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Wednesday, January 12, 2000

  • Gazette features scholarships
  • Campus considers policy changes
  • More from the memo to faculty
  • The talk of the campus

[Pickets at University College]
The strike by teaching assistants continues at the University of Toronto. Photo from yesterday's issue of the U of T student newspaper, The Varsity.

Gazette features scholarships

Today's Gazette presents the annual listing of hundreds of scholarship winners, provided by the student awards office at the request of the senate committee on scholarships and student aid, and paid for by the associate provost (academic and student affairs).

"The awards listed here are given only to the very best of the high calibre students who enter the University of Waterloo," says Ian Williams, the kinesiology professor who chairs the senate committee. "It is a fitting tribute to publish these awards, to express gratitude to the donors, and to wish success to the recipients."

But naming the scholarship-winning students tells only part of the story, Williams says. Scholarship funding is "somewhat precarious . . . there are not enough of them, and too few have permanent funding. Scholarships from rival institutions are the major reason that other excellent students reject offers of admission from UW in favour of another school."

In 1998, UW's admissions office did a survey of students who had been offered admission to Waterloo but went elsewhere instead. The number one reason they gave for choosing another university ahead of Waterloo was better scholarship funding. Two years later, Williams says, many students with very high marks still receive no entrance scholarship from Waterloo but are offered awards in the $3,000 range from rival universities.

Also listed in today's Gazette are the winners of upper-year scholarships to recognize the top students in various years, courses, or special categories of contribution combined with academic excellence. These tend to be much smaller than entrance awards and fewer in number.

"That means there are some very challenging trends emerging with scholarships at Waterloo. Many of our funds were wisely endowed in order to sustain the awards, but most are perilously dependent on annual givings."

Williams says the good news is that while scholarships are too few, Waterloo is now fairly well supplied with bursaries. A major source of bursary funds is the 30 per cent of new tuition fee revenue that, under Ontario government rules, has to be set aside for student assistance each year.

Last year, UW handed out $2.9 million in bursaries to a total of 1,041 undergraduate students, says Joanne Wade, director of student awards and student financial aid. Also last year, a total of $1,4 million in scholarships went to 1,597 undergraduates. Some are as low as a one-time cheque for $500; a few can reach $18,000 over four years of schooling.

Williams says there's a positive trend: UW's scholarship endowments are growing, especially because of what he calls "heart-and-soul" donations from faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and parents. By last spring, the endowment fund had grown to more than $49 million, an increase of 26 per cent in one year.

But the University of Toronto recently celebrated reaching the $1 billion level. "A lot of other schools have access to staggering sums of endowment monies," Williams laments. "To attract and retain outstanding students, Waterloo needs to be able to offer more and larger awards, not only at the entry level but in upper years as well. "

Campus considers policy changes

UW's proposed new tenure and promotion policies "represent significant improvements over what we have now", the university's provost and the president of the faculty association say. They introduce Policy 76 and Policy 77 to the campus in a letter that was sent to faculty members shortly before the Christmas break, and they're asking for comments by the end of January.

Under the new policies, gaining tenure at UW will be directly linked with promotion from "assistant professor" to the middle rank for faculty members, "associate professor". The changes have been approved by the faculty relations committee and now go to faculty councils and other bodies for discussion. The two new documents, once approved by the UW senate and board of governors, would replace the existing Policy 46 on promotion and Policy 53 on tenure.

The new tenure policy defines the purpose of tenure ("to provide institutional support for academic freedom") and the standards a faculty member must meet in teaching, scholarship and service in order to qualify for tenure. "Peer assessment," it says, "forms the basis for determining the suitability of a faculty member for the granting of tenure or for promotion to full professor. Insofar as possible, tenure and promotion committees shall base their assessments on evidence that is first-hand and direct."

A new faculty member would generally have two three-year "probationary" terms as an assistant professor at UW, as at present. "Normally . . . during the second year of the second probationary term", he or she can apply for tenure. "As of January 1, 2002," the draft says, "the granting of tenure to a probationary-term Assistant Professor carries with it appointment at the rank of Associate Professor." (At present, young faculty apply for tenure and for promotion at about the same time, but the two procedures are separate.)

"In principle," says the new policy, "a tenured Associate Professor may apply in any year for promotion; however, it is unusual for such a promotion to occur prior to five years of full-time service in the rank of Associate Professor."

Policy 76 deals with types of faculty appointments -- full-time, part-time, reduced load and so on -- and with hiring procedures. It also has a brief note about dismissal: "A tenured appointment can be terminated prior to retirement only for adequate cause or for reasons of financial exigency. Dismissal of a tenured faculty member is handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Faculty Association and the University of Waterloo."

