Top Ten

April 3, 2014

Suspended uOttawa hockey player says he's been presumed guilty by classmates

One of the University of Ottawa student hockey team members suspended over sexual assault allegations has written an open letter to uOttawa President Allan Rock, claiming that he has been presumed guilty by his fellow classmates and the general public “as a result of the predetermined assumption of guilt bestowed upon all 26 members of the hockey team by the university.” Former Gee Gee Assistant Captain Pat Burns explains that he has been fully co-operative with any requests regarding the investigation, and that he has not been found to be connected in any way to the alleged assault. Burns also says he had his invitation to an athletics recognition reception revoked due to the team’s suspension. uOttawa has issued a statement  that says it appreciates the effect the suspension has had on the players, but "we feel that it is in the best interests of all concerned to permit, at the very least, the completion of the university’s review before revisiting the decision." CBC News

UNBC to raise tuition by 2% in balanced budget

The University of Northern British Columbia has passed a 2014-15 budget that includes a 2% tuition increase, meaning the average undergraduate student will pay $4,912 in tuition per year (an increase of about $96). The university’s total budget is roughly $400,000 less than last year, “largely due to reduced government grants and static enrolment.” Slightly more than 27% of the $68-million budget comes from tuition fees. The budget also calls for the elimination of 10 full-time-equivalent faculty and staff positions, many of which are vacant. UNBC News Release | Prince George Citizen

Fortier first McGill principal to post travel expenses online

McGill University Principal Suzanne Fortier is the first of the institution’s leaders to post details of her travel and hospitality expenses online, according to the Montreal Gazette. Fortier posted the details this week along with a note that says McGill “is committed to good governance, transparency and accountability.” “As part of Prof Fortier's commitment to these standards, she is proactively disclosing online her contract of employment, as well as the travel and hospitality expenses incurred as Principal and Vice-Chancellor,” reads the statement. Students’ Society of McGill University VP University Affairs Joey Shea says “it was excellent to see the principal voluntarily posting it,” and adds that the McGill community has sent messages to administration that transparency is required. The Gazette describes Fortier’s expense details as not “particularly lavish.” McGill Statement | Montreal Gazette

Fanshawe unveils new branding

Fanshawe College has unveiled a new brand and visual identity around the promise “To educate, engage, empower and excite,” which the college says reflects its desire to help people reach their full potential. "Fanshawe has been the go-to place for successfully navigating change for almost 50 years," says Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. "Our look may have changed, but our commitment to unlocking the potential of students, staff, alumni, businesses and communities continues as strong as ever." The rebranding includes a redesigned logo, dubbed “NorthStar” because of its “visual and symbolic link to the star famous for helping generations of travellers find their way.” It also includes a colour change to the same red used for the Canadian flag, a new font (Gotham), and use of the single word “Fanshawe” in most communications and branded materials. The legal name will remain Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology, and will be used where appropriate. New website | Fanshawe Brand Story | CTV

Youth internship program to continue

International Development Minister Christian Paradis announced this week that the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) will continue. The program, which had been under review, provides opportunities for Canadian youth to travel to developing countries for short periods of paid work, usually in partnership with domestic aid groups. A group of 30 Canadian aid groups had petitioned the government to continue the popular program, which has enabled 7,000 Canadians to gain valuable work experience since its inception in 1997. Past participants credit the program with helping their career development. “These internships not only help young Canadians bridge the gap between education and experience, but they also contribute to Canada’s development objectives around the world,” said one program graduate. Ottawa Citizen

Centennial officially opens renewed Ashtonbee Campus

Centennial College has opened its renewed Ashtonbee Campus, which has seen $40 million worth of renovations and additions. Centennial's oldest campus, founded in 1972 and home to the college’s School of Transportation, boasts a new “gateway building” which will house registration and student services on the ground level, and a library on the second floor. The campus gymnasium has also been expanded with a naturally-lit second level to accommodate a weight room, dance studios, and other facilities. Inside Toronto

More young workers in professional occupations than 20 years ago

New studies released this week by Statistics Canada provide insights into the occupational characteristics of Canada’s young workers. The 2 studies compared data from 1991 and 2011, a period that saw substantial growth in the educational attainment of Canadians aged 25-34. The first study reveals that more young male and female workers are working in professional occupations requiring a university degree than in 1991 – rising from 18% to 28% among women and from 13% to 18% among men. As well, fewer young men and women are working in occupations requiring a high school diploma or less than in 1991, declining from 48% to 36% among women and from 42% to 33% among men. The study also found that the top 3 occupations held by young women with university degrees were the same in 2011 and 1991; the top 3 occupations held by young men with degrees were also similar between 1991 and 2011. The 2nd study determined that levels of over qualification – those with education credentials higher than that required by their occupation – have remained largely stable over the same time period, with 18% of both male and female university graduates considered overqualified in 2011. StatsCan Daily

Humanities scholarship changing with the times

The research and work being done in humanities departments today is “not as divorced from our times – or from the realities of industry and the economy,” as some often think, states Kevin Kee, AVP Research at Brock University and the Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities, in a recent Globe and Mail op-ed. Kee discusses the transformation of study in the humanities over the course of his education and career, from a time when research was limited to libraries and publication was limited to print publications, to today, where audiovisual content that can easily be included with research and digital scholarship allows for instant publication and feedback. “This is not the end of the reflective, careful and curated scholarship of traditional university publishing. There are times when we need to go slow. Instead, it is a sign of the support for alternative ways of sharing knowledge with the world. The ivory tower now has wi-fi and an open door,” concludes Kee. Globe and Mail

Canadians lead world in website visits

Canadian internet users lead the world in site visits and time spent online, according to a report by digital-activity measurement company ComScore. The report reveals that Canadians visit 88 sites per month on average, which is more than the other 9 countries that ComScore has determined as the most active online countries. Canadians are also the world’s top desktop search engine users, with an average of 139.8 searches per month, compared to 127.8 in the UK and 108.9 in the US. The average time spent online by Canadians is 34.6 hours per month, outnumbered only by the US and the UK. Canada’s total online time was down 17% from 2012, suggesting people are spending more of their online time on mobile devices; ComScore does not currently track mobile device usage directly. Marketing Magazine | Report

US employers who have heard of MOOCs view them positively

A new study out of Duke University has revealed that while many North Carolina employers have not yet heard of MOOCs, the perception among those familiar with the online courses is positive, in the context of recruitment and hiring decisions. The Duke researchers received answers to questions about MOOCs from HR staff from 103 organizations in various industries. Some 31% of all respondents surveyed had heard of MOOCs, and 72% of those respondents had used, considered using, or could see their company using MOOCs for recruitment. About 73% of organizations viewed MOOCs very positively or positively, with respect to their potential influence in hiring decisions for job applicants who had taken job-related MOOCs. Subsequent interviews with 20 of the survey respondents reveal that while employers think traditional degrees and credentials are still necessary qualifications for jobs, they do think taking MOOCs shows greater motivation in a candidate. Duke Report