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BY PEGGY BERKOWITZ | September 12 2011

When a university president leaves unexpectedly, the one who’s appointed interim leader assumes a crucial role in preparing the ground for the next president.

When the phone rings, the person who answers the call may have expected it for weeks, even months. The caller could be a friend, a former colleague or the board chair, but the message is the same: We need you. Would you consider serving as university president on a short-term basis? It’s a ...
BY JOHN LORINC | June 13 2011

A new system for allocating one of Canada’s most important grants program for university scientists leads to upsets in who gets funding.

University of Toronto math professor Jim Colliander likens the problem to owning a fleet of snazzy sports cars and not being able to come up with enough cash to pay for gas. For the past decade, thanks to programs like the
BY TARA SIEBARTH | June 13 2011

University Affairs web editor Tara Siebarth talked to Stephen Henighan, a professor of Spanish-American literature at the University of Guelph, about writing fiction, the inspiration behind his short story in this month’s issue, and the difference between academic and creative writing.

Read How I became a Muslim.

What was your inspiration for “How I became a Muslim”?

For me, inspiration for short stories can come from all sorts of weird moments – you never know when a story is going to creep up on you....
BY JOEY FITZPATRICK | February 07 2011

As director of animal care at Memorial University, Jennifer Keyte has the task of ensuring the ethical and humane treatment of her charges.

She rode horses as a young girl and her family owned the standard household pets. But Jennifer Keyte was never the type to volunteer untold hours at the local animal shelter. “I felt like a bit of an imposter in vet school,” the director of animal care at Memorial University admits. “So many o...
Careers Café
BY LIZ KOBLYK | November 08 2010
Hi, I am Liz! When I asked my supervisor if she’d mind me accepting an offer to contribute to University Affairs’ new Careers Café blog, she said, “I love University Affairs!  Just make sure you mention where you work!” So, I work at the University of Waterloo’s <...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | August 16 2010
QUICK HITS: 1.  If you were interested in previous posts of mine about how well science information is distributed and received in the UK, then you might also want to have a gander at a recent post that I made on the Stem Cell Network Blog entitled
Margin Notes

Two dozen presidents from 14 countries gathered in advance of full G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario.

An event that seemed to slip under the media radar, the 2010 G8 University Summit was held last week (May 20-22) in Vancouver, attended by 24 university presidents from 14 countries. It was the third such summit, the first being held in Hokkaido, Japan in 2008 and in Turin, Italy last year. The e...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | February 21 2010

This short blog entry argues that when looking at the relationship or science and society, the majority of scientists only see (and avoid) the energy barrier in front of them and fail to imagine and strive toward the products on the other side. There are of course exceptions to the rule and this article hopes to inspire such visionary thinking. It contends that the products, similar to those in a chemical reaction, will provide a state that will in their own time lead to less energy expenditure for scientists.

A high school geology teacher once explained to me a guiding philosophy for his life which seemed quite confusing at the time – he called it “The least work principle” which stated that one should always aspire to expending the least amount of effort to get an outcome. I thought “Great, I ha...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | February 17 2010

What happens when a “good education” doesn’t lead to a good job?

What should you do if you’ve “done everything right” – went to university, perhaps even grad school – and yet you’ve failed to land meaningful employment? I have no career advice to offer, but do suggest you might have a look at a new blog by Laura Servage, a doctoral student at the Univ...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | February 04 2010

Saskatchewan government decides to cut funding to First Nations University of Canada.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada held a day-and-a-half workshop last week for university presidents focussing on aboriginal education. This workshop was the first in a series of planned AUCC events on aboriginal access to higher education, which was identified by AUCC as one of...
Margin Notes
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | December 08 2009

Three recent reports, taken together, provide some interesting insights about the pathways and barriers to postsecondary education.

The number of reports on Canada's postsecondary education sector seem to be multiplying of late. With at least a half-dozen released in the last few weeks, it's getting hard to keep up. With that in mind, here are three of the more important recent reports and their take-home messages. Together, ...
Career Advice
BY UA/AU | October 05 2009

How should a freshly minted graduate behave when they are hired for their first professional job out of university?

The answer will vary, of course, depending on the industry and the type of job. Carolyn Watters, a professor of computer science and dean of graduate studies at Dalhousie University, asked this question of Dan Russell, the manager of research for Google. Dr. Russell is speaking mainly about graduate...
BY ALEX USHER | October 05 2009

Imagining the future of Canadian post-secondary education

It wouldn’t be an anniversary celebration without a look ahead. For this we asked higher-education adviser Alex Usher to imagine some of the major trends and events that might influence Canadian universities in the 21st century. In a twist of perspective, he catapults himself into...
BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | September 21 2009

Study finds similarities, some surprising differences, at Canada’s universities

Tenure – it’s the Holy Grail of academic work, yet there has been relatively little study of tenure and promotion policies at Canada’s universities. A new analysis of such policies by two doctoral candidates at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto helps t...
BY PEGGY BERKOWITZ | September 08 2009

In its pre-budget submission to the federal government, association puts emphasis on research spending

Canada’s universities are calling for significant new investments in university research through the three federal granting councils in the lead up to the next federal budget. Citing “a growing worldwide consensus that countries that invest heavily in education, research and innovation will l...
BY NICK TAYLOR-VAISEY | September 08 2009

Canada Student Loans Program expects to dole out over $500 million in new grants

As the student unemployment rate rises in Canada, so too does the number of student loan applications. Some students didn’t even wait until they were enrolled in the fall semester to ask for financial help. “They can’t even make rent for the May to August period, so they are knocking on our...
BY NICK TAYLOR-VAISEY | August 04 2009

Ruling by Canada’s university sports body won’t keep SFU from switching to NCAA

Canada’s university sporting body, Canadian Interuniversity Sport, is closing the door on its members joining competing sports leagues. But that won’t affect Simon Fraser University, which has already decided it is leaving CIS for the National Collegiate Athletic A...
Career Advice
BY UA/AU | May 11 2009

This year’s top academic conferences feature career development programs with something for everyone

This May, academics who can get to Ottawa will find the best career development programs yet at Canada’s major English- and French- language academic conferences. The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences's Congress, University Affairs and Carleton University are p...
The University of Ottawa has a new slogan: Help wanted. In March, the school issued a memo to its alumni, asking those who are not currently involved in the co-op program to consider hiring students and “accept the challenge of bett...
BY SHELDON GORDON | April 06 2009

Law students offer their time pro bono to help guide groups and individuals – many of whom can’t afford legal counsel–through the judicial maze

On a blustery November morning, Rina Jeyakumar dashes, coatless, to the chambers of Toronto’s small claims court from a cramped law office across the courtyard, to have a word with the presiding judge. Leaning towards the bench, sotto voce, Ms. Jeyakumar requests a delay before her client...