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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Wednesday, June 26, 1996

Candy Cane

Six months to Boxing Day

With next Christmas suddenly closer than last Christmas, the bookstore and UW Shop are observing "Christmas in June" with a sale in the South Campus Hall concourse. The books and shirts and such were out yesterday, and the sale continues until Friday; staff member Montse Sanzsole promises "stocking stuffers at unbelievable prices".

A few other things on this summer day, on which the open road and the golf course seem to beckon:

And for those who did hear the call of the golf course, the annual faculty-and-staff Matthews Golf Classic is taking place today at the Elmira Golf Course, with tee-off at 11:45 and dinner at 6:00. "The last count at post time is 119 golfers ready for fun, fellowship and, of course, enjoying the sunny day we ordered back in February," reports organizer Bill Futher of computing services.

Co-op students need to know

Results of the recent interview and job matching process will be posted at 3 this afternoon, the co-op department says. In other words, hundreds of co-op students will know then where they're going to be working in the fall term.

But inevitably there will be some students who don't have jobs yet. Unplaced students should attend meetings later today at which they'll find out what to do next. Places and times of the meetings (some of which have been changed from the earlier list that appears in today's Gazette): arts and math students, Davis Centre room 1351 at 4:30; science, environmental studies and applied health sciences students, Biology 1 room 271 at 4:30; first-year engineering students, Engineering Lecture room 101 at 4:30; upper-year engineering students, EL 101 at 5:30.

Whether you're placed or unplaced, or even if you're a co-op student not looking for a fall term job, you're invited to a barbecue tomorrow. Co-op students have a chance to socialize with coordinators and other co-op department staff, from 12:30 to 2:00 at Federation Hall. "You get to talk to them on a one-on-one basis," say the enthusiastic folks at Students Advising Co-op. "The first 75 students that show up will get their choice of hot dog, hamburger or veggie-burger and a drink free!"

About the university system

Here's the text of a story that didn't make it into today's Gazette, but might be useful background for those who watch the politics of education in Ontario:
Ontario universities may end up competing against each other for dwindling financial support, now that the government has closed down its advisory council. The demise of the Ontario Council on University Affairs (OCUA) leaves a vacuum that poses dangers of that kind, says UW president Dr. James Downey.

OCUA is one of 22 advisory agencies that are falling under the axe of the Progressive Conservative government in a cost-cutting move designed to "streamline and rationalize the agency sector".

In a recent statement to the Legislature, David Johnson, chair of the management board of cabinet, said the combined cuts will save the government $2.9 million over the next two years. The annual budget for OCUA was $600,000, according to Dr. Stefan Dupre, its chair. It had a small full-time staff in Toronto; council members -- part-time except for the chair -- were from around the province.

The council's role was to "advise" the government on funding and policy questions about universities. On academic issues, and on the distribution of funds among universities, the government has usually accepted the advice it received, but year after year it ignored OCUA's recommendations about the total amount of funding that universities should receive.

The council was created 25 years ago on the recommendation of the provincial Commission on Post-Secondary Education, chaired by Dr. Doug Wright, later to be president of UW. Wright became OCUA's first chair.

Although Dupre refused to speculate on the effects of eliminating OCUA, he said the impact may not be entirely negative. Rather than obtaining advice from a council on issues related to universities, he suggested the government could consult universities directly.

But Downey believes this scenario would result in "too much politics being played" among the universities. "My fear is capricious decision making," he added. "The OCUA has played a useful role in the development of higher education in Ontario," he said. "One of the Council's functions has been to serve as a buffer between the universities and the government, and among the universities, as well. My concern is about where independent advice to the government will come from regarding funding policy and funding of new programs."

The most obvious alternative to the OCUA is the Council of Ontario Universities, which could act for the collectivity of universities, said Downey. The Council represent 20 institutional members, and has two representatives from each university -- the president and a faculty member chosen by the senate.

"I would hope we can respond through the Council to provide advice and advocacy for the common good," Downey said. "If not, universities will be pitted against each other."

The students are coming . . .

The annual conference of registrar's office folks from across Canada, this year hosted by UW and held at the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, winds up today. On this morning's program is a session titled "Odyssey 2001 -- Ontario High School Graduation", with this summary offered in the program:
Ontario students entering high school in 1997 will graduate in 2001 with an entirely different background from current applicants. What will Ontario high school graduation credits look like in 2001? What will universities be looking for to evaluate applicants from Ontario and out-of-province in 2001? Will university programs require revision to accommodate the new Ontario High School system? Panelists will discuss the changes which must begin now to be prepared!

A Canada Day reminder

"We are still looking for volunteers for Canada Day, Monday, July 1," writes Jeremy Steffler, who's helping to make the Canada Day celebrations a success. "Volunteers are needed to help out in virtually every area from children's activities to security. If you are going to be in town for the weekend please consider helping. The event attracts close to 40,000 locals and we need all the help we can get. Help is also required the day before and after for set-up and clean-up. The perks to volunteering include a free T-shirt, free food, a free party, prizes, and a package loaded with coupons and free stuff. All this is available for 3 hours of your help!"

There's a meeting for potential volunteers at 5:30 today in Davis Centre room 1351. Steffler can be reached at jrsteff@novice or at 885-0440, or volunteers can drop by the turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin:
Chris Redmond -- credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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