Top Ten

June 28, 2012

Quebec court dismisses Bill 78 injunction request

The Quebec Supreme Court has rejected attempts by student groups to strike down parts of Bill 78. The judge who turned down the injunction request Wednesday says the law's fundamentals should be studied and debated before proceedings on a formal court challenge should begin. FEUQ's president says that while a motion has already been filed to contest Bill 78 in its entirety, student groups may still decide to proceed with an appeal of Wednesday's ruling. Montreal Gazette | CBC

U of King's College president departs after 11 months in position

Anne Leavitt resigned her position as president of the University of King's College in Halifax last week, just 11 months after being headhunted and hired from BC. The board chairman said in a news release that he was "sorry to announce Dr. Leavitt's resignation," but respected her decision. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald suggests that Leavitt's departure was more complex, after a "turbulent year": UKC faces difficult finances and sex charges against a long-time administrator. The most recent Student Union president suggests that Leavitt "came into a difficult situation" but may not have been as consultative as the campus culture required. Students took issue with Leavitt's decision to remove student representation from a pair of committees that oversaw the institution's finances. Chronicle-Herald

Ontario discussion paper outlines proposed transformation of PSE

In a discussion paper released yesterday, the Ontario government suggests shorter degrees, year-round classes, and making all general first- and second-year credits transferable to any provincial university as ways to keep PSE more relevant and flexible to students. An early draft of changes to PSE suggested reducing undergraduate degrees from 4 to 3 years and allowing students to earn more than half their credits online. Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Glen Murray says shorter degrees would not be "compressing four years into three," but actually have a different structure that meets student demands and offers choice and convenience. All of the issues raised in the paper will go out for wider consultation this summer and fall.  Toronto Star | Discussion Paper (PDF)

Lakehead, Georgian College sign MOU on student mobility

Georgian College and Lakehead University announced their new relationship Thursday with the signing of an MOU under which they will work to develop seamless and effective pathways for students at both institutions. These pathways include: credit transfer agreements; joint delivery of programs in which a student could obtain both a Georgian diploma and a Lakehead degree; course-to-course credits; block transfer agreements; and fast-track diplomas. The partnership will also explore ways to enhance educational opportunities for Aboriginal students, a key focus of both institutions. Collaboration on technology for distance education will be examined as well. Georgian/Lakehead News Release

Niagara College to stop operating child care centre next April

Niagara College announced Wednesday that it will cease operating the NC Child Care Centre at the Welland campus on April 30, 2013. The increasing cost of operating the centre was deemed no longer financially viable after April 2013. The decision does not affect the college's Early Childhood Education program. Niagara College News Release

Douglas College to open international sales institute

Douglas College will launch a sales institute programmed to become a global leader in sales information, research, training, and education. The Peter Legge International Institute for Sales Excellence, named after Canada Wide Media CEO Peter Legge, will be up and running by late September. Douglas already offers a post-degree diploma in sales and is in the final stages of creating a BBA program in marketing and sales. Douglas News

Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy earns CAPPA accreditation

After a thorough review by the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA), the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, which has campuses at the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan, has successfully completed the accreditation process, reinforcing the high quality of its Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy programs. "With this step forward, our hope is our programs will experience further growth with regards to student recruitment and partnerships with other institutions and industries," says the school's executive director. uSask News Release

Nipissing launches women's hockey program

Nipissing University announced Wednesday that it has added a women's hockey team, which will begin competition in the Ontario University Athletics league in the 2013-14 season. "Offering a women’s team significantly enhances the student experience at Nipissing University," says president Vicky Paine-Mantha. The university now offers men's and women's hockey, soccer, volleyball, cross-country running, and Nordic skiing. Nipissing News Release

US college boards turn to business-style approach of leadership

The governing boards of colleges and universities in the US are increasingly demanding that their presidents perform like corporate CEOs, much to the chagrin of academics who say treating post-secondary schools as businesses does not fit the mission of PSE. Experts say the recent moves largely have been prompted by federal and state funding cutbacks. For example, this fiscal year, the University of Virginia -- whose governance issues were recently brought into the national spotlight -- expects just 10% of its operating budget to come from the state. Amid pressure to keep tuition down, uVA and other institutions are increasingly relying on private fundraising and big donations from wealthy benefactors, who often end up on the institution's board. Associated Press

US colleges' internationalization efforts slip in some areas, report finds

US PSE institutions say they are more supportive than ever of international education, but in many instances their internationalization efforts may fall short, suggests a new report from the American Council on Education. Based on a survey of over 1,000 institutions in 2011, the report found that support for certain internationally focused activities has dropped since 2006, the last time the council conducted such a study. A smaller share of schools now require students to study a foreign language or enrol in courses that focus on perspectives, issues, or events outside the US. Funds for professors to travel to meetings or conferences abroad or to conduct research overseas have dropped. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Report