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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Monday, January 29, 1996

Vice-president takes post in Thailand

Roger Downer, UW's vice-president (university relations) for the past half-dozen years, has been named president of the Asian Institute of Technology, based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Downer, who last week announced that he was taking early retirement from UW, will assume his new position August 1. The Asian Institute of Technology is a non-profit organization funded by 20 countries, including Canada, as well as by several international and private sector agencies.

AIT is an English-language institution with a campus some 40 kilometres north of Bangkok. It describes itself as "an autonomous, post-graduate, technological Institute providing education in engineering, science, planning and management through a range of activities at levels and intensities from doctoral research to short-term training.

"At AIT's campus, students from around forty countries, mainly Asian, learn and live together with faculty, research and support staff from as many nations, worldwide. . . . Here more than 1000 post-graduate students, mostly from Asia, and 200 faculty and international staff, foster advanced technological learning to meet the regional need for more and better trained personnel for key positions in private and public sectors."

Said Downer: "Although I regret leaving Waterloo, a university that I hold in high regard, I am excited by the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the economic growth and development of many Asian countries."

A professor of biology and chemistry at UW since 1969, he was appointed vice-president in September 1989, overseeing the departments of development, alumni affairs, and information and public affairs. He spearheaded the Campaign Waterloo fund-raising drive, which generated more than $90 million to support teaching and research. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has received gold medals from the Entomological Society of Canada and the Canadian Society of Zoologists.

President will speak today

UW's president, James Downey, will speak at 12:00 today in the Kitchener Public Library's noon-hour lecture series. His topic: "Whither or Wither -- Higher Education in Ontario".

Interviews are beginning today

Some three thousand co-op students have butterflies in their stomachs today, as employer interviews begin for spring work term jobs. And job postings continue, the co-op department says: posting #6 went up this morning.

There's something new in co-op this term: WorkWorld, a "self-instruction manual for co-operative education students" that was prepared by a group of students and alumni organized by Larry Smith of the department of economics. Some of the funding came from Smith's Distinguished Teacher Award. Copies of the manual are initially being distributed to first-year and first-year co-op students, I'm told.

Turkic students will meet

"Meet fellow Turks from Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Kazakistan, Kyrgyzistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan," is the promise on the notice here. "All Turkic students . . . are invited to this term's Turkic Student Association's organizational meeting." The meeting is tonight; time and place weren't set at last report, but you can find out more from Ozgur Gunal at oegunal@undergrad.math or Yashar Moghan at ymoghang@elecom2.watstar.

And if you play squash

Stan Singh sends this note from the vicinity of the Engineering Society: "If you are either a squash enthusiast or just mildly interested in playing squash, then subscribe to uw.engsoc.athletics newsgroup and check out the details on ESP." ESP is the Engineering Squash Pyramid; it's open to all levels of play and all UW students; there's no entry fee; you schedule your own games; and (here's the big news) there are prizes for the top performers and most active players, but you have to be in engineering to win. Need to know more? He can be reached at spsingh@novice.

Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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