Top Ten

October 1, 2012

Concordia board accepts recommendations from external review of senior administrator settlements

Concordia University's board of governors has unanimously adopted all 17 recommendations in an external audit of HR processes for senior management at the institution. The review focused on the departures of 6 senior administrators -- including former president Judith Woodsworth -- from September 2009 to December 2010. Among the new policies is that there will be an annual formal review of the president's job performance, the conclusions of which will be submitted to the entire board. Until now, there has solely been "a discussion" every year between the president and the board chair. The report states that problems until now have included all-too secretive discussions over job performances and departures of senior administrators, "concerns over breach of confidentiality" on the board, and poor public communications about settlements. The new policies also solidify the amounts for severance for the president as 2 years' pay or the remainder of the normal 5-year contract -- whichever is less in terms of cash. For other senior administrators, the severance is one year's pay or the remainder of the normal 5-year contract, whichever is less. The policies will also now prohibit terminated administrators from returning to a paid teaching position while still getting severance payments. Concordia News | Montreal Gazette

STU men's rugby team sanctioned following "rookie" party

St. Thomas University has imposed a one-game suspension on its men's rugby club following an off-campus party where "inappropriate behaviour" allegedly took place. Alcohol was provided to underage team members at the "rookie" party and they could have felt pressured to take part in drinking games, says STU's athletics director. The rugby team has had to forfeit one game, and 2 remaining league games are contingent upon successful completion of remedial action by the rugby players. They have been asked to reflect on their behaviour and make a presentation before the athletics director and VP of finance and administration on lessons learned and why they should be allowed to continue their season. In December 2010, STU's men's volleyball team was suspended for the remainder of that academic year following the death of a rookie player who attended the team's off-campus initiation party. Last year, STU launched a new code of conduct that covers all student behaviour on- and off-campus. CBC | CTV

uManitoba president's vision for Fort Garry campus transformation

The University of Manitoba is initiating an international design competition that will culminate in October 2013 in a plan selected to transform the former Southwood golf course owned by the institution -- 48 hectares now known as uManitoba's Southwood precinct -- and the Fort Garry campus. Leaving the golf course simply as a green space would form a barrier between the institution and the rest of the community, says uManitoba president David Barnard; instead, the institution sees student housing and housing for the general public, perhaps condominiums, scattered in Southwood. The design plan will encompass both the east and west sides of the campus, utilizing the entire property to demonstrate its connection with the community, the president says. The plan will also focus on rapid transit; Barnard says uManitoba has to emphasize pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access over the vehicle. "We see the potential for our campus community as a whole to become a 24/7 live/work/learn/play environment, shaped by five goals and guiding principles: connected, destination, sustainable, community, transformative," says Barnard. "We will move away from being a commuter campus toward a vibrant campus community destination." Winnipeg Free Press

Task force to examine future of uRegina's Institute français

The future of the University of Regina's Institut français will be the subject of discussion by a president's task force, whose composition was announced Thursday by uRegina president Vianne Timmons. The task force will be chaired by Judith Woodsworth, former president of Concordia and Laurentian Universities, and the other members include representatives from uRegina, St. Thomas More College, and the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise. The task force is charged with informing uRegina's decisions with respect to the future configuration of the Institut français within French-language education offered at the institution. The task force's report is expected by the end of the year. uRegina News Release

Durham College launches $5-million fundraising campaign for Centre for Food

On September 27, Durham College kicked off the public phase of its $5-million "Growing for our Future" fundraising initiative in support of the Centre for Food, currently being constructed on the Whitby campus. Among the launch attendees was Canadian celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy, who interacted with Durham's Culinary Skills students, who prepared the food for the event. Slated to open in September 2013, the 36,000-square-foot centre is designed to accommodate approximately 900 additional students enrolled in agriculture, culinary, horticulture, hospitality, and tourism programs. The centre will provide students with access to a full-service, green-certified teaching restaurant and lounge; a demonstration theatre; 3 public-viewing kitchens; and state-of-the-art labs, classrooms, and meeting spaces. Durham College News

UBC law school receives $2-million donation

At the one-year anniversary celebration of Allard Hall last Thursday, the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Law announced a $2-million donation from Joan and Derek Lew made in memory of their late husband and father, UBC Law alumnus and businessman Franklin Lew. The law school honoured Lew's legacy by naming its forum space after him. The Forum is located in the law school's main floor and is a key feature of Allard Hall, often used for special events and lectures. UBC News Release

$1.25-million donation supports sustainability chair, Aboriginal student scholarships at Mount Royal

Talisman Energy announced last Thursday a $1.25-million gift to Mount Royal University. Of that donation, $1 million will support the university's Chair of Sustainability and the Environment. The remaining $250,000 will be used to create the Talisman Energy Centennial Scholarship, which recognizes academic achievement in second-, third-, or fourth-year Aboriginal students pursuing a BSc degree. Students will be nominated by faculty for the scholarship. Mount Royal News Release | Calgary Herald

uSask Edwards students develop recruitment campaign for business school

The University of Saskatchewan's Edwards School of Business has launched its 2012 advertising campaign, which features marketing strategies developed by the school's students. Teams of senior-level undergraduate students competed to design this year's campaign as part of the Advanced Advertising course. A panel of judges selected a winning ad campaign created by a group of 4 students. The series uses the tagline "business is what you make of it." Print ads also read "Edwards. Make your reality a dream.*" -- the asterisk notes that the ad was created by Edwards students. "Often students feel like they have to sacrifice what they love, like music, art, or a favourite sport, in order to get a 'real' job. We felt that loss of passion seemed a big issue," says one of the campaign's creators. "Many high school students don’t realize that business is a very broad category and allows for inclusion of these passions." The campaign launch event coincided with the appearance of the winning ads on Saskatchewan buses and billboards, at Calgary LRT (light rail transit) stations, and in the Edwards School's Thrive magazine. Spoken versions of the ads will also soon be aired on Saskatoon radio stations. Edwards School News

UOIT launches new website

We've recently noticed that the University of Ontario Institute of Technology has launched a redesigned website, which bears the institution's new anniversary logo (a blue shield with the number 10 imposed on it). Dominating the homepage is a large, rotating graphic banner that directs to UOIT's tenth anniversary microsite, Facebook page, and Automotive Centre of Excellence site. Visitors to the homepage can explore UOIT via a YouTube video, as well as make an application to the institution. The homepage also features a news banner, event listings, and access to UOIT's social media platforms. UOIT website

eCampusAlberta registrations in 2011-12 rise by 11%

eCampusAlberta -- Alberta's online education consortium of PSE institutions -- recorded 18,451 course registrations during the 2011-12 academic year (ending June 30), an increase of 11% over the 16,599 registrations recorded in the 2010-11 school year. Last year marked the eighth consecutive year of double digit annual growth in registrations. eCampusAlberta also reports that more than 30% of Alberta-based students are enrolled in online courses offered by institutions outside of their geographic service region. eCampusAlberta News Release