The letter from provost Jim Kalbfleisch and faculty association president Fred McCourt says the faculty relations committee, which "has focused its efforts this year on reworking and restructuring the material in Policies 46 and 53 and on reaching agreement on the changes", will get to work on the subject again next month "to consider revisions based on the feedback received, so comments and suggestions should reach John Bullen in the Secretariat not later than January 31, 2000.

"We plan to submit the new policies for approval by Senate in April and the Board of Governors in June."

More from the memo to faculty

From the letter signed by Jim Kalbfleisch and Fred McCourt:

"Beginning in 2002 under the new policies, tenure will be awarded only at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. Tenure criteria will be those currently in place for the awarding of both tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, and tenure candidates may choose to postpone consideration until the sixth year of probationary-term appointment.

"T & P Committees and processes are to be combined, with an undergraduate and graduate student appointed as non-voting members of the University-level committee. A new tenure appeal process (Policy 77, section V.C) specifies that an appeal will be heard by a tribunal with appropriate disciplinary expertise. The appeal processes for probationary reappointment (Policy 76, section III.B) and promotion to Professor (Policy 77, section V.C) have been modified.

"First probationary-term appointments will be for at least 34 months but less than 46 months ending on June 30, with reappointment consideration occurring during the final year and 12-months' notice given in the event of a negative decision. These changes regularize the handling of probationary appointments with non-standard start-dates, and align reappointment considerations with the normal fall term meetings of tenure and promotion committees. Second probationary-term appointments will be for three years. Tenure consideration normally will occur in the second year, but may be postponed by the candidate until the third year. At least 12-months' notice will be given in the event of a negative decision.

"Subject to Board approval in June, the new policies, committee structures and appeal processes will be in effect for the 2000-01 academic year. However, faculty members in their fifth probationary year who are tenure candidates in Fall 2000 will be considered under the criteria of Policy 53, and may be granted tenure at the rank of Assistant Professor.

"Current faculty members with four-year, first probationary-term appointments will be considered for reappointment during their third year, with at least 12-months' notice concerning reappointment. The second probationary-term appointment will have an end-date of June 30, and its duration will be such that the total probationary period is at least five years and ten months but less than six years and ten months. Tenure consideration under Policy 77 normally will occur in the second last year of probationary appointment but may be postponed by the candidate until the last year."

The talk of the campus

Organizers of the literary reading series at St. Jerome's University say they're "delighted to open this new year with a reading by the dynamic Anishinabe poet, fiction-writer, and storyteller, kateri akawenzie-damm, from the Cape Croker Reserve in Ontario." The event starts at 4:00 this afternoon in room 221, the common room, at St. Jerome's. Admission is free: "Please pass the word along to others who might be interested. Stay tuned for upcoming posting for a stellar line-up of writers this term. We thank the Canada Council for their continued financial support."

Career development seminars on the first floor of Needles Hall continue. Today at 10:30: "Letter Writing". At 11:30: "Résumé Writing". The seminars take place in NH room 1020.

There's somebody new in the development office. Brian W. Porter started work January 4 as director, corporations and foundations, in development and alumni affairs. With degrees from Carleton, Toronto and McGill, Porter has been the head of independent schools in Winnipeg, Bermuda, Munich and, most recently, Calgary. His experience has encompassed not only marketing and public relations responsibilities, but also leadership in corporate and individual fundraising, particularly in a number of capital campaigns, says the office of the vice-president (university relations).

Nominations for positions on the 2000-01 Federation of Students executive will close today. The Feds are seeking a president and three vice-presidents -- for administration and finance, student issues, and education. Elections will be held in mid-February.

And the St. Jerome's University Students' Union is holding a by-election for the executive position of secretary. Information packages may be picked up in the Student Union office in room 111 in the St. Jerome's Administration and Classroom building. The by-election is open to full- and part-time students registered through St. Jerome's who are of second-year standing, says returning officer Chris Lutka.

The distance education office, at 156 Columbia Street (corner of Phillip) will be open late tonight -- until 7 p.m. -- for the benefit of potential students. Information about part-time study is also available on the web.

Check this morning's Gazette for a picture, really kind of silly, of UW president David Johnston and alumni mascot Pounce de Lion, warming up together for the Hagey Bonspiel. The annual fun-and-curling event, aimed at staff, faculty and hangers-on, is to be held Saturday, February 26, at the Ayr Curling Club, and a few of the 64 spots are still available. Random prizes are something of a Bonspiel tradition, and this year there's an early bird draw, for people who sign up by January 14. How? Call Pat Cunningham at ext. 5413.

Finally, a slight correction to something in yesterday's Bulletin. I said the drama department's production of "Suburban Motel" would be February 9-12. In fact, that's the second week of the run, says Scott Spidell, technical director in drama. The show opens February 2 and runs Wednesday through Saturday both that week and the following week.


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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