Top Ten

July 13, 2012

Carleton to clarify donor agreement for politics school

Carleton University says the $15-million donor agreement for its Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management does not reflect the institution's academic policies and will be clarified. The move comes as the Canadian Association of University Teachers prepares a broadside at what it calls "unprecedented and unacceptable" provisions in Carleton's agreement with donor Clayton Riddell. The agreement reveals that the Riddell Foundation effectively appointed 3 out of 5 people on a steering committee, which was given sweeping power over the program's budget, academic hiring, executive director, and curriculum. "That's just unheard of," says CAUT executive director James Turk. Carleton stresses that all hiring decisions for the program, which enters its second academic year in September, were made using regular, proper procedures. Canadian Press | Ottawa Citizen

Education sector welcomes Supreme Court ruling on "fair dealing" provision in Copyright Act

Teachers, students, and education ministers welcome the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling Thursday on the "fair dealing" provision in the Copyright Act. In its decision the court reaffirms the right to copy portions of materials without permission or payment for non-commercial research and education purposes. The ruling overturns decisions made by the Copyright Board of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal, both of which had narrowly defined the fair dealing provision and instituted a fee for teachers producing copies of short excerpts to supplement materials bought for classroom use. Toronto Star | CMEC News Release | CFS News Release | CAUT News

uManitoba health faculties consider merger

The University of Manitoba's faculties of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy are showing a strong interest in merging into one faculty under the institution's plans to reduce its number of faculties from 20 to 13. 3 other health science faculties -- nursing, human ecology, and kinesiology and recreation management -- are still thinking about amalgamation. President David Barnard expects to hear a proposal or set of options on health sciences by the end of the year, says uManitoba's VP Academic. Winnipeg Free Press

NIC examines student housing for Comox Valley campus

North Island College is seeking a consultant to research possible forms of student accommodations on its Comox Valley campus. A NIC official says identifying possible options for student housing has long been a strategic objective for the institution. She says a feasibility study would be a good first step to see what might be needed, what the costs would be, and what actions NIC could take to implement any particular plan. Comox Valley Echo

uCalgary unveils new strategic research plan

The University of Calgary has launched its 2012 Strategic Research Plan, which provides the roadmap for achieving the institution's goal of becoming one of Canada's top 5 research-intensive universities by 2016. The plan focuses on 3 major priorities: matching uCalgary's strengths with opportunities; increasing its research capacity; and creating a dynamic research environment to promote research excellence. The multidisciplinary research themes that will guide uCalgary toward its top 5 goal are: brain and mental health; human dynamics in a changing world: Smart and Secure Cities, Societies and Cultures; new earth-space technologies; engineering solutions for health: Biomedical engineering; infections, inflammation and chronic diseases in the changing environment; and energy innovations for today and tomorrow. UToday | 2012 Strategic Research Plan

Portage College to open Pipeline Training Centre

Portage College will soon open the first Pipeline Training Centre in Alberta, which will coexist with the Heavy Equipment Training Centre at the institution's newest campus in Boyle, Alberta. The program will cover 5 areas of pipeline training: construction, operation, maintenance, environment, and regulatory policy. The college is expected to offer its first pipeline training program in September 2013. Portage College News Release

JIBC, Beijing Emergency Medical Center sign MOU

The Justice Institute of British Columbia and Beijing Emergency Medical Center signed an MOU last week that will establish a strategic alliance between the 2 organizations. One of the objectives outlined in the MOU is to cooperate on pre-hospital Emergency Medical Services education, such as the introduction of advanced paramedic courses and development of paramedic instructor education. JIBC News Release

NOSM physician assistant program earns CMA accreditation

The Canadian Medical Association has awarded accreditation to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's physician assistant program. The Bachelor of Science Physician Assistant degree is a full-time professional, second-entry undergraduate degree program conferred by the University of Toronto and delivered by The Consortium of PA Education. The Consortium is a collaboration between uToronto, NOSM, and The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences. NOSM News Release

Canadian teachers call for more resources to support student mental health

According to a recent Canada-wide survey of 3,900 teachers, many schools are ill-equipped and under-resourced to adequately support students' mental health. Most teachers stated that they have not received any professional development with regard to student mental health. More than 96% of respondents said they wanted professional development opportunities and that the lack of provision of training could be an obstacle to recognizing and understanding mental health issues in children, and to implementing strategies for working with children with externalizing behaviour problems. Canadian Teachers' Federation News Release

Texas State University System proposes $10,000 degree

The Texas State University System is the state's third major university system to announce the creation of an undergraduate degree that cost just $10,000 -- a response to Governor Rick Perry's 2011 call for more affordable PSE offerings. In the Texas State model, the opportunity is available to secondary school students who graduate with at least a 2.5 GPA and at least 30 hours of college credit completed. The total cost would be capped at $10,000 though deferred scholarships that students earn provided they maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and take 15 hours of classes per term, allowing them to graduate in 3 years. Texas Tribune