Top Ten

October 22, 2013

RCMP leads investigation into UBC sexual assaults

The RCMP's Major Crimes Unit is investigating a series of sexual assaults that occurred recently on the University of British Columbia campus. Following 3 reported assaults in 3 weeks, UBC officials are taking “the matter before [them] with the utmost seriousness and [are] doing everything [they] can to try and keep the campus safe.” UBC has issued electronic advisories to the campus community, arranged meetings and provided brochures at residences to keep all students informed and to advise them about taking necessary safety precautions, such as avoiding walking alone on campus late at night, using the university’s free Safewalk program, which operates between 8 pm and 2 am, and calling Campus Security for accompaniment after 2 am if necessary. UBC is also increasing the number of safety patrols on campus, and is looking at adding more lighting and cameras to ensure student safety. UBC Bulletin | Vancouver Sun (Canadian Press) | Maclean’s On Campus (Canadian Press) | Globe and Mail

uManitoba, faculty association reach agreement, avert strike

The University of Manitoba and its faculty association reached a settlement for a new collective bargaining agreement just 30 minutes before the strike deadline. "I extend my congratulations to the bargaining teams for all their efforts to reach a negotiated settlement," says uManitoba President David Barnard. "Most importantly, I am pleased to be able to inform our students that we will be open and operating with no disruption to their learning." The new 3-year agreement covers all major issues that existed when conciliation talks failed last week, and both parties have agreed to have the remaining issues arbitrated. uManitoba News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

Globe and Mail releases 2014 university report

The Globe and Mail this week released its annual Canadian University Report, which this year features a compendium of university profiles. The compendium examines almost 60 universities in Canada, outlining their strengths and weaknesses, based on information from professors, alumni and the universities themselves. Along with statistics like location, student numbers and cost, the section also points out other characteristics, such as “known as a research powerhouse,” “offers classes in both French and English,” and “has a reputation as a ‘party school’ or is home to fraternities/sororities or a great campus pub.” The report this year also features a large story on the “hot topic on campus” of social entrepreneurship, with examples from various university startups. Globe and Mail

Carleton opens new Aboriginal centre

Carleton University has opened its new Aboriginal centre, called Ojigkwanong, which means morning star in Algonquin. Designed by renowned Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal, the centre consists of circular designs in keeping with Indigenous themes, and includes an Elder’s circle for smudging, ceremonies and events, a computer lab, work and study spaces for students, and a communal kitchen. The centre will serve more than 500 Aboriginal students and faculty, as well as Elders and non-Aboriginal members of the Carleton community. “Seventy years ago, Carleton was founded by the community and today we’re celebrating a part of our community, not just a space,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. One student noted the “collaborative effort” that went into the “bigger, more flowing, beautiful and organic space” of the 1,850 square-foot centre. Carleton news Release

UVic's Gustavson business school launches new brand

The University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business has launched a new creative brand that revolves around the theme, “see things differently.” Gustavson launched the new branding with a creative video shot from the perspective of a new student, documenting her experience getting accepted, travelling to the university, attending classes, and hanging out on campus. The branding also includes a new logo, a refreshed website, and a street campaign that asks people on the streets of Victoria to speak out about how they would like to “see things differently” in their world. “Gustavson is a different business school with a unique set of values and a unique approach to business education – we attract a very specific type of student,” says Associate Dean Mark Colgate, who led the team that revamped the Gustavson brand. Gustavson News Release | Video

uToronto infographic unique representation of global research collaboration

The University of Toronto has produced a creative infographic that highlights the many instances of international collaboration involving the university. The graphic features lines drawn between a dot on a map that represents uToronto, and dozens of other dots around the map that represent global research projects by municipality. “These data are limited to 2012 publications with 25 or more citations,” says President David Naylor in a recent blog post. “If we were to count all co-authored publications in 2012, we would have to draw many more lines: In 2012, University of Toronto faculty, staff, and students collaborated on publications with over 8,000 institutions around the world from 134 countries.” uToronto Weblog

Fanshawe signs agreement with New Zealand university

Fanshawe College has signed a new articulation agreement with Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) in New Zealand, allowing its architecture students to earn a master's degree following their diploma program. VUW will recognize Fanshawe's 3-year Architectural Technology advanced diploma program as fully equivalent to a Bachelor of Building Science degree. If enough students take advantage of the new agreement, VUW professors will also travel to Fanshawe to guest lecture at the School of Building Technology. In February 2013, Fanshawe signed 2 agreements to allow its students direct entry into Honours BSc programs at Cork Institute of Technology and the Institute of Technology Sligo, both in Ireland. Fanshawe News Release

Skills gap not the crisis some fear

Canada’s skills shortage, often referred to as the skills gap, is not as dismal as we have been led to believe, according to a new report by TD Economics. Jobs in Canada “debunk[s] the notion that Canada is facing an imminent skills crisis” using employment data from various sources. The report finds that in some occupations widely thought to be in shortage, such as trades, engineering and health care, unemployment rates were considerably lower than average, while the rate of unfilled jobs was only moderately higher. In addition, recent university graduates — even those with liberal arts degrees — were finding relevant jobs (although some do take longer than others). The report also finds that in provinces that are growing quickly and rich in resources, and that are experiencing skills shortages, wages in the occupations in need have not risen as much as expected. “From an economy-wide perspective, it is hard to make the case that widespread labour shortages currently exist,” says Derek Burleton, co-author of the report. Toronto Star | Globe and Mail | Full Report

NB Liberals would commit to removing parental, spousal contributions from student loan apps

The New Brunswick Liberal Party has announced that it would remove the parental and spousal contribution from the needs assessment of the student loans -- a move that the party says would increase access to PSE in the province. “Not all parents can afford to pay for their children’s way through postsecondary programs, and not all spouses can support their partner’s education programs,” says Liberal Leader Brian Gallant. The NB Student Alliance is praising the Liberal Party for its commitment. “We’re happy to see the Liberals commit to a positive change that represents increased access to financial aid for students in New Brunswick,” says alliance Executive Director Pat Joyce. While the PC Party under Premier David Alward  is currently in power, NB will be heading to the polls next fall for an election that is tentatively scheduled for September 2014. NB Liberal News Release | NBSA News Release

Better ROI in fast food than academia?

A tenured history and science professor at the University of Texas at Austin in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article asks the question: “what if instead of attending college I had worked at McDonald’s?” Alberto A. Martinez compares the wages of a McDonald’s employee, who works his way up from cashier to restaurant manager within 25 years, to those of a tenured professor. At McDonald’s, Martinez calculates, one could make $581,450 (before deductions) in 25 years. Martinez’s actual total gross income in 25 years was $609,413, an average annual gross income of $24,866. While the professor scenario makes more money, Martinez points out that when it comes to hourly pay, the McDonald’s employee scenario would be worth more money because professors work up to 60 hours per week on an annual salary, while the McDonald’s employees work fewer hours and are paid hourly. Chronicle of Higher Education