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Tuesday, June 29, 1999

  • Keystone appeal reaches 3,900
  • Results of architecture contest
  • Policy on staff discipline
  • Events and notes from all over


Keystone appeal reaches 3,900

"We are Waterloo! making a difference!" says a brochure that's being sent this week to 3,900 staff, faculty and UW retirees on behalf of the Keystone Fund. It's an invitation for 1999-2000 pledges to the university, for things as diverse as teaching equipment, sending students to Rome and Helsinki, support of the swimming team, renovations to church college residences, art gallery refurbishing, and scholarships, scholarships, scholarships.

"Please add your gift to encourage the best and brightest young scholars to attend Waterloo," potential Keystone donors are being urged. They're shown comments like this one, from an applicant who didn't come to Waterloo:

At the three universities I applied to, UW was the only one that did not offer me a scholarship. I would've loved to go . . . it's close to home, an excellent institution and well known. I am attending York with a $3,800 scholarship. That makes me feel like they want me to be a part of their institution.
UW gave $1.4 million in academic awards to 1,544 students last year -- many of them funded by Keystone donations -- but there's still a long way to go, donors are told. "Increasingly, the deciding factor for an applicant is whether a scholarship or financial assistance is available."

[Keystone logo] The Keystone Fund is the annual fund-raising appeal for those who work at UW or are retired from the university, "and is the keystone of the overall Annual Fund, which includes alumni, students, parents, and friends", the brochure says. Last year the Fund brought in $543,653 from 786 donors, says Meredith McGinnis of UW's development office, "with participation rates at 41% for faculty, 16% for staff, and 17% for retirees".

"Your participation," potential donors are told, "like the gifts from alumni, students, and parents, sets an example for corporations, foundations, and individuals outside of the University. Others will be inspired to support UW because of the strong commitment from the campus 'family'."

The emphasis is definitely on scholarships, but there are dozens of other "priority projects". Among them:

The UW Staff Association Award, CUPE Local 793 Bursary and Retirees Bursary Fund are also part of the appeal.

Results of architecture contest

Students who took part in a recent design contest might just see their ideas turned into reality, now that Waterloo city council has approved the proposed redevelopment of the "Uptown" area.

Five teams of UW students won a total of $20,000 in the contest to design "public spaces" as part of the project. Waterloo city council gave approval to the $230 million redevelopment -- including a controversial 12-screen cinema complex -- at 3:00 this morning after hours of debate and public comment.

The design contest was organized by the Kitchener-Waterloo Record and other sponsors. Winners were announced on the weekend following a display of the designs, done by a total of 82 students, mostly from the school of architecture, in 38 teams.

They were invited to suggest how public spaces in the "uptown" area could be designed as part of the project by First Gulf Development Inc. to develop the vacant Seagram lands and replace the decrepit Waterloo Town Square shopping centre. A panel of judges chose four student teams as winners; public balloting led to a fifth, "people's choice", award.

Winners of the award for "urban design" were Cynthia Toyota and Jessica Hawes, both fourth-year architecture students. Their proposal would divide the "city square" block in half with a "slow, one-way vehicular road" crossing the railway tracks at a right angle; the other major new elements are "The Tower", "The Square" ("a slightly sunken multi-functional space"), and "The Grove" of crabapple trees.

"Of all the submissions received," says the judges' report, "this was clearly the one that the panel gravitated towards. . . . The simplicity of design is counterbalanced by its elegance, multifunctional yet sophisticated. The mix of textures, the grove, the strong linkage toward the universities, the excellent sight lines all harmonize to create a very powerful, people-oriented and vibrant people place."

A second urban design award went to Selma Hassan, a graduate student in environment and resource studies. The "programming award" was given to fourth-year architecture student William Radford. The "connections award" went to a team of architecture students: Chris Hardwicke, Natasha Lebel and Paolo Martins, all in fifth year, and Daniel Hall and David Newman, both in first year. And the "people's choice award" went to fifth-year students Rosa Chang and Robert Garneau.

"The projects showed a very high standard, especially when you consider what little time they had," says Eric Haldenby, director of the school of architecture. "I admire the students tremendously, that they were able to make this work -- and to produce such good quality work -- while they are also so involved in other things."

