Top Ten

April 22, 2015

uCalgary responds to budget shortfall with executive salary freeze

The University of Calgary is facing a budget shortfall of between $37 M and $47 M for the next fiscal year, the result of provincial cuts and inflationary cost increases. In response, the institution is freezing salaries for all executives and senior leaders. "We think this is a strong statement for our community in terms of managing and setting a tone at the top," said Provost Dru Marshall. uCalgary also plans to expand enrolment by approximately 5%. Marshall added that the institution "is in good financial shape, and so we have the ability to take time to make strategic decisions on what the future of the university will look like." CBC | Calgary Herald

Students upset about OCADU-sponsored H&M contest that pays artists in gift cards, exposure

Student artists at OCAD University are upset with a new competition sponsored by OCADU and retailer H&M because they say the compensation offered does not value the artists. H&M has asked third- and fourth-year students and recent graduates from OCADU's digital painting program to submit entries that will be displayed on a temporary wall during construction at the store's future Toronto Eaton Centre location. The 8 winning entries will each receive a $500 H&M gift card and "fantastic exposure." One student commented that “exposure is not a reliable enough form of compensation ... It’s not guaranteed. It’s a way for people to avoid paying for artists.” Associate Dean of OCADU’s Faculty of Art Anda Kubis said that students could get shows, commissions, or even more work from H&M by having their work displayed at a "pivotal location." National Post

uWaterloo breaks ground on new space for arts students

The University of Waterloo's Faculty of Arts yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on a new, multi-level atrium for student use. The new facility will offer more than 9,000 square feet of study space as well as project rooms, open gathering areas, and coffee and food services. uWaterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur said, "there are a number of projects in the works that will have a positive effect on the Waterloo student experience. This one directly answers the call for more study and social space for arts students, who have played a key role in its planning and design.” uWaterloo News Release

Poll finds that most Canadians think students shouldn't have to pay for PSE

A new Canadian poll has found that the majority (53%) of respondents believe students should not have to pay for PSE. Respondents that are less wealthy, or located in BC or Atlantic Canada were more likely to agree that PSE should be free for the majority of Canadians. In addition, 75% of respondents said they thought that having a diploma or degree led to a higher quality of life. However, only 6% said that Canada's PSE system contributed the most to quality of life, compared to the health care system, justice system, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Cape Breton University President David Wheeler recently called for a national debate on free education on Academica's Rethinking Higher Ed forum. London Free Press  

Securing faculty support can be a challenge for outcomes-based education initiatives

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) emphasizes the important of securing faculty buy-in for the success of outcomes-based education (OBE). University of Toronto researcher Qin Liu examined 7 OBE initiatives at Ontario colleges and universities, including 5 institution-level initiatives, one faculty-level initiative, and one program-level initiative. She found that strong leadership as well as having the support of teaching and learning centres were important factors in the success of OBE initiatives, but that securing faculty buy-in was frequently a challenge. Liu says that some faculty are not convinced of the value of OBE, or have different priorities. HEQCO Summary | Full Report

Brock consulting group tackles real-world business problems

An article in the Globe and Mail features Brock University's Goodman School of Business Consulting Group. While many MBA programs offer co-op placements and consulting projects, the creation of this firm was driven by community need. In 2004, 3 students recognized that they had skills that could be put to use around the university, and formed the consulting group to meet the need. Now, there is a waitlist for the group's services. As many as 8 MBA students each year are paid on a fee-for-service basis for their expertise. They also gain valuable experience for their resume. Many even choose to stay on with the group post-graduation while they look to establish themselves in their careers. Globe and Mail

Business schools help social startups succeed

An article in the Financial Post looks at how business schools are helping social startups get off the ground. In many cases, social startups are launched by individuals who have passion for their cause, but lack adequate business training. Fortunately, many Canadian PSE institutions are stepping up to help. Business schools across the country, including UBC's Sauder School of Business, Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business, and many others, have launched accelerators and innovation hubs that provide workspace, coaching, and even in-kind services to social startups. The growth in such programs has been driven by growing demand. "Half of new ventures these days have some kind of social concept," said Shawn Smith, Director of Beedie's RADIUS (RADical Ideas Useful to Society) social innovation lab. Financial Post

UBC President says more Canadian students should study in China

UBC President Arvind Gupta believes that Canada and China both stand to benefit from seeing more Canadian students study at Chinese universities. Gupta recently returned from a trip to China where he signed research collaboration and joint degree program agreements with several institutions. Gupta told Shanghai Daily that Canada and China are facing a number of similar challenges in areas including food security, climate change, demographics, and healthcare. He argued that closer partnerships between the 2 countries, including faculty and student exchanges, can lead to stronger policies and help find solutions to these problems. "I think it's incumbent upon us to build those pathways for UBC students to spend time in Chinese universities, Chinese industry, [and] Chinese society," Gupta said. Shangai Daily

US survey finds that those without a degree see PSE as necessary but too expensive

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) suggests that for Americans without degrees, PSE is seen as being important but not affordable. AEI surveyed 1,500 people in the US who did not have degrees. 84% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that some form of PSE was necessary in order to get a good job. However, 43% said that they were satisfied with their own level of education. 60% agreed or strongly agreed that PSE was worth the cost, though high cost was cited as the top reason why people did not enrol in college. The study also suggested that respondents did not have a good understanding of the actual cost of college; 51% overestimated the cost and 28% were unable to provide any estimate at all. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Full Report

Changes in IT demand new approaches, new skill sets

Rapid technological change will force campus IT departments to rethink their approach to infrastructure and operations planning over the next 5 years. According to David Cappuccio, VP of Gartner Research, IT teams will need to plan their responses to increasing demand for network bandwidth and storage capacity, the growth of the "Internet of Things," the arrival of software-defined infrastructure, the evolution of systems, and changing notions of IT's role. Cappuccio also says that as IT's role changes, so too will the skill set required from IT professionals. Most important, he says, is the ability of IT leaders to see how all of these different pieces fit together. Campus Technology