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Monday, June 12, 2000

  • Health research agency is launched
  • Games to play with children
  • Report from the staff relations committee

Health research agency is launched

Some UW units involved in health research

  • Centre for Applied Health Research
  • Centre for Contact Lens Research
  • Department of psychology

    [Subject supine]
    Laboratory in the faculty of applied health sciences

  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is, or are, officially in business, with a launch announced last week by federal health minister Allan Rock.

    "The launch of CIHR is an historic event for the health research community in Canada, and for all Canadians," said Rock's news release. "CIHR is a highly innovative and integrative approach to health research. Its emphasis on partnerships with the voluntary health care sector, other government agencies and industry will be a model to be emulated around the world.

    "Thematic institutes linking the findings and studies of researchers from coast to coast will allow us to focus on research challenges and opportunities relevant to all Canadians.

    "The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, first announced in the 1999 federal budget, replaces the Medical Research Council of Canada. Along with a doubling of the research budget over three years, CIHR will create a series of virtual institutes linking investigators from all four areas of health research -- biomedical research, clinical research, health systems and services research, and population health research -- to better address the health needs and priorities of Canadians."

    UW researchers in optometry, health studies and gerontology, clinical psychology and kinesiology are among those who are hoping to play a role in the various CIHR "institutes" as they get going.

    Rock announced that the first president of CIHR will be Alan Bernstein, a prominent researcher formerly at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. He also announced the first $65 million in CIHR funding. The government has been promising that by 2001, funding for the new agency will reach $484 million, "doubling the 1997-98 federal commitment to health sciences research".

    Games to play with children -- from the UW news bureau

    Ever play the Mork and Mindy game? Or how about tabletop hockey, the bad-weather version of our beloved national sport? Or Solo, a card game?

    [Yahtzee] Here's your chance to enjoy them for the first time or once again at the world's only museum devoted exclusively to the playing of games, the E. M. Avedon Museum and Archive of Games. It reopened May 11 with a new exhibit continuing to October 31.

    Board Games and Technology of the 20th Century traces the history of such beloved board games as Monopoly and Scrabble and lesser-known games such as the Leave It To Beaver Money Maker Game "as seen on TV" in 1954. If you and your kids are fans of modern computer games, this museum exhibit is where you can also learn the fascinating history of their ancestors, the early video games, says UW graduate student and co-curator Bernie Range (who shares the position with fellow student Ann-Marie Cantwell).

    [Monopoly] The collection is "vast", says Range, but the museum's space is small -- just one room. For this reason, the exhibits change completely every six months.

    "I think it is important for families to play games together, and not to lose that, especially with television and the influx of technology, because games give us this opportunity to learn about ourselves and others as we interact. And, of course, games offer such great entertainment value." At this museum, you don't just look at the collection in cases, you actually get to sit right down and play these games with your kids.

    Report from the staff relations committee
    -- by David Dietrich of the human resources department, chair of the SRC this year

    The Staff Relations Committee (SRC) continues to meet monthly. Issues affecting staff members with respect to employment, working conditions, recruitment, organizational change etc. are discussed in SRC; its primary responsibility is to recommend or amend University policy and to review decisions made under University policy which affect staff members.

    The recent approval of a revised Section V of Policy 18 is a good example of SRC's efforts. Now, in all but exceptional circumstances, the provision whereby supervisors must 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. The policy cautions supervisors about handling second hand reports of problem situations and the policy indicates that a thorough investigation should ensure that the information received is not hearsay, gossip or rumour. Allegations should be discussed with the staff member.

    In addition within the policy, principles of progressive discipline and the stages of disciplinary action have been significantly expanded upon, and clearly defined to ensure equity of treatment and consistency of application of University policies as well as compliance with relevant legislation.

    SRC recently revised Staff Secondment Guidelines which address classification, performance appraisal and return to home department issues where the secondment is expected to be more than 12 months and the seconded staff member is working more than 50% of a normal work week in the seconded position. In addition, Short Term Stipend guidelines, which clarify conditions for recognizing higher level responsibilities during periods exceeding four weeks but not exceeding 12 months, were also revised. Policy 23 which addresses pension and insured benefit eligibility issues for all employees and retirees is also close to being finalized. The revision of this policy not only involved SRC but it also required participation of the Faculty Relations, Union/ Management and Pension and Benefits Committees.

    On the SRC agenda for the next few meetings will be:

    SRC is comprised of the Staff Association and the University administration.

    Staff Association members include: Elizabeth Harnum, Walter McCutchan, Paul McKone, Charlene Schumm, Paul Snyder, Iris Strickler (Member at large). Kelly Wilker. Ann Barrett and Chris Henderson serve as alternates.

    University administration members include: David Dietrich (chair), director of human resources (pension and benefits); Jim Kalbfleisch, vice-president (academic) and provost; Don Kasta, administrative director of distance education; Geoff McBoyle, dean of environmental studies; Neil Murray, director of human resources (staff and labour relations); Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services); Gary Waller, associate provost (academic and student affairs).

    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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