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Tuesday, April 3, 2001

  • Board votes on $25 co-op fee hike
  • Also on the board's agenda
  • Sorry, the trees are closed
  • New site will help students plan
  • It's the very last day of classes

[Architect's drawing]
Architect's drawing of the new co-op and career services building, on a site near the ring road (that's South Campus Hall at right). The building is to include offices, interview rooms, and change rooms where students can switch from grubbies to full interview gear and back.

Board votes on $25 co-op fee hike

UW's board of governors meets this afternoon and will be asked to approve a $25-a-term increase in the co-op fee to help pay the cost of a new building for the co-op and career services department.

The $25 increase in the co-op fee (currently $400 a term) comes to the board with support from student leaders, headed by Chris Farley, president of the Federation of Students. But that doesn't mean there's no opposition, as discussion in some media has been about equally divided between the pros and the cons.

Chris Farley will come to the end of his term as Federation president on April 30. But some students would like him gone sooner: an electronic petition was mounted yesterday calling for the "recall" and "formal censure" of Farley and charging that he has not "faithfully prioritized accountability to students". The petition doesn't say whether Farley's critics are chiefly concerned about the co-op fee or about the other political issue of the past few days, the dismissal of Federation researcher David Drewe.
Federation leaders and senior UW officials signed a memorandum late last week with some concessions to students in return for their support, which is expected to raise about half the building's $8.7 million cost over a 25-year period.

Says the memorandum: "UW agrees that fundraising efforts for the CECS Building will continue to be part of the UW's major fund-raising campaign known as 'Building a Talent Trust for Canada.'

"UW agrees that annual fund-raising reports will be made available to the Federation of Students' Co-op Students' Council. These reports shall describe the activities of the fund-raising efforts on behalf of the CECS Building.

"UW agrees that, in the event fund-raising contributions for the CECS Building exceed UW's target (to be finalized after the actual building costs are known), that the excess funds raised will be applied against the student's contribution and the period of the fee levy will be shortened accordingly.

"UW agrees that the significant contribution being made by the students will be formally recognized in a manner consistent with recognition of other individuals, organizations or groups making similar contributions."

The memorandum also promises that the cost-sharing arrangement "does not constitute a precedent" for other UW buildings.

And it agrees that there will be "a review of the service delivery mechanisms provided by the Co-operative Education department. The review will include students, staff, and external experts in co-operative education service delivery and will begin within six months". The Federation agrees that students will "be full and willing participants" in that review.

Also on the board's agenda

The board of governors meets at 2:30 in Needles Hall room 3001. Among the agenda items, besides the proposed increase in the co-op fee:

§ Tuition fee increases -- 7 per cent in engineering, computer science and optometry, and 2 per cent in other programs, as announced earlier this month.

§ Staff salary increases as announced late last week.

§ A proposed "pre-incubator" program for ideas, Innovate Inc.

§ Pension premiums up from the present level (25 per cent of normal) to 40 per cent as of May 1.

Sorry, the trees are closed

Dogs and their humans will be barred from the wood lot on UW's north campus, just behind the greenhouses, for at least the next few weeks, says Tom Galloway, director of custodial and grounds services.

"It's spring time, and things are really soft and mushy," said Galloway, announcing that the area will be closed for "at least a five or six week period . . . then we'll review whether we're going to reopen it." He said one possibility will be to reopen the wood lot for use by people, but not by animals.

"The university has no obligation to the community to provide a dog run," said Galloway, pointing out that -- as happens so often -- it's only a minority of dogs and owners who are the source of the problem. Vegetation ("the understory") is being damaged, he said, and small animals are being chased out of the wooded territory that's rightfully theirs. "We're concerned about the state of the wood lot . . . the birds that maybe won't nest there" for fear of dogs chasing them.

Gates opening onto the wood lot area, behind the greenhouse parking lot, will be chained shut and signs posted, Galloway said. The four-acre area has an "interpretive" nature trail and other pathways, and there's a spot where walkers can cross the creek to join up with the Laurel Trail along the creek's east side.

The Laurel Trail remains open, and there's also a trail along the Westmount Road right of way that can be used to cross UW's north campus to Bearinger Road.

New site will help students plan -- from the Council of Ontario Universities

Ontario universities are aiming for a fall launch of a new on-line resource that will enable all students to identify their interests, relate them to programs offered at Ontario universities and, with the click of a mouse, connect to the institution(s) offering the program(s).

Researched and developed by the Council of Ontario Universities' Task Force, the web-based program will be accessible to all students. It will be particularly valuable to students in Grades 9 and 10 who face important decisions concerning future high school course selections that will determine their eligibility for admission to the university program(s) in which they are interested.

Students enter myfuture.ca via a single portal, housed at the Ontario Universities' Application Centre. After a series of easy-to-follow steps that help link their interests to related university programs, students identify one or more programs for further exploration. They are then presented with a list of universities offering their program selection(s), and can connect to these university sites for more information.

The program also enables students to connect to other sites in the course of their investigation (such as those focused on career planning and application procedures) to provide them with guidance and direction. A "tips" feature will enable them to review helpful pointers on what they should be considering when weighing university options, and a "help" section will ensure that they are taking full advantage of the site's entire features.

Guiding students and collecting information for them as they move through the program will be an appealing, animated character who partners with students during their search and helps make their visit both informative and fun.

Implementation planning for myfuture.ca is now well underway. The site will be launched at the annual Ontario Universities' Fair, to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in September 2001. Simultaneous launches will take place in local university communities across the province.

It's the very last day of classes

Students -- and faculty -- in arts, science, environmental studies and applied health sciences reach the end of the long journey this afternoon, as winter term classes come to an end. Exams begin Friday. And here's a reminder that the UW libraries are open late at night during exam season (although there's no drive-through window). The Dana Porter Library will be open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; the Davis Centre library opens at the same time as Porter but stays open to 3 a.m.

The St. Bede Lecture series at Renison College winds up tonight with a talk by the principal of Renison herself, Gail Cuthbert Brandt, talking about Susan Howatch's latest novel, The High Flyer. It's "perhaps her best work", says the principal, and as a devotee of Howatch's Anglican novels (I just finished Mystical Paths this week), I'd say that's quite a tribute. The lecture starts at 7:30 tonight in the Renison chapel; everyone is welcome.

Off campus, the Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society will meet at 7:30 tonight at the Adult Recreation Centre, King Street at Allen in Waterloo.

On tap for tomorrow:

On Thursday, the teaching resources and continuing education office presents a workshop on course design, from 9 a.m. to noon. The workshop will be repeated on Tuesday, April 17. More information is available on the TRACE web site.

People interested in the Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Awards, of which UW has had some already, may want to attend a meeting Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Andrew Tomingas, manager of the PREA secretariat, will be on campus to meet with deans, department chairs and interested young researchers, says Andrew Barker in UW's office of research.

Final note: The human resources department has provided a corrected figure for the salary of UW president David Johnston, listed as part of last week's required disclosure of salaries in excess of $100,000 for the year 2000. Johnston's salary last year was $231,888.72, plus taxable benefits of $25,076.75. It was previously -- wrongly -- reported as $256,743.47 plus benefits. The revised figure still means he was UW's highest-paid employee last year.

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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