[UW logo]

Daily Bulletin

Wednesday, January 7, 1998

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

UW judges its president

[Downey] Staff and faculty members are getting letters this week asking for their verdict on James Downey, president of the university since the spring of 1993:
I favour the reappointment of Dr. James Downey for a second six-year term as President.
[ ] yes [ ] no [ ] undecided
"As prescribed by Policy," says the accompanying letter, "a Presidential Nominating Committee has been established, with a mandate to solicit opinion with respect to Dr. Downey's reappointment. As part of this process which serves to benefit both the incumbent and the University, the Committee is seeking informed opinion of the President's performance from individuals inside and outside the University."

Besides the yes-or-no ballot, there's a separate sheet asking for comments. Ballots and comment sheets sent to faculty and staff members were colour-coded in 11 categories. (There's a list of the categories as part of the Notice on page 2 of today's Gazette.)

The letter also explains: "The President of CUPE has expressed the view that the union prefers to offer its opinion, as a block, through the Union Executive. Similarly, the Federation of Students and the Graduate Student Association prefer to offer the opinions and comments of their constituencies through their respective Presidents; this, of course, does not preclude any member of the University community (faculty, staff or student) submitting an opinion."

It says: "This invitation for comment is one means by which the Committee will solicit the views of the University community. Information will be held in confidence by the Committee. Submissions will be destroyed when the Committee's work has been completed." Comments can be sent to Lois Claxton, secretary of the university, in Needles Hall room 3060; the deadline is January 30. "If you prefer to make your comments orally, please feel free to contact any member of the Committee."

These are the members:

Chair: Val O'Donovan, UW's chancellor, COM DEV Ltd.
Secretary: Lois Claxton, university secretariat.
Staff: Stephen Markan, information systems and technology.
Faculty: Jim Brox, economics; Phyllis Forsyth, anthropology and classical studies; Ian Goulden, combinatorics and optimization; Don Grierson, civil engineering; John Hepburn, chemistry; Geoff McBoyle, dean of environmental studies; Bob Norman, kinesiology; Mike Sharratt, dean of applied health sciences; Susan Shaw, recreation and leisure studies.
Students: Mario Bellabarba, Federation (undergraduate); David Kribs, pure mathematics (graduate).
Alumni: Mary Bales, Peter Benninger Realty.
Board of governors: Catherine Coleman, Oracle The Assistance Group; Bob Harding, Edper Brascan Corp.; Jim Harper, KPMG Marwick Thorne; Peter Sims, Sims Clement Eastman.
Colleges: Gail Cuthbert Brandt, principal, Renison.

The job of the president

According to Policy 50, "The President has responsibility for administering the affairs of the University, and shall act on behalf of the Board of Governors with respect to the operational management and control of the University. The President is responsible for overseeing and upholding policies and for maintaining the intellectual independence and integrity of the University by exercising academic leadership in both internal and external matters. In particular, the President should foster an environment which promotes excellence in teaching and research. As Chair of the Senate and member of the Board of Governors, the President has the responsibility to work with and advise these two bodies, which have ultimate authority over the University's affairs."

The nominating committee has distributed this list of "Challenges Facing the Next President of the University of Waterloo", which, it says, was written by the committee that chose Downey for his first term in 1992. "While these challenges provide a focus for the 1998 review, they need to be interpreted in light of subsequent events and circumstances."


Leadership: to encourage the development of a shared vision of UW that embraces all the diverse elements of the University, creates a sense of community, and champions the development of inter-disciplinary linkages/initiatives among the Faculties and Colleges
Objectives: to formulate, communicate with clarity, and work to ensure the implementation of the University's objectives, where the University wants to focus its energies over the next 5-10 years, and the academic, organizational and financial strategies required to achieve these objectives
Balance: to establish a balance of valuing and representing all members of the University of Waterloo and their contributions so as to enhance a sense of community; in particular, a balance between teaching and research
Communication: to ensure effective and on-going consultation and communication with the UW community as a whole
Innovation: to maintain and enhance the ability to innovate, while building on the University's existing strengths
Resources: to develop effective strategies of adapting to the realities of the current funding situation within the Province of Ontario


Resources: to cope with the overriding issue of funding, and to meet the challenge of generating increased sources of external funding, while maintaining the University of Waterloo's vision, direction and independence and doing more with less
Globalization: to maintain and enhance UW's already strong international linkages, with respect to both research and teaching
Private Sector: to maintain, broaden, and strengthen the University-private sector interaction
Community: to work effectively with the University's external publics -- nationally, provincially, regionally, the K-W community, and other universities and colleges
National Scene: to play a leading role in fostering a national debate on higher education

Meningitis shots now available

Clinics offering vaccination against meningococcal meningitis open on campus today. The shots are available in the Student Life Centre from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

Free vaccinations -- offered by the Waterloo Region public health department -- are available to students up to age 22. Staff, faculty and students can also bring their children (age 2 to 22) who haven't had vaccinations at any of the off-campus clinics offered so far.

