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Wednesday, January 17, 2001

  • Deadline nears for teacher awards
  • Surplus sales attracting crowds
  • The talk of the campus
  • And the talk of the province

[Collage of four teachers]
Last year's distinguished teaching award winners, clockwise: Grant Russell (accountancy), Brian Forrest (pure mathematics), Al Evans (St. Paul's United College) and Emanuel Carvalho (economics).

Deadline nears for teacher awards -- by Barbara Elve

Teachers who have made a difference in the lives of their students don't have a magic formula, and they're not particularly renowned for their technological wizardry.

Comments about past recipients of distinguished teacher awards at UW, in fact, suggest winners simply connect with their students on a very basic, human level in order to teach effectively.

"Even in large classes, he attempts to learn the names of all the students," said one student about his teacher. "He knows students on a first-name basis," observed a student of another teacher, "which is very rare and which requires you to be alert and pay attention because he could ask you a question at any time."

The ability to involve a class in the subject is also the mark of an exceptional teacher. "This subject is not a very exciting topic," one student candidly admitted, "but he has such a passion for the topic that he draws in the class and as a result makes it one of the most enjoyable courses in the department."

"I believe he is such an effective instructor because he is very sensitive to feedback from the class (e.g. regarding the speed, their comprehension, their interest)," said another. One award-winning teacher is remembered for conveying "confidence that all students are capable of doing well."

Distinguished teacher awards -- awarded annually to three faculty members and one non-regular faculty member (part-time faculty, full and part-time staff, and faculty members holding adjunct appointments) -- recognize those extraordinary teaching skills. Four annual awards have also been established for distinguished teaching by a registered student, to honour students (teaching assistants, laboratory demonstrators, sessional lecturers) for their teaching excellence.

Administered by the teaching resources and continuing education (TRACE) office, the awards are presented to recipients chosen from among nominees by a selection committee of faculty and students. Details of nomination procedures for both awards can be found on the TRACE web site.

The deadline for nominations for distinguished teacher awards is February 2; for distinguished teaching by a registered student, February 9.

[Carrying out a monitor]

Surplus sales attracting crowds

They'll be elbow-to-elbow at East Campus Hall today, as they are every time UW's central stores department holds a "surplus" sale of hardware, furniture and other things UW no longer needs.

The sales are such a success, in fact, that Ed Goodwin of stores is almost afraid to talk about them and attract even more customers. As coordinator of the surplus program, he's struggling with a severe space shortage to accommodate both the quantity of unwanted items being sold and the hordes of shoppers looking for bargains. They'll crowd into the basement area of ECH, then stream out again, trudging down Phillip Street under the weight of obsolete (but maybe still useful) monitors, chairs and appliances.

The January 3 sale was typical, Goodwin said, with folks pushing and shoving to find the best deal on everything from electrical equipment to orphan umbrellas and mittens. "Sometimes it's so full you can't move," he says, estimating an average of 300 people both from on campus and off turn out for each sale.

Originally monthly, the sales are now being held twice a month: on the first and third Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Even with the number of sales doubled, "we still need a bigger space," says Goodwin. "We can hardly move when we open the doors."

Although computers and office furniture are the most popular items, "there's something unique in every sale." With surplus goods arriving from across campus, that could mean the odd piano, a lathe, weights from the Physical Activities Complex, even mattresses from the Village residences.

With students searching for furnishings, sales at the beginning of the fall and spring terms are the busiest, says Goodwin. Prices, he adds, are "fairly cheap so people get a good buy" and to ensure the merchandise moves. Terms are cash and carry; cheques are accepted with identification. "It's buyer beware -- no refunds or exchanges, and no deliveries!"

The talk of the campus

On the day when the course add period ends for this term . . . the day the basketball teams play at Brock . . . the morning after the night before . . . there's one more day until fall term marks will be available. Pickup starts at 10:00 Thursday morning (details in tomorrow's Bulletin). For students who aren't on campus this term, mark reports will be in the mail this week.

At Monday night's meeting of the UW senate, Federation of Students president Chris Farley asked what was happening about tuition fee levels for the coming year. "Certainly students should be given an opportunity to present their views," replied acting provost Alan George. "Until we get a little further on in the budget process, it's not clear how acute the situation may be" -- implying, how badly UW might need the income from possible fee increases. The senate finance committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting about 2001-02 funding on January 30.

Also at the senate meeting, George was asked about a proposal to move UW's school of architecture to a site in the picturesque Galt area of Cambridge. "These discussions are in the very early stages," the provost said, "and it's not at all clear whether they'll be successful." He said there are certainly difficulties, and "there are always extra costs associated with having a satellite campus," with many issues remaining to be explored. On the same evening as the senate meeting, Cambridge city council voted in favour of a plan to pay $7.5 million from the city's capital budget towards the construction of a home for the architecture school if it does come to the city, as business leaders are proposing.

In yesterday's Bulletin I quoted Jake Sivak, the dean of graduate studies, as saying that UW's ratio of graduate students to undergraduates was about 13 per cent. I must have misunderstood something, as it's only about 10 per cent, Sivak notes. "We have about 2,000 grad students at UW, about 1,600 full-time and 400 part-time. In fact we have seen modest increases in grad numbers over the past couple of years. However, the overall number of students has also gone up, so the percentage is about the same." As I was saying yesterday, Sivak would like to see it at perhaps 20 per cent, which would be double the current level.

Today brings the next in the noon-hour series of intellectual property forums, a talk on "Disclosure: Who Wins, Who Loses?" at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3001.

The career development seminar series, in the co-op and career services department, brings a session on resume writing at 5:30 this evening. The career resource centre in Needles Hall can provide more information.

Scholarships are many, and I've been asked to make mention of two in particular: the $1,000 Heidi Thiessen Memorial Scholarship, and a $500 award, both offered by the local chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. "Students in third or fourth year in any faculty are welcome to apply. A transcript, two samples of technical writing, and a 200-word essay detailing why the student should receive this award are required." An application form is available on the chapter's web site, and the deadline is February 9.

The local Volunteer Action Centre sends word about a "sweet event" in support of Anselma House, the women's shelter in this community. People are wanted, says the VAC, to "help make their February Chocolate Hearts Campaign a success. Volunteers can become involved by delivering boxes of chocolate heart suckers to workplaces, putting stickers on the suckers or by selling them from a display booth at a work site. Give a few hours of your time to support this shelter for abused women and children, because a life without violence is the only life to live. Call 741-9184 ext. 31."

And the talk of the province

  • Today's Star: 'Prospective profs offered six-figure bonus'

  • OCUFA: 'Needed: 15,000 more professors'
    "Student demand for a university education is expected to increase by 40% over the course of the next decade, but no provisions are in place for hiring the additional faculty necessary to maintain the high quality of education that these students deserve", [said Henry Jacek, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations].

    To date, Ontario has lost 2,000 full-time equivalent faculty, representing over 15% of the total complement. In addition a third of current faculty members are between the ages of 55 and 64, suggesting that a further 5,500 professors will leave their universities by the year 2010.

    "This loss of faculty could not come at a worse time. It coincides precisely with the biggest increase in university demand since the 1960s. And the government's own secondary school reform, which is giving rise to the upcoming 'double cohort' of students, is one of the key reasons why enrolment is expected to jump by 90,000 students over the next ten years."

  • Last year's report: 'Will there be enough excellent profs?'

  • The previous year's report: 'Enrolment surge requires investment'


    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 | Yesterday's Bulletin
    Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo