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Monday, February 12, 2001

  • Research attacks downtown problems
  • New terms for three officials
  • Man wanted in sexual assault
  • Johnston's report urges 'learnware industry'
  • Ready for a reading break yet?

[Crouching between brick walls]
Demolition crews are gutting the interior of Wellesley Court at UW Place (formerly North Court of the Married Student Apartments) as part of the renovations to create four-bedroom apartment units, with shared bath, kitchen and common space. Work is expected to be completed by the end of June, in time for students to take up residence in September. Similar changes were made last year to the complex's East Tower, now renamed Beck Hall.

Research attacks downtown problems

Research designed to revitalize ailing downtown business cores in the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge will be the focus of a UW project involving all parts of the faculty of environmental studies: architecture, environment and resource studies, geography, and planning, as well as community partners.

UW will collaborate with the City of Cambridge, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo, the City of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener, and the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries to understand the dynamics of the deteriorating city cores, and to generate solutions to the problems.

Funding of $600,000 over three years has been promised by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with community partners contributing $300,000 and additional private sector support of $200,000.

The project will open a storefront site in downtown Kitchener in the spring, said Rick Haldenby, director of the school of architecture.

Another SSHRC grant will allow UW to participate in a project to assess housing for discharged psychiatric patients using a process that can serve as a model in other regions.

With a grant of $584,879, UW will work with the University of Western Ontario, Concordia University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and community partners based in London, Ontario, including social service professionals, community volunteers, and the actual users of supported housing.

The SSHRC funds are provided through its Community-University Research Alliance program "to help community organizations and university researchers combine forces to tackle issues that they have jointly identified as priority concerns."

New terms for three officials

Terms have been renewed for three of UW's top officials, acting provost Alan George said in a memo at the end of the week:
[Mitchell] "Professor Bruce Mitchell has been reappointed as Associate Vice-President Academic for a three-year term beginning August 1, 2001. Dr. Mitchell is responsible for the coordination of international activities, including the development of appropriate strategies to enhance and facilitate international connections. He serves as Advisor to the Vice-President Academic & Provost on Interdisciplinary Programs, is Chair of the Interdisciplinary Programs Board, and oversees the review process for academic departments and undergraduate programs. He is a member of Deans' Council and Executive Council."

[Black] "Professor Jay Black has been reappointed as Associate Provost, Information Systems and Technology for a two-year term beginning May 1, 2001. Dr. Black oversees the administration and long-term planning of all information systems and information technology across the University. He is responsible for developing policies and procedures that concern IS/IT and works closely with academic support areas to develop appropriate support for the effective use of information technology in teaching and learning."

[Waller] "Professor Gary Waller has been reappointed as Associate Provost, Academic and Student Affairs for a one-year term beginning May 1, 2001. Dr. Waller assists with administrative and policy issues regarding academic and student affairs. He also works with the Relations Committees and provides liaison with student leaders and with the Federated and Affiliated Colleges. A major area of responsibility is the management of several academic support departments, including the Library, Co-operative Education and Career Services, the Registrar's Office, Distance and Continuing Education, TRACE, the Audio-Visual Centre, and Space Utilization and Planning."

Engineers triumph

UW entries won "most of the top prizes" in the Ontario Engineering Competition over the weekend, says team coach Fakhri Karray of the systems design engineering department. That includes a clean sweep of the prizes in the "entrepreneurial design" category of the competition. Tomorrow's Bulletin will have detailed results from the OEC.

Man wanted in sexual assault

UW police and the Waterloo Regionals are looking for a man about 25 years old in connection with the sexual assault in Waterloo Park last week.

The man is described as having a "medium build", height 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10 (173 cm to 178 cm). He was wearing a dark bomber jacket and balaclava helmet, black jeans and black leather gloves.

The assault took place Tuesday evening about 8:20 along a footpath in the zoo area of Waterloo Park, just south of the UW campus. Anyone with information is invited to call Waterloo Regional Police at 653-7700 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 222-8477.

UW police are still urging people to use caution: "Do not walk alone. Be alert to your surroundings. Keep to well used areas." The WalkSafe program can be reached at 888-4949.

Johnston's report urges 'learnware industry'

A committee chaired by UW president David Johnston has called for federal support for "the learnware industry", and federal and provincial politicians immediately made supportive comments.

Johnston was chair of an Advisory Committee for Online Learning which reported last week to the federal-provincial Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. Responses came from Brian Tobin, the federal minister of industry, and Glenn Hagel, Saskatchewan's minister of post-secondary education and chair of the Postsecondary Expectations Consortium of CMEC.

The report, titled The E-learning E-volution in Colleges and Universities: A Pan-Canadian Challenge, calls on governments, universities, colleges and businesses to "accelerate and coordinate efforts to offer Canadians online post-secondary education".

Said a federal news release:

The report also encourages the further advancement of the learnware industry based on Canadian educational applications.

"This report serves as a strong foundation for future discussions on how online learning can better meet the needs of learners in Canada by providing access anywhere and at any time," said Mr. Hagel. "Its recommendations will be analyzed by my colleagues from the provinces and territories and should figure prominently on the agenda when CMEC meets in April."

"Knowledge and skills are among Canada's most important national resources," said Minister Tobin. "There are huge economic and social benefits to Canadians from a concerted approach to developing online courses and learnware products. Canada is well-positioned to be a world leader in online learning, and this report will serve as a valuable guide."

"The action plan arising from a mandate given to us by the two orders of government conveys a sense of urgency," said David Johnston, Chair of the Advisory Committee and President of the University of Waterloo. "Our students must have Canadian online content, and we must capitalize on the opportunity to build a learnware industry. Otherwise, we risk students taking courses from non-Canadian sources less responsive to our local, regional and national interests."

The report advocates the use of online learning through Internet or Intranet to meet individual needs, incomes, languages and learning styles. Recommendations include: making the Internet more accessible and affordable, especially broadband service; training faculty to make better use of educational technology in teaching; creating a comprehensive source of information on all Canadian online learning resources; developing more quality online Canadian learning content and; increasing research in learning, both traditional and online.

The Advisory Committee for Online Learning was established by the CMEC Postsecondary Expectations Consortium and Industry Canada in July 2000 to advise governments, universities and colleges on a coordinated approach to online post-secondary learning in Canada. The 19-member committee included presidents of colleges and universities, as well as senior business executives.

Johnston is also chairing a federal task force on broadband access to the Internet which is expected to report by the end of March.

[Let Me Vote logo]

On-line voting continues

The Federation of Students election and referendum, which began Friday evening, continue today and all this week. Voting takes place on-line, and will close at 4 p.m. Friday.

The news web site UWStudent.org reported over the weekend that Federation officials had "disqualified" the committee campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum on establishing a Co-op Society as part of the Fed structure. The disqualification was the result of statements made by the Yes committee in their publicity in Friday's issue of Imprint.

Ready for a reading break yet?

Just a few more days, and UW students and faculty will get a brief break, a chance to catch up on the work of the winter term. In most faculties, reading period will mean classes are cancelled all next week, February 19 through 23. In engineering and mathematics, the break is only a couple of days -- Thursday and Friday, the 22nd and 23rd.

Some students and some researchers will be off on field trips, temporary placements and other adventures. If you know someone whose plans for reading week might be worth a report in the Gazette or Daily Bulletin, I'd very much appreciate hearing about it.

Meanwhile, this week has Valentine's Day in the middle of it, and there will be some special events to celebrate. Two notes in particular:

Also: the University Club will hold a Valentine's dinner on Wednesday evening. Seating is available from 7 to 9 p.m., at $35 a person.

Today, the bookstore will hold a sale of "Wordsworth Classics" in the South Campus Hall concourse. "Poetry compilations and many reference dictionaries will also be available," I'm told.

At the Kitchener Public Library, today's noontime speaker is Jeanne Kay Guelke of the UW department of geography. Her talk, starting at 12:00, draws on her continuing research about "The Bible and Ecology".

A "speaking circle" will be held at 1:30 this afternoon in Math and Computer room 5136. More information is available from Alastair Farrugia, afarrugia@math.

And a major event later this week: Naresh Singh, the current Canada Trust Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment, will speak on Thursday at 4:00 in the Humanities Theatre. His talk will be based on his work about poverty and sustainable livelihoods. Admission to the lecture is free, but space is limited: call ext. 4973 to reserve a seat.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca Friday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo