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Monday, April 10, 2000

  • Faculty are voting on salary plan
  • Wilson to head faculty association
  • 'You never have enough,' says Johnston
  • Other notes in exam season

Electronic voting continues

Voting continues (through Wednesday) in the election of a staff representative on the UW board of governors. Unionized staff have been sent paper ballots; non-union staff are being asked to vote electronically

And undergraduate students are voting in an unofficial poll to select one of four student senators to serve on the UW board of governors. Polls close April 17 in that election.

Faculty are voting on salary plan

Faculty members have until noon on Friday to vote yes or no on two proposed new articles (sections) to the Memorandum of Agreement that governs their work at UW -- one about research ethics and one about the salary system.

An information meeting about the proposals will be held today at 3:30 p.m. in Physics room 145.

The proposed new Article 13, about salaries, includes "some very major changes in the faculty salary structure", according to this month's issue of the faculty association Forum. Says Fred McCourt, president of the association:

The most obvious, and very important, change introduced in Article 13 has been an opening up of the top end of the faculty salary scale, so that senior faculty members will now be able to reach salaries that are competitive with those attained by their peers at comparable Ontario universities. A second change is that the entire structure is no longer driven by the value of the floor salary for the Assistant Professor rank. This has allowed the Assistant Professor floor salary to be set at $45,000 in the new structure, which represents an increase of nearly $5,000 over the present floor value. The entire structure still moves annually according to scale changes determined through salary negotiations.
As McCourt notes, the existing salary system, as set out in UW Policy 11, is based on a figure traditionally called F, the minimum salary for an assistant professor (this year $40,310).

Under the new plan, there are "a salary floor and two thresholds for each of the four ranks" -- lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, full professor -- and also for clinical lecturers in optometry. The floor values for the current year (pay increases for May 1 are still to be negotiated) would be $35,000 for lecturers, $45,000 for assistant professors and clinical lecturers, $56,500 for associate professors and $72,500 for professors.

For each faculty member with a salary below the "threshold" level ($90,000 in most cases), a "selective increase unit" -- currently $2,500 -- will go into the merit increase pool each year. The pool also gets smaller amounts of money for faculty members with higher salaries. The money is divided based on performance rating, with lower-paid faculty receiving higher percentage increases.

From the draft section:

Effective May 1 of each year, the annual scale change as specified in the Memorandum of Settlement shall be applied to the salary floors, thresholds, and Selective Increase Unit. . . .

Selective salary increases are intended to move a Member through the salary structure at a rate determined by her/his achievements in the profession and contributions to the University, measured by annual performance ratings undertaken as specified in 13.5. In order to ensure orderly career progress consistent with long-range academic goals, the commitment of funds required for this purpose shall have the highest priority in the preparation of the annual budget. . . .

A Member's selective salary increase depends both on her/his annual performance rating (actual R) and on the position of the Member's salary relative to the threshold T1 and T2 for her/his rank.

If faculty members vote in favour of the new article, it will go to UW's board of governors for approval in June.

Wilson to head faculty association -- by Barbara Elve

Members of the UW faculty association have elected political science professor John M. Wilson as president for the next one-year term. He defeated the only other contender in the race, geography professor Len Guelke.

Wilson joined the political science department in 1964 after earning BA and MA degrees at the University of Toronto, and studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has served as chair of the political science department and as a member of UW senate.

As FAUW president, he takes over from Fred McCourt, who served as president for three terms and declined to run for a fourth year, citing the time commitment required for the president's duties, and the negative impact on his own research.

Also elected at the FAUW annual general meeting last week were members of the board of directors. Ian F. Macdonald (chemical engineering), Frank G. Reynolds (statistics and actuarial science), Catherine Schryer (English) and Edward R. Vrscay (applied mathematics) will serve two-year terms; Mohamed Elmasry (computer and electrical engineering) was elected for a one-year term.

In stepping down as president, McCourt reviewed his time in office and the prospects for the future of faculty at UW in the March/April issue of the FAUW Forum.

Taking issue with recent statements made by current and former UW faculty members in the National Post on March 11, McCourt challenged the assertion made by Guelke that "a lot of professors (at Waterloo) are very unhappy" and that they "don't want to be targeted as troublemakers".

"It seems Professor Guelke and I differ in our opinions on just how fettered we are at Waterloo," said McCourt, citing numerous occasions on which Guelke has spoken out "both through the Forum and at Senate, about what he has considered to be flawed processes at UW.

"In some cases he has been able to effect changes, and in other cases he has not been successful in motivating change, not because people were fearful, but rather, I believe, because he was not able to convince enough people that he was right. Indeed, the very fact that Professor Guelke and others have been able to speak out again and again about those processes with which they disagree, without being 'punished' for their views either by the administration or by colleagues seems to me to speak volumes for the actual climate at UW. . . .

"I cannot claim that there are no problems remaining to be resolved at UW. Rather, I can and do claim that when new problems that need to be dealt with are identified, both the FAUW and the UW Administration have shown that they are willing to work together to resolve those issues in a fair and equitable manner. That to me is ultimately what being an active member of a faculty association is all about."

'You never have enough,' says Johnston

The arrival of the Internet is "as powerful a change as the printing press in 1500", UW president David Johnston said on Friday, "with this difference, that the change is occurring faster."

His audience already knew that -- they were staff of UW's information systems and technology department, and other computer support people from across campus -- but they seemed to appreciate remarks from Johnston and from Jay Black, associate provost (IST), who were the speakers at a supersized session of IST's weekly professional development seminar.

Black put things a slightly different way, using the cliché of faster-than-reality "Internet time" to remind his audience that "Internet time doesn't let us get by on an hour of sleep per night. . . . We have to learn faster, and we have to spend a lot of time helping everybody else learn."

Johnston, who has often used his historical parallel in previous talks about technological and social change, told his IST audience that Waterloo can "aspire to be the model user in the world of these new technologies".

One area where there are golden opportunities, he said, is "health informatics". The president noted that he had recently attended a Toronto meeting at which university and hospital experts talked over the ways better information and communication could make health care more efficient and effective. The great majority of patients arrive at teaching hospitals without information about previous tests and previous treatments, he said; and only 15 per cent of Ontario physicians use e-mail in their work. "We have a role to play," he said. "We are perfectly positioned as a university to respond to that need. It's a project as important to us as the Oxford English Dictionary."

UW will also play a role in the effort to make Waterloo Region a "smart community", he said, noting that there should be news "within a week or two weeks" about whether the Canada's Technology Triangle area has been selected by the federal government to receive a grant as one of the pilot communities.

Towards the end of the Friday morning session, Black and Johnston asked one another whether computing support people at UW have enough resources to do their job properly. "Never!" came the response. Said the president: "You never have enough resources to do everything you want to do, or even everything you're responsible for. You never have enough time."

Other notes in exam season

From other campuses

  • Strike ends at Université de Moncton
  • U of Toronto ends three-year degrees
  • New president for Simon Fraser
  • A sod-turning ceremony will be held at 4:30 this afternoon in parking lot F, where Mackenzie King Village will soon be built. The new residence, between Village I and Ron Eydt Village, will provide rooms for 320 first-year students. Construction cost is estimated at $15.6 million, to be covered from residence fees over the coming years. According to surveys, the board has been told, students prefer "a suite of bedrooms with shared cooking, living and washroom facilities", and that's what the new building will offer, typically in clusters of four bedrooms around the kitchen, eating and bath areas.

    The registrar's office sends a reminder that schedules and fee statements for spring term undergraduate students will be in the mail this week. "Schedules and fee statements will be mailed in one envelope starting April 17 for students that pre-register after April 12. Wednesday, April 19, will be the last day for mailing schedules and fee statements for full-time students; after this date, they can be picked up in the Registrar's Office. Schedules for part-time students will be mailed. Fee payments must be received in the Cashier's Office by May 1, 2000."

    The physics department presents a seminar at 2:30 today (Physics room 308) by Mark Lumsden of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The title of his talk begins with the words "magnetic neutron diffraction study" but contains too many subscripts to be successfully reproduced in this Bulletin.

    Tomorrow, the senate finance committee will start work on a draft of UW's 2000-01 budget; that meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

    In the same room, at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, the UW board of governors will meet. On the agenda: the "budget outlook" for the coming year (the budget itself won't be ready yet), approval of staff salary increases and tuition fees for the coming year, pension plan amendments, and many other matters.

    It is, I'm told, National Volunteer Week, and the local Volunteer Action Centre has a never-ending stream of needs and opportunities to announce. For example: "Become involved in a successful community program that encourages people to call the police with information to solve crimes committee in Waterloo Region. Waterloo Regional Crime Stoppers has an interesting opportunity for volunteers with good presentation and interpersonal skills. They will work along with Board members to promote Crime Stoppers to the public, assist at school demonstrations, and help with special events. This is a flexible volunteer position that will require approximately 4-5 hours a month." For more information, the VAC can be reached at 742-8610.

    Advance note: a retirement party will be held Friday for Pat Kalyn, long-time secretary to UW's registrar, who is retiring. The party takes the form of lunch at the University Club; RSVPs are wanted (today, please) by Paulette O'Grady or Heather Hutchin in the registrar's office.


    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 | Friday's Bulletin
    Copyright © 2000 University of Waterloo