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Tuesday, April 4, 2000

  • Proposed rules on research integrity
  • Architecture students show off woodwork
  • Computer service interruptus
  • The last day of winter classes

[Graph with Alpine peaks]
First-year classes have been bigger than the targets most Septembers in the past 15 years. Only in the early 1990s did first-year enrolment fall short, according to this graph from the institutional analysis and planning office. The excess in 1999 was the most dramatic. Target for September 2000 is 4,120.

Proposed rules on research integrity

A faculty member who claims to have written other people's research work, diverts research funds to other purposes, has a "material conflict of interest" without revealing it, or presents fake results from a research study would be subject to discipline under proposed new rules at UW.

The rules are part of Article 14, "Integrity in Scholarly Research", which is being proposed as an addition to the Memorandum of Agreement between UW and the faculty association.

Faculty members are voting on Article 14 now, along with a new Article 13 about the faculty salary system. If the vote gives approval, the board of governors will be asked to ratify the new articles on behalf of the employer.

From the draft of Article 14:

Factors intrinsic to the process of scholarly research such as honest error, conflicting data, or differences in interpretation or assessment of data or of experimental design do not constitute either misconduct or a lack of integrity.

Misconduct in scholarly research means a violation of the principles of intellectual honesty, including the misappropriation of writings, research and discoveries of others. This includes:

Any oral or anonymous allegation of misconduct in research by a Member received by a Chair, Dean, Vice-President or other administrative officer of the University may be investigated informally by that officer to determine whether the allegation may have substance. In all such inquiries, care must be taken to ensure that those contacted understand that the process is both informal and confidential, and that no inference should be made concerning the validity of the allegation. If there is no evidence that an allegation has substance, the University shall destroy all documentation concerning it.

If there is evidence that an allegation may have substance, the Member shall be informed promptly in writing of the allegation, the circumstances leading to its receipt and whether the University will launch a formal investigation of the allegation.

A formal investigation of allegations against a Member for misconduct in research shall be based only on written allegations accompanied by documented evidence which are signed, dated and submitted to the Dean of the Member's Faculty. Oral or anonymous allegations shall not constitute a sufficient basis either for a formal investigation or for disciplinary action.

Any formal investigation of allegations against a Member for misconduct in research shall be carried out by the Dean of the Faculty in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 of this Agreement. The Dean is responsible for reporting on the progress of the investigation to the Vice-President, University Research. . . .

A statement from the University that a Member was guilty of misconduct in research constitutes discipline.

Any finding of misconduct in research shall be based only on clear, compelling, written, and documented evidence. . . .

The University shall, where practicable, take disciplinary action against employees or students who make unfounded allegations of misconduct in research which are reckless, malicious, or not in good faith.

Architecture students show off woodwork -- from last Wednesday's Gazette

Among the carvings and crafts displayed at the Kitchener-Waterloo Wood Show this month was a delicate replica of the Rouen Cathedral, part of a seemingly incongruous exhibit that included a model of the intersection of Broadway and Main in Vancouver, models of Finnish meditation rooms, and a 3-D "sketch" of a circular chair -- all student projects from the UW school of architecture.

For the architecture school, the Wood Show represents an opportunity to open a dialogue with a segment of the public that may not normally connect with architects. "Many," says workshop technician John Debrone, "are most surprised that there's an architecture school at Waterloo. For some, it's their first contact with architecture." For young visitors, the display may suggest a new career option, he adds.

Architecture projects in the Wood Show included student assignments for courses in landscape design, cultural history, the urban environment, and various design studios. Debrone, who has organized the exhibit for the past three years, explains to visitors how the models relate to courses students take. "They're surprised at the range of work."

Space for the school of architecture display is donated by organizers of the Wood Show, in part, says Debrone, because the student projects illustrate "a whole different aspect of wood work".

Unlike many exhibitors in the show who have spent years honing their woodworking skills, students often arrive in the architecture workshop knowing nothing about working with wood, says Debrone. His role is to help them learn to use the tools and materials -- with safety his biggest concern.

In addition to giving students a comprehensive orientation to the shop equipment and reminding them of safety with his signature "Don't do this!" signs, Debrone has installed strategically-placed switches around the shop and in his office that can cut power to the entire area if he hears or sees any sign of danger. "I hang around like a benign hawk," he laughs. In his 18 years in the shop -- knock on wood -- there's been "not a single debilitating injury, not a single lost digit."

Computer service interruptus

In May and June of 1999 the 111 server computers that were housed in the Red Room were all relocated to a temporary home for the construction of new classroom and lab space in the Math and Computer building. During the relocation there were service interruptions of varying lengths of time, from 30 minutes to two hours.

The new IST machine room is now completed and relocation of equipment has started again, reports Martin Timmerman of IST. "For the next four to six weeks there will interruptions in service to individual servers," he notes, "lasting again from a half hour to two hours. Service interruptions will occur as much as possible on week days before 8 a.m. or after 4:30 p.m. Some weekend moves are also anticipated.

"Coordination and notification of service outages will occur with affected clients as much as possible.

"IST has started a web page that will be maintained and updated each day. Servers to be moved each day will be listed. Specific times are not possible. Concerns and questions can be directed to the IST Help Desk at ext. 4357."

The last day of winter classes

Winter term classes end today, with exams starting Friday, and continuing through Thursday, April 20, the day before the Good Friday holiday.

Although the winter term has not yet been put to rest, the drama department is already looking ahead to casting The Merchant of Venice for production in November. If you missed the auditions on Monday, there's still time to try out for one of the principal roles -- other roles will be cast in September -- today at 4 p.m. in Hagey Hall room 180. Hopefuls are instructed to "Read the whole play. Decide which role(s) appeal. Be prepared to discuss text." It will also be necessary to read (not memorize) one of the monologues available from drama department in Modern Languages. Phone ext. 5808 for directions. Callback auditions will be held on Thursday, April 6, in the Theatre of the Arts, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Volunteer Action Centre is seeking help from volunteers of all ages to assist with the K-W and District Special Olympics -- especially as soccer and track and field coaches; to answer a community inquiry line at the Information Centre of Waterloo Region; to set up a small computer lab at a community centre; to assist with a morning pre-school program; and to provide one-on-one support with pre-school children experiencing difficulties with social, emotional or behavioural development. To learn more, contact the VAC at 742-8610.

And a clarification about the new office of research Website described in Monday's Bulletin: Form 101 (requesting ethics clearance) is not ready yet. A representative for InterGlobal Solutions, the organization that created the site, notes that "the launch date for the form is expected soon following completion of an extensive testing period. The UW community will be advised through the Daily Bulletin when it is available for use."


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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