Top Ten

September 30, 2015

WesternU releases report on president’s compensation

Western University’s board of governors has reportedly announced that it will change its contract negotiation practices following a review of President Amit Chakma’s compensation for the year 2014. The board first called for the review when concerns arose earlier this year over the fact that Chakma was earning a double salary amounting to nearly $1 M. The review, conducted by former Ontario justice Stephen Goudge, found that Chakma’s compensation was in keeping with that of other university presidents, although it noted that Chakma’s ability to collect a double salary by working during a paid administrative leave was an exception to common practice. The report also outlined changes for WesternU to make to its contract and compensation practices. WesternU | CTV News | Global News | London Free Press | am 980 | Blackburn News | BoG Press Release | Goudge Report

Pro-life students file lawsuit against uAlberta

Three students from a pro-life student group at the University of Alberta are suing the school over an alleged violation of their freedom of speech. The students claim the university failed to seek damages from another student who ripped down 3,000 of the group’s posters. The posters in question, which depict graphic images, appeared on uAlberta’s campus in March; but they quickly spurred a counter protest that saw demonstrators blocking the posters from view because they allegedly infringed on students' right to a safe space. The students suing the university are being represented by the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Edmonton Sun | Edmonton Journal

WLU receives $1 M to support accounting education

The Linamar Corporation has donated $1 M to the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. The funds will be used to support the school's accounting program and to establish the Linamar Centre for Accounting Education. Linamar scholarships will also be granted annually to accounting students who demonstrate leadership skills and strong academic performance. Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said, "we look forward to our partnership with Laurier as a source of more of these talented leaders to help us to continue to build our business." WLU

Concordia receives $1 M to foster entrepreneurship

Concordia University has received $1 M from André Desmarais and France Chrétien Desmarais to support entrepreneurship at the school. The funds will be used to advance entrepreneurial projects with proven market viability. "We firmly believe that accelerating innovation and nurturing talent is fundamental to our society’s long-term prosperity," said André Desmarais, who is President of the Power Corporation of Canada. "Our donation to Concordia’s District 3 is a concrete way for us to support innovation and further bridge the gap between higher education and private enterprise." More than 1,500 aspiring entrepreneurs have requested support from District 3 since the centre’s opening. Concordia | Montreal Gazette

Fanshawe, Humber launch new websites

Fanshawe College and Humber College have both launched new websites to coincide with the beginning of the 2015–16 academic year. Fanshawe has said that the goal of its new design is to feature program information as prominently as possible so that prospective and current students can easily access accurate and up-to-date information about the school’s program offerings. Among the many features of Humber’s new website is a student-friendly navigation structure that allows specific gateways for various audiences to choose what content streams are best suited to their needs. The new design has been implemented primarily on Humber’s core site, with plans to expand the design to the school’s many associated pages and sub-sites. Fanshawe | Humber | Humber News 

uToronto unveils campus renewal proposals

The University of Toronto has unveiled four design proposals for its St George campus renewal project. The four proposals attempt to improve pedestrian experience, eliminate surface parking in a variety of locations, and offer an enhanced campus greenspace. The necessity for campus renewal has been made clear by the return of the student population for the academic year, according to Professor Donald Ainslie. He added, “students going to classes are crowded onto narrow sidewalks and have to take extra care to avoid cars and bicycles, leaving them unlikely to notice the important historical buildings that surround them.” uToronto | Design Proposals | National Post

University is not the only ticket to high earnings, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO

It is time for news outlets to give more honest information about how PSE choices will affect a person’s future, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson. Among the greatest fallacies, she adds, is the argument that going to university will always offer a higher earning potential than any other educational pathway. Robinson points out that this argument is usually based on numbers from the baby boomer generation that do not give realistic projections for students graduating from university today. Robinson concludes that the pathway to strong earning potential increasingly runs through colleges, as she points out that in the past five years alone, the number of Canadians who attend college after obtaining an undergraduate degree has nearly doubled from 7% to 13%. Globe and Mail

Adults considering a return to school must weigh costs, benefits

The decision to return to school after having already joined the workforce is often complex, reports the Financial Post. While earning potential may increase with further education, the salary lost during that time also warrants consideration. “It’s not really that school won’t pay for (itself); it is the degree that you choose,” says CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal. “When you go as an adult to do an MA in history, that might not help you (economically).” Often it depends on the profession. Some jobs offer specific bonuses or promotions if you obtain a higher educational credential. How to finance the decision to go back to school must also be carefully considered, as taking money out of your RRSP is not always the best decision. Financial Post

US school coalition proposes new, streamlined application process

A coalition of 80 US colleges and universities has unveiled plans to streamline the college application process. These plans propose the creation of a new platform that would allow students to complete one application form for applying to colleges; it would also include a digital portfolio that students could build throughout their high school careers. Finally, this new platform would allow students to collaborate on their college applications with counselors, teachers, and community advisors. University of Florida VP of Enrollment Zina Evans described the new platform as “an opportunity for students to think about the process not just as a single transaction that happens during the fall semester of senior year.” Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success

US full-time non-tenure-track faculty as satisfied as tenured colleagues

Full-time faculty off the tenure track report satisfaction similar to their tenured and tenure-track colleagues, according to a newly published study. “Our results suggest being removed from the tenure track is not associated with faculty viewing their jobs in a substantially different (or inferior) way than those in tenure-line positions,” the study authors conclude. “Generally, we found full-time [non-tenure-track] faculty share common views of their jobs and working conditions with tenure-line faculty.” The study is based on a survey of 14,323 faculty members conducted in 2011–12. Maria Maisto of the New Faculty Majority urged caution, however, noting that the study only included faculty working at four-year colleges and universities and did not include those working part-time. Inside Higher Ed | Full Study