Top Ten

July 20, 2012

Quebec budget could have serious effect on university funding

A decline in donations to Quebec universities could have a serious impact on provincial funding to individual universities if the current Liberal budget is implemented in the next academic year. The budget anticipates Quebec universities to raise $54 million in additional combined donations by 2017. Institutions will be asked to encourage more donations through a new program created by the province this year called "Placements Universit├ęs," which will give a matching grant relative to the amount of money universities receive in fundraising. What happens if universities cannot meet their incremental fundraising and donations targets remains unclear. The budget does not outline where the allocated funds that are earmarked to match donations will go if the targets are not met. Montreal Gazette

Ontario college faculty seek conciliator as contract negotiations stall

OPSEU, which represents more than 10,000 college faculty in Ontario, has requested the services of a Ministry of Labour conciliator as contract negotiations with management have stalled. Key issues for OPSEU include academic freedom, online teaching, and fair treatment for part-time faculty. The union and management are scheduled to meet next on August 14. The faculty's contract expires on August 31. OPSEU News Release

$3-million donation funds human development and health chair at UPEI

The University of Prince Edward Island announced Thursday a $3-million gift from the Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain and the late Wallace McCain to create the Margaret and Wallace McCain Chair in Human Development and Health. The inaugural chair, Dr. William Montelpare, will direct his research toward issues in public health and exercise science, with a particular focus on injury prevention in sport and recreational pursuits. UPEI News Release

Concordia loses donors over "financial mismanagement"

A pair of retired Concordia University professors and long-time benefactors of the university say they are no longer donating to the institution in protest against what they consider financial mismanagement. "Concordia squanders money on administrator salaries and perks," wrote Jack and Judith Kornblatt in an e-mail to select administrators and colleagues. The final straw for the Kornblatts was a recent news report stating that Bram Freedman, Concordia's VP of institutional relations, would lease a $37,155 Lexus from the institution through a $900 a month car allowance. When asked for comment about Freedman's salary and benefits package, a Concordia spokeswoman said "compensation paid to university administrators is in keeping with those paid by other universities of similar size and scope to attract and retain top professionals," noting that car allowances are part of the compensation package. Montreal Gazette | The Link (student newspaper)

uWinnipeg's new business dean sees room for growth

Sylvie Albert, the newly appointed dean of the University of Winnipeg's Faculty of Business and Economics, sees plenty of opportunities for growth in the 4-year-old faculty through local and global initiatives. Albert hopes to expand offerings for students to study and work as part of their education in Winnipeg, through co-ops, internships, and other interactions with industry. She also sees a role for her faculty to expand its work on Aboriginal issues. Globe and Mail

New NL apprenticeship guidelines target labour shortage

The Newfoundland and Labrador Apprenticeship and Certification Board is approving new guidelines that will allow 2 apprentices to be hired for every journeyperson working in construction trades. The new guidelines, which apply to 16 trades, have been put in place to address a skilled labour shortage in the province. More apprentice jobs will result in more trades students being able to get work experience earlier and companies being able to hire more apprentices. CBC

Dual enrolment a "promising intervention" for students who might not attend college

According to a new report, California students who took community-college classes while still in secondary school were more likely than their classmates to graduate and attend a 4-year college, even among students who are historically underrepresented in PSE. The Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College studied a 3-year dual enrolment program created for low-income students, English learners, students who struggle academically, and students at high risk of dropping out of PSE. Researchers found that the students stayed in college and earned more credits than did similar students in their district who did not partake in the program. EdSource Today | Report

Manufacturing industry, US colleges partner on alternative credentials

One of the most promising alternative credentialing movements in the US -- the manufacturing industry's stackable certificate system -- has led to a deeper, more symbiotic relationship between employers and PSE institutions. The growing partnership has given rise to a blended model of PSE, where the industry takes the lead on standards for competency-based education, with a helping hand from colleges, which then provide the traditional degree path. Last month Illinois-based Harper College launched a program in which students can earn industry-endorsed certificates in manufacturing. More than 50 companies have agreed to hire Harper students as paid interns, as soon as students complete the first level certificate. Inside Higher Ed

Quiet making a comeback at campus libraries

Library quiet is making a comeback on college campuses in part because students themselves are asking for it; they are often the first to bring up noise issues in the library, to ask for more quiet spots, and to police those spaces themselves. At Huntingdon College's library, the most popular room is not a fully wired collaborative space but a small room designed to look like an old-fashioned study. The library has a special role to play in helping students find calm, says an official with Georgia State University's library. "There's a lot of hustle and bustle," he says. "Sometimes students just need to go somewhere and decompress. They need to go somewhere and think. We may be the only place on campus that can provide that." The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Media ad spending in Canada expected to increase nearly 4% this year

GroupM has downgraded its international advertising spending forecasts, but predicts that growth in digital advertising spending will be stronger than expected. In its biannual report, the company forecasts a 5.1% jump in measured media spending to $506.3 billion this year, and growth in digital spend is expected to rise by 18% in 2012 to $99 billion. In Canada, total media ad spend this year is expected to climb 3.9% to $13.37 billion. Digital ad spend is forecast to increase by 10% in 2012 to $2.58 billion. Marketing Magazine