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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, March 23, 1999

  • Deregulated tuition could jump 19%
  • Richler gives Kerr-Saltsman talk
  • Distinguished teachers named
  • Staff reps invited for committees
  • Global warming, spiritual visions, etc.
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Deregulated tuition could jump 19%

Tuition hikes of nine per cent for regulated undergraduate programs and and 19 per cent for deregulated undergraduate programs in computer science, engineering and optometry are being proposed for next year. Graduate tuition would rise by nine per cent, except for the masters of accountancy program where a 19 per cent increase is proposed.

The recommended increases were unveiled at Monday's senate meeting, and will be presented to the board of governors for approval on April 6.

With provincial operating grants expected to increase by only one per cent this year and expenses rising faster, "significant tuition increases will be required if damaging budget cuts are to be avoided," UW vice-president (academic) and provost Jim Kalbfleisch told senators. "I wish there were another way."

The tuition recommendations are based on "the need for revenue to supplement inadequate government grants, and Waterloo's competitive position relative to other Ontario universities," he said, as well as demand for programs.

"We've gone through a tough period, and we're still not out of the woods yet," he added, referring to the 25 per cent reduction in government funding between 1993 and 1996. "Waterloo has made a strong recovery from the deep cuts and loss of faculty and staff in 1996, but the recovery is fragile and further cuts would do very serious damage."

Although there are several figures yet to be plugged into the budget -- including the provincial grant, ATOP operating grant and salary increases for faculty -- "at this point it appears that, even with the proposed tuition increases, we will be about $1.8 million short in the 1999-2000 budget," said Kalbfleisch. A draft operating budget will be presented at the senate finance committee meeting on Thursday, and will be reviewed by senate before going to the board for approval on May 31.

Tuition fees will contribute some $68 million in revenues toward what is expected to be a $197 million budget this year, up from $184 million for 1998-1999.

"Waterloo's fees for international students are high relative to others in the province," he told the senate, and thus will be frozen for this year. International fees for distance education will be reduced from $1,217 to $1,000 per course.

Thirty per cent of revenues from all tuition increases -- a total of some $6 million next year -- must be allocated to student aid. As well, half the revenue from the differential 10 per cent increase will be returned to "the academic unit for direct investment in program quality," he said.

According to Gordon Andrews, associate chair (undergraduate studies), mechanical engineering, that may not be enough to maintain quality. "Quality in the short run will deteriorate," he predicted. "In an ideal world tuition fees would be nominal," he said, and added that in an ideal world, Mike Harris would not be premier. Andrews' fear: re-election of the Harris government and "four more years of gradually deteriorating education."

Kalbfleisch took issue with the charge of declining quality. First year class size is being reduced for all engineering students, he noted, and work is underway to improve classroom and lab space.

"It's true," quipped Andrews, "that people in a class of 110 don't really know the intimacy of a class of 90."

Richler gives Kerr-Saltsman talk

Mordecai Richler will deliver the second Kerr-Saltsman Lecture of the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professorship in Canadian studies at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. The 700 free tickets have all been taken but there will be video coverage in an overflow room.

Richler, the internationally acclaimed contributor to world literature, screen, television and radio, "always has something to say that's fresh, witty, intellectual and controversial about the moral inconsistencies of the human condition," said Helga Mills, principal of St. Paul's College, where the professorship is based.

"The inimitable Canadian writer and lecturer'' will speak about Canadian Conundrums, "a fascinating subject for a fascinating public figure," said Robert Needham, director of the Canadian studies program.

Richler's non-fiction writing includes concerns with Canada, Quebec separatism, culture and Canadian and Jewish identities. His fiction touches on such themes as ethnicity, ghetto mentality, family, kinship, friendship and loyalty, injustice and materialism. Copies of his work will be on sale at the theatre by the UW Bookstore.

The professorship was launched in 1996 to honor the late Stanley Knowles, who served 41 years as a federal parliamentarian. It includes an annual lecture named after sponsor Robert Kerr, co-founder of IMAX Corp., and the late MP Max Saltsman, who represented Waterloo South in the House of Commons for 15 years.

Distinguished teachers named

Of 28 teachers nominated for the distinguished teacher awards this year, four have been selected: The honour is bestowed annually "for a continued record of excellence in teaching at the University of Waterloo." The selection committee looks for "intellectual vigour and communication skills in the interpretation and presentation of subject matter. The teacher's human quality, the concern for and sensitivity to the needs of students is an obvious criterion."

Distinguished teachers receive a citation and presentation at the June convocation, a designation in the university calendar, and $1,500 "to be used in support of any teaching activities."

Staff reps invited for committees

The UW staff association is inviting applications for staff representation on a number of UW committees. All terms begin May 1 for the periods indicated in the notice.

Applications should be sent by April 7 with the following information to Karen LeDrew, SISP/IST, MC 4019 (or by email to ledrewbk@nh1adm): Name, department, extension, email address, years of service at UW, any relevant information, and reasons for wishing to represent staff on a particular committee. The information provided is a key factor in the final selection of the staff representative.

Anyone interested in providing representation who is not currently a member of the UW staff association is encouraged to join by contacting Barb Yantha at ext. 3566 or staffasc@mc1adm.

Global warming, spiritual visions, etc.

Last weekend's Hagey Funspiel had no winners or losers; however, an all-star team was selected. The names of Craig Stait-Gardner (skip), Frank Ruehlicke (vice), Denise Higgins (second), and Laura Thompson (lead) will be added to the trophy housed in the University Club along with a team photo.

Today in co-op, job posting #6 (continuous phase) and job posting #2 (architecture students) expire at 8 p.m.

Demo Days at the Computer Store will feature Corel Draw 8 and Word Perfect Suite 8 today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Thursday, Epson colour laser printers, scanners, cameras and multimedia projectors will be demonstrated.

The board executive committee meets today at 2:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3004.

Federal environment minister Christine Stewart will speak via videoconference from 3:15 to 4 p.m. with students from the faculty of environmental studies. She will address Canada's response to global climate change and answer questions from students. The event will be held in Environmental Studies 1 room 132.

Spiritual visions of children's stories from around the world will be explored by Renison College religious studies professor Michael Bird and clinical psychologist Susan Hyde in "The Empty Pot and the Fullness of Being" tonight at 7:30 p.m. in St. Bede's Chapel, Renison College. The talk is the final event in the St. Bede lecture series.

Opening tomorrow at 8 p.m. is the UW drama department production of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Canadian playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald. Tickets for the production, which runs through Saturday night in the Humanities Theatre, are $8 (students/seniors), $10 (general public). To reserve, phone the box office at ext. 4908.

Barbara Elve

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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