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Friday, March 23, 2001

  • Budget looks tight, provost warns
  • Progress towards Windows 2000
  • Chamber choir performs on Sunday
  • Grads ready for research conference
  • Happening today and on the weekend

Budget looks tight, provost warns

Expenses are way ahead of income in the first draft of UW's budget for the coming year, which provost Alan George will present to the senate finance committee on Tuesday.

"This budget is a work in progress," George warns in a memo. "There is much uncertainty on both the income and expense sides; however, enough is known to be able to conclude that the University's financial situation for the coming year is quite unfavorable."

He's guessing at total income of $219.4 million for the year that begins on May 1, and total expenditures of $221.2 million. The result: a deficit of $1.8 million.

And that's before anything is allocated to provide scale increases in faculty and staff salaries. The budget does include $3.0 million to cover merit increases, as well as an increase for members of Canadian Union of Public Employees under the three-year contract they signed in 1999. A 2 per cent increase for graduate teaching assistants is also included.

Each 1 per cent scale and range increase for staff and faculty will cost about $1.4 million more, a footnote adds.

The provost says his calculations are based on getting a 3 per cent increase in Ontario government grants -- although that figure "may be optimistic, given recent comments attributed by the media to" Ontario premier Mike Harris. Most tuition fees are to go up 2 per cent for the new year.

Almost half of the increased income is immediately siphoned off for student aid and other special purposes, George notes, so it's not available to help cover increases in salaries and other costs. Among the big cost increases are utilities (gas prices are just about double last year's level) and the steady rise in health plan premiums.

And this year will bring the first step in returning pension premiums to their normal level, a move that will cost the university some $1.1 million in the year. (Taking them all the way to the normal level would cost another $5.4 million. That's expected to happen in stages over the next four years.)

Progress towards Windows 2000

The information systems and technology department says it's making progress on plans to have Microsoft's flagship product, Windows 2000, become the operating system on most computers in UW's non-academic departments.

IST announced that goal in 1999, saying that while computers that run other operating systems (such as Unix and Macintosh) aren't affected, all users who now have Windows 95 or Windows NT will eventually be on Windows 2000.

Says a memo from IST this week:

IST has a number of projects that are building the necessary services to support this new environment. These include: directory services using Microsoft's Active Directory, software distribution mechanisms, file and print services.

[Windows logo] IST continues to test Windows 2000 and applications within its own department. We have two Windows 2000 PCs to lend to departments so that special purpose software can be tested.

Once IST feels confident that Windows 2000 can be smoothly installed and maintained, then one or two smaller departments will be asked to participate in a pilot of Windows 2000.

In the meantime, if you are purchasing new PC equipment, please refer to the IST recommended hardware configuration. In addition, please remember that you must also purