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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, May 1, 1998

  • Chemists (and biochemists) gather
  • Women come Alive at conference
  • It's May 1: salaries go up
  • Glider teams compete, and more
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* May Day

Chemists (and biochemists) gather

GWC2 holds its annual meeting today -- but it's no longer just the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry. We must now add "and Biochemistry" to the end of that title, as the centre, operated jointly by UW and the University of Guelph, makes its scope a little clearer with a new name.

"Over the years," says its past director, Peter Bernath, "many potential graduate students have indicated that they were not aware that they could pursue a graduate degree in biochemistry in the Guelph-Waterloo Centre. We hope that this name change will help." However, I'm pleased to say that the GWC2 abbreviation isn't going to change.

The Centre was launched by the two universities in 1974, and currently has an enrolment of some 150 graduate students on the two campuses.

The leading speaker at today's gathering is Richard Oakley of U of G. "Thirty years of going around in circles" is Oakley's light-hearted description of his research career, which has focused on "the properties and synthesis of cyclic molecules and their polymeric analogs". His seminar on "Inorganic Rings, Chains and Quips" will trace that career from undergraduate days through to his current interests. Oakley hopes to illustrate how his undergrad work back in 1968 influenced his path, "and helped me develop what I'm doing today." His career will embark on a new direction on July 1 when he leaves Guelph to take a position in the UW chemistry department -- and so still within GWC2.

His talk, beginning at 3 p.m. in DC room 1302, is open to all members of the university community, but is geared primarily to those with at least an undergraduate chemistry degree. The annual meeting of GWC2 begins at 1 p.m. with formal business. After Oakley's talk, there will be poster presentations on current research by some 35 graduate students, a wine and cheese reception and an awards presentation.

Among the recipients of graduate scholarships valued from $500 to $3,000 are UW students Allan Bertram, Chengsong Liu, Adela Ncube, Scott Tonner and Clint James.

Women come Alive at conference

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, is the star speaker at this weekend's Women Alive conference, an annual event at UW. It's the 25th anniversary conference for the Barrie-based evangelical Christian movement, which brings some 1,000 women to campus each May for a weekend of music, activities and "a fresh encounter with the living Saviour".

[Women Alive logo] "Our cup overflows with a lineup that is inspirational!" says founder and president Nell Maxwell in a promotional brochure for the convention, which represents a conservative strain of Christianity but is interdenominational.

Theme of the weekend is "Celebrating the Past, Anticipating the Future". Participants from Canada and the United States will "celebrate friendship", "celebrate in praise and worship", "celebrate your creativity", "celebrate family", "celebrate integrity", and so on, in Saturday afternoon workshops in the Arts Lecture Hall.

Other conference sessions will be held in the Physical Activities Complex, including music, worship and Lotz's first talk tonight, more music and talks tomorrow morning and evening (with more appearances by Lotz), and Sunday morning worship. Many of the delegates will spend two nights in Ron Eydt Village, which doubles as UW's conference centre.

Says a mission statement: "Women Alive is committed to glorifying God by encouraging, equipping and evangelizing all who come within its sphere of influence. Women Alive endeavours to be a credible voice for Christian Women in Canada, dedicated to the enhancement of Christ's Church and to the well-being of all people."

Also meeting at UW this weekend:

It's May 1: salaries go up

The 1998-99 fiscal year begins today for the university, a twelvemonth in which UW will spend about half a million dollars every day, seven days a week. Roughly four-fifths of UW's spending goes on salaries for faculty, staff, and teaching assistants, and today most pay scales and individual salaries are going up: That leaves non-union staff members, whose salaries go up May 1 through three related adjustments: a 1 per cent scale increase, individual merit increases, and a special "meritorious performance" increase. That third increase, adding up to a total of another 1 per cent of staff salaries, is to be divided based on a unit value that depends on 1998 merit ratings: "special increments will be awarded as a salary increase by multiplying the unit value by the performance rating where rating is at least 3.0 or where the individual's salary grade is not exceeded."

Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services), said yesterday that the unit value has now been calculated. It'll be $85.97. That means a staff member with a merit rating of 4 this year gets a special pay increase of (reach for the calculator) $85.97 times 4 is $343.88, divided by 12 makes $28.66 a month. That's a considerably higher percentage increase for somebody earning $25,000 than it is for a staff member at $55,000.

I asked Scott about rumours that "everybody" was given a lower-than-usual merit rating in the staff appraisal process this spring. "There is nothing to support this," she says. "Some people are up, some people are down, and my suspicion is that the average overall rating will be quite close to last year's. However, I do think that managers have responded to the new definitions of ratings and found it easier this year to make decisions about where their staff fit in the continuum."

She said a detailed analysis of the numbers will be done later, and will be looked at by the staff compensation committee before any information is made public.

Glider teams compete, and more

The 1997 Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute national glider champions -- a team from UW -- will host this year's glider competition here this weekend. As hosts, they will not be competing, but teams from four other universities are entering gliders. The model gliders are designed to fly uncontrolled and without power after being launched like a kite from a 50-metre-long fishing line, says Greg Thompson, project manager with the UW CASI glider team. Upon release, they must circle within a 50- to 100-metre radius for up to 75 seconds. The gliders must be heavier than air, and must fit in a 2m by 2m by 1m box. The flight score is based on the time aloft and the payload carried. Each team will give a 15-minute presentation about its entry tonight starting at 6:00 in Davis Centre room 1304. The flights will take place Saturday and Sunday at a farm near Listowel.

The UW libraries will be closed this evening (as of 6 p.m.) and all day Saturday and Sunday; they reopen at 8 Monday morning, when spring term hours go into effect.

Electrical power, heating, cooling and ventilation will be turned off for maintenance Saturday morning in the Physics building, the Davis Centre (CIM wing only), the Engineering Lecture Hall, the Doug Wright Building (that's Engineering I), and PAS (Psychology). "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion" beforehand, the plant operations department advises.

St. Paul's United College holds its annual Friends dinner and auction on Saturday, with dinner tickets available from the college at $50. The public is invited to the pre-dinner and post-dinner live and silent auctions, which begin at 5:30. "Many of the items are related to this year's gardening theme," says St. Paul's principal Helga Mills -- they'll range from gardening books and floral prints to wheelbarrows. Three "master gardeners" and a "garden designer" will be on hand to "consult" with guests.

The Faculty Computing User Support Group, or FACCUS, will hold a session Monday afternoon on "Computer Security Issues" -- and if that announcement looks familiar, it's because it was rescheduled from an earlier date. At this session, says FACCUS organize Bob Hicks, participants will be introduced to Reg Quinton, new at UW (from the University of Western Ontario) as "senior technologist, security" in the information systems and technology department. That's a position that was recommended in the "computing directions statement" in 1996. Quinton "is very interested in meeting with FACCUS members," says Hicks, "as this is a position without precedent -- be prepared for more questions than answers!" His web page indicates the range of things he's worked on in the past: disaster planning, "acceptable use" policies, passwords, network design, and (best of all) "dealing with spammers". Everyone is welcome to attend Monday's event, which goes from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in Math and Computer room 2009.

The spring term starts Monday, with classes at 8:30 and registration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Needles Hall. Undergraduate students can pick up schedules and fee statements at the first-floor paging desk (more commonly used by the co-op department) and pay their fees at the registrar's office on the second floor.

The co-op department will be open Monday morning, but closed from 12 noon for the department's once-a-term training and development day.

A seminar on "Strategies for Reducing Back Pain in the Seated Worker", sponsored by UW's continuing education office, will be held Tuesday from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The price, $30, includes lunch and wise words from Stu McGill of UW's kinesiology department. Information and registration: ext. 6034.

Finally . . . it being the first of May, there's a new team in command at the Federation of Students. The 1998-99 executive includes Christian Provenzano as president, Keanin Loomis as vice-president (administration and finance), Robin Stewart as VP (education), Shelley Flynn as VP (internal), and Meredith Owen as VP (student issues).


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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