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Monday, May 29, 2000

  • Arbitrator gives profs 2 per cent
  • Future students get offers today
  • Contact lens congress opens at UW
  • National honour for sociologist

Arbitrator gives profs 2 per cent -- by Avvey Peters

The university will have to find extra money for faculty salaries this year, following an arbitrator's report that has given professors a 2 per cent scale increase effective May 1. Professors will also receive their usual "progress through the ranks" increases.

The arbitrator was called in as provided in the Memorandum of Agreement between the university and the faculty association, which says that if annual salary negotiations and mediation are unsuccessful, a salary arbitrator chooses between the final positions of the two parties.

As the issue went to arbitration this year, the faculty association was asking for a 2 per cent scale increase, citing the level of inflation for last year, and comparing professors' position with faculty salary increases at other universities in Ontario.

In the context of government grants that are barely going up, the university management took the position that a 1.1 per cent scale increase (plus a 0.25 per cent pool for correcting salary anomalies) was appropriate.

The arbitrator picked the 2 per cent figure, and the decision is final.

"Obviously I would have preferred the arbitrator to select the university's position," says Jim Kalbfleisch, UW's provost. "The university is relying on a temporary pension contribution reduction of $6.3 million to balance the budget in 2000-01. I'm concerned about the university's financial health as contributions return to normal."

But he says it's still possible that the university will escape significant budget cuts in 2000-01, thanks to additional funds provided in May's provincial budget. The province plans to provide overhead on provincial research grants and contracts, although specific details are not yet available.

The faculty association president, John Wilson, calls the result of the salary arbitration long overdue -- talks have been ongoing since December. "Of course we're pleased with the result," says Wilson, "but we know it will have some budgetary consequences."

One of those consequences may be concern among staff, who received a 1 per cent scale increase as of May 1. Kalbfleisch said he has already spoken with staff association president Paul McKone, and the staff compensation committee will meet this week to review the situation. (At the time the staff settlement was reached, there was a provision for reopening discussions at the request of either party "at any time during 2000-2001".)

Because of the time required to process individual salary increases, the faculty changes will not be seen on paycheques until July.

Monday, Monday, so good to me

  • First day of employer interviews for fall term co-op jobs
  • Sunny with cloudy periods, high UV index
  • Future students get offers today

    The letters with good news or bad news will be arriving today at thousands of teenagers' houses across Ontario -- the long-awaited answer to the young people's applications for admission to UW next September.

    About 8,500 offers of admission were mailed out Friday, to be added to 3,319 early offers that were made in April, says the university's director of admissions, Peter Burroughs. Altogether UW is sending 11,848 offers to Ontario high school students as it works to assemble a first-year class of 4,120 students next September. (Some of that 4,120 will come from the separate admissions process for "non-OSS" applicants, those who aren't now in Ontario secondary schools.)

    Burroughs notes that one student might be receiving as many as three offers of admission, if he or she applied to three different programs. A student who applied to multiple programs might also get one or two offers of admission and also one of the 5,715 letters that say sorry, your application is being turned down.

    The goal is to admit just enough students to fill the first-year classrooms next fall. Making the right number of offers so that will happen is a complicated art, with calculations depending on the "historical rates" of acceptance, such as the knowledge that year in and year out, about 50 per cent of people who picked arts programs at UW as their first choice will actually come to Waterloo if they're admitted. The acceptance rates are typically higher in specialized programs, and typically lower for students for whom UW was a second or third choice -- they'll go to some other university instead, if it accepts them.

    Last year Waterloo accepted too many students and ended up with 600 extra students in the first-year class. To keep that from happening again, Burroughs says, the number of students who were turned down has been increased, and UW isn't making "alternate offers" of admission to a faculty that isn't the one the student originally chose. This year UW received a total of 18,087 applications from high school students, up by about 1 per cent from last year's total.

    Waterloo made about a third of its admissions offers in April, Burroughs said. Some Ontario universities send out all their offers that early, but not UW. This university waits for the results of Descartes math competition scores before making decisions about some programs, and also prefers to wait for high school students' midterm marks from the second semester, so "we can better judge their ability to be successful at university."

    Students who receive offers of admission will have until June 7 to say yes. This week's mailing will also include promises of residence rooms for the majority of first-year students, offers of $3,000 bursaries for some 1,170 students who applied for them, and in some cases offers of scholarship funds.

    Contact lens congress opens at UW

    The Second World Congress on Contact Lens Education opens today at UW's school of optometry and runs through Sunday.

    The meeting is a collaborative effort between the International Association of Contact Lens Educatorsand the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators.

    Lecture and workshop topics will include clinical education, electronic didactic teaching including evidence-based and problem-based learning, tele-learning, delivering a course on the world wide web, and new technology including digital video and digital photography.

    Four keynote speakers are expected:

    Some 175 delegates from around the world are expected to attend lectures and workshops.

    Memorial service is planned

    A memorial servaice will be held Friday for Aileen Proudfoot, the first-year chemical engineering student who was drowned in an accident on UW's north campus two weeks ago.

    The service will begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's College, the dean of engineering office has announced.

    National honour for sociologist -- from the UW news bureau

    A Waterloo sociologist who studies social inequality in Canada has been selected for a top honour from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association for his research. Tomorrow in Edmonton, James Curtis will receive one of the three CSAA Outstanding Contribution Awards given annually by the association in recognition of researchers whose work has contributed significantly to the intellectual development of sociology and anthropology in Canada.

    Curtis is being honoured for his contributions to "our knowledge of social inequality and class structure in Canada, the social aspects of sport, and the sociology of knowledge." He is first UW faculty member to receive the CSAA award.

    "As his former chair and frequent collaborator, I believe that Jim has made a significant contribution, not only to the Canadian sociological community, but also to the Waterloo graduate program in which he has been so intimately involved for many years," said Ron Lambert, sociology. "Among colleagues and students at this university, he is known for his generous spirit and collegiality, rather than for immodest or divisive self-promotion."

    Over the years, Curtis has served as editor of the prestigious Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, the official journal of the association. He's been a faculty member at UW since 1970. During his, Curtis has published more than 100 journal articles, books and chapters. He is jointly appointed to the sociology and kinesiology departments, as well as being cross-appointed to health studies and gerontology.

    His research interests include social inequality in Canada, voluntary association involvement and political behaviour, Canadian culture in a comparative perspective, sociology of physical activity and sports, and the sociology of knowledge. Curtis will join an elite group of Canada's most acclaimed sociologists when he picks up his award tomorrow at the association's annual conference, being held as part of "A Festival of Ideas", the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, at the University of Alberta.


    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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