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Thursday, March 16, 2000

  • 'Inadequate funding for quality'
  • Deadline for spring term fees
  • Student of the year is from UW
  • Conflict conference, and more

Casual earnings change

Staff who are paid through the casual earnings system at UW need to do some payroll paperwork in the next few days. As of mid-April, the every-two-weeks casual payroll will produce direct bank deposits, rather than cheques. So individuals who are paid on that payroll (ranging from student library clerks to lifeguards) need to provide bank account information.

There will be a sign-up session for that purpose on Monday between 2 and 4 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. Those who can't attend that session should come to the human resources department (in the General Services Complex) to do the paperwork, or print forms from the web and forward them, along with a blank cheque, to Boyanka Martinez in the HR department.

'Inadequate funding for quality'

The senate finance committee will meet Tuesday morning to start work on UW's budget for the 2000-01 fiscal year, and it doesn't look pretty.

[JK] The Ontario government's announcement on grants and tuition fees, made public two days ago, offers "inadequate funding to maintain quality with current enrolments", says UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch (right), who will bring a sketched-out budget to Tuesday's meeting.

He said yesterday that parts of the budget aren't ready yet. Salary negotiations with faculty and staff are still going on, for example, and he needs to meet with students to discuss tuition fee levels for the "deregulated" programs -- engineering, optometry and computer science. In other programs, the government is limiting fee increases to 2 per cent this year.

He said the government's announcement provides "no recognition of significant growth already undertaken" -- the province is offering grant increases mostly for universities that take more students this fall than they did last year. UW, which was way over its enrolment targets in September 1999, isn't likely to grow again this year. The promised level of financing is "not a good signal", the provost said, "at a time when we should be expanding to meet increased student demand and the double cohort in 2003".

Kalbfleisch, looking at the government announcement of $52 million in new university funding, says the money comes in three envelopes:

And there's extra salt in the wound: a new calculation of funding for pay equity, by which Kalbfleisch estimates that UW will lose $495,000 this year.

Altogether, he figures that the increase in UW's grant for the coming year will be less than 1 per cent. Revenue from tuition fees will go up about 1.4 per cent, based on the government's 2 per cent limit, minus the money that must be set aside for bursaries.

"We don't have any money, is what it comes down to," the provost said last night.

Leaders of other universities are also unhappy. The Council of Ontario Universities issued this news release:

The Council of Ontario Universities is disappointed with the announcement on operating grants made today by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. The funding announced does not respond to the enrolment growth in our institutions in recent years, nor the need to prepare for the significant increase in demand for access that will accompany the double cohort and the echo of the baby boom. The five-year announcement on tuition reduces the flexibility that our institutions have to react to changing demands and ensure students receive the quality education they deserve.

Taken together, the grant and tuition announcements will reinforce the problems of large class size and high student teacher ratios in Ontario, and will make us less competitive by such measures in comparison to universities in other Canadian provinces and the US.

In recent years Ontario's universities have sought to work with the Province on the twin goals of accessibility and quality in university education so important to Ontarians. While disappointed with today's announcement, Ontario's universities remain determined to respond to the needs of Ontario families and particularly those with children in the double cohort years.

COU has arranged an urgent meeting with Minister Cunningham to see how we can move forward together to develop a framework that will respond to the escalating needs created by the increase in demand, and will enable us to meet our shared responsibility in the years to come.

Deadline for spring term fees

Schedules and fee statements for undergraduate students who have pre-registered for the spring 2000 term will be mailed out to students' home addresses week of April 10, the registrar's office says. They'll be arriving in separate envelopes.

Fee payments must be received by the cashiers' office by May 1. (The fine print in yesterday's Gazette, relying on out-of-date information from the registrar's office, gave the date as April 24, but May 1 is correct.) Late fees begin May 2. Payments are accepted by mail or by dropping off in one of the four express payment boxes in Needles Hall.

Student of the year is from UW

Jennifer Motuz, a third-year mechanical engineering student at UW, has been named 1999 Student of the Year by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

Motuz worked for Syncrude Canada Ltd. in Fort McMurray, Alberta, on her last work term, and was nominated by her supervisor, Jeremy Wong, staff mechanical engineer at Syncrude. She will be honoured and receive an award at a luncheon on March 24, as part of National Co-op Education Week. The award is sponsored by CIBC PERC and INTRIA Corp.

