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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, June 18, 1998

  • Reorganization in human resources
  • Feds praise BC's fee program
  • Fall fee statements out soon
  • Lightning rips tree; other news
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[Dollars for Scholars logo]
The winners of this month's draw in the Dollars for Scholars raffle are a triumvirate from the school of planning: retired faculty members Doug Hoffman and Bill Shalinsky, and a faculty member who will retire as of June 30, George Mulamoottil. They'll split a $1,000 prize.

Reorganization in human resources

Some people in UW's human resources department have new titles as the result of reorganization, says Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services). She says the changes result from the departure last winter of Pat Roberts, who was supervisor of payroll.

"Instead of replacing her," says Scott, "we created a new position, assistant director (information support systems), and Sandie Hurlburt was the successful candidate. Sandie will be responsible for directing the information and systems side of human resources, which has become greatly complicated of late due to our soon to be implemented Peoplesoft system, a need for a new pension system and all of the training, updating and visionary work that will now need to be overseen by an expert in these areas.

"Sandie will also coordinate all of our information programs, newsletters, brochures, etc. and is in the process of establishing a new approach to customer service -- teams of Staff Relations Coordinators, Payroll/Benefits Assistants and specialists who will provide our clients with one stop service on payroll, benefits and staff relations issues. It is a very big changeover, and there will be a lot more about that later."

In other changes, she said, David Dietrich has become director of pension and benefits and Neil Murray has become director of staff and labour relations. HR doesn't have an overall department head in its offices in the General Services Complex; Hurlburt, Dietrich and Murray all report to the associate provost.

Feds praise BC's fee program

UW's Federation of Students has good things to say about a pilot project in British Columbia that will see 1,000 students earn their college or university tuition fees through volunteer work. "The Ontario government should take some time to reflect on the new pilot project," says a Federation news release.

It calls the British Columbia plan, announced last week, "a productive and innovative project in dealing with the current cost of Post Secondary Education. This initiative is a step in the right direction and not only encourages students to get involved in their community but also provides an opportunity."

BC premier Glen Clark explained that "Neighbourhood houses, crisis centres, local museums and other non-profit agencies can design projects that will involve youth and benefit the community. Youth participating on the projects will gain valuable work experience skills, make a lasting contribution to their community, and can earn enough credit to cover a year's tuition. It's a way for the community to invest in youth and for youth to invest in themselves."

The plan is part of a set of programs dubbed Youth Options BC. Says a BC government announcement: "Post-secondary education is becoming more and more important when it comes to finding a job. To ensure costs are not a barrier to access, tuition fees are frozen in British Columbia for a third year in a row, funding to colleges, universities and technical institutes has been increased, and more students will access student financial assistance. New spaces have been added to provide room for every qualified student."

UW's Federation likes the sound of that. "What the Ontario government can learn from British Columbia," says Fed president Christian Provenzano, "is that they should be taking an active role in providing solutions for the current financial challenges that students face." He notes that "Ontario's tuition is considerably higher than British Columbia's, making it more difficult for students to cover the cost of their education. In addition, the Ontario government's refusal to increase operating grants while deregulating tuition fees for graduate and undergraduate professional programs equates to even higher tuition for Ontario's students."

Ontario students may start flocking to BC universities where their fees will be lower, premier Clark said last week, hinting that his province may become the second in Canada (after Québec) to impose a higher fee for out-of-province students than for its own residents. Not to worry, Ontario premier Mike Harris responded: "I just don't see BC universities, as good as I'm sure they believe they are, being much competition for Ontario universities."

Fall fee statements out soon

Fee statements will go into the mail next week for undergraduate students who have preregistered for the fall term. And you know what that means: the prospect of writing a cheque for $2,689.03 (engineering) or $2,001.17 (regular arts) or some such amount payable to the University of Waterloo.

"Please arrange your fees by mail no later than September 4," says an information sheet that comes with the fee statement. "Late fees begin September 8." In a change from previous years' practice, students who wait to register in person when they get to campus after Labour Day will find themselves paying extra.

You can register in person if you want to, any time up to the Friday before Labour Day -- drop by the cashiers' office in Needles Hall with your cheque, which can be postdated up to September 4. Or they'll take cash (but not in the after-hours drop box), or debit cards. (Sorry, no Visa or MasterCard.) "Once registered," the word is, "you will receive a receipted copy of your fee statement and validation stickers for your WatCard and your UW health card."

However, most people will register by mail instead -- again, with post-dated cheques. "The cashiers' office will mail receipts throughout the summer for payments received prior to August 20," students are being told. "If you are a full-time student and you submit your payment after August 19, you can pick up your receipt and appropriate validation stickers on campus."

Information is also attached to the fee statements about how to pay with scholarship or bursary funds or Ontario Student Assistance Program money.

"Your course schedule will be mailed to you along with pertinent registration material by early August," the information sheet says. "Course request data is optimized throughout June and July to ensure that the timetable accommodates as many student course requests as possible."

Lightning rips tree; other news

The big white spruce tree on the north side of the Graduate House will probably have to come down as a result of damage from a lightning strike in Tuesday afternoon's storm. The flash tore great chunks from the side of the 80-foot tree. Les Van Dongen, grounds supervisor for the plant operations department, says his crew thought at first that it could be saved as long as there was no damage to the root system. But yesterday they climbed up for a closer look at the damage and found "big cracks" and evidence that the tree had suffered from earlier lightning strikes as well. "We're very concerned about the structure," says Van Dongen, and it will likely be cut down "to ensure everybody's safety".

As the school year comes to an end, today and tomorrow are the last days of story time, "gross motor room" activity and playground fun at the Early Childhood Education Centre in the psychology department. Teachers will be having "last day ceremonies" and handing out graduation diplomas to students who are moving on the lofty heights of kindergarten.

A seminar on "How Sydney Won the Olympic Bid" by Max Howell of Brisbane is scheduled for 3:30 today in Matthews Hall room 1621, sponsored by the kinesiology department.

The big week in the physics department continues; the Canadian Association of Physicists congress winds up today and the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers convenes, today through Saturday.

The parking services office will be closed today and tomorrow for a software upgrade. Problems: call ext. 3100.

A "Learning Technologies Design Cafe" will be held Monday at noontime. Information from the teaching resource office says the session will begin with a 20-minute demonstration of a science teaching CD-ROM from a British university, "followed by 20 minutes of discussion of the instructional and technical issues". The event starts at 12:00 in Davis Centre room 1331.

Next Thursday, June 25, the InfraNet Project presents Jagdeep Bachher of Avenir Internet Solutions Inc. speaking on "Electronic Commerce: A Strategy for Your Business?" The talk, part of the Distinguished Speaker series, will start at 2:30 that day in Davis Centre room 1302.

The safety van "will be running seven days a week effective immediately, from 9:15 to 1:30", coordinator Jonathan Waterhouse advises from the Federation of Students.

And . . . I have an interesting letter from science graduate Michael Frind, apropos of the lightning storm and yesterday's advice on unplugging computers or using UPS (uninterruptible power supplies). Says Frind: "One other item which is often overlooked is a phone-line surge arrestor. I found this out the hard way last night: my dad's external modem, at home, was fried by a phone-line surge. The damage was at the modem's telephone-jack interface -- this points to the phone line as the surge source. The computer was fine (it has a UPS, from which the modem also got its power). The modem was powered on, but idle. No telephone calls were made during the storm (in fact, no one was home at the time). No other equipment was damaged (but then, we don't have any fancy telephones -- we still use rotary dial)."


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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