Today's Top Ten

April 15, 2014

TWU law school gains approval amidst controversy

The controversial law school at Trinity Western University in BC has been granted approval by the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) in a vote of 20-6. Several provinces launched reviews of the proposed law school after the Federation of Law Societies of Canada approved it in December. Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are expected to rule on the matter in the coming months. TWU’s proposal received preliminary approval last year from BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education. TWU’s President, Bob Kuhn, noted, “this is also an important decision for all Canadians. It says that there is room in a democratic country like Canada for a law school at a Christian university. TWU’s School of Law will join other Canadian law schools, complementing existing legal education in this country.” A group of lawyers is launching a challenge in court to LSBC’s approval of the law school; the law firms behind the challenge will argue that BC’s “approval contravenes Charter rights regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and freedom of religion.” National Post | TWU News Release | Toronto Star | Globe and Mail | Ruby & Shiller News Release

UoGuelph board approves budget, tuition increases amid student protest

Students from the University of Guelph led a silent protest as the board of governors approved the 2014-15 operating budget, which includes tuition increases as part of efforts to address a projected $32.4-million deficit by 2016-17. Entering and continuing undergraduate students will see a 2.81% increase, undergraduate students in professional programs will see a 4-5% increase, graduate tuition will increase by 2% for entering and continuing students, and tuition for new international students will increase by 1%. UoGuelph asked its colleges in November 2013 to find cost-saving measures; once these are implemented in 2014-15, administrators project savings of $7.6 million, dropping the overall projected deficit to $25.4 million. Students protested the rise in tuition rates as well as the closure of the Kemptville and Alfred agricultural campuses. Board student representative Ana-Paula Becerra spoke against the tuition increases, stating, “[students] are bearing the cost of chronic underfunding." UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

uAlberta to offer first Canadian undergraduate research certificate

University of Alberta Bachelor of Science students will soon be able to achieve a Research Certificate in Science (Biological Sciences), reportedly the first such undergraduate certification in Canada. Designed by biological sciences professor Cynthia Paszkowski and undergraduate coordinator Maggi Hagg (retired), the certification will be awarded to students who successfully complete three research experiences, a technical skills and data analysis course, and who present their work at a conference. Paszkowski says the new certification will offer students valuable transferrable skills that will prepare them for future studies or to work in industry and government. Students will work in an authentic research environment alongside graduate students, post-docs, and professors. “[Students] will be mentored by scientists and have a genuine appreciation of the connection between teaching and research at the University of Alberta,” Paszkowski adds. The program is reportedly just the second of its kind in North America. uAlberta News Release

OCADU addresses student complaints regarding maintenance woes

Alan Simms, Interim VP, Administration and Finance at OCAD University, released an update this week on the institution’s efforts to address building maintenance issues. The update is in response to last week’s National Post article describing student and faculty frustration with ongoing maintenance issues. Last fall students and faculty created OCAD Us, a group designed to press administration for building improvements and repairs. According to Simms, the out-of-order washrooms in the shared condo building at 113 McCaul are to be repaired this spring, the result of consultations between OCADU and the condo board. The peeling paint on the “pencil” supports for the Sharp Centre will also be addressed this summer. OCADU also has plans to re-purpose several of its buildings in the near future, including the creation of an Experiential Learning Centre and the formation of a creative place-making committee that will seek input around OCADU’s development and presence in downtown Toronto.National Post | OCADU News Release

JIBC introduces new Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies

The Justice Institute of British Columbia has announced it will offer a Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) degree starting in 2014. The new degree program will accept students who have completed the Law Enforcement Studies diploma or related programs into the third year of the BLES. Students in the new program will learn additional skills around leadership, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making, as well as receiving a background in areas including business, human resources, research, and labour law issues. “The program is the first of its kind in Western Canada,” said Mike Trump, Dean of the School of Criminal Justice and Security at JIBC. “It was developed to provide the latest techniques and necessary skills to deal with the growing sophistication of crime and the increasing complexity of policing.” JIBC News Release

COTR tops international student barometer for second year in a row

The International Student Barometer has recognized College of the Rockies as the top institution in the world for overall international student satisfaction. This is the second year in a row that COTR has been recognized as the leader in international student satisfaction in Canada, and the first time it has achieved the top ranking worldwide. The survey polls nearly 150,000 international students at 176 PSE institutions worldwide, representing 13 countries. Survey respondents rated COTR in arrival experience, learning, living, and support. COTR scored particularly well for program organization and social activities, as well as for learning support, teaching, and lecture quality. Approximately 200 international students from over 30 countries enrolled at COTR in the 2013-14 academic year. COTR News Release

uSask pursues external funding for ice rink facility

The University of Saskatchewan plans to issue a request for expressions of interest in building an ice facility in College Quarter. The facility would be built and operated by an outside firm and would operate under a land lease agreement with uSask. uSask took a similar approach to funding a hotel development announced in November, 2013. The university will provide a “wish list” specifying some criteria for the new facility, but uSask’s manager of business operations James Cook said that the final business plan will be up to third party developers. The request is intended to allow uSask to upgrade its aging Rutherford Rink—among the oldest facilities in Canada still in use for Canadian Interuniversity Sport competitions—without a costly capital expenditure or an increase in operational costs. USask is trying to reduce operating costs by $44.5 million by 2016. Cuts have already affected plans for a College Quarter campus daycareuSask News Release | StarPhoenix (more ice needed) | StarPhoenix(U of S hopes to score)

Keyano to Offer Degree in Environmental Science, in Collaboration with MRU

Students at Alberta's Keyano College will soon be able to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, thanks to a new partnership with Mount Royal University. Keyano students will participate in classes via Cisco’s innovative TelePresence interface, which offers distance learners the same face-to-face interaction as those present in a MRU classroom in Calgary. Kevin Nagel, President of Keyano, noted that this program will benefit students and employers in the Wood Buffalo area, and will have a positive impact on community health and sustainability in the region. The collaboration was made possible by Alberta’s announcement a week ago of $32.5 million in additional PSE funding, which included $7 million earmarked for collaborative initiatives. Keyano College News Release

Canada invests more than $30 million in research infrastructure

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today announced more than $30.4 million of funding for 32 Canadian universities. $23.4 million of the funding will be directed toward tools and infrastructure investments while the remaining $7 million will support associated operational costs. Recipients include researchers working in pharmacology, infectious disease, and materials engineering. “Universities are at the heart of discovery and innovation in Canada,” said Gilles Patry, President of the CFI. “These investments in state-of-the-art research tools and infrastructure will equip university researchers to develop new ideas and knowledge, find new treatments to make Canadians healthier, and generate discoveries that will make businesses more competitive.” This news follows the recent announcement of $88 million for 102 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs. CFI News Release 

Dartmouth College faces targeted rape ad campaigns

New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College is the target of a new social media campaign that claims the Ivy League university has a “rape problem.” Karin Roland, Organizing Director for UltraViolet, a women’s rights advocacy group that paid for the campaign, says “there’s been an uprising on campus and a lot of media attention to sexual assault at Dartmouth. They have a culture and an administration that isn’t stopping it, and this is an opportunity to hold their feet to the fire.” One of the ads by UltraViolet encourages students to think carefully and “find out more” before deciding where to enrol. Dartmouth has launched a counter-campaign that highlights recent efforts at the institution to draft harsher penalties for offenders and to educate students in prevention and response to sexual assault. Students at Dartmouth have also accused the school of being unwelcoming to women and minorities. The Province