Top Ten

August 7, 2012

FNUC, fired executives reach settlement

The First Nations University of Canada and 2 of its former senior officials have reached an out-of-court settlement over their firings. Charles Pratt, FNUC's former president, and Allan Ducharme, the former VP of administration, were terminated in March 2010 following allegations of misuse of funds and submission of inappropriate expense claims. Both men denied the allegations. Ducharme filed a statement of claim in court, while Pratt sought arbitration over the firings. FNUC issued a news release last Friday stating that the men and the institution had negotiated a settlement, the details of which would remain confidential. "(FNUC) wishes to make clear that neither Mr. Pratt nor Mr. Ducharme were found to be in dereliction of their respective duties nor guilty of any financial impropriety," says the news release. "Similarly, Mr. Pratt and Mr. Ducharme would like to publicly express their confidence in the university's current board of directors, its administration and its academic personnel." Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uMontréal social work students vote to renew class boycott

The first of many rounds of votes on whether or not to return to class were counted Monday evening, with Université de Montréal social work students approving the renewal of a strike against increasing tuition fees. Of 638 students in the department, nearly 10% voted in the general assembly. In total, 33 students voted for the continued strike, 26 voted against, and 2 abstained. The department will vote again on September 7. This uMontréal vote comes on the heels of a statement signed by more than 2,000 professors and teachers worldwide denouncing provisions of Bill 78 and more than 200 Quebec educational professionals vowing to respect the impending student votes on the strike renewal. At a news conference Monday, professors maintained that Bill 78 "created a climate of war" between students and teachers, and refused to violate the "democratic decisions" of students in their general assemblies. Montreal Gazette | CBC

PEI eliminates interest on student loans

The PEI government announced last week that it is eliminating interest on provincial student loans, effective October 1. The reduction applied to loans going back to 2001. Those recipients will no longer have to pay interest on the principal. For new applicants, the reduction will apply to individuals who have been a PEI resident for the past 12 months. PEI News Release | CBC

New rural family doctors, nurses to receive partial student loan relief

The federal government announced last Friday that eligible family doctors, family medicine residents, nurses, and nurse practitioners who work in rural communities will have a portion of their Canada Student Loan forgiven beginning in spring 2013. Family physicians and residents in family medicine will be eligible to receive up to $8,000 annually in loan forgiveness to a maximum of $40,000 over 5 years, while nurses and nurse practitioners will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 a year to a maximum of $20,000 over 5 years. Canada News Centre | Winnipeg Free Press

uWaterloo alumna donates technology park building to university

University of Waterloo alumna and entrepreneur Toby Jenkins has donated to her alma mater the TechTown building, a 60,000-square-foot, $22.5-million multi-use complex she owned in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park. The professional services building, which opened in January 2007 on the north campus, provides services to employees in the Park, uWaterloo, and the local community. Services and amenities at the complex will continue uninterrupted. "All the rents (TechTown) tenants pay now come into the university," says a uWaterloo official. "That is pure cash flow that the university will be able to use to meet our students' needs, provide scholarships...So it's a fantastic gift." uWaterloo News Release | Waterloo Region Record

CMU capital campaign exceeds $4 million

Early gifts from CONNECT campaign executive and Canadian Mennonite University "family" (board, faculty, staff, etc.) surpass $4 million to start the fundraising campaign for the Winnipeg-based institution's library and learning commons and pedestrian bridge. CMU expects to launch the public phase of the CONNECT campaign within the year. Construction on the new facility and bridge is anticipated to begin in 2013. CMU News Release

uLaval's new business dean on his faculty's future

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Michel Gendron, the new dean of Université Laval's Faculty of Business Administration, says he hopes to hire more professors, encourage more faculty research, and recruit top students. Money, alone, is not enough to attract talent, Gendron says. "Money is important, but if you attract students or professors with money you are missing something and they will not stay for long," he says. "You have to provide them with an environment...If you have a good group and good facilities you can somehow compensate for lower salary levels." Gendron sees opportunities to expand international ties for the business school, which currently recruits 700 of its 4,300 students from overseas. Possible areas for expansion include more joint degrees with other universities and deeper alliances in French and English-speaking Africa. Globe and Mail

Lakeland grads surveyed report 95% employment rate

In a survey of 335 members of Lakeland College's graduating class of 2010, 95% of respondents said they were employed, earning an average annual income of $52,298. 92% of respondents said they were satisfied and very satisfied with their current job. 95% of graduates were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of teaching at Lakeland, 94% were satisfied or very satisfied with their program, and 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their educational experience. 92% of respondents recommend their program to others, and 94% recommend Lakeland to others. Lakeland News Release

Queen's School of English develops mobile app for international students

Queen's University's School of English has created a mobile application to help ease travel worries for international students en route to Canada and the university. The free Arrival App gives students easy access to information on what they can expect at Pearson Airport, ground transportation, and how to orient themselves in Kingston and at Queen's. Designed to assist students with limited English skills and those travelling on their own for the first time, the app also provides information on cultural differences, such as how much to tip taxi drivers. Queen's News Centre

US colleges try "retargeting" ads to build brand

Retargeting is a form of online advertising where companies buy advertising through a pool of websites called an exchange. When an individual with a tagged browser visits other websites, any that are part of the exchange may display an ad from the initial site. Retargeting ads let PSE institutions subtly reach students in the virtual places where they already spend their time, says an enrolment official at Nebraska's Creighton University, which is experimenting with retargeting. In April, some 160,000 browsers were tagged on Creighton's website, and about 865,000 of its ads were then displayed on other sites. The Creighton official says she sees retargeting ads not as a means of generating leads, but as a way to raise brand awareness. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)