Top Ten

January 24, 2012

uCalgary business school receives $9.5-million donation

The University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business will open the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business with the help of a $9.5-million gift made by 4 executives of Calgary-based ARC Resources Ltd. Expected to launch in fall 2012, the centre will serve as an umbrella body for leadership and ethics teaching and research in the business school. uCalgary News Release | Globe and Mail

uManitoba faculty association concerned over proposed faculty reduction

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) worries that a massive reorganization of faculties could leave some professors working with new colleagues who have no idea what they do for a living. uManitoba president David Barnard announced last week the institution will reorganize its 20 faculties and 78 departments by 2017 to reach or get close to the average 13 faculties for Canadian universities of its size. Faculty members are concerned about suddenly finding themselves in new faculties in which the majority of academics might be unfamiliar with their areas of expertise and would be unfamiliar with the teaching methods and research needs in the subjects taught by a minority of professors, UMFA's president says. The faculty association will start meeting with individual groups across campus later this week. Winnipeg Free Press

uAlberta student allegedly embezzled from business student group

A University of Alberta student allegedly embezzled over $27,000 from an undergraduate student association, says an e-mail sent to students in the institution's business faculty. The Business Students' Association says it learned last August that $27,745 was missing from a bank account accessed during the course of the summer. The student allegedly was able to access the bank account alone due to a "bank error in setting up the ATM card privileges when the signing authorities were changed" for the current school year, the e-mail states. The association has closed all of its bank accounts and suspended the accused student's access to them. The association has since enacted new policies to prevent similar events in the future, says uAlberta's dean of business. Edmonton Journal

Bob Rae accuses NB government of halting CCNB Edmundston tour

Federal interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae is accusing New Brunswick's Tory government of stopping him from appearing at the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick campus in Edmundston. Rae says he planned to visit the campus as part of his provincial tour to talk about jobs, but that stop was halted late last week. "On Friday, the provincial government cancelled that part of the visit, which is I suppose a sign that we can’t get rid of petty politics no matter how hard we try," says Rae. The campus is in the riding of federal cabinet minister Bernard Valcourt, whose sister, Martine Coulombe, is New Brunswick's PSE minister. A CCNB Edmundston official says Rae's tour was cancelled for a "technical" reason and that she is "sad" about the other perceptions about why the visit was halted. The college is trying to have Rae back for another tour in the future, the official says. CBC

UVic completes KIP-funded renovations

On Monday, the University of Victoria celebrated the completion of the extensive renewal and enhancement project at its campus. The 6 facilities renewed and upgraded include Clearihue, Cornett, Cunningham, Elliot, MacLaurin, and the University Centre building, all built between 1962 and 1978. UVic received $42.5 million in combined federal and BC funding under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program to support the renovations and upgrades, which included multi-building seismic upgrading and enhanced safety equipment. BC News Release

"Be part of something big" at MSVU

Mount Saint Vincent University has launched a new campaign whose theme is "be part of something big." A dedicated microsite features stories from current students, graduates, and faculty members about their experience at the Halifax-based institution. Visitors to the portal can explore programs and departments, download MSVU's viewbook, book a campus tour, submit an application, and check out the university's social media accounts. Past, present, and future students, staff, and professors are encouraged to share their MSVU story on the university's Facebook page. MSVU -- Our Stories

Deal with province sees Mount Royal education grads certified as teachers

Graduates from Mount Royal University's Bachelor of Education -- Elementary program will be officially certified under the Teaching Quality Standard set by the Alberta government due to a memorandum of agreement signed by the university and the province. "The agreement is vital for Mount Royal students because it affirms that our Bachelor of Education -- Elementary program provides the solid foundation of knowledge, theory and practical experience they need to be certified as teachers within this province," says the university's provost. Mount Royal is the ninth institution in Alberta to enter into such an agreement with the province. Mount Royal News Release | Calgary Herald

Future of RRC student radio station in doubt

Red River College's student radio station, KICK-FM, was given notice Monday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that it will no longer license stations that exist purely for educational purposes. "As you may know, our raison d'être is training students from Red River College's Creative Communications program...It is doubtful that RRC will want to continue funding a radio station that does not work within its educational department. Therefore, it seems unlikely at this point in time that KICK-FM will remain on-air," the station says in a statement posted on its Facebook page. "We were advised to go to the Internet to broadcast. Obviously, without being useable as a training facility, the College will not want to fund the station any longer, although no decision has been made," says the station's general manager. Winnipeg Free Press

Canadian schools lagging in online learning, report finds

According to a new report, Canadian schools are falling behind in the number of online learning opportunities available to students. Approximately 30% of elementary schools and 40% of secondary schools offer Internet-based learning. Participation rates have been increasing steadily but may be reaching a plateau, according to data collected by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. In 2010-11, BC had the most students, approximately 88,000, enrolled in distance education, accounting for 13.5% of the student population. Enrolment has not grown much recently in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan. But online education in Canada is thriving, says one of the report's authors, stating that Canada and New Zealand "are probably the two jurisdictions where unions have been most supportive of K-12 distance education." Globe and Mail

Prof leaves Stanford to launch online education start-up

Sebastian Thrun, a computer science professor at Stanford University, announced Monday he has left the institution to launch Udacity, a start-up offering low-cost online classes. Making the announcement at a conference in Germany, Thrun said his move was motivated partly by teaching practices that evolved too slowly to be effective, concluding that he could not continue teaching in a traditional setting. One of Udacity's first offerings will be a 7-week course titled "Building a Search Engine," designed to teach with students with no previous programming experience how to build a search engine like Google. Thrun hopes 500,000 students will enrol. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Udacity