Policy on staff discipline

Comments are still invited about a proposed change to Policy 18, the UW policy on staff employment -- specifically, the section that deals with discipline of staff members.

The proposed new Section V was made public earlier this month by the staff relations committee. The deadline for comments has been extended from July 9 to July 21.

The main changes are as follows, says a memo from the committee:

  1. In all but exceptional circumstances, the provision whereby managers should discuss concerns with the staff member prior to initiating disciplinary action has been formally written into policy. This gives the staff member the opportunity to respond, before a determination is made or a decision is taken and a letter written.
  2. Managers are also now cautioned about handling second-hand reports of problem situations; first-hand investigation should ensure that the information received is not hearsay, gossip, or rumour.
  3. Also now formally written into policy is the fact that the staff member has the right to a dissenting view and may append the written warning letter or submit a letter of rebuttal for inclusion in her/his official file in Human Resources.
Says the revised policy: "Disciplinary action differs from instruction, discussion, and constructive feedback, which are part of the normal work environment. . . .

"Progressive discipline follows a prescribed path, progressing to each new level of discipline only if the previous step proved ineffective in correcting the areas of concern. One or more stages of this progressive discipline model may be bypassed under exceptional circumstances such as proven dishonesty, physical attack on others, insubordination, or other actions which could be considered 'cause'. . . .

"At each stage of progressive discipline, it is the responsibility of the manager to draw to the attention of the staff member the various on-campus supports available, such as the Employee Assistance Program, Counselling Services, Human Resources, and the Office of Ethical Behaviour and Human Rights. At any stage of disciplinary action, the staff member should be provided with an opportunity to respond, acknowledge the concerns, seek guidance, or offer a dissenting viewpoint."

Comments can be sent in writing or by e-mail to Dianne Scheifele in the university secretariat (dscheif@secretariat).

Events and notes from all over

The campus recreation program will hold its spring golf tournament on July 8, and this Friday is the deadline for entries. (See the receptionist in Physical Activities Complex room 2039.) Tee-off times next Thursday will be in late afternoon at the Waterloo Golf Academy; dinner follows the event.

The July-August brochure listing Skills for the Electronic Workplace courses is now available, on bright fuchsia paper. There are only about half a dozen courses during this slow season -- Windows 95, Desktop Tools Basic Skills, PowerPoint and so on. The courses are free for staff and faculty members; more information is available on the Web.

UW's Midnight Sun V solar car had its best day of Sunrayce '99 yesterday, finishing fourth on the run from Tallahassee to Ocala, Florida. That moved the Waterloo entry up to tenth overall in the race; the University of Missouri at Rolla continues in the lead. Sunrayce winds up today at Epcot Center near Orlando. It's not the end of cross-country competition for the Midnight Sun crew, though: the UW solar car is to be entered in the World Solar Challenge in Australia this October. All that stands in the way is an extra $100,000 in funds -- airfare, $7,500 to ship the vehicle, support and towing vehicles, spare parts, food and living expenses. "We look forward to showing the rest of the world what the University of Waterloo, the Midnight Sun, and our sponsors can do!" an appeal says.

That was a slightly startling ad on page A4 of yesterday's Star: "Attention OAC grads!! Did you miss getting into the program you wanted due to competition this year? The University of Dubuque is still considering applications for September 1999. . . . Jesse James, Director of Admissions, is waiting to talk to you personally. Say you're calling from Canada!" The University of Dubuque, an 1,100-student Presbyterian institution in a small Iowa city, earlier this year adopted a "Plan for Transformation" to deal with big deficits and high dropout rates. Says a news release: "In a candid letter to University faculty, students and alumni, President Bullock noted that it was not surprising to find students leaving when the curriculum showed a lack of focus and depth along with what was essentially only one faculty member per program major." A number of fields of study are being dropped, and there will be new efforts in "managing student retention and recruitment, the keys to long-term financial solvency".

Invitation from the bookstore: "Don't bring your lunch tomorrow! The bookstore will be holding a pre-Canada-Day barbecue from 12 to 1 p.m. Free pop is compliments of the bookstore, with food purchase. Also, make sure you stop in at the bookstore to enter a draw for several books by Canadian authors. If you're one of the first 50 customers, you'll also receive a free frisbee and Canadian flag."

CAR


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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