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  Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Monday, January 4, 1999

  • The day after the storm
  • The term they call 0199
  • Provost calls profs' role special
  • Tuition fee report is ready
  • Computing courses set for January
December 23 Bulletin
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The day after the storm

As UW comes back to work and to class this morning, the campus and the rest of eastern Canada are struggling through snowdrifts and cleaning up after one of the biggest snowstorms in a long time. This morning's Star reports that Toronto was harder hit than many areas, including Kitchener-Waterloo, and many highways are still a mess. The storm is being blamed for several deaths, including two in Waterloo, both men who had been shovelling snow.

On campus, the biggest burden is being carried by the grounds crew, whose role this time of year is to clear the snow away. "I came in at 6 yesterday morning and they were already at work," a UW police officer told me this morning. "They've been at it ever since. These boys have worked their butts off. As quick as you plough it out, it blows in again." By 8 this morning, the ring road and major parking areas were clear, and at a minimum there was emergency vehicle access to all buildings.

[Happy New Year] Among the earliest arrivals were students moving into residence for the term, and staff looking after them. Yesterday's registration process was "actually quite good", says Dave Reynolds, manager in Ron Eydt Village, who had high praise for the snow clearing. He said a number of students came a night early to avoid the storm, and some of those who got to Waterloo yesterday had horror stories to tell about the state of the roads.

There were a few inquiries last night about whether UW would be closed today because of the storm. Answer: no. For the record, UW is only officially closed when the Waterloo Region District School Board closes all its schools, and that hasn't happened. The full text of the university's storm closing procedure is available on-line.

"This is one of our busiest days of the year," my informant at police headquarters said -- today, police and other people across campus will be finding out about any theft, vandalism or damage that may have occurred through the holidays. And that's even without the regular excitement of a new term beginning. . . .

The term they call 0199

So here we are on the first day of the winter term, with classes already in progress. Some aspects of Day One:

Sports and crime news

The men's basketball team won three of four games in two tournaments over the holidays. On the weekend, Waterloo defeated Laval Rouge et Or 74-61 and McGill Redmen 79-50 in the Purple and White Ontario-Quebec Shootout played at the University of Western Ontario. Earlier in the week, Waterloo travelled to Ohio for the Findlay University Invitational Tournament. In first-round action Waterloo defeated Geneva College from Pennsylvania by a score of 71-62. In the tournament championship game, Waterloo lost to the host Findlay Oilers by a score of 60-76. Mano Watsa and Mike Stroeder were named to the tournament all-star team. OUA league play for the Warriors starts this Saturday. Waterloo starts the season with a visit to McMaster in Hamilton. Next home game for the men Warriors is Saturday, January 16, at 2 p.m. in the PAC when Waterloo hosts McMaster.

The women Warriors lost their first game in the New Year's Shoot-Out 66-56 to the Winnipeg Wesmen. And that's about as far as I have scores so far from the Shoot-Out, held over this snowy weekend in the Physical Activities Complex. The tournament brought eight teams to campus, including four of the top-ten ranked in Canada -- Winnipeg, New Brunswick, Western and Queen's.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce branch in the Student Life Centre finished up 1998 with a robbery. A man "in his 30s" walked into the bank in the early afternoon of New Year's Eve and gave a teller a note demanding money. He was given some, he left, and Waterloo Regional Police are investigating; no gun was seen.

Students who didn't register in December are facing late fees today, and those who did register, but still need schedules or validation stickers or Ontario Student Assistance documents, are lining up for them at the Physical Activities Complex ("blue north" corner).

Co-op students who were on jobs in the fall term will be attending tomorrow or Wednesday; today, the co-op education and career services department is taking a day away from most customer service for professional development activities, as usual on the first day of each term.

Staff and faculty, back to earning their salaries after ten days off work (modulo exam-marking, emergency services and all the other things that get done even on holidays), can spend the next few days wondering just what their take-home pay is going to look like. Payday is January 22 for those on the monthly payroll. This month's pay stubs should reflect a lower Ontario income tax rate, a drop in the federal surtax (of interest chiefly to those earning less than about $50,000), an increase in Canada Pension Plan premiums by about $2 a week, and a drop in Employment Insurance premiums of about $1 a week.

