Top Ten

July 25, 2012

uMontréal, UQAM still don't have back-to-class agreements with profs

Professors say a very worrisome situation is developing as the Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Montréal still have not finalized a deal with them, which could jeopardize the makeup classes planned for August. The situation promises to be tense, reports the Montreal Gazette, as professors say there won't be any classes without an agreement in place, while university officials say professors have a contractual obligation to be there no matter what. uMontréal professors have filed a grievance over the return to classes, arguing that the university unilaterally made decisions and gave directives that modified working conditions covered by the collective agreement. Both parties are in arbitration and some sort of agreement will be imposed. Montreal Gazette

Seneca's King campus planning expansion

Seneca College's King campus is looking to expand, and the first priority for the revitalization is space for an additional 1,450 students. This includes classrooms, laboratories, an expanded library, computing commons, and student study space. The first phase of the 3-phase expansion also includes new athletics facilities and a joint training facility with York Regional Police. $96 million has been committed to the first phase of the development. King Weekly Sentinel

UTSC develops new academic plan

The University of Toronto Scarborough will create 6 new academic departments and revise its curriculum under a new academic plan approved earlier this month. The Department of Humanities and the Department of Social Sciences will be sub-divided into the Departments of Arts, Culture & Media; Anthropology; Human Geography; Historical & Cultual Studies; Political Science; and Sociology. 3 extra-departmental units will also be developed for French & Linguistics, Health, and International Development Studies. The departmental reorganization is part of a broader change in course offerings, which will see an emphasis on new and emerging areas of scholarship at the undergraduate level, and an expansion of graduate studies at UTSC. The plan also aims to expand UTSC's strength in experiential education. UTSC News

uAlberta students oppose changes to Lister Centre

In response to the University of Alberta's announcement this week about changes to its Lister Centre residence complex, the students' union says it was not consulted on the proposal. The students' union president says the lack of consultation is in direct contradiction to a 2009 MOU signed between the university and the Lister Hall Students' Association. Student-staffing changes entail the elimination of the elected positions of floor coordinators and floor VPs, to be replaced with residence assistant and senior residence assistant roles. The students' union argues that "these changes fit with the University’s increasing tendency to marginalize the student voice, and will allow the University to ignore student concerns further." uAlberta Students' Union News

Nipissing creates 20th anniversary logo

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Nipissing University as a degree-granting educational institution, and in order to promote this milestone, the university has developed a 20th anniversity logo. The logo depicts a blue "20" with 3 green beams stemming from the number "2" and passing through the "0." Below the number are the names of Nipissing's campus locations: North Bay, Muskoka, and Brantford. Nipissing 20th Anniversary Logo

Carleton to offer Canada's first graduate program in African Studies

In January Carleton University will launch a collaborative master's program the institution says will seal its reputation as the "go to" place in Canada for African Studies. The first of its kind in the country, the new program will be open to master's students in more than a dozen programs at Carleton. The program fits with the university's strategic plan as it is interdisciplinary, expands Carleton's focus on globalization, and fosters community engagement. Carleton News Release

Labour shortages in Canada sporadic and short-lived, report finds

According to a new report from the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, labour shortages continue to exist across the country, but they are sporadic and short-lived. Exploring skilled labour shortages in 5 trades in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the report notes that in 2011, 9.7% of the entire Canadian labour force was engaged in trade occupations, down from 11.3% in 1987. CGA-Canada says this shift occurred over time and, since 2000, the gap has remained fairly stable. CGA-Canada says its assessment shows that labour shortages took place occasionally within different regions and typically lasted no longer than a year at a time over the past decade. CGA-Canada News Release

Boston College prof arrested in Canada suspended by institution

Boston College has suspended assistant professor Dominic Papineau pending the outcomes of criminal proceedings against him in Canada, where he faces charges for allegedly threatening to bomb ore mines during a geological research trip with 5 students to remote Labrador earlier this month. During the multi-day field expedition, Papineau was arrested by Quebec Provincial Police, who say he was among a group protesting the Plan Nord development project. Papineau says he is "convinced" that he will be "fully exonerated of the charges," which he says were the result of someone misinterpreted a joke he made. Boston Globe

U of Illinois law school censured over false admissions data

On Tuesday the American Bar Association issued a public censure of the University of Illinois College of Law announcing sanctions against the law school for deliberately reporting and publishing false admissions statistics. The censure refers to intentionally false LSAT scores and incoming student GPAs the law school provided for the entering class of 2005 and the entering classes of 2007 through 2011. The sanctions also include a $250,000 fine, a public corrective statement from the school, and a requirement that the school hire a compliance monitor to report to the association's accreditation committee on its admissions process and data for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. ABA News Release

US survey draws profile of online student

According to a new US survey, the average student pursuing a PSE credential solely online is a white, 33-year-old woman with a full-time job and an annual salary of $65,000. This woman is likely to be studying business -- business administration and management is far and away the most popular degree among those surveyed, enrolling a greater proportion of fully online students than STEM fields, the social sciences, and humanities combined. When choosing an online institution, respondents said they value reputation above all else, followed by the price tag. While respondents gravitated toward non-profit institutions at a rate of 65%, for-profit schools captured over one-third of the fully online market, with the University of Phoenix registering a 15% share. Inside Higher Ed