[UW shield]

Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Yesterday's Bulletin | Previous days | UWevents | UWinfo home page

Tuesday, May 6, 1997

Waiting for an Ontario budget

Ontario finance minister Ernie Eves will deliver his 1997 budget in the legislature at 4:00 this afternoon, and what people in the higher education business want to know is, will there be some money in it for research?

A policy on research in the province is "absolutely critical", says education minister John Snobelen -- echoing, for once, what university leaders have been telling him. And along with a research policy comes some funding for research, the government has been told. The Advisory Panel on Post-Secondary Education, which reported late in 1996, told the province that

Canadians are highly dependent on universities for basic research and scholarship. Because basic research produces a public good, it requires public funding, much of which comes through federal granting councils but which is also influenced by provincial research policies. A particular difficulty for universities has been that awards from granting councils carry no allowance for associated indirect costs, such as library, equipment, space and principal investigators' salaries, and we do not think the assignment of a higher weight to graduate student enrolment has solved this problem. Moreover, we are concerned by evidence of a slippage in recent years in Ontario's share of peer-adjudicated research grants, especially since we believe research should be a high priority for public policy in Ontario. . . .

We urge the Province to consider a policy of focusing more of its limited resources on promoting excellence in research, through directing funds to the research overheads envelope to be distributed on the basis of measures of quality.

The government moved money into the "research overhead envelope" only in a very token way in its announcement of 1997-98 grants to universities, but it wouldn't be impossible for some new funding to show up in today's budget.

Probably, though, it won't be direct grants to universities. More likely would be a commitment to provide matching funds for projects supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, a multi-year granting program which the federal government announced in its February budget. Also possible is an announcement about Ontario involvement in a federal-provincial "infrastructure" program to provide money for -- among other things -- university and school construction.

Bob Truman, UW's director of institutional analysis and planning, will be among the few people from the university world to go into the pre-budget lockup this afternoon so he can explain the impact of budget measures as soon as the document is made public.

UW buys "decision" software

The firm of Cognos Inc., headquartered in Ottawa, has announced that UW is buying its decision-support software to "aim data management into the millennium".

Cognos called Waterloo "Canada's undisputed high-tech, higher-education powerhouse" and said that "Launching a long-term project to upgrade its current systems, the university has purchased an unlimited site license for Cognos business intelligence tools -- PowerPlay, the universal OLAP (online analytical processing) client, and Impromptu, its award-winning query and reporting tool."

The company quoted Jay Black, UW's associate provost (information systems and technology): "It was time to put a single business intelligence tool set in place that will serve all of the new information systems we see coming online over the next two or three years. We looked at a number of suppliers, and found that Cognos position as a market leader speaks for itself. These are the best tools in the marketplace and Cognos is a reputable Canadian company."

Says the Cognos news release:

Denise Barrett, the university's business intelligence tool deployment leader, explained that initially the university's core departments (finance, purchasing, research and central stores) will use PowerPlay and Impromptu to access financial data. The university will then combine data from several sources (student information, human resources information, etc.) into one data warehouse. "Eventually," Barrett stated, "the products will be used campus-wide, and educating students in business intelligence technology may even be integrated into the curriculum."

"Beyond letting these users analyze the data relevant to their operation, PowerPlay and Impromptu will free them from their dependence on IS staff for report creation," said Barrett. "So both users and IS staff are excited about it. Eventually, we want any authorized user in any department to have the ability to perform sophisticated reporting and analysis of their data. That's why we consider the site license for these Cognos tools to be an enterprise-wide solution."

"We see the University of Waterloo not only as a customer, but also as a significant resource for young talent entering the work force," said Alan Rottenberg, a vice-president of Cognos, which says it hires many UW co-op students "and has recruited heavily from the university for many years".

Gorge accident kills student

A man who drowned Sunday afternoon at the Elora gorge, northeast of Waterloo, has been identified as Masoud Kavian, a graduate student in the department of applied mathematics.

Ontario Provincial Police said he was rafting in the gorge with a friend; the raft overturned and he was carried away by the water. His body was found several hours later. The friend was quickly rescued from the river and taken to hospital. Police said the two men on the raft were not wearing protective equipment or clothing suitable for early-spring water sports.

Library lists spring hours

The UW library has announced operating hours that will be in effect from now through September -- a full schedule until August 16, the end of the spring term, and reduced hours from August 17 through Labour Day.

From May 5 through August 16, the Dana Porter Library will be open Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Davis Centre Library will have the same opening times but be open one hour later each evening.

Circulation services will be available Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Porter) or 1:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Davis). Information services will be available Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in both libraries.

The libraries will be closed Victoria Day, May 19. Full information is available on the library's web pages.

And as registration continues

The senate research council will meet at 2 p.m. today in Needles Hall room 3004.

"50 Tips for 50 Plus", a seminar on estate planning and planned giving, starts at 7:30 tonight in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome's College. Information: 884-8111 ext. 254.

A sale of surplus UW property and equipment will be held at central stores, East Campus Hall, tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


May 6, 1976: A concrete building is under construction at 415 Phillip Street that UW will rent as a home for the school of architecture.

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
Comments to the editor | About the Bulletin | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1997 University of Waterloo