Wednesday, March 4, 1998
"It was the day from hell," was the candid admission last night from Olaf Naese of the co-op staff. He said it shows vividly why co-op will be getting a new computer system next winter. Naese explained what went wrong on the day students were expected to list their preferences for spring term jobs:
A printer queue situation this morning caused a delay in the printing of the co-op student ranking forms and tied up hundreds of students who waited patiently in line. As well, compounding an already intolerable condition, the Student ACCESS system crashed due to insufficient space along with too many users trying to get on at the same time.The 4 p.m. deadline for return of yesterday's ranking forms was extended to 8 p.m. because of the delay and day-long congestion. Students should be finding out next Monday how, or whether, they're matched with spring term jobs.
The fact that these problems occurred at all exposes the fragility of the system currently being used by CECS and underscores the need for a replacement as soon as possible. CECS, IST, and Academic Software are developing an Internet-based system which will make the problem that happened today a thing of the past.
In the meantime, the staff of CECS extend a most sincere apology to all the individuals who endured the line-up for their ranking forms and the inconvenience that this may have caused them.
Meanwhile, the co-op department has released final placement figures for the winter term, which is now in progress. "There are approximately 200 more co-op students in the system," says co-op director Bruce Lumsden. "Even with this increase, the employment rate is slightly higher than this time last year. This is a remarkable achievement."
A total of 3,867 students were scheduled to work this term, and 3,797 of them have jobs -- a 98.09 per cent placement rate. Last winter, it was 3,562 out of 3,680, or 96.79 per cent.
There were 807.5 faculty positions in the fall of 1993, 789.6 in 1994, and 784.6 in 1995, according to figures from the institutional analysis and planning office, prepared for the finance committee of UW's senate.
The largest faculty is arts, with 197.5 faculty positions. Engineering follows with 158.0. Then come mathematics (128.1), science (124.0), environmental studies (64.0) and applied health sciences (43.5).
Another chart from the same source shows that the average salary of UW professors is edging back towards $80,000. In the current year it's $78,780, up from $77,200 in 1996-97. But before the early retirement program took away dozens of the most senior and most highly-paid faculty, the average in 1995-96 was $80,390.
Of 681 professors who are here this year to be included in the averaging, there are 539 with tenure and another 117 in probationary positions; the remaining 25 are on definite-term appointments. Four years ago, UW had 656 tenured faculty.
Roberts isn't taking credit for the leap in the number of applications, and says nobody really knows the cause. She prefers to concentrate on the changes that have been made in the past year in the way UW looks for new students, and the improvements that are still to come.
New recruitment publications, designed by a consultant and hot with bright colours, psychedelic patterns and action pictures, have been well received by students, Roberts says. "We went out and did four focus groups in secondary schools to evaluate our new publications." She says students were "extremely positive", using words like "interesting", "upbeat", "eye-catching", "well-written".
Apparently the publications have changed student perceptions of Waterloo. In earlier studies, it seemed that when students thought of Waterloo they thought engineering and mathematics, computers and co-op. More recent focus groups are suggesting that the new publications have spread an awareness of the rest of the university too.
Other research done for Roberts's office has included a survey of all the applicants who were admitted to UW last year but decided to go to some other university instead. In early September, students who did come to Waterloo were surveyed, in the hope of finding out what attracted them most. And so on. A survey of this year's applicants is in progress.
UW even did a little espionage: a high school co-op student worked in the office last term and wrote in her own name to all the Ontario universities and many institutions outside the province, asking for admissions information. "We had all kinds of criteria that she used to rank her responses," says Roberts; the student noted how fast letters and publications arrived, what they looked like, even whether the institution managed to get her name spelt right.
Meanwhile, "We centralized the majority of the high school liaison travel back to the registrar's office," Roberts reports, and put more effort into training and practice for the staff, which included three recent graduates, before they hit the road to visit high schools. "We analyzed our primary market" and concentrated on sending UW representatives to the schools that are most likely to send good students to Waterloo. In the end, UW people reached 406 of the 740 high schools in Ontario.
That's in addition to the Universities Information Program, a coordinated effort of all the universities, which intended to make 70 visits this year to strategically located schools. The UIP was cut short because of the province-wide teachers' strike in November, but it did include the phenomenally successful "universities fair" held in Toronto in September.
Now, Roberts and her colleagues are looking ahead to Campus Day, to be held March 17. As always, the Tuesday of the March school break will bring thousands of high school students and their parents to have a look at Waterloo. "Visits are one of our most powerful recruitment strategies," Roberts notes.
The Warriors' number-one fan, Martin Timmerman, sent this report on the game overnight:
Waterloo used a balanced scoring attack and some very good defense to come out with a win in a tight contest. In a game with eight lead changes and a number of ties, Waterloo took the lead for good with 6:05 to play and never allowed Lakehead to get the open shots it needed and cleared the boards very effectively. Overall, Lakehead shot just 33% from the field, with a dismal 23% in the second half. Waterloo's field goal percentages were good enough to win the contest, with an overall mark of 44%. Waterloo also won the battle of the boards, out rebounding Lakehead 46-31.UW will face Western on Friday at 6:00. In the other matchup at the Shoot-out, Guelph will face McMaster after defeating Brock 75-59 last night.
In both halves Waterloo worked to early six point leads only to see Lakehead go ahead. Waterloo substituted well and the rested starters returned to the game in each half and would put Waterloo back in the lead and tighten the defense just a bit more. Waterloo led at halftime by just four points, 43-39.
Waterloo's balanced scoring had Mike Stroeder with 14 points, Derek Maat with 11, Woody Kwiatkowski and Mark Eys with 10 and Mano Watsa with 9. Waterloo also spread the rebounding with Mark Eys with 8, Derek Maat and Dan Schipper with 7 and Woody Kwiatkowski and Mike Stroeder with 6 apiece.
T-4 slips and tax receipts should all be in people's hands by now, but there's one exception. Staff and faculty who made United Way contributions this year, but didn't give the money through payroll deduction, naturally didn't get charitable donation receipts as part of their university T-4s. These receipts "will be forthcoming from the United Way office", says Carol Wooten in payroll. "We are checking with them today when these receipts will be available."
Chilled water and air conditioning will be shut off tomorrow for most of the day in three buildings -- Biology I, Biology II, and Earth Sciences and Chemistry.
The career development seminar series continues. Tomorrow at 1:30, in Engineering Lecture room 101: "Critical Incidents in the Workplace", a discussion on how to deal with various situations that can come up.
It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means that two regular things will be happening:
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