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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Monday, January 27, 1997

'Building on accomplishment'

That's the title of the "draft plan for the University of Waterloo's fifth decade", prepared by the Commission on Institutional Planning and being presented this morning to the senate long-range planning committee. Now it goes across campus for "general review and response".

The report isn't long -- 29 pages in rather large type -- and has 35 recommendations, some of them with several clauses. Mostly it stays away from suggesting specific changes to the university's programs, courses and structure, but it says much about "excellence", "community" and "flexibility" and the kinds of efforts that need to be made.

Here's a key paragraph from the Introduction to the report:

The fundamental and rapid changes occurring in the academic environment since the commission started work in 1994 reinforce the need for a coherent strategy to deal with the uncertainties of the future. This plan outlines UW's heritage and distinctive mission, identifies challenges and opportunities facing UW, presents some general recommendations, and makes specific recommendations that support what the commission sees as three essential priorities for the university:
The report describes UW as "an institution dedicated to using innovative means to achieve traditional goals: the pursuit of learning through scholarship, teaching, and research within a spirit of free enquiry and expression, for the economic, social, and cultural benefit of society. . . . At the heart of UW's distinctiveness is a culture of learning by linking to the 'real world' which influences nearly everything the university does. . . . UW's vibrant and complex culture is the result, in large measure, of the creative tension arising from the strong individual identities and autonomous relationships of the various Faculties and colleges on the one hand, and, on the other, the forging of a common vision and enterprise."

Some of the recommendations

There is more in the report than one Daily Bulletin can summarize, but here are a few excerpts: And much more: there are recommendations, for example, about UW's "commitment to strong graduate programs", about "the commitment to experiential learning" represented by co-op, about "the quality and flexibility of distance and continuing education", and so on. And I might just say that I was pleased to see a note on page 26 to the effect that the university "should continue to support the Gazette and the Daily Bulletin".

What happens next

The full text of the report is being put on UWinfo -- not ready this morning, but very soon -- and paper copies are being sent to all departments. Copies will also be on reserve in the library. Next week's Gazette (not this week's, please note, but next week's) will have extensive excerpts if not the full report.

Two public meetings to discuss the report are being scheduled: Tuesday, February 11, at 4 p.m., and Thursday, February 13, at 12 noon. Both meetings will be held in Needles Hall room 3001. Several regular meetings of governing bodies will also discuss it: the senate long-range planning committee on February 11, the senate itself on the evening of February 17, and the board of governors on April 1.

Says a memo from the president that's being issued today: "Members of the commission are willing to meet with groups, departments, and Faculties, and would welcome written responses to the draft plan. Please send written responses by April 15, 1997, to Heather White, Office of the President and Provost, NH, or by e-mail to heather@provost-admin."

Once the discussions have happened, the commission will "revise the draft plan and submit a final report for action", the president said. The commission itself suggests that the final report should be submitted by the end of June, and that within three months after that, the president should "present a strategy for implementing the recommendations".

Phone cutover went smoothly

The change from UW's old telephone switch to the new one, and from some 130 analog phone lines to five digital T1 cables, went well on Friday night, says Bruce Uttley of information systems and technology.

"The old switch was taken down at 8:15 rather than the planned 7:00 p.m. at our request to accommodate an 8:00 event in one of the Arts theatres," he writes. "Our thanks go to the Bell install team for their cooperation." And Ginny Polai of telephone services -- which is part of IST now -- takes up the story:

The new switch with its connections to Bell's telephone exchange was cutover at 8:35 p.m. At 8:18 p.m. the first loop restored service to the phones contained in it, as well as the security phones (average of 75 phones per loop). Another loop was cutover every 1 1/2 - 2 minutes from that time until the complete cutover to megalink at 8:35 or 8:40 p.m.
She also sends word that there's a special help-line for people who have questions about the new central phone equipment or, more likely, about the conversion of their own desktop phones to Nortel's new Meridian equipment. The number to call ought to be easy to remember: ext. 6666.


January 26, 1978: A major storm hits Kitchener-Waterloo; policy says that the university never officially closes, but staff are allowed to go home, and some make it, while others have to sleep overnight in the Villages. On the same day, Bill Lobban is fired as UW's director of physical resources.

January 27, 1971: The Gazette publishes a double-page map showing the "development plan" for the campus. It includes Optometry and Environmental Studies buildings north of Columbia Street, and an audio-visual centre and engineering, math and science library building between Chemistry II and the ring road.

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