Top Ten

March 1, 2013

uCalgary announces Tom Flanagan's retirement following child porn comments

The University of Calgary announced Thursday that professor Tom Flanagan was retiring after a 45-year teaching career amid controversy over his views on child pornography. Noting that his comments do not represent the views of the university, uCalgary president Elizabeth Cannon said Flanagan has been on a research and scholarship leave from the institution since January. He will remain on leave and will retire at the end of June. He had submitted his letter of retirement in January. A former adviser and mentor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Flanagan was denounced by the Prime Minister's Office. He was also relieved of his commentary duties with the CBC. Flanagan was told he'd no longer have any "formal or informal" role with Alberta's Wildrose Party, for which he ran last year's election campaign. uCalgary Statement | Globe and Mail | Canadian Press

Quebec, university rectors reach agreement to mitigate budget cuts

The Quebec government and university rectors have reached an agreement to soften the blow of nearly $250 million in spending cuts. Under the agreement, the $124 million cut for 2012-13 remains, but the universities are being allowed to put off half of it until April 30, 2014, provided they develop a plan to cover the remaining amount in their books. The $124 million cut for 2013-14 will now be spread over 7 years. The province will deduct the amount from the $1.7 billion in funding over 7 years promised for universities at last week's PSE summit. Montreal Gazette

CNA, Qatar renew campus agreement

College of the North Atlantic and the State of Qatar have agreed to an extension of the Comprehensive Agreement. The partnership represents the largest international PSE agreement involving a North American institution and is valued at more than $1 billion. The growth and success of College of the North Atlantic-Qatar during the first decade exceeded all expectations, growing from 300 students in 11 programs in 2002, to 2,550 students and 37 programs in 2012. Both parties are now focused on the need for a plan to be responsive to emerging training needs and opportunities throughout Qatar. CNA News Release

uAlberta president urges province to rework Campus Alberta system

University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera made the case Thursday for a major revision of how uAlberta spends, receives, and raises funding, stating big changes are necessary for the institution to succeed in difficult financial times. She raised the prospects of program cuts, tuition increases, and other measures to address a growing deficit. Samarasekera also called on the provincial government to rework the Campus Alberta system, which currently funds all universities with the same formula. She says such a model no longer works for the province's "flagship" university, where a higher focus on research means higher costs for labs, equipment, graduate students, and professors. Alberta Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says he is open to reviewing the Campus Alberta model, especially if it can help improve the province's research performance. uAlberta News | Edmonton Journal

Report weighs in on balancing Dal's budget

In a report released in January, Dalhousie University's Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) noted that even with a 3% tuition increase -- the maximum allowed by the Nova Scotia government in most programs -- Dal would still need to balance a $17.6-million shortfall. In a follow-up report, BAC recommends cost savings in a number of areas, including using $6 million in reserve funds set aside in previous years, to avoid more significant cuts this year. The approach would see all faculties and service units managing a 3.5% cut next year, saving $8.2 million. Dal News

Federal budget measures to address skilled trades shortage

The federal government is preparing new budget measures to boost skilled trades, and one option being considered would require companies to promise apprenticeship training as part of any bid for major procurement contracts. Part of Ottawa's plan is to challenge the bias that exists among young Canadians who consider a university degree to be more valuable than attending college to learn a skilled trade. To bridge that gap, the government is said to be seriously considering recommendations put forth by Polytechnics Canada in its pre-budget submission. Globe and Mail

STU receives $1-million donation from former NB premier

Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna and his wife Julie have pledged $1 million to St. Thomas University to create an endowment for the university's Frank McKenna Centre for Communications and Public Policy. The donation will support activities at the centre. These include a distinguished speaker series and public policy lectures, student scholarships, symposiums and policy forums, and student activities such as student research and exposure to "real life" public policy activities. STU News Release | CBC

UTSC launches Hub Ideation + Experiential Learning Centre

The Hub Ideation + Experiential Learning Centre is a new space at the University of Toronto Scarborough where students and faculty can come together to develop new and creative ideas. One program offered through the centre will be the Appstar Mobile App Development Contest. Last fall, a trio of students won the inaugural contest with [email protected], which guides users through food choices available on campus. Another program will be IDEA (Innovative Design, Entrepreneurial Action), intended for students who have a good idea they would like to explore. UTSC News

Royal Roads among "best of" campaigns in REBRAND 100 Global Awards

Royal Roads University's 2012 rebranding campaign has been judged as one of 5 "best of" campaigns in the REBRAND 100 Global Awards. US-based REBRAND is an international resource for brand transformation case studies. The competition for excellence in brand repositioning is judged by a panel of international business, marketing, and design executives. Last fall, Royal Roads' brand awareness campaign earned medals in Marketing Magazine's Media Innovation Awards, and the university was named Advertiser of the Year at the Lotus Awards, which celebrates the best in BC's advertising industry. Royal Roads News Release | REBRAND 100 Global Awards

iTunes U downloads surpass 1 billion

Apple announced Thursday that iTunes U content downloads have topped one billion. More than 1,200 colleges and universities and 1,200 K-12 schools and districts host more than 2,500 public and thousands of private courses on iTunes U. More than 60% of iTunes U app downloads originate from outside the US. Apple News Release