Here's a striking passage from the introductory section:
From the experiences shared, it became quite obvious that most positive experiences were gained through personal interactions. As we brainstormed for values, this theme continued to emerge. Examples such as "sense of belonging", "developing personal relationships", "helpful staff", and "feeling valued" were some of the more general comments. More specific, however, were examples such as "peer support", "one to one work with Professors", "tying upper-year to lower-year students", "having people persons behind the counter", "good working relationships", and "professors / department chairs willing to talk about the 'big picture'." Discussion on these examples demonstrated a true value for personal interactions. Indeed, some of the strongest feelings emerged from comments in this area. People who are willing to take the time to talk to students about "the big picture" were unanimously cited as enormous influences. "The big picture" includes everything from career possibilities, to Graduate School options, to the application of course material in unexpected areas, to their own experiences as university students, to discussion of their research. Regardless of the subject matter, the fact that a personal connection was made is key. It is very common for Frosh to believe that the Professor at the front of the room is a god, and finding out that they are human is not only enriching, but it can be inspiring.Other points: "That the University discontinue its nightly locking of external doors. . . . That Career Services spread its resources in attracting employers more equitably among the disciplines. . . . That faculties ensure professors and teaching assistants possess adequate English communications skills."
The full brief is available on UWinfo, and I'm hoping to have excerpts from it in the Gazette next week.
A seminar on "composting and vermicomposting", starring Patti Cook of UW's waste management office, takes place at 12 noon in Davis Centre room 1350. It's sponsored by the staff association social committee.
The first in a series of retirement planning seminars, organized by the human resources department, takes place this evening; word is that interest was high and the three-talk series is full.
French-language kids' singer Matt Maxwell comes to the Humanities Theatre at 10:15 a.m.
For the record, here are the dates of convocation this spring:
Wednesday, May 24, 2 p.m.: Applied health sciences, environmental
studies, independent studies.
Thursday, May 25, 2 p.m.: arts.
Friday, May 26, 2 p.m.: science.
Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.: mathematics.
Saturday, May 27, 2 p.m.: engineering.
First, Freddie Swainston, manager of salary administration, is looking for volunteers to translate material about employment equity -- especially the letter and questionnaire that will soon be going out to staff, faculty and graduate students -- into such languages as French, Portuguese, German, Chinese and Spanish. She can be reached at ext. 2950.
Second, human resources director Catharine Scott, on behalf of the staff compensation committee, is inviting comments about the staff performance appraisal and "activity" forms. Both forms have been in use in their present forms for five years, and it's time for a review of them, the committee has decided. Comments, in writing, can be sent to Dianne Scheifele in the university secretariat, Needles Hall.
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