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Monday, March 19, 2001

  • Students pick classes this week
  • Survey asks about library service
  • Donors meet creator of tapestry
  • Another week of fun and frolic

[Undergraduate calendar]
The undergraduate calendar is available from the registrar's office in printed form -- one to a customer -- with extra copies for sale at the bookstore. It's also on the web.

Students pick classes this week

This week brings "Class Enrolment (formerly called pre-registration)" for undergraduate students, as they identify the courses they plan to take when they're back on campus in the fall term.

'On-line drop/add will be introduced in the fall'
Many things are new, and more will be new by September, as the basic instructions for this week's paperwork explain:

"Over the next 12 months, the University will be rolling out a new student information system. We're excited about the new ways we'll be able to provide services to you. Web-enabled processes such as class selection and on-line drop/add will be introduced in the fall for Winter 2002 class selection. Marks query and on-line academic advising will be added next year.

"We go live in July but have to collect your class selections on paper now and enter them once we're up and running in the summer. Unfortunately, we are not able to collect your Plan Modification and Class Selection information electronically as yet. We anticipate that dependence on paper-based processes will end soon. Please be patient as we make the transition."

A key thing that's new is that students themselves will be responsible for developing a timetable without course conflicts. The present scheduling system, now 30 years old, would take student course requests and develop a timetable based on them. The new system works the other way round: the timetable is set first and students choose their courses knowing when a class will meet.

Printed and on-line material for class enrolment includes a blank timetable planner, as well as the necessary forms to submit course choices -- using a four-digit "class number" assigned to each course section.

Among other novelties: a "program" is now an "academic plan", a "faculty" in some contexts is an "academic group", a "course number" is now a "catalogue number", and Thursday is abbreviated Th instead of R.

"What's next?" the instructions wind up. "In August, we'll mail you a Study List (formerly called a schedule or timetable) that reflects your class selections. A bill for tuition, etc., will be sent separately by the Finance Department."

Survey asks about library service

A sample of faculty members and students is being surveyed this week about the quality of service in the UW library, with some 60 questions about how it lives up to their expectations.

The survey, being done through a web site, is part of a study that currently involves three universities in Canada (UW, Guelph and McGill) and 42 in the United States. University librarian Murray Shepherd explains the project in a memo:

What do library users expect of the services we provide? How well is the library meeting those expectations? Because these are questions of growing interest and concern to many libraries, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is developing a survey instrument designed to help its members better understand their users' views of the services they offer. Last spring the survey instrument, known as LibQUAL+ (based on industry's ServQual measuring instrument) was tested through a pilot project with twelve participating libraries, including one in Canada (York). . . .

A sample of Waterloo faculty (600), graduate students (1,000) and undergraduates (1,700) will receive e-mail invitations to take part by answering a set of questions about their expectations of the Library and how well their expectations have been met.

The data collected can be compared with findings from other academic libraries, and may give library managers and staff ideas of areas in which our Library is especially strong and other areas in which our work needs review or improvement.

Leading UW's involvement in the study are Susan Routliffe, assistant university librarian (information services), and Mark Haslett, associate librarian (information services and systems). They're stressing that the current effort is primarily a research project, aimed at finding out how well the survey tool works, and note that UW's participation has received ethics clearance through the UW office of research.

The faculty and students who were randomly selected for the survey were notified by e-mail late last week, and today are getting a second e-mail message that gives them the URL where they can answer the survey questions.

"By responding to the survey," says the first e-mail message to them, "you will help researchers determine how sound the instrument is and what changes are required for improvement. In addition, you will provide us with valuable information about your perceptions of services offered by the University of Waterloo Library. . . .

"Completed surveys are sent to researchers at Texas A & M University who ensure that your privacy is maintained by applying the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. The data that we receive from the researchers will be aggregated and will not reveal the identity of individual respondents."

People who complete the survey by the March 30 deadline can enter their names in a prize draw.

