lawrence College recently celebrated the grand re-opening of the Cornwall campus' Moulinette Hall, whose infrastructure upgrade was funded by a joint $10-million investment from the federal and Ontario governments. Improvements to the facility include new paramedic, computer, chemistry, and physics labs; a nursing simulation lab; a new student and customer service area; and new mechanical (HVAC) and electrical systems. SLC News

Yukon College opens Research Centre Lab

Yukon College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for its new $2.7-million Yukon Research Centre Laboratory. The 2-storey building features a Class 2 lab facility, space for receiving and securing samples, office space for visiting researchers, and a collections room. The facility was built as a multi-purpose lab, flexible enough for researchers investigating anything from permafrost to wildlife to northern health issues. Yukon College News Release

NLC celebrates new Aboriginal gathering places

BC-based Northern Lights College's Fort St. John and Dawson Creek campuses are each home to a new Aboriginal gathering place, which are part of a $13.6-million provincial investment to create gathering spaces at public PSE institutions across BC. The Fort St. John gathering space is located in an area that previously housed the Roy Cunningham Aboriginal Student Resource Centre. The renovated area features an adjacent office for the Aboriginal co-ordinator and a kitchen. Tomorrow marks the official opening of the Dawson Creek gathering space in the Campus Centre building. The dedicated space features a fireplace and study carrels, as well as an office for the Aboriginal co-ordinator. BC News Release

Centennial top college in Ontario for nationally accredited engineering technology programs

The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) has recognized 4 additional programs in Centennial College's School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science, bringing the total number of nationally accredited programs at the school to 21 -- the largest number of any Ontario college. The school's dean says the CTAB accreditation means that graduates meet all the academic requirements for certification by the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) and other similar certifying associations across Canada. Centennial also has the largest number of OACETT-certified faculty in a single institution within Ontario's college sector. Centennial News Release

Kobo to move into publishing

Canadian-based e-book seller Kobo is set to establish a publishing firm that will deal directly with authors, the CBC reports. Like Amazon, which recently announced that it would publish 122 original titles this fall, Kobo will offer complete publishing services for authors, such as book editing and design. "It's part of the new market and if you expect to be a number 1 player in that market globally it's table stakes -- you have to provide it," says Kobo's CEO. The company will roll out its new program sometime next year. CBC