The public health authorities are concentrating on people up to age 22 in order to stop a potential epidemic fast; those, and especially people in the teens, are considered the high-risk group right now for the spread of the disease. People over age 22 can't get shots from the free public clinics, but may be able to get a prescription from a doctor. UW's health services is asking people in the over-22 age group not to show up for that purpose this week, as they're busy with the clinics already scheduled.

Barbara Schumacher, director of health services, says things could change next week: "We are aware that those who do not meet the Community Health Department criteria for free vaccine are having difficulty finding pharmacies who have vaccine to fill their prescriptions. At the present time we are attempting to secure a supply of vaccine from the manufacturer. We have obtained authorization from the insurance carrier, Mutual Group, to provide the vaccine, free of charge, to those students covered by the Student Supplementary Health Plan.

"We will also be able to make vaccine available to others older than 22 who are not covered by the Student Supplementary Health Plan at a cost which will be considerably cheaper than the cost for a single dose vial which is the way it is purchased through pharmacies. We expect to be able to offer vaccine to those who are not eligible for the Community Health Clinics sometime next week." Watch for an announcement.

There have also been questions, she says, from co-op students who are off campus now and so can't get to the clinics in the SLC. The advice for them is . . . stop worrying. Says Schumacher: "Students who are away from Waterloo for the winter term but were on campus during the fall '97 term have passed the incubation period for the strain of meningococcal bacterium which we are concerned about, and if they are not returning to campus, they are no longer at risk. Therefore there is no need for these students to seek vaccination."

Volunteers are wanted to help at the clinics -- keeping lineups in order, that sort of thing. Anyone interested can call the turnkey desk at ext. 4434 to offer help.

FASS is on the loose

UW's annual community show -- musical, comedy, variety, dramatic, satirical, social, insane -- will hit the stage in less than a month. (Performances are February 5-7, to be exact, in the Humanities Theatre.) Auditions start tonight.

The show is FASS, a tradition on this campus which -- well, I'll let president Neil Murray tell it:

The FASS Theatre Company is serious about having fun -- we're a live cartoon on stage! We've been entertaining UW with variety and musical comedy since 1962, making us UW's longest-operating amateur theatre group. While the most fun occurs in January when over 100 cast and crew rehearse and prepare the show just in time for February, you can join us in our social events all year round! FASS stands for Faculty, Alumni, Staff and Students. We welcome anyone and everyone and each year we see new friendships created and old ones renewed.
Auditions will be held tonight, tomorrow and Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. in Humanities room 373. "Just go to the top floor and listen for the noise," suggests Anita Kilgour, another FASS mainstay.

Oh, did I mention the title of this year's show? "FASSablanca."

The rest of the day's news

The monthly tour of UW's observatory is set for this evening -- nice clear night they have for it, I don't think, but tours run regardless of the weather. Visitors can meet at 8 p.m. in Physics room Physics room 308 for a briefing, then a visit to the telescope.

It's the last day to register for the winter term without paying late fees. Undergraduate registration is still in the Physical Activities Complex today; it moves to Needles Hall tomorrow.

Career development seminars on resume writing and letter writing are scheduled for tomorrow (resumes at 10:30, letters at 11:30) in Needles Hall room 1020. Those are the first in a long series of seminars about career issues that the co-op and career services department will hold throughout this term.

A staff representative is needed on the provost's advisory committee on staff compensation -- a "member-at-large", being added to the influential committee for the first time. Anyone interested should send word to Mark Walker, chair of the staff association's nominating committee, mwalker@sciborg (but first, read the full explanatory notice on page 2 of today's Gazette).

Also wanted are staff participants in two aspects of the University Conflict Resolution Support Program -- two people to work in resolution support, three in conflict intervention. Wanted are such attributes as "strong communication skills, good judgement, tact, sensitivity towards issues related to diversity, knowledge of UW policy and procedures". Again, there's full information in a notice on page 2 of the Gazette.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
Comments to the editor | About the Bulletin | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1998 University of Waterloo