Donors meet creator of tapestry

A group of UW's largest donors and their friends will get "a personal view" of the Bayeux Tapestry tomorrow morning from someone who knows it well: Ray Dugan, retired professor of French, who spent years hand-crafting a detailed replica of the 900-year-old treasure.

He'll be the guest of honour tomorrow morning at a "breakfast circle seminar" for the President's Circle, starting at 7:30 in the Festival Room of South Campus Hall.

The President's Circle consists of individual donors of more than $1,000 a year to the university. Tickets for tomorrow's event, including talk and continental breakfast for two, cost $15 (call Wendy Rose, ext. 5069).

[Segment of tapestry] For Dugan, who first saw the famous Bayeux Tapestry in Europe more than 30 years ago, it represents more than an exquisite work of art and an important historical document. The tapestry records the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. (Pictured at right is the first segment of the tapestry, which is a total of 70 metres -- 230 feet -- long and about half a metre wide.)

Dugan's fascination with the work began in the 1980s when he started hand-stitching some of the scenes. In 1993, after the death of his two sons in an accident, the hobby became a means of coping with the loss. Eventually, he reproduced the entire tapestry as a memorial to the two young men. It has been displayed in many galleries, museums and churches, as well as being a tool of expression for Dugan and his wife when they speak to groups dealing with grief. His tapestry is on display all this year at the Lambton Heritage Museum, between Grand Bend and Sarnia.

Dugan was a professor at UW from 1968 until his retirement in 1996; he served as chair of the department of classics and romance languages and, after a reorganization, the department of French studies.

Another week of fun and frolic

The sun is shining and -- what more could anyone want? -- it's National Co-op Week, so designated by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education. UW's co-op department has played a big part in CAFCE over the years, as befits the university with the world's largest co-op program. This week in co-op at Waterloo, "continuous phase" interviews for spring term jobs continue, and there will be several more sessions in the career development seminar series. (The career resource centre in Needles Hall can provide details.)

David Johnston, president of UW, will be at the Kitchener Public Library (main branch) at noon today, to speak on "Community Connectiveness". Johnston has been involved in a good half-dozen national studies and task forces on issues related to how all Canadians can have access to the Internet in "smart communities".

A music student recital is scheduled for 12:30 today in the chapel at Conrad Grebel College -- sorry, I don't have details.

"The secret love child of Alice Munro and Stephen King" is expected at St. Jerome's University this afternoon. Well, that's how one reviewer described the work of Andrew Pyper, anyway. A memo from Gary Draper, of the English department at St. Jerome's, introduces today's visitor:

Andrew Pyper, a native of Stratford, Ontario, is one of the fastest-rising stars in Canadian writing. He received a BA and an MA in English Literature from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a law degree from the University of Toronto. Although called to the bar in 1996, he has never practiced. Kiss Me, a collection of short stories, was published to acclaim in 1996. His first novel, Lost Girls, was a national bestseller in Canada and a Globe and Mail Notable Book selection. . . . The novel won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel and is an Otto Penzler pick on Amazon.com. Lost Girls has been published in the US and UK in 2000, and is also being translated into Italian, Dutch, German and Japanese. Film rights to Lost Girls have been optioned by Jersey Films and Universal Pictures. Andrew Pyper lives in Toronto, where he is at work on his second novel.
And he quotes some of the reviews of Pyper's work, such as one from the Globe that says Pyper achieves "a smart, wry, controlled tone narrating a northwoods Gothic. A satisfying, old-style morality tale set in a ripping good -- and complex -- story brimming over with 90's style pockmarked souls and bruised psyches." Today's reading (admission free) starts at 4:00 in the common room at St. Jerome's.

Stephen Katz of the Centre for Judaic Studies at Boston University will speak at UW tonight, in the "distinguished guest lecture series" sponsored by the Jewish studies program. Katz's title: "Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust". He will offer, a flyer says, "an in-depth look at the means and practice of Jewish resistance, both spiritual and physical, during the Holocaust". The talk starts at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University, and will be followed by a reception; everyone is welcome.

Looking ahead through the week:

CAR


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