During her second work term at Syncrude, Motuz used her creativity and technical ability to develop innovative design ideas, which resulted in saving about $125,000 for the company's mining department. Besides her studies, she has volunteered for educational and charitable activities of UW's Engineering Society.

Co-op Education Week is especially important to UW, which introduced Canada's first co-op program at its founding in 1957 and now has more co-op students than any other university in the world. "Co-op education is the most stable, responsive and successful work-training educational model in Canada," says Bruce Lumsden, director of UW's co-op education and career services department. "Co-op programs continue to produce graduates who are both knowledgeable in the classroom and skilled in the workplace. Co-op grads can handle the workplace needs of the 21st century."

Some examples of other work-term achievements are cited in a UW news release celebrating Motuz's award:

The co-op education week is coordinated by CAFCE, a national non-profit organization made up of approximately 400 educators, employers and government officials. It aims to ensure the growth and quality of co-op programs across the country. The national week includes a variety of activities, including events to recognize the contributions of employers, awards for students, open houses and displays, and information sessions for high school students considering co-op education.

Conflict conference, and more

"Ethnic Conflict: At Home and Abroad" will be the theme of the keynote address by UW political science professor John McGarry at the opening of the second annual peace and conflict studies conference tonight. The lecture at 7 p.m. in the Conrad Grebel College Great Hall, is free and open to all, and will be followed by a reception.

The talk sets the stage for conference activities tomorrow that "focus on a wide range of ethnic conflict issues in its many forms around the world, and in our own domestic backyard. Some of the areas being explored include: Ghana, Chechnya, the Middle East, and Aboriginal issues in the Canadian context."

Bringing together speakers and participants from around the Great Lakes region, the conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with pay-what-you-can registration starting at 8:30 a.m. at Conrad Grebel.

Other events today at UW:

Architecture students find out today what jobs they'll have during the spring term; the co-op department will post matches from the employment process at 11 a.m.

Circle K and the Federation of Students food bank are continuing their food drive in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre. Says Alison Gardner of Circle K: "The booth will be open from 9:30 to 5:30 each of these days. We are accepting donations of non-perishable food, as well as toiletries. Our goal is to 'get more food than we know what to do with'. We are hoping for involvement from the whole campus as well as the community."

The Egyptian Student Association continues with its annual exhibition about Egypt -- through tomorrow in the multi-purpose room of the Student Life Centre.

The career development seminar series continues, with "Job/Work Search and Networking Strategies" at 1:30 today in Needles Hall room 1020. Next: "Gain the Competitive Edge: Know the Employer", next Tuesday at 1:30, again in NH 1020.

The bookstore Kids Club has a special event at 2:00 today: "Join us for some magnetic poetry fun, balloon animals, a poetry reading by one of our staff members, Helen, and story telling by Gwen Stubbs, a teacher-storyteller for over 10 years in the Waterloo area. She loves bringing traditional folktales to life for young children."

Serge Desmarais of the University of Guelph visits UW today to give a talk for the survey research centre "The Influence of Pay on Entitlement Perceptions among Working Women and Men". The talk starts at 3:30 in PAS (Psychology) room 2030.

Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, speaks at Wilfrid Laurier University tonight (5:30 p.m., Peters Building room P1025). His topic: "The State of Unionism in Canada".

Sex sizzles on the Theatre of the Arts stage again tonight, as the drama department's production of "Spring Awakening" continues at 8 p.m. (also Friday and Saturday).

It's movie night for the Math Society; tonight's showing (Math and Computer room 2066 at 7 p.m.) is "Eyes Wide Shut", which also packs a sexy sizzle, come to think of it. Admission is $2. "Tentatively showing as a second movie," organizers note, "is 'Full Metal Jacket'."

And over in Federation Hall the weekly Boys 'n' Girls Night turns into a "St. Patty's Passport Party" with the beers of the world.

Today is the the "barter" day in the Student Life Centre (11 a.m to 3 p.m.) organized by environment and resource studies student Sarah Anderson: "People can bring in any books, CD's, clothes, etc that they no longer want, and trade for someone else's unwanted stuff. This promotes sharing, a more affordable way of living, and reusing: all necessary parts of sustainability. It's also lots of fun and a great way to clear out your junk, and find some good stuff."


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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