Top Ten

January 26, 2012

Layoffs on the horizon at NWCC

Job cuts now seem all but inevitable at Northwest Community College to help balance its budget. In a notice to its unionized workers, NWCC states employers must give 60 days' notice if they intend to make employee changes affecting a significant number of their workers. Managers and other non-unionized employees at the college have also been told of impending layoffs. The potential for layoffs and other cuts is growing out of a shortfall that could be between $1.6 million and $2 million by the time NWCC closes off its books for the year ending March 31. Terrace Standard

New brand for UWO

Yesterday marked the virtual launch of the University of Western Ontario's new visual identity. Among the most prominent changes is that the institution will now be referred to as "Western University," or simply "Western." The name draws from UWO's rich history, which was founded by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth as Western University of London Ontario in 1878. "The University of Western Ontario" will remain the legal name of the institution. The new visual identity sees the university transition from the University College tower logo in favour of an updated version of the shield that appears in UWO's coat of arms. Repositioning the stag opposite the demi lion in the coat of arms allows UWO to include a maple leaf. The institution has kept its signature purple colour, although the shade has been tweaked to make it darker and richer. UWO News Release | London Free Press | Brand website

Boréal invests nearly $4 million in new Toronto campus

On Tuesday, Collège Boréal's board of governors approved a $3.8-million investment in the institution's new Toronto campus, which will open its doors in September. Last October, Boréal announced it would open a new campus in downtown Toronto at 1 Yonge Street, which is double the space of the college's 2 current locations in the city. By 2015, Boréal expects to increase the number of PSE programs offered in Ontario's central-southwest region to 30. Boréal News Release

uLethbridge, Métis Nation of Alberta launch scholarship endowment for Métis students

The University of Lethbridge and the Métis Nation of Alberta announced Wednesday the creation of a scholarship fund for Métis undergraduate and graduate students. The $500,000 gift will be endowed in perpetuity and will, through matching donations, support the establishment of a $1-million endowment fund that will help more students of Métis heritage complete their PSE. In December, the Métis Nation of Alberta and Mount Royal University set up a $500,000 bursary endowment fund for Métis students. uLethbridge News Release

Skilled trades, undergraduate education subject of economic vision for Ontario

In a new report, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the University of Toronto's Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation analyze Ontario's key assets and challenges and propose 5 strategic priorities for the province, one of which is building a 21st century workforce through workplace training, utilizing newcomers' skills, and apprenticeship reform. One of the challenges for Ontario is that there are not enough students entering the skilled trades to meet the labour market demand. To build a 21st century workforce, the report recommends objectively reviewing journeyperson to apprentice ratios and bringing them as close to 1:1 as possible. The report also recommends the Ontario government pursue the creation of new undergraduate teaching universities and greater integration between the university and college sector to allow for simpler transfers and transitions between PSE institutions. OCC/Mowat Centre News Release | Read the report

More physician specialists remaining in NL

New research from Memorial University observes that more physician specialists are staying to work in Newfoundland and Labrador than in previous years. Comparing retention rates over two 4-year periods from 1993 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2004, researchers found that doctors working in NL since 2000 were 1.6 times less likely to leave after 4 years than doctors in the 1990s. One of the study's authors says it's believed the improved retention rate is mainly due to the number of graduates from MUN who stay in the province to practise. "Those graduates...make up a much larger proportion of the physician workforce in 2000 than they did in 1990 and we think that's what's really driving improvements in retention." Canadian Press | Read the report

SMU launches virtual tour

Saint Mary's University's Admissions and Recruitment office recently launched a virtual tour of the campus. Guided by a pair of graduates, the tour showcases the institution's arts and sciences faculties, the Sobey School of Business, and environmental science programs. In the tour's videos, the graduates speak with some students and professors about their experience at SMU. The tour also includes information on how to apply to the university, financial aid, athletics facilities and varsity sports, student services, services for international students, and residences. Users can click on various points on the map in the virtual tour to access photos or videos describing a particular section of the campus. This Week at Saint Mary's | SMU virtual tour

uWinnipeg board approves new sustainability plan

The University of Winnipeg's board of regents has approved a comprehensive new sustainability plan designed to strengthen eco-friendly practices in all aspects of campus life. Goals that will guide action over the next 4 years include surpassing Kyoto Protocol commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2016, reducing water consumption on campus, and diverting 65% of all waste through composting and recycling by 2014. Since passing its sustainability policy in 2006, uWinnipeg has become an eco-leader among Canadian PSE institutions. It was the first university in Canada to ban bottled water for sale and the first to introduce a sustainable, locally sourced food service on campus called Diversity Foods. uWinnipeg News

Stanford releases recommendations to revise undergraduate education

Yesterday Stanford University unveiled a set of 55 recommendations to put a priority on teaching undergraduate students a set of skills on top of requiring them to take courses in specific fields. The proposed changes, described as emphasizing "ways of thinking, ways of doing," are in keeping with a growing emphasis among PSE institutions on core skills rather than on specific disciplinary content. The Stanford committee that drafted the report identified 7 skills areas as important for students: aesthetic and interpretive inquiry; scientific analysis; formal and quantitative reasoning (2 courses in each); as well as one course in engaging difference, one in moral and ethical reasoning, and one in creative expression. The recommendations also support the idea that first-year students be exposed to a range of learning environments, including lectures, discussion sessions, and intimate seminars. The recommendations would require freshmen to take seminar courses with senior faculty members, which is currently optional. Stanford News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Datatel, SunGard complete merger

Datatel+SGHE and SunGard Data Systems, both providers of back-office software in PSE, announced Tuesday that the transactions to combine the businesses of Datatel and SunGard Higher Education have closed. The newly formed firm will have a new name to be launched in the first half of this year. Until then, the company will be referred to as Datatel+SGHE. The combined firms plan to support the software solutions of both Datatel and SunGard Higher Education, including Advance, Banner, Colleague, and PowerCAMPUS administrative systems. Datatel News Release