Calgary-Glenmore Calgary-Varisty Council of Alberta University Students Doug Horner Harry Chase Mount Royal University

get used to the sound of mount royal university.

From the world of post-secondary education!

The Council of Alberta University Students have released their submission for Alberta’s 2010 budget consultation process. While not the boldest recommendations that have ever come from CAUS (speaking as one of its former Chairpersons), it appears that the new reality for post-secondary education is to avoid becoming the target of massive budget cuts rather than advocating for bold increases (which is more or less a pretty savvy maneuver in a province that is running a record $6.9 billion deficit)

On Thursday, it is expected to be announced that after a long process, Mount Royal College will become a University. “MRU” will be Alberta’s fifth University and the first established since Athabasca University was created in 1970. Alberta’s other universites include the University of Alberta (est. 1908), University of Calgary (est. 1966), and University of Lethbridge (est. 1967). There have been some exciting changes happening within Alberta’s post-secondary education system since Doug Horner became Minister of Advanced Education & Technology in 2007, but I am still unconvinced whether Alberta needs a fifth University-level institution.

On a final post-secondary education note, I’m glad that I am not the only person to point out how ridiculous it is to suggest that Mount Royal’s transition to a University is a conspiracy to influence the September 14 by-election in Calgary-Glenmore, as Calgary-Varsity Liberal MLA Harry Chase suggested this morning. Please keep the coffee room conspiracy theories away from the media releases.

ACTISEC Alberta Oil Sands Council of Alberta University Students Maria Minna Martha Hall Findlay Michael Ignatieff Monte Solberg

be careful where you dump your wastewater.

– What is it about the current government and concealing information until after elections? In 2004, it was access to flight logs, and in 2008, it appears that the governing PCs didn’t release information about charges that had been laid against Suncor in relation to the dumping of undertreated waste water into the Athabasca River. Meanwhile, on the topic of Oilsands, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have published a response to a recent National Geographic feature on Canada’s Oilsands.

– While the Council of Alberta University Students met with over 50 MLAs at the Alberta Legislature this week to advocate on Post-Secondary Education issues, the Alberta College & Technical Institute Student Executive Council practiced a much less effective method of advocacy.

– Former Cabinet Minister and Medicine Hat Conservative MP Monte Solberg is once again blogging. After writing a popular blog during his time in the opposition benches, Solberg stopped blogging when he became a Cabinet Minister in 2006. After serving 15 years in the House of Commons, Solberg did not seek re-election in the 2008 election. Solberg also writes a regular column for SunMedia (h/t @BreakenNews).

– Following Michael Ignatieff‘s visit to Alberta last month, two Liberal MPs will be visiting the province. Beaches-East York MP Maria Minna will be speaking at a Calgary Liberal fundraiser on March 20, and Willowdale MP Martha Hall Findlay will be speaking at an International Women’s Day Brunch in Edmonton on March 22.

A Learning Alberta Affordabilty Framework Council of Alberta University Students Dave Hancock Denis Herard Doug Horner Roles and Mandates

roles and mandates.

Completely under the radar, Alberta’s Department of Advanced Education and Technology released its Roles and Mandates framework document yesterday.

In the early months of 2007, in my role as Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, I was part of the original consultations for this framework. Though I’m not that they were really ‘consultations,’ as no one seemed very clear as to what ‘Roles and Responsibilities‘ (as it was then known) was supposed to accomplish, only that the Minister wanted to define them.

At the time, the new framework looked suspiciously like a makework/legacy building framework project from new-Minister Doug Horner (Roles and Mandates followed a string of Advanced Education frameworks, including from Dave Hancock’s A Learning Alberta and short-term-disaster of a Minster Denis Herard’s *weak* Affordability Framework).

As unsexy as ‘Roles and Mandates‘ sounds (and probably is), I’ve been a little disappointed at how low under the radar the entire process has flown. If the framework is as important as CAUS’ latest media release gushes, it’s too bad that groups like CAUS and Public Interest Alberta’s PSE Taskforce weren’t more aggressive in bringing this to the media and Albertans attention (especially with a provincial election around the corner).