Top Ten

December 15, 2011

Prairie Bible Institute to hire third-party group to investigate abuse allegations

Prairie Bible Institute says it will bring in a third-party investigator to look into allegations of sexual abuse at the Alberta-based institution. A former student who claims she and dozens of others were abused at the college has been calling for an independent investigation by a US-based Christian organization. She says she is skeptical of the college's likely move to bring in a Canadian group due to the institute's wide reach among Christian organizations in Canada. So far, the RCMP has received just 3 complaints of abuse with any connection to Prairie Bible Institute. An RCMP spokesman has said the claims involve the college "in name only" and the school itself is not under investigation for any kind of systemic abuse or coverup. Calgary Herald

RCMP provides update on criminal investigation linked to JIBC

The RCMP confirmed Wednesday that about 13 people connected to the Justice Institute of British Columbia have been victimized in a series of arsons and shootings. No one has been physically injured to date. The number of victims has increased from approximately 10 as the investigation has looked back at previous incidents and has linked a number of new incidents since September. The RCMP found a link to an Insurance Corporation of British Columbia employee who allegedly accessed personal information of 65 individuals, including the 13 identified victims. None of the incidents has taken place at JIBC's campuses. Enhanced security remains in effect at the campuses. RCMP News Release | JIBC News

uSask seeks an extra $60-million from province for operating costs

According to its operations forecast submitted to the Saskatchewan government, the University of Saskatchewan estimates it needs an additional $60-million in provincial funding to cover its projected $463.3-million operating budget in 2012-13. The request includes a $16.5-million increase to the annual operating grant from the government, $24.6 million in one-time funding for new initiatives, a $10-million increase in the capital grant to be used to develop a plan to tackle deferred maintenance, and $9 million to support student accessibility. The annual increases uSask requests reflect the rising demand for PSE, which requires bigger budgets, says the institution's provost. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uWindsor board approves construction of Innovation Centre and parking garage

The University of Windsor's board of governors has voted in favour of the construction of a 2-storey Innovation Centre and a 7-level parking garage with 1,055 spaces. The Innovation Centre will house Campus Community Police, Parking Services, and services and amenities that will enhance the campus experience. With a total budget of $25.8 million, construction will begin early next year and completed during summer 2013. uWindsor Daily News

$4-million gift to TWU supports scholarships and diabetes research

Earlier this month, Trinity Western University received an estate endowment worth $4 million in part to establish 2 endowed student scholarships and advance diabetes research. The scholarships will provide an opportunity for one undergraduate and one graduate student with financial need, in any field of study, to attend the institution. The annual proceeds of the endowment will support groundbreaking diabetes research conducted in TWU laboratories. TWU News

International recruitment critical to Carleton's future, provost says

Carleton University will be left in the dust if it does not take bold action to recruit more international students at a time of declining domestic enrolment, says the institution's provost in response to a decision not to partner with Navitas, an Australian-based for-profit education company, to recruit foreign students and provide them with the first year of instruction at a small college to be housed on Carleton's campus. The proposal did not receive a warm reception from campus unions and student groups who feared job losses and further privatization on campus. While he supports a Carleton committee's rejection of the proposed Navitas partnership, the provost urges the institutional community not to adopt a "bunker mentality" when it comes to innovation. "If we are not going to be trailblazers with regard to Navitas, we must not be afraid of seeking other innovative ways to expand the pace of international recruitment." Ottawa Citizen

OCUFA executive outlines principles for teaching-stream appointments

Constrained finances for Ontario universities due to government underfunding provides a context that makes the discussion about the expansion of teaching-stream faculty positions worthwhile, said Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Vice-President Kate Lawson at a recent conference at McMaster University. Lawson identified 3 principles for teaching-stream appointments. First, they need to be good appointments, with job security, opportunity for career advancement, protection of academic freedom, and pay equal to other full-time faculty. Personal choice is another key principle. Faculty members should not be prevented from moving from one stream to the other. The third principle is the preservation of space in teaching-focused appointments for scholarship. If these principles are honoured, "we have a recipe for more quality teaching at our institutions, not a recipe for cheaper teaching," Lawson said. OCUFA Report

Mount Allison campaign draws on institution's likeness to Hogwarts

Throughout December, Mount Allison University is running an awareness campaign in 8 markets across Canada that involves a poster display in movie theatres. The campaign is based on Mount Allison students' comparisons of the institution to Hogwarts, the boarding school of magic in the Harry Potter series. For example, Mount Allison's colours are similar to those of Gryffindor, one of the 4 Houses of Hogwarts. The campaign is generating buzz on social networks and on Mount Allison's alumni and student portals. Mount Allison Facebook page

Olds College names winner of Centennial Innovation Fund

This fall, Alberta-based Olds College invited members of the institutional community to submit a proposal for up to $100,000 that demonstrated creativity and innovation in pursuit of the goals and outcomes outlined in the school's Comprehensive Institutional Plan. Greg Lendvay, the college's Director of Health and Wellness/Athletics, won for his submission proposing the development of a training space above the soon-to-be-built locker room component of Normie Kwong Park. Lendvay says in his proposal that the "Canadian Centre for Rural High Performance will open the door for the development of Sports Academies and will provide opportunities for Olds College to collaborate with National and Provincial organizations." Olds College News Release

New TV drama to focus on med students in northern Ontario

Hard Rock Medical is an upcoming half-hour television drama that follows a diverse group of medical students enrolled in a 4-year program at the fictional Hard Rock University. Several plotlines will lean toward one ultimate question: Do these students have what it takes to succeed? And if so, will they remain in the north? Loosely inspired by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the series will provide fresh and engaging insight into some of the unique features and challenges of delivering health care in northern Ontario. Production on the TV show will begin in and around Sudbury next year. NOSM News Release