Top Ten

May 1, 2012

uSask family medicine profs criticize restructuring plan

A proposal to split the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine into separate teaching and research arms is being met with opposition from a group of faculty members in family medicine. The proposed restructuring would see full-time faculty spending most of their time on research, while doctors from outside uSask would do most of the teaching. The group of 23 family medicine professors says the proposal is unworkable and is being pushed through too hastily. The group also says that teaching will be sacrificed to boost research. uSask's provost disagrees, linking the proposal to work the institution is doing to maintain its medical education accreditation. The plan is on the agenda for approval by the University Council at its May 17 meeting. The family medicine faculty members say they are drafting an alternative proposal. CBC | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Fanshawe braces for lean times

Despite enrolment growth, Fanshawe College is bracing for a few tough years due to the Ontario government's belt-tightening. Fanshawe's board of governors has adopted a strategic plan for a $197-million operating budget for 2012-13 that includes a $1-million shortfall, which will be covered by dipping into an operating reserve fund. The college's VP of administration says annual shortfalls are expected to increase to $3 million in the next 2 years. As Ontario tries to curb spending, the VP expects provincial grants to colleges will fall short of inflation and salary settlements. Fanshawe has prepared for the funding shortfall by steadily bumping up an $11-million reserve fund, she says. The college's strategic plan includes $55 million in capital spending, the largest component being the renovation of a downtown building for an arts campus. Measures to support strategic growth in current and new student markets include the launch of a virtual School of Graduate and Professional Studies this summer, and a new 3-year marketing plan. London Free Press | Fanshawe Strategic Plan 2012-13

STM launches $6-million campaign to support expansion, endowed chair

St. Thomas More College, federated with uSask, announced Monday its $6-million "Creating More" campaign to expand its existing facility and raise funds for an endowed chair in Catholic Studies. "We are bursting at the seams, and have been for quite some time," says STM president Terrence Downey. "This campaign will not only enable us to create the space needed to teach more STM classes within the walls of our building, but also deliver the environment and personal interaction our students and alumni expect from St. Thomas More College." The building expansion will be completed in fall 2013, while the chair will be established this fall and funded by the campaign in its first 2 years. STM News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | Creating More

NS releases details on student-loan investment

Yesterday the Nova Scotia government fleshed out details on the $5.5-million investment in student aid the province announced in its 2012 budget. The government has used the funding to increase the weekly assistance allowance to $170 per week and increase the non-repayable grant portion of a student loan to 35%. The funding builds on last year's investment of $42.5 million that included the province's first debt cap, increases to the book allowance, more exemptions for in-study earnings, and keeping tuition for NS students at or below the Canadian average. NS News Release

WLU senate approves Centre for Women in Science

Wilfrid Laurier University's senate has approved the creation of a Centre for Women in Science at the institution. The centre aims to foster a strong community for women in science and in the mathematical social sciences through action, communication, and research. The centre will award grants to female scientists and to scholars studying the role of women in the sciences. It will also facilitate networking and mentoring opportunities for female scientists, and support community outreach to female youth pondering careers in science. WLU News Release

New partnership boosts PSE access for adult learners in Rocky Mountain House

Adult learners in Alberta's Rocky Mountain House area now have a one-stop solution to their learning needs following a new partnership between Campus Alberta Central (CAC) and Rocky Community Learning Council (RCLC). Under the agreement, learners can now access information and support services for CAC's post-secondary program offerings under the RCLC umbrella. Campus Alberta Central is a joint venture between Olds and Red Deer Colleges and collaborates with other PSE schools. These partnerships allow access to accredited higher-education courses and programs in 30 central Alberta communities. Olds College News Release

TWU unveils university transition program for international students

This fall, Trinity Western University will launch a program designed to walk international students through their first year of university studies. Under the University Transition First Year program, courses are paired with "Integration and Engagement" courses, where students focus on developing language skills, cultural literacy, critical thinking, and academic skills. Other supports include one-on-one learning coaches and first language discussion groups. TWU News Release | University Transition First Year

Boréal continuing education registration up 15%

Collège Boréal reports that it has reached an all-time high of 4,000 students registered in its continuing education courses and programs in 2011-12. This figure represents a 15% increase over last year's registrations. The number includes enrolments from Boréal's entire service area, namely northern Ontario and central-southwestern Ontario. Boréal News Release

uRegina reveals new homepage

The University of Regina has updated its homepage, part of a renewal of the institution's website with the goal to make it more student-focused, consistent, and easier to use. The streamlined homepage navigation places tools, links, and services students commonly use in the top black bar on the homepage and every new Web page being built. The gold-coloured navigation on the left-hand side of the homepage is now completely student-focused with information grouped by the following student categories: future and new; current; graduate; international; and continuing education (including distance and online). uRegina News | uRegina homepage

Microsoft, Barnes & Noble form digital textbook partnership

Backed by a $300-million investment by Microsoft, Barnes & Noble is transforming its college-textbook and digital divisions into a new subsidiary aimed at turning more students on to e-textbooks. Although e-textbooks account for a small portion of Barnes & Noble's business, the market is likely to expand in the next several years, and partnering with Microsoft will strengthen its ability to capture a greater share of the college textbook market, says the president of Barnes & Noble Digital Projects. One of the first new features to be offered is a Windows 8 application for Nook, Barnes & Noble's e-book reader. Yet to be named, the new subsidiary is, for the moment, being referred to as Newco. The bookseller will own 82.4% of the venture, and Microsoft will own the remaining share. Barnes & Noble/Microsoft News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)