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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, May 12, 1998

  • 1973 was just yesterday
  • Meeting about faculty Memorandum
  • And today's other news
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1973 was just yesterday

Time marches on. The staff and faculty members who arrived at this university in 1973, the year of Kojak and Fear of Flying and "American Graffiti", have been here for a quarter of a century. They'll be the guests of honour tonight at the annual reception for UW's 25-Year Club, being held at the Columbia Recreation Complex.

The list includes people from the library, plant operations, IST, French and sundry other departments. Among the 25-year veterans are one of the deans and one of the associate provosts. And there's also, well, uh, me, so I'm nicely placed to talk about what UW was like when I started work in 1973, and what we've all seen since then.

But Simon the Troll is the one who's really seen everything. His recollections of 1973 emphasize inflation (7.8 per cent that year) and the growing issue of university graduates having trouble finding jobs. The crest of the baby boom was about to reach university age, and what they were reading was Gravity's Rainbow. Simon also mentions the creation of the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry, a controversy over chains on service roads, and the removal of surplus fluorescent bulbs from many of the light fixtures in UW buildings.

What I remember writing about, soon after I became editor of the Gazette in the summer of 1973, was the explosion of new research in what UW then called the faculty of "human kinetics and leisure studies", HKLS for short. It's "applied health sciences" now. Then I got to tour the new Optometry and Psychology buildings before they were quite ready for use. And I particularly remember doing an interview with Frank Epp, who was president of Conrad Grebel College. "Our commitment to truth," he told me, "must be greater than our search for grants. It is easy for schools to become part of the process by which society is sucked in and deceived." Some issues never do get settled, do they?

A list of the major news events of 1973 is dominated by the Watergate scandal in American politics. It also includes the Yom Kippur War, the Arab oil embargo, the introduction of the designated hitter rule, the first use of magnetic resonance imaging for medical diagnosis, and the death of J. R. R. Tolkien. Pierre Trudeau was prime minister (with a minority government) and Bill Davis was premier of Ontario. Remember Spiro Agnew? Remember "Killing Me Softly with His Song"?

There's a lot to remember. Tomorrow's Gazette will have a full list of the 1973 arrivals who are entering the 25-Year Club in 1998.

Meeting about faculty Memorandum

The first of three public meetings to explain the proposed Memorandum of Agreement between UW and the faculty association will be held this afternoon. The association is sponsoring the meetings, which are scheduled for today, tomorrow and next Wednesday, all at 2:30 p.m. in Physics room 145.

The Memorandum is a comprehensive agreement between the University of Waterloo, as employer, and its faculty members, represented by the association. Much of it is about salaries, grievances and terms of employment, but you can't forget, reading the document, that its context is the university:

6.3 The academic freedom of any person shall not be infringed upon or abridged in any manner. As academic freedom will wither and die unless the university community as a whole is committed to it, the University and the Association agree to support and defend academic freedom at the University of Waterloo.

6.4 As the common good of society depends upon an unhampered search for knowledge and its free expression, and as academic freedom in universities is essential to the attainment of each of these purposes in the teaching function of the university as well as in the pursuit of its scholarship and research, those who are guaranteed academic freedom have also a responsibility in exercising it not to infringe upon the academic freedom and rights of other members of the university community. Indeed, academic freedom carries with it the duty to use that freedom in a manner that is consistent with the scholarly obligation to base research and teaching on an honest and ethical quest for knowledge.

Academic freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual; rather, academic freedom makes commitment possible.

6.5 As the censorship of information is inimical to the free pursuit of learning, the creation, collection, organization, and dissemination of knowledge shall be done freely and without bias in support of the research, teaching, and study needs of the university community. No censorship shall be exercised or allowed against any material relevant to the pursuit of learning which a faculty member desires to be placed in the library collections of the University.

And an early section in the agreement stipulates that "The Parties recognize that the objective of the University is the attainment of high standards of academic excellence in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of students and of the academic and wider communities."

And today's other news

There's no rest for co-op students. Those planning to go out on a work term this fall -- which would be most undergraduates here this term -- should pick up their co-op records today from the paging desk (after 10 a.m.); should hand in their work reports, which in most cases are due at 4:00 today; and should take note that the first job postings for the fall will go up on Thursday at noon. "Students should note," a memo says "that the maximum number of applications has been changed to 18."

The Martial Arts Club will hold a "demonstration and sign-up" tonight starting at 7:00 in the Blue Activity area of the Physical Activities Complex. Says Kim Martin, one of the organizers: "The Club is run by qualified Black Belts that volunteer their time to instruct students, faculty and staff in the various martial arts. Currently the Club offers three different martial arts: Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Aiki Jujutsu. The three arts will be demonstrated and discussions with the different instructors after the demonstration is encouraged. Contrary to popular belief not all martial arts are taught with preliminary techniques that require you to do 3,000 push-ups, wax 10 cars repeatedly, or lie on hot coals. The Club has always had the philosophy that you must be able to write your exams/midterms tomorrow, and you shouldn't have to do it wearing a thin film of Rub-A535." Questions? Martin is at ext. 2457, e-mail klmartin@math.

Down the street at Wilfrid Laurier University, they're having a "town hall meeting" today (4 p.m., room 2C4) "to discuss recommendations contained in the 1998-2003 University Plan white paper, the third and final phase of the University Planning Project". The white paper talks about WLU's strengths and weaknesses as it seeks to "ensure Laurier's position as one of Canada's best smaller universities". Among the recommendations: "that each department develop a statement of what students should achieve by the time they graduate, defining objectives for students and describing the attributes students should have . . . that steps be taken to move faculty, staff, and students to the forefront of information technology within five years".

The career development seminar series continues with three sessions tomorrow: "Self-Assessment, the Key to Success" at 9:30, "Consider Your Options, Occupational Research" at 10:30, and "Information Interviews, How to Speak to Someone Who Knows" at 11:30. All will be held in Needles Hall room 1020.

Several utility shutdowns are scheduled for tomorrow morning: hot and cold water in Carl Pollock Hall, from 7:30 to 9:30; compressed air and gas in Physics, from 8:00 to 12 noon; the fire standpipe in Village I, from 8:00 to 1:00. Yes, it's renovation season (but in Carl Pollock Hall the problem is more immediate -- a faulty main valve on a fire line, the plant operations department 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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