Ontario may be losing its status as being the focal point of Canadian higher education, The Ottawa Citizen reported. The article noted the traditional strength of Ontario universities, but then reviewed how Western universities -- such as the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia -- are outperforming their Eastern counterparts in attracting endowed chairs and research funds from the government.
Higher Education Quick Takes
David Willetts, the minister in charge of higher education in Britain's government, held meetings with officials of for-profit higher education companies prior to releasing the country's plan to restructure higher education, BBC reported. Many academics have criticized the plan for failing to provide adequate support for the country's universities, and have questioned his encouragement for for-profit higher education. Among the companies whose officials he met: Education Management Corp. and Apollo Group.
In today's Academic Minute, Stephen Magee of the University of Texas at Austin discusses his efforts
to calculate the optimum number of lawyers required for economic efficiency. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
In a close vote, faculty members at Youngstown State University have approved a new contract that contains a number of concessions, The Vindicator reported. Details have not been released to the public but the newspaper reported that the deal includes no raises for the first two years of the contract and a 2 percent raise in the third year, increases in employee health benefit contributions and reductions in pay for teaching in the summer.
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced this morning. This item will be updated as soon as the winners are announced.
The University of California on Tuesday announced tentative deals with two of its academic unions -- for lecturers and librarians. Both unions are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, and both tentative agreements require union ratification. The deal with the lecturers, would, according to a summary from the university, include the lecturers in the academic merit raise program for 2012-13 and 2013-14, re-open negotiations on salaries for those years, and state that lecturers would pay the same rates for health benefits as paid by tenured faculty members. The deal with librarians, according to the university, would give them the right to participate in the merit increase program as well.
Bob Samuels, president of the lecturers union, said that the tentative contract had two significant gains for his members: A requirement limiting layoffs to scenarios where the classes taught by the lecturers go away, and a provision requiring negotiations between the university and the union for any changes in work duties that the university seeks because of the creation of online programs.
Daniel Shechtman was this morning named winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work discovering quasicrystals -- research in which Shechtman has "to fight a fierce battle against established science," according to the Nobel announcement. Shechtman is Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology.
The winner or winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced this morning. This item will be updated as soon as information is available.
Three researchers will share the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae." The three are:
- Saul Perlmutter, head of the Supernova Cosmology Project and professor of astrophysics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.
- Brian P. Schmidt, head of the High-z Supernova Search Team and distinguished professor at the Australian National University.
- Adam G. Riess, professor of astronomy and physics at Johns Hopkins University.
Suffolk University is going through an extensive transition following the resignation last year of President David Sargent, who was criticized for being one of the country's most highly paid college presidents. The Boston Globe reported that the university is expected to appoint 12 new members to its board of trustees today, with more trustee changes possible ahead. In addition, the jobs of several top administrators have been eliminated. Some trustees who were close to Sargent are among those leaving the board.