Friday, June 26, 1998
"No one in the academic community ever died from overwork," Robert Gordon, president of Humber College in Toronto, said in a panel discussion reported on the Record's front page June 17. The same article quoted John Tibbits, president of Kitchener's Conestoga College, as saying that faculty should do less research and more teaching, and that there is a "culture of resistance to change" among professors.
Several angry responses have already been published, and in a letter that quickly followed the news story, Tibbits himself said he believes "that faculty as a group in colleges and universities are generally hard working and committed to their students and their research. . . . I do believe, however, that post-secondary institutions have to be more innovative and flexible. . . . There may be other ways to organize post-secondary education so that not all university professors are in a publish-or-perish mode."
In the letter published yesterday, Downey writes that "I do not recognize the people I have worked with at the University of Waterloo these past five years in Robert Gordon's caricature of lazy and reactionary faculty. . . . Who does he think has prepared almost 100,000 graduates to compete so successfully in so many fields and professions? . . .
"Without industrious and high-achieving faculty, UW would not have earned its enviable reputation." Downey also pays tribute to students, staff, co-op employers, donors and governments for their role.
He adds: "It's possible, of course, that the president of Humber College had some other universities or colleges in mind. If so, perhaps he should have identified them so the rest of us could be saved the trouble of pointing out the obvious."
Designed to augment the traditional strengths of an arts program -- critical thinking, analytical skills, creativity -- with a business and career focus, the complement will introduce students to foundation courses in accounting, economics, computer science, statistics and communications.
There has been a lot of interest in a business-related arts undergraduate program, explained arts associate dean Mary Gerhardstein, as well as a concern about employability by both prospective students and their parents. While the faculty offers a similar option in its applied studies co-op program, the arts and business complement will give students in regular programs a head start upon graduation, she added.
A variety of management careers would be appropriate with the background supplied by this program, said Gerhardstein, and the complement would also be of benefit for students going into business for themselves. The faculty sought input from the Waterloo Advisory Council in planning the complement, and was aware of similar programs in three other faculties already.
While such programs are usually designed as an option or a minor with 10 additional courses, the arts and business complement requires at least 14 courses beyond the honours major, allowing for the "flexibility for what we hope the program can accomplish", she said. Most of the required courses are offered by the arts faculty, with the exception of one in computer science.
Students will enter the program in first year, starting with a "pilot" class in September 1999.
A new brochure from the student awards office: Financing Your University Education. The total cost of an eight-month academic year for a "regular" student might be somewhere between $6,700 for a student living at home and $11,760 for one living in residence, it suggests. "A budget," another page advises, "gives you a tract to run on." Information about scholarships and aid programs is also included.
Hockey coach is namedDave Cressman will be the new coach of the hockey Warriors, the athletics department has announced. It's no surprise; Cressman has been assistant coach for years, and takes over with the departure for England of coach Don McKee. "Don will be a tough act to follow," Cressman said Wednesday. Like his predecessor, he's a teacher -- at Kitchener's Grand River Collegiate -- and coaching is a part-time pursuit.
A memo from the department of psychology: "Congratulations to our colleague Don Meichenbaum, who was recently appointed by the Canadian Psychological Association as their 1998-99 honorary president."
The June 12 issue of MathNews, which includes the dean's honours list from the math faculty for the winter term. A total of 29 students "did graduate on the Dean's Honours List" at the May convocation, it reveals, "and will have their names displayed in gold on the walls of the Faculty Colloquium Room (MC 5158)".
An issue of the University of British Columbia's UBC Reports, with word of a $100 million BC Knowledge Development Fund announced by the provincial government there on the west coast. It will help pay capital costs for research infrastructure, supporting BC institutions in their efforts to draw on the Canada Foundation for Innovation -- much like the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund in this province. UBC president Martha Piper says the fund "will provide support for some of the best researchers, teachers and students in the world and help make BC the 'biotech corridor' of Canada".
A brochure announcing that the "Journey Beyond Credit" series that was offered at St. Paul's United College this winter will continue in the fall. "Reality Still Isn't What It Used to Be!" the brochure proclaims; sessions to be offered this fall (on Wednesday nights from October 6 to November 11) will deal with "values", economics, the environment, culture, psychology and religion. More information: 885-1460.
Christ Awareness Week is winding up, with the Contemplation Café coffeehouse tonight atop the Engineering Lecture Hall. Things run from 8 to 11 p.m.. "There is an open mike period for anyone who is interested in contributing," says organizer Becky Romahn, "and free food! All are welcome, and those attending are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on."
The Ontario Student Assistance Program web site is back in operation today. Students wondering about their aid applications found it out of commission yesterday, following a major power failure in Thunder Bay, where OSAP has its offices.
Members of UW's staff association have been advised that the association office will be closed for the next two weeks, while secretary Barb Yantha takes vacation time. Charlene Schumm, the association president, is the person to call if anything urgent comes up between now and June 13. Several people can provide the discount tickets to various attractions that are available through the association.
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