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Wednesday, June 6, 2001

  • Fears for quality by 2003
  • Team reports on Formula SAE race
  • This week's staff positions
  • Trade shows on campus, and more

Fears for quality by 2003

UW's pared-down budget for 2001-02 was approved by the university's board of governors yesterday, after a discussion focused on the problems of provincial government funding.

For the board's benefit, provost Alan George repeated the things he said last month when the treasurer of Ontario announced the level of grants that would be available for the next three years. Treasurer Jim Flaherty announced that the province will increase its grants by 1.6 per cent this year, 3.9 per cent next year, and then 13.2 per cent in 2003-04, the year the "double cohort" is expected to put sudden enrolment pressure on the campuses.

"The funding increases are based only on projected enrolment increases," George said. "There is no provision for inflation." The result is a real grant increase that's only about 4 per cent over three years. "Four per cent is better than nothing, but that's in the context of increasing enrolment by 20 per cent!"

A board member asked what things are going to be like when extra students hit the campuses. "It's not possible," said George, "to deal with that and maintain the quality. We give up on class sizes, we give up on the range of programs that we offer. . . . There's going to be a lot of soul-searching and planning to decide what's going to be the best strategy."

President David Johnston chimed in to note that some universities will expand their enrolment significantly to help deal with those extra high school graduates, while some won't. Overall, he said, "the quality in the system will go down." UW's announced plan is to accept some extra students in 2003 and some in 2004, and then fall back to a level of enrolment that amounts to a 15 per cent growth from 1998-99 levels.

Already, George told the board yesterday, about 10 per cent of UW's students aren't bringing in any grants, although there has been pressure on the government to change that system. If grants were given based on UW's total enrolment, the university's income would be something like $8 million a year higher than it is.

As things stand, the budget is being trimmed by $5.5 million this year -- 3.5 per cent off most departments' spending -- in order to bring income and spending into balance. The board approved George's proposed budget, with total operating expenditures of $219.7 million for the current year.

Team reports on Formula SAE race -- by Barbara Elve

Competing against 124 teams from universities around the world at the annual Formula SAE Competition last month in Pontiac, Michigan, the UW team brought home its ninth top-ten finish, ranking second among Canada's 21 entries, and placing ninth overall in the competition.

In its 14th year of competition, the UW team received a first in engineering design, second in safety and crashworthiness, and eleventh in endurance.

Among the top Canadian entries, Ecole de Technologie Superieure placed sixth, McGill University was 19th, Queen's University ranked 26th, University of Western Ontario 37th, and University of Toronto, 40th.

Each team is required to innovate, design, fabricate and race their own formula-style race car, which must have the potential to be mass-produced and marketed to the non-professional, weekend Solo II autocross competitor. It must be completed -- start to finish -- in a single academic year and have a fully-assembled cost of no more than US $30,000.

Automotive and race engineers from host companies Daimler-Chrysler, General Motors and Ford judge each vehicle based on a series of static and dynamic evaluations. Static judging includes engineering design, manufacturing cost analysis, and marketing presentations. Dynamic judging features acceleration, skid pad tests, autocross challenges and an endurance/fuel economy event. There are also incentives for aesthetics, comfort, safety and use of off-the-shelf parts.

Poor weather at this year's Formula SAE Competition reduced the number of attempts teams had for skid pad, acceleration and autocross runs, but permitted the endurance/fuel economy event to be fully completed.

The UW team is looking for enthusiastic members from all years and disciplines to be part of the 2002 effort. Anyone interested can e-mail fsae@engmail or call ext. 5904. FSAE is located in Engineering III room 2107, and the team welcomes visitors.

This week's staff positions

Planning for UW's big campaign is rolling along, as already mentioned, and this week's Positions Available list includes two senior positions in the development office to help make it happen. The positions list appears in the Bulletin this week because there is no Gazette issue this week. (The Gazette has two more issues during the spring term, June 13 and June 27.)

"University Policy 18," says the human resources department, "provides maximum opportunity for promotion of regular, internal staff members. Those interested in applying for an available position are invited to call Human Resources at ext. 2524 for more information or are welcome to visit during regular working hours to view a detailed job description. Human Resources is located in the General Services Complex, Room 130. A current resume is required with your application.

"Due to the number of applications received, we regret that we can not respond to external applicants who apply to the vacancies listed below unless an interview is scheduled.

"If there are no qualified internal applications, a decision may be made, no earlier than seven working days from the job posting, to seek external candidates. All applications received after this decision will be treated on an equal basis, without consideration of the internal status of the candidate."

Full job descriptions are available on the human resources web site.

And more from HR: "The university welcomes and encourages applications from the designated employment equity groups: visible minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and aboriginal people. For more information call ext. 2524."

TRACE seeks director

A selection committee is looking for nominees for a key UW position with a long title: Director of the Teaching Resource Office and Advisor on Continuing Education. (That's TRACE for short.)

"The Director will be a faculty member from the professorial ranks," a memo says. "The appointment is a secondment at a minimum of 50% for an initial term of five years and reports to the Associate Provost, Academic and Student Affairs." Gary Griffin, director of TRACE since 1992, ends his term August 31.

Full information about the job responsibilities should be available today on the TRACE web site.

Nominations and applications are due by June 22 to the office of the associate provost, Gary Waller, in Needles Hall. He chairs the selection committee, which also includes two students, a dean, a faculty member, and Donna Ellis, associate director of TRACE.

Trade shows on campus, and more

The purchasing services department is hosting a series of "trade shows" over the next few days, says manager Steve Cook. "We have arranged to have three systems contract suppliers display their products and services, and those of their own suppliers, all with the intent that the campus community may acquire a better understanding of the products and the people that they depend on to provide supplies." The events will be held in Davis Centre room 1301, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday. Refreshments are promised. Today, VWR Scientific will have several of their own suppliers on hand. On Thursday, Fisher Scientific and the university's custom consolidator, Commerce, will be on hand to respond to import-export questions. And on Friday, UW's new stationery supplier, Basics, will be there "to make introductions" and offer samples of new product lines. Says Cook: "We hope all those on campus responsible for ordering or consuming any of the above will feel free to join and meet and speak with our suppliers."

It's day two for the Green Commuter Challenge, a competition to see which community -- Kitchener-Waterloo or Hamilton -- can get more people to forsake their cars and walk, bike, bus or at least car-pool to work. Participants can still sign up for tomorrow, the final day of the event.

What's happening on campus today:

Notice from the Student Information Systems Project: "The SISP team is working towards bringing the Student Records portion of the new Student Administration system online. To facilitate some vital student records conversion processes, the Student Administration system and Waterloo Inquiry will not be available from 12 p.m. (noon) Wednesday, June 6, to 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 7."

Training in WHMIS, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, is being planned again by UW's safety office. It's the usual one-hour session, including a video and a brief quiz. Says a memo: "All university employees, volunteers, part-time employees and graduate students who have not previously attended a University of Waterloo WHMIS session are required to attend." Sessions will be offered tomorrow at 10 a.m., June 14 at 2 p.m., and June 22 and 10 a.m., all in Davis Centre room 1304.

Away from campus: today sees the opening of an exhibition at the Museum of Textiles in Toronto, under the title "On Growth and Form: Textiles and the Engineering of Nature". One of the three curators for the show is Philip Beesley of UW's school of architecture.

CAR


[UW logo] 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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