Top Ten

July 31, 2014

Fanshawe request for funding turned down by city council

City council in London, Ontario has turned down a $10-M request from Fanshawe College that would have seen Fanshawe purchase the historic Kingsmill’s building in downtown London for a new campus. Council members voted 7-7 on the project, but a majority vote is required to pass a project. Fanshawe President Peter Devlin expressed his disappointment at the decision, but said Fanshawe may still purchase the Kingsmill’s building and go ahead with the project on a smaller scale. Fanshawe’s plan was to eventually house as many as 1,000 students at its downtown campuses; there are currently 400 students studying at Fanshawe’s downtown School for Applied and Performance Arts campus. London Free Press

Postscript: August 15, 2014

Fanshawe College’s offer to buy the vacant Kingsmill building in downtown London has expired. Fanshawe had approached London city council for a $10-M contribution to support the $66-M plan, but their request was narrowly rejected. Now the college says it will re-examine its options for meeting its pressing space concerns. “I want to thank all the residents, businesses and community leaders who have expressed their support throughout the process of exploring a bigger, bolder vision for downtown and City councillors and staff for the time they took to consider the plan,” said Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. The London Downtown Business Association planned to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to try to convince London to reconsider its decision. The addition of the Kingsmill building would have drawn 1,600 students to the downtown core. Fanshawe News Release | AM980 News


Hearings to continue in UNB discrimination case

A bid by the University of New Brunswick to have a discrimination complaint thrown out has been rejected by the province’s Labour and Employment Board. UNB downgraded the women’s varsity hockey team to a competitive sports club in 2008, citing financial reasons. Former player Sylvia Bryson said the move constituted discrimination on the basis of sex. In his decision, board Chair Robert Breen wrote that "Bryson, just as any other female athlete with academic standing, could and can still try out to play CIS hockey at UNB—if a women's varsity hockey team had not been eliminated by UNB." Bryson wants UNB to reinstate women’s hockey as a varsity sport; she also wants changes to the athletic department’s gender equity policy, including more equitable allocation of resources. Hearings into the discrimination case are expected to continue this fall. CTV News

CMEC commits to further focus on Aboriginal education

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) met for their annual meeting earlier this month, with skills, Aboriginal education, improved student performance, and partnership the focus of the meeting. In addition to developing efforts dedicated to improving student performance and better national coordination of skills training, the ministers agreed to pan-Canadian initiatives involving Aboriginal education, directed by 4 key areas: support for Aboriginal students interested in pursuing teaching as a career; development of learning resources on Canadian history and the legacy of Indian Residential Schools that could be used by teacher training programs; sharing of promising practices in Aboriginal education; and ongoing promotion of learning about Indian Residential Schools in K-12 education systems. “Building teaching capacity among Aboriginal peoples is essential if we are to move forward to close the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students,” said the Honourable Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for Northwest Territories and CMEC Lead Minister on Aboriginal education. CMEC News Release

UNB Saint John merges economics with business faculty

The University of New Brunswick Saint John has merged its economics discipline with its Faculty of Business. The move marks what the university calls a “significant structural change that will strengthen natural synergies between the two disciplines, address critical mass issues and create new opportunities for teaching and research.” The move will also allow UNB Saint John to streamline academic and administrative functions. Dean of Business Fazley Siddiq said, “this is an opportunity that will further strengthen the existing close relationships between the faculties of business, arts, and science, applied science and engineering.” Economics will remain part of the Faculty of Arts, and students will still be able to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. UNB News Release

Ryerson launches Jack Layton leadership school

Ryerson University this month launched the Jack Layton School for Youth Leadership. The one-week intensive program was created to honour the life of Layton, who had been a professor in Ryerson’s Department of Politics and Public Administration prior to his political career. In the program, 21 politically engaged participants aged 18–29 worked to develop their leadership skills through network-, skill-, and knowledge-building activities. Among the topics addressed during the inaugural program were “Making Political Change,” “Making Your Own Media,” “Youth and Unions,” and “Continuing Jack’s Legacy.” “Jack Layton loved teaching and it’s a natural fit for Ryerson to promote youth engagement that mattered so much to him,” said Myer Siemiatycki, Ryerson’s inaugural Jack Layton Chair. Ryerson News

Durham’s Experience DC program creates connections to students

Durham College will launch its Experience DC campaign this fall. Beginning September 2, the project will feature Durham students who will share their experiences via social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The students will represent a wide cross-section of programs, personal interests, and personalities. The initiative will also include a new DC Experience website that will offer current and prospective students, teachers, and community members the opportunity to connect with featured students; people will also be able to interact with featured students via social medial channels. The program will continue until August of 2015. Durham News | Experience DC

COU’s annual report highlights sector successes

The Council of Ontario Universities has released its 2012–13 Annual Report, providing a snapshot of the successes achieved across Ontario’s university sector. Several reports conducted in 2012–13 showed that university graduates experience earnings higher than any other education level and an average employment rate of 92.2% 2 years after graduation. Experiential learning continues to grow at ON’s universities, with opportunities now available across all disciplines. Accessibility has also become a growing concern, and to assist universities in making their campuses more accessible, COU and sector partners created a website hub,, where educators can access resources with tips on removing barriers to access at universities. “Through COU, universities are working together to make Ontario even more technologically innovative, culturally rich, and socially progressive, said COU board Chair Max Blouw. COU Annual Report |

NACAC report reveals challenges facing PSE admissions staff

A new report published by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) offers insights into the career paths of admissions officers in the US. NACAC’s survey of nearly 1,500 admissions officials reveals a number of concerns about the profession. Admissions officers require an increasingly diverse skill set, ranging from communications and social media management to statistical analysis capabilities. The report also found that women and minority groups are under-represented in several key segments of the profession. Respondents also reported that admissions lacks a clear career path, with many saying that they “fell into” the job. Turnover is a major issue, as well. Respondents reported concerns about work life balance that made some reluctant to commit to the field; others admitted to actively looking for other opportunities. Some respondents noted that the changes in the field are creating opportunities to change traditional practices, but others expressed concern of an increasingly “sales”-oriented approach to recruitment. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Full Report

Columnist says aptitude testing should steer some students away from PSE

An article published in BusinessWeek suggests that standardized testing should do a better job of guiding students away from PSE. According to the author, a veteran college instructor, young people need an alternative “definition of success post-high school” that includes not going to college or university. She suggests that tests should be developed that help “enable a dialogue about fit, about living and working to one’s strengths, about strategies to improve one’s weaknesses in essential skills, and about adapting where necessary to achieve one’s goals.” Standardized tests like the ACT and the SAT, she says, do not provide sufficient information to assess whether or not students should attend college or pursue other opportunities. She says that she does not support testing that would bind students to a certain path; rather, she is advocating a methodology that would enable more informed decision-making among students. BusinessWeek

University of Dayton won’t change logo in spite of criticism

The University of Dayton has said that it will not change its new logo, in spite of criticism that it looks like it might be promoting sexually transmitted diseases. The new logo for the school’s Flyers sports teams features a blue wing to the left of a red “D”; however, the shape of the wing resembles the letter “V.” On Twitter, users soon started hashtags including “#weareVD” and “#UDnotVD.” An online petition to either return to the school’s old logo or to modify the new logo has also been launched. In a statement, the university said, “the new theme aims to attract more attention from high-quality student-athletes, while elevating the perception of the athletics program. The new Flyer identity is designed to be easily discernible, visually interesting, and unmistakable, setting the University of Dayton apart from any NCAA Division I school.” Inside Higher Ed