May 8, 2009
Tuition freeze plans
VICTORIA – The British Columbia NDP has included a freeze on tuition rates at postsecondary institutions as part of its 2009 election platform.
Entitled Take Back Your BC Because Everyone Matters, the platform booklet also commits the party to restoring core funding to colleges and universities as well as other actions designed to make education and training more affordable in that province. Those steps include storing needs-based student grants, cutting interest rates on student loans and simplifying grant and loan applications as well as increasing repayment options. The NDP platform also says a party priority will be to modernize classroom and learning environments.
VANCOUVER – Simon Fraser University has added a new grade for student transcripts – FD – which stands for failed for academic dishonesty.
A university news item said the new grade is part of a revamping of the institution's policies on academic dishonesty and student misconduct, part of a three-year investigation by a senate committee that looked into academic integrity in student learning and evaluation. A series of incidents involving academic dishonesty prompted the establishing of the committee in the fall of 2005.
"The idea was to create a fair, consistent, and effective policy on academic integrity matters across the university that would be enthusiastically embraced by students, faculty and administrators alike and that mirrored a zero-tolerance approach both in theory and in practice," said the committee chair Rob Gordon, who directs the School of Criminology.
Zoonoses centre opens
GUELPH – The University of Guelph has opened a new centre aimed at preventing and controlling animal-related diseases like H1N1 influenza (swine flu) that threaten public health.
A university news release said the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses brings together scientists in a variety of fields to address new or re-emerging zoonotic diseases, defined as diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. Other examples include bird flu, E. coli 0157:H7 and West Nile virus. Based at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, the centre involves more than 40 scientists from across campus, as well as collaborators from government agencies and industry.
VANCOUVER – A lawsuit has been launched against the University of British Columbia by a former student who suffered a brain injury after falling six metres off the roof of a fraternity house.
News reports said Karol Jaholkowski climbed onto the roof of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity house in April 2007 and fell after a fellow fraternity member reached up to high-five him. That frat member is also named in the suit. Documents filed in court on Jaholkowski’s behalf claim UBC failed to ban people from accessing the fraternity house roof or to install safety railings that would have prevented the fall.
University seeks employee concessions
WINNIPEG – Employees at the University of Winnipeg have been asked by President Lloyd Axworthy to make voluntary wage concessions in order to help make up a budget shortfall.
A report in the Winnipeg Free Press said the university is required to present a balanced budget in early June and management staff has already given up three to 10 per cent, either through pay reductions, passing on wage increments or donations to scholarship funds.
Construction on hold
OTTAWA - Carleton University has put a hold on plans to begin construction of a landmark building.
A report in the Ottawa Citizen said the decision was made in late April when the tender expired on the 96,000-square-foot $30.4 million building. Facing the Rideau Canal, the building is planned to house new university programs, including biomedical engineering and science, energy engineering and aerospace engineering. The university said it will renegotiate the construction contract if it receives infrastructure funding from either the provincial or federal government.