Also new in the tax rules as of January 1: the monthly "education deduction" is available to part-time students as well as full-timers, and there are new provisions to let people withdraw money from their Registered Retirement Savings Plans without penalty to spend on education and training. Oh, and postage rates are up.

A special hello, this first working day of 1999, to a number of faculty members who are returning from sabbatical leaves -- productive ones, no doubt, and let's hope they were spent in sunny climes. That would include the likes of Peter Douglas in chemical engineering, Julia Wright in English and Mike Lazarowich in planning, according to the official list.

Provost calls profs' role special

Faculty members are unlike any other groups of people who work for UW, says provost Jim Kalbfleisch in a statement explaining why UW's management doesn't want professional librarians represented by the faculty association.

His statement was published in the December issue of the faculty association newsletter Forum, along with a statement by the president of the faculty association, Fred McCourt, that talks over representation of librarians "have collapsed".

Earlier, the association's chief negotiator, John Wilson of the political science department, had said that the talks had stopped and management was refusing to negotiate.

Wilson said his negotiating team had presented five main arguments to the management negotiators. Among them: a "natural relationship" between professors and librarians, "including commitment to academic freedom; peer reviewed promotion through ranks including criteria of scholarly/professional accomplishment; the capacity and need to judge academic merit in day-to-day work; more instructional activities due to the increased complexity of the library and the needs of all users."

Says McCourt in his article in Forum: "The compelling (or so I thought) arguments presented by our negotiating team did not change the minds of the team representing the UW Board of Governors. Indeed, the Board of Governors negotiators announced during the second session that they saw no need to continue negotiations, as they were unconvinced of the soundness of our case by the arguments presented by our team."

He says he asked the provost, Jim Kalbfleisch, for a statement of why UW management doesn't want librarians represented by the association. The statement appears in full in Forum and on the web. Excerpts:

Members of the professoriate control and conduct the academic affairs of the university. They determine, among other things, what shall be taught and researched in those disciplines where the university offers academic programs. They decide who shall do the teaching and researching. They set the standards for admission and graduation, and are responsible for directing and evaluating student coursework, projects and theses. Others assist and contribute, but it is ultimately the professoriate that decides matters of academic policy and principles. . . .

Professors devote most of their time to teaching and research, but so do many other members of the university community. It is not the particular mix of duties, but rather the responsibility for academic program content and standards, that defines the special role of the professoriate. . . .

Many other individuals and groups participate directly in the university's teaching and research activities: adjunct faculty, research faculty, staff instructors and demonstrators, postdoctoral fellows, graduate teaching and research assistants, and so on. Many others provide essential services in support of our academic programs and research: librarians, computer professionals, technicians, co-op co-ordinators, counsellors, and so on. But it is still the regular faculty of the university who are responsible for its academic programs, standards, and future directions.

Librarians are highly respected in the academic community for the essential contributions they make in the collection, organization and structuring of knowledge in support of our academic mission. But they do not determine the content, standards and future directions of our academic programs and related research activities. Librarians play an important role in the academic life of the university, but it is a supporting role. We do not agree that librarians are more "faculty-like" than other members of the academic support staff, nor that they should be separated from them and represented by the FAUW.

Tuition fee report is ready

The executive committee of the UW senate meets this afternoon, and will get the first public look at the Report of the Provost's Task Force on Tuition and Student Financial Support.

The task force, set up last spring, was chaired by Gary Waller, associate provost (academic and student affairs). Its members -- students, faculty and administrators -- were asked to advise on "the principles which should guide the University of Waterloo in setting tuition policy and tuition fees", including "differential" fees for different programs, and the principles that should lie behind UW financial aid programs.

Also on the agenda this afternoon are reports from the university librarian and the vice-president (university research), as well as the president and provost, who report each month. The executive committee meets to go over the agenda for the monthly meeting of the senate itself (this month, the evening of January 15). Today's meeting starts at 3:30 in Needles Hall room 3004.

Computing courses set for January

The information systems and technology department is offering 12 short computing courses in January to UW faculty, staff and students. There is no charge for these courses. The following courses are being offered: More information about the courses can be found on the web, along with the course registration form.


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 | December 23 Bulletin
Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo