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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Tuesday, January 30, 1996

Computing directions for UW

A draft statement on "computing directions" for this university was made available on UWinfo yesterday, and comments are wanted about it.

It's been prepared by the University Computing Committee, as an update of the existing "directions" statement, which dates from 1989, and also as a working document for the UW Commission on Institutional Planning.

Says the draft report:

A common requirement in all activity areas is a well supported electronic workplace which is equitably accessible by all faculty, staff and students to provide the basis for effective use of information technology in their work and studies. This not only requires the coordination of computing facilities but also requires a strong system of user training and user support to capitalize on the benefits of information technology. This would facilitate efficient use of information technology by the whole university community. Recommendations are made to strengthen user training and support and to utilize the distributed human resources and talent to achieve these goals. . . .

Equitable access, efficiency, and harmonization of institutional and individual requirements are the three main information technology issues facing the University at this time. Addressing these issues will be a complex task, involving changes in attitude, reallocation of resources, and rethinking how the University does its business. However, the rapid pace of technological change will continue, independent of the University's actions. If significant action is not taken, the University will become increasingly mired in outdated technology and lacking sufficient information technology human resources to achieve institutional goals.

The UCC is calling for "an effective and coordinated management structure" for information technology and information systems, including computing services, data processing, audio-visual, graphic services, and even the library, all headed by a "senior manager" working with a University Committee on Information Technology and Systems.

It discusses computing for teaching, research and administrative purposes, and calls for "institutional standards" that would apply to all three. Another section of the statement deals with "electronic media ethics".

Preregistration is postponed

Preregistration for fall and winter undergraduate courses is being delayed by two weeks, and will be held March 18-22 instead of the dates listed in the calendar (March 4-8). The reason: the early retirement program, and the chaos it's created as academic departments count up who'll be around to teach next fall and which courses they will and won't be able to offer.

UW registrar Trevor Boyes -- who's taking early retirement himself -- said yesterday that he and his staff had conferred with deans and associate deans, among others, and decided to apply the two-week delay to preregistration so departments would have just a little more time to get things sorted out. "Hopefully all these things will come together," he said.

The undergraduate operations committee, made up of associate deans and registrar's officials, is due to meet Thursday, and it's not hard to imagine what they'll be talking about.

Boyes also said that the course offerings list, traditionally distributed on paper in time for preregistration, should be available electronically through UWinfo this spring for the first time.

Career symposium held today

Alumni from the departments in applied health sciences -- see, for once I didn't call it "applied health studies"! -- are dropping in at UW today to speak at a career symposium. The event will run from 12:30 to 3:30 in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre, and all are welcome to hear graduates of the AHS programs tell what they've done with their educations.

King Charles I Historical note: it was on this date in 1649 that King Charles I (pictured) was beheaded.

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

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