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Tuesday, April 27, 1999

  • Staff get ballots -- again
  • New databases about safety
  • Prof becomes college president
  • Now, the rest of the news

Staff get ballots -- again

Ballots to be distributed this week will give staff members a second opportunity to vote all over again for a representative to UW's board of governors. The original election, conducted earlier this month, has had to be scrapped.

The university secretariat says some ballots were mistakenly sent to people who weren't eligible to vote. The election is open only to full-time staff members, who have two representatives on the 36-member board.

Earlier, the secretariat had posted election results saying that Stephen Markan of the department of information systems and technology had won the election. There are eight candidates:

The ballots are being sent out by campus mail on Friday, and votes are due back May 20, the secretariat says.

Staff will soon be receiving yet another set of ballots, for a referendum on a proposed switch in how often they're paid. A vote on a change from monthly pay to biweekly pay was announced as part of this year's salary settlement.

The exact question in that referendum has not been settled yet, Dianne Scheifele of the secretariat said yesterday. And Charlene Schumm, president of the staff association, said her group will be organizing a public meeting to air the issue once the wording has been worked out.

New databases about safety

A new set of databases providing safety information will be available to people across campus in the coming year, says UW safety director Kevin Stewart. They're available thanks to an agreement between UW and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, based in Hamilton, to give UW access to the CCinfo CD-ROM.

"The databases include MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and chemical information," says Stewart in a memo dated April 15. "At present the databases are available to UW Polaris users under Programs, Scientific, MSDS. In the coming year it is anticipated that the service will be accessible to all UW on campus computer users. The Faculty of Science made the installation of these databases possible."

He notes that other MSDS information is already available from the UW safety office. For example, there are the massive catalogues of Fischer Scientific, and chemicals databases from Cornell University, the University of Vermont and the University of Georgia.

A database from the New Jersey firm Mallinckrodt Baker lists some 16 kinds of nitric acid. Health and safety advice for LiNo3: "Danger! Strong oxidizer. Contact with other material may cause fire. Dangerous explosion risk when shocked or heated. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Affects central nervous system, respiratory system, muscles and kidneys. Causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract."

"Provision of these databases," says Stewart, "is part of UW's obligations to provide health and safety information for the workplace but also eases academic and research endeavours."

Prof becomes college president

Terry Downey, chair of UW's political science department, will be leaving Waterloo June 30 to become the president of St. Mary's College, a Catholic liberal arts institution in Calgary.

"The decision to leave Waterloo was a very difficult one, because I have always considered it a privilege to be a member of this extraordinary university community," Downey said in his letter of resignation to the dean of arts, submitted on Friday.

His appointment has already been reported in Calgary, where the Herald noted that Downey has served as a respected commentator on a range of public issues "from environmental policy to ethics in government, to education policy, as well as a concern for public morality and social justice".

Downey is a UW graduate (BA 1966) and did his graduate degrees at Western before joining the faculty here in 1977. He and his wife, Margaret received the Father Norm Choate distinguished graduate award in 1990 from St. Jerome's College (now University) at UW. He was a winner of UW's Distinguished Teacher Award in 1988.

The head of the St. Mary's search committee told the Herald Downey was chosen as the new president "because of his strong student focus, integrity and humility, recognition as an outstanding teacher and commitment to Catholic education."

St. Mary's offered its first course in the mid-eighties, and currently offers first, second and third-year undergraduate courses. It applied for degree granting status from the province of Alberta. It has an enrolment of about 300 students. A new campus is under construction. "I'm eagerly looking forward to the challenge of building this institution, which has a short-term goal of 1,200 students, and a complete range of new facilities within a five-year period," said Downey.

Now, the rest of the news

The Waterloo Advisory Council continues its spring meeting today, with employer representatives spreading across campus this morning to see what's happening in the several faculties. They'll all have lunch together in Needles Hall, after which they'll get reports on the Access to Opportunities enrolment expansion. Alan George and Sujeet Chaudhuri, deans of math and engineering respectively, will talk about "Implications"; Prem Benimadhu of the Conference Board of Canada and Don McCreesh of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will talk about "Industry Needs".

Utilities, the city of Kitchener and the Ontario government will hold their 12th annual "Energy and Environment Forum" tomorrow, and the keynote speaker will be Larry Smith, accountant, consultant, and adjunct professor in UW's department of economics. "He will predict the future of energy," says the brochure announcing the forum. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Kitchener city hall. Registration information: 576-5000.

The student awards office sends word that it will be closed on Thursday: "The staff will be attending an OSAP training session off campus."


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo