(Gazette, Jan. 23, 1997)
New think tank established
EDMONTON, ALTA. -- You've heard of the C. D. Howe Institute and the Fraser
Institute...how about the Parkland Institute? The Parkland Institute is a new Alberta-based think
tank established recently at the University of Alberta to counterbalance prevailing views.
Sociology professor Gordon Laxer, one of the co-founders of the institute, and its director, was
quoted in the Jan. 10, 1997, University of Alberta Folio as saying "We think there's been a
one-sided view of the economy and society dominating the public debate." The institution has
funding of $16,000 per year for three years from the Faculty of Arts, and has received some
in-kind support and donations from individuals and organizations. Plans are under way for the
institution to apply for a major collaborative research grant.
Simon Fraser suffers claw-back
BURNABY, B.C. -- The government of British Columbia is clawing back $548,000 from the
operating grant promised Simon Fraser University (SFU) for the current fiscal year (1996-97).
According to Simon Fraser News (Jan. 9, 1997), many expected the claw-back to be much worse
given the provincial government's "monstrous" $750 million shortfall; $548,000 represents less
than half of one per cent of SFU's operating grant of $119 million. However, the government is
also pulling $1.1 million from a program designed to encourage donations to SFU. The matching
program, as it is known, gave SFU access to $2 million in 1996-97 -- funds which allowed
donors to double their impact; a $1,000 donation became a $2,000 donation, for example,
through the matching program. Government has now retroactively pared the $2 million in
matching funds to $850,000.
Child Study Centre to close
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The University of British Columbia's (UBC) Child Study Centre will
close June 30 according to the Jan. 9, 1997, issue of UBC Reports. The facility is an
interdisciplinary centre for research in child development and early childhood education. "This
decision has not been taken lightly," Faculty of Education dean Nancy Sheehan was quoted as
saying. "In spite of the high quality of its programs, the Child Study Centre is unable to fulfil
adequately the three components of its mandate: research, program demonstration and training,
and leadership for the early childhood education field." She said an absence of a representative
population of children -- including those with special needs, the absence of an undergraduate
degree program in early childhood education at UBC, and a lack of financial support for research
and program development made it difficult for the centre for fulfil its mandate. The decision to
close the centre, which was established in 1961, was made following an extensive external review.
About 150 children aged two to five currently attend the centre's preschool and kindergarten
Cost-recovery program proposed
LONDON, ONT. -- The University of Western Ontario is proposing a full-cost recovery masters
of business administration program at its Richard Ivey School of Business in 1997-98. According
to the University of Western Ontario's Western News of Jan. 9, 1997, the plan has already
received approval in principle from the provincial minister of Education and Training, and will be
presented to the university's Senate and Board of Governors later this month. The business
school's PhD and undergraduate programs would continue to be supported by the central
university operating budget. The direct operating costs of the MBA program would be fully
funded through tuition from the students, and indirect costs covered by a transfer of a portion of
revenues from the school's executive education programs. According to Western News, Western's
president, Paul Davenport, feels that only a limited number of programs should be privatized, and
said no other programs at Western are under active consideration for full cost-recovery.