Top Ten

October 26, 2012

UBC athlete's women-ranking site taken down

A UBC men's hockey team member could face discipline from the institution after he created a website that contained lewd comments and linked to a Twitter account to rate the attractiveness of female students. The athlete was told to take down the site, which linked to @UBCDimeWatch, a Twitter account set up earlier this year that encouraged people to post photos and rate "dimes," a slang term referring to rating women out of 10. UBC officials met with the varsity team last Wednesday and urged whomever set up the account to close it. Both the site and the Twitter account were removed Thursday. While UBC athletes are held to a strict code of conduct, the athletics department does not have a social media policy, but is now in the process of drafting a set of guidelines for students. Meanwhile, the University of Victoria is looking into a similar women-ranking Twitter account set up specifically for UVic. Vancouver Sun

uToronto's Centre for Jewish Studies launches community campaign

Earlier this month, the University of Toronto's Centre for Jewish Studies launched a public campaign with a $5-million gift from the Tanenbaum family that will support students, fund new programs for the institution and the greater community, and support day-to-day operations. At the campaign launch, uToronto's arts and science dean said the university has identified more than $36 million in aspirations to advance Jewish studies. Partnering with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the community campaign aims to raise a minimum of $18 million. The centre has also received a $1-million gift from Roz and Ralph Halbert through the UJA Federation's Community Campaign. The donation builds on the Halberts' support of academic programs that foster collaborative research between scholars at uToronto and those at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. uToronto Faculty of Arts & Science News

Belleville expresses interest in hosting university satellite campus

On October 22, Belleville city council agreed to send a letter to the Ontario government asking the province to consider Belleville as a host for one of the 3 undergraduate campuses proposed by the government. One city councillor is encouraging council to do "more than a letter," stating that the city needs to "involve economic development as if we are going after an industry." Loyalist College president Maureen Piercy, who has been following Belleville's discussions, says the city's bid for a university campus can only help her institution. "It's an interesting discussion and we're always focused on leveraging opportunities for our students and learners in our community so we're interested in watching that conversation develop." Belleville Intelligencer (October 17) | Belleville Intelligencer (October 23)

Trent proposes Interdisciplinary School of Environment, Sustainability and Enterprise

One of the priority objectives in Trent University's draft strategic mandate agreement is forming an interdisciplinary School of Environment, Sustainability and Enterprise (TSESE). Trent says the school will expand the university's "international reputation for research and teaching in environmental science and sustainability, integrated with economic, social and cultural considerations." The school is "aimed at developing solutions to local and global challenges while preparing students for a growing and crucial sector of the economy." The idea for the TSESE includes design and construction of a leading-edge, sustainably-developed village on campus to generate revenue and offer on-site research and teaching opportunities, as well as expanded relationships with Fleming College and municipal, private, and institution partners. Trent News Release | Trent SMA

Teachers' contract dispute affecting uWindsor education students' placements

University of Windsor education students have had their classroom placements delayed and some had to find placements outside Windsor due to a contract dispute between teachers and the Ontario government. The education faculty has been able to place all of its students, but was scrambling in early October when it couldn't find enough public elementary teachers to agree to take student teachers and receive a $6 per day stipend. They were supposed to head to classrooms on October 19, but that was pushed back to November 9. School boards and teachers in Toronto, London, Lambton County, and Chatham-Kent have agreed to take uWindsor students needing placements in public elementary schools. The education faculty's acting associate dean says the faculty found placements close to the students' homes so they would have a place to stay if they had a placement outside Windsor. Windsor Star

NSCC-Irving MOU to boost diversity in shipbuilding trades

On October 19, Nova Scotia Community College and Irving Shipbuilding signed an MOU designed to boost the diversity of the workforce in the shipbuilding trades. Under the MOU, Irving will contribute $250,000 each year during the lifetime of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy programs to create a Centre of Excellence at NSCC, as well as support recruitment and training efforts for underrepresented students in the trades, such as women, First Nations, African Nova Scotians, and people with disabilities. The provincial government says the MOU "is an important step in making sure that as jobs are created, opportunities are also available for people that have too often not received the economic benefits of participating in the workforce." The winner of a $25-billion federal contract to build 21 combat vessels, Irving expects to hire approximately 1,500 workers over the next 8 to 10 years. NS News Release | Chronicle-Herald

FHSS unveils refreshed public image

On Thursday, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences revealed its renewed public image, which emphasizes the power of ideas. Complete with a new logo, Web domain (, visual identity, and tagline -- "Ideas can..." -- FHSS hopes to foster more discussion and interest in the benefits of learning and research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. "This new image reflects our goal of raising awareness of and interest in disciplines ranging from political science, to digital humanities to geography," says FHSS president Graham Carr. "Our consultations revealed how highly regarded and important the work of social sciences and humanities researchers is and we wanted our public image to speak to the aspirational aspect of what we do." FHSS News Release

Labour market pressure greatest in natural resources sector, survey finds

According to the Conference Board of Canada's 31st annual compensation survey, 69% of responding firms report challenges with recruiting and/or retaining personnel. The top professions in demand include engineering, specialist IT, and skilled trades. The report says labour market pressure is most acute in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where 83% and 82%, respectively, of employers encounter challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel. The pressure is greatest in the natural resources sector, where virtually all organizations responding to the Conference Board's survey are experiencing challenges in recruiting and retaining workers. Conference Board News Release

Emily Carr places 11th in world in 2012 Red Dot Design ranking

The 2012 Red Dot Design ranking has recognized Emily Carr University of Art + Design as one of the most innovative art and design universities worldwide. Emily Carr placed 11th in the ranking, and is the sole Canadian institution to be named. The ranking seeks to honour leaders in innovation for their pursuit of design excellence through a compilation of an organization's achievements in the Red Dot Design Award over the past 5 years. The methodology entails a weighted formula that considers the cumulative number and classes of awards won in the past 5 years of the competition. Emily Carr News Release

Gender discrimination a factor in women's decision to choose careers outside physical sciences, US study finds

According to a new study from Rice University, both male and female scientists consider gender discrimination as a factor in women's decision not to pursue a science career at all or to choose biology over physics. Researchers surveyed 2,500 biologists and physicists at elite PSE institutions in the US, and also interviewed 150 scientists one-on-one about the reasons they believe there are gender differences in scientific disciplines. The study found that male scientists believe that any discrimination in physical sciences classes likely occurred early in their educational history (primary school), while female scientists believe that discrimination is still taking place in present-day universities and departments. While women often explained gender differences between the physical and biological sciences using reasons of emotional affinity, men cited neurological differences as being responsible for personal choices. Rice U News