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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, June 9, 1998

  • Offers of admission mailed today
  • Mitchell is named associate VP
  • Waterloo's research strengths, #3
  • Water treatment chair renewed
  • Sun safety, and other news
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Offers of admission mailed today

Tomorrow will be the big day for thousands of high school students across Ontario, as they get the word on whether their university of choice will welcome them in September. UW's offers of admission will go into the mail at 4:00 this afternoon -- a total of 12,286 letters inviting students to be part of next fall's first-year class. (Slightly fewer than 4,000 students will actually register in September, or at least that's what officials are hoping.)

Under an agreement among Ontario universities, prospective students can't receive offers before June 10. After that, students have until June 24 to confirm offers of admission. (It's the last year for the traditional June date; next year, universities can make offers of admission as early as March.)

A change in applications rules this year allows students to apply to as many as three programs at any one university, and to send applications to all 18 universities in the province, said UW director of admissions Peter Burroughs. Since a student could apply to three faculties at UW, the 12,286 offers of admission include some students who are receiving more than one offer from different faculties, he explained. Regardless of where on the list of choices a student places Waterloo, "all applicants will be treated equally." Some 5,611 named UW as first choice, 4,267 as second, and 3,685 as third, while 1,625 chose UW above their third choice. There could be some duplication, with a student naming UW more than once, for different faculties or programs.

The total number of high school applications this year was 15,188, up from 12,528 a year ago. Burroughs attributes the higher numbers in part to the changes in rules that allow each student to submit more applications, but also to UW's "aggressive recruitment and marketing in Ontario high schools". Last year, 11,276 offers of admission were mailed out in June, along with 1,645 letters of refusal.

This year, 2,831 refusal letters went out, but since rejected students may have applied to more than one program, some of the refusal letters may be going to students who received at least one offer of admission as well. A few applications are still awaiting a decision.

Mitchell is named associate VP

Bruce Mitchell of the geography department has been named to the new UW position of associate vice-president (academic). He'll serve for a three-year term that begins August 1, the provost announced yesterday.

It's more than two years since the president and provost announced, following a study of UW's administrative structure, that they were going to fill an "associate VP" position to provide someone in Needles Hall who could give full-time attention to certain kinds of academic issues.

"In this new position," says the provost's memo, "Dr. Mitchell will be responsible for coordinating international activities, as specified in recommendation 24.1 of the Planning Commission report. He will serve as my Advisor on Interdisciplinary Programs and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Programs Board. He will oversee the review process for academic departments and undergraduate programs, and will be a member of the Deans' Council and the Executive Council."

Mitchell, a specialist in water management, has been in UW's geography department since 1969. He has been an associate dean in the faculty of environmental studies and chair of the geography department, and was a 1996 winner of UW's Distinguished Teacher Award. His "arm-chair field trip" project for teaching Geography 356 received a learning technologies grant this term.

"Currently," says yesterday's memo from provost Jim Kalbfleisch, "he is the Co-Director (Programs) for a five-year University Consortium on the Environment project in Sulawesi focused on environmental impact assessment and ecosystem-based research. Fifty-seven Masters and PhD students have completed their degrees under Bruce's supervision, and he plans to continue his graduate supervision and research activities."

Waterloo's research strengths, #3

A document submitted to the Canada Foundation for Innovation a few days ago emphasizes "four broad themes within Waterloo's research which fall under the CFI mandate", and says a little about each of them. Here's what the document has to say about the third of the four, health.

Strategic Objectives:

Perspective: "The research focuses on many issues that are under-represented in Canada's medical research agenda. Special emphasis is placed on understanding and changing biological, behavioural and sociocultural factors to enhance health status, including the quality of life of the ageing population and people with dementia. One major research pool is in the Centre for Applied Health Research and involves community and workplace outreach initiatives aimed at preventing illness or injury, preserving and promoting health, optimizing physical abilities and helping people cope with disabilities.

Friday: information technology
Monday: environment
Today: health
Wednesday: materials and manufacturing
"A second area of emphasis is that of technology development and transfer, for example in the synthesis of drugs and methods for quantitative drug monitoring via field portable devices, monitoring and control of ground water and airborne contaminants, and the development of novel medical imaging and microscopy techniques at both the macro and molecular levels.

"A third major research arena covers the fundamental and applied aspects of vision science and related technologies, investigating how people see, how eye care can be improved, and how vision care can be made more cost-effective. Internationally respected research groups have emerged in specific areas such as contact lens and low vision research, and an Institute for Vision Science and Technology is being developed to co-ordinate these activities. Waterloo offers the only English-instruction optometry program in Canada.

"All of these health research activities are underpinned by strong programs of related basic research in biotechnology chemistry, physics, physiology, biology, biomechanics, psychology, sociology and other disciplines. The applied research is strongly supported by national and international collaborative linkages with scientific agencies, other universities, industrial partners, health organizations, service providers and consumers."

Water treatment chair renewed

Word has arrived that the research chair in water treatment, sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and based in UW's civil engineering department, has been renewed for a second five-year term.

A launch celebration is to be held Thursday starting at 10:00 in Davis Centre room 1301.

Total cash and in-kind funding of the chair over the coming five years is estimated at $3.8 million. The chair is held by civil engineering professor Peter Huck.

Sun safety, and other news

A noontime event about sun safety, sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, is scheduled for tomorrow in Math and Computer room 4059. It will start at 12:00. Carole Hea of health services will speak, repeating a presentation she's already done for staff in UW's plant operations department, some of whom have to spend much of their working day in the bright outdoors. Hea will talk about risks for skin cancer, how to recognize signs of skin cancer, recommendations for protection from ultraviolet A and B rays, and protection for young children, and will answer questions.

This morning in the Laurel Room, Don Cowan of the computer science department is speaking to members of the President's Circle, a select group of UW donors and friends. Cowan is director of the "Education Program for Software Professionals" offered by UW in cooperation with the Bank of Montreal, and he'll talk about "the program's development, rapid acceptance by the business world and plans for the future", an announcement says. The event will be repeated tomorrow morning in Toronto and on Thursday in Ottawa (information is available from the development office, ext. 5422).

Hot water will be turned off in the Physics building today until 3 p.m. for repair work, the plant operations department says.

The student awards office will be closed all day tomorrow (Wednesday, June 10), as staff will be attending a training session on the Ontario Student Awards Program. "For any scholarship enquiries, please contact ext. 6042," a memo from financial aid coordinator Charlene Shaw says.


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