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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Thursday, June 5, 1997

The squeeze on human resources

UW's human resources department, depleted by five staff, is reducing its hours and will no longer be open at lunchtime, says a memo going out today from Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services).

She writes: "For the last five years, the Human Resources department has been open over the noon hour so that staff, faculty and students could sign up for benefits, review the positions available list, or select audio visual materials from the reading room. External visitors to the university were also able to visit the department to review job postings and apply for jobs. . . .

"Increasingly, our web page, electronic and voice mail have been providing the information which employees require. Walk-ins from outside the university are fewer and scheduled sign-ups have taken the place of spontaneous benefits enrolment. In the next few weeks, the department will have a comprehensive voice mail menu which will answer questions about specific benefits and give information about current job opportunities. Often-requested forms and job postings will be posted in the corridor outside of the department. . . .

"We will review this decision in February and would welcome your comments."

Scott said the department has lost three positions since 1995-96 and has two more of its people assigned full-time to the Human Resources Management System project. "It's our practice to rotate the lunch hour duty but this has proved increasingly difficult with the demands on everyone's time."

How's HRMS going, by the way? From the project's Web pages, this update:

We have chosen to implement PeopleSoft's Human Resources and Payroll applications by making as few changes as possible to the system as delivered until after we have examined, and exhausted, all other alternatives. In implementation lingo, this is called implementing a "vanilla" system.

In addition to the vanilla approach, phasing in basic human resources and payroll functionality first will allow the University to grow into the system with a "crawl, walk, run" approach. In subsequent phases, more complex and "nice to have" functionality and features can be rolled out. By January 1, 1998, we hope to be able to pay all UW employees through the new system and no longer use our old systems for payroll and human resources.

The bike centre is open

"The Bike Centre is open for the Spring Term!" writes Ted Harms of the UW library staff, one of its most diligent volunteers. "It's time to dust off those bikes that have been sitting in the garage since the autumn and get out and ride! Bring your bike to Canada's only student-run Do It Yourself Bike Repair Centre where we supply the tools you need to get your bike ready for riding!"

He notes that the centre, on the lower level of the Student Life Centre, is open Monday from 12:30 to 6:00, Tuesday through Thursday from 12:30 to 7:30. "You can get to us either by going down the hall from CIBC and Dr. Disc or using our door off the PAC parking lot."

Says Harms: "Our fee hasn't changed since we started: $1/hour for use of the tools and a flat fee of $1 for any use of the oil, lube, etc. We also have new parts available: inner tubes for mountain and road bike tires as well as brake and shifter cables. We also have a variety of used parts for sale -- come on in and take a look!"

And, as always, the Bike Centre promises "friendly volunteers who'll do their best to answer your questions and provide assistance to help you fix your bike". The centre can be reached at ext. 5174.

The Anatomy of a Project

That's the title of tomorrow's open house organized by the information systems and technology department. By "project", they're talking about things like the Human Resources Management System, mentioned above, or the Financial Systems Project, or the Student Information Systems Project.

Here's an abstract of what tomorrow's open house will cover:

Major shifts in business objectives, institutional organization, processes, and technology are often managed by formally constituting a project with clear objectives, deliverables, resources, and timelines. Most such shifts also require changes in the information systems and technology of the university, and so IST often assumes important responsibilities as part of the project. This open house will discuss why such projects arise, what they involve, who participates, where project activities occur, and how the project is organized. Examples will be taken from recent and current institutional projects. The open house should be of interest to anyone who might need to be involved in current and future projects, at levels from senior steering committees to "detail team" members, and user advisory committees.
The open house starts at 10:00 tomorrow morning in Davis Centre room 1302.

Talking of water safety

The UW Outers Club will sponsor a seminar today on "Basic Precautions for River Paddling" -- videos on river safety and rescue, followed by information from club members about organizations involved in canoeing and paddling.

The event, which runs from 5:30 to 7 this evening in the great hall of the Student Life Centre, coincides with National Water Safety Week

And it's not entirely a coincidence that outdoors folks at Waterloo are doing something special on the topic. A memorial service for Masoud Kavian, mathematics graduate student who died May 4 in a rafting accident at the Elora Gorge, will be held at 11:00 this morning at the Renison College chapel.

Notes on World Environment Day

The Mathematics Society is holding a John Travolta Movie Night in Davis Centre room 1302. "Broken Arrow" will be shown at 7:00 tonight and "Phenomenon" at about 9:00. Admission is $2 for both films, at the door.

Two "centres of excellence" -- the Manufacturing Research Corporation of Ontario and the Ontario Centre for Materials Research -- are holding a "trade show and networking event" in Toronto today, under the title "Partnerships 1997: University/Industry R&D Collaborations". Corporate visitors are being invited to "meet 150 researchers not only willing but eager to work with industry. . . . Now, under one roof, industry has access to world-class researchers in the fields of materials and manufacturing -- Ontario's bread and butter industry." The event is being held at the Toronto Congress Centre on Dixon Road.

Heather Calder of the Federation of Students writes that "All those people interested in ordering a Good Food Box for the month of June (to be delivered June 26) need to do so by Friday of this week. You have the choice of a large or small food box ($10 and $15 respectively) full of fresh produce like carrots, potatoes, apples, onions, oranges, and other assorted vegetables and fruit." For more information, she can be reached at ext. 6331.

A party to honour Herbert Fernando, who's about to retire from UW's department of biology, will be held next Wednesday, June 11, at 4 p.m. at the University Club. RSVPs should go to Barb Rae in the biology department, phone ext. 2141, no later than tomorrow. Contributions to the Biology Retirement Scholarship Fund in his honour are welcome.


June 5, 1990: The university's ethical behaviour policy, Policy 33, becomes effective.

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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