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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Friday, March 14, 1997

Snow and ice, and fee increases

Colleagues struggle in late with horror stories about driveways and intersections. Classmates schuss down from the Villages to their early lectures. It's definitely one of the ugliest, stormiest days of the winter. "One of those challenging days," says the positive thinker just down the hall from me.

The decision-makers were on standby in the early hours this morning, their copies of UW's storm closing procedure in hand. Their conclusion: messy as it is, it's not bad enough to justify closing the university. So here we are, or here most of us are. There haven't been any traffic mishaps or other incidents on campus, the university police say, passing along some basic advice: take it easy, don't be in a hurry on the road.

That's the way the money goes

"If you feel squeezed, this helps to explain why," says UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch, who presented a breathtaking little chart to the senate finance committee yesterday morning:

  University of Waterloo Operating Budget
           April '93     February '97      Change
  Grant    $135,000,000  $103,000,000      ($32,000,000)
  Tuition  $ 41,000,000  $ 49,000,000       $ 8,000,000
  Other    $ 17,000,000  $ 22,000,000       $ 5,000,000
  TOTAL    $193,000,000  $174,000,000      ($19,000,000)

  University of Waterloo Operating Departments
                     Fall '92    Fall '96       Change
  Faculty Positions    822          715         (107)
  Staff Positions    1,642        1,457         (185)
  TOTAL              2,464        2,172         (292)

To sum it up: the university has shrunk by about one-eighth, in money and people, in the past four years.

Kalbfleisch showed the committee what he officially titled a "Very Preliminary 1997-98 Operating Budget" yesterday, and the bottom line (hate that cliché!) is a shortfall that could lead to still more trimming. With a great many questions still unanswered, he's adding up the university's income for the coming year to $176.1 million, and expenditures to $179.0 million -- "plus salary increases, to be negotiated". If turned into a straight budget cut, that would be something like 2.5 per cent.

Among the many uncertainties:

"At this point I can't come any closer to a budget than this," the provost said, predicting another meeting, perhaps with a few more reliable numbers, in about three weeks.

Straight talk on a fee increase

One thing pretty definite in the budget is an increase in student tuition fees. The provost announced yesterday that what he will be asking the board of governors to approve is a straight 10 per cent increase "on every program", at least for Canadian students. "We're not doing what some other universities are doing," he said, raising fees a little less here, a little more here, as it seems the traffic will bear.

There will be a freeze this year on the fees paid by foreign students, as Waterloo is already charging among the highest rates in the province. The co-op fee is also being frozen for the year, at $411 per term.

John Thompson, dean of science, told yesterday's meeting that a proposal for a "differential" fee (that means a big increase) in the school of optometry is likely to come forward. Kalbfleisch noted that it would have to be submitted to the provincial government for approval.

Fee increases will be discussed again Monday evening when UW's senate meets. A proposal from Mario Bellabarba, president of the Federation of Students, is on the agenda. He's asking that all fee increases be submitted to a tripartite body (students, faculty and administrators) before the board of governors is asked to approve them.

All the rest of the news

Some fourth-year urban and regional planning students will spend today in a mock Ontario Municipal Board hearing, taking place in Needles Hall room 3001. (Spectators are welcome.) The students play the role of lawyers, planners and witnesses in a municipal planning case -- today's is about heritage preservation in a small Ontario town -- and an actual OMB member presides and makes a decision. Another such "moot court" is scheduled for next Friday.

Information systems and technology holds an open house this morning (Davis Centre room 1302, starting at 10:00) about the Human Resources Management System.

St. Jerome's Student Union is holding its Dollar for Dollar Lottery Draw at noon today in the SJC Community Centre. The proceeds from the $2 tickets will be matched by the provincial government through a program to provide funds for students demonstrating financial need. "The Dollar for Dollar Lottery prizes include a 19" TV/VCR, Pasta Maker, Portable CD Player, Spirit Clothing and more!" says Maryanne Rose at St. Jerome's.

The teaching assistant workshop on "cover letters and CVs", being held at noon today, is full, the teaching resource office says. But another such session is tentatively scheduled for April 11; anyone interested should get in touch with teaching resources, e-mail trace@watserv1.

Theologian John Howard Yoder will lecture tonight at Conrad Grebel College (7 p.m.) on "The Politics of Jesus Revisited".

It's been all of 32 days since FASS, so it's clearly time to start planning for next year's show. The FASS Theatre Company will hold its annual general meeting and social tonight at 7:00 in Davis Centre room 1301.

The Kiwanis travelogue series in the Humanities Theatre continues tonight with a slide show on Israel, 8 p.m.

The Engineering Society might have tolerable weather tomorrow -- in spite of what today is like! -- for its bus push from campus down University Avenue and King Street to Kitchener's Market Square. The event is a fund-raiser for Big Sisters.

The Test Icicles (type that one carefully!) play the Bombshelter today, and tomorrow night is the long-awaited, rescheduled concert by Moist at Federation Hall.

And . . . the University of Guelph holds its annual College Royal open house tomorrow (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 to 5). Everyone is welcome, at sites all over the U of G campus.


March 14, 1977: Gerry Meek is named to the new position of orientation librarian in UW's libraries.

March 15, 1963: Ernie Lucy becomes UW's personnel director and assistant to the director of coordination and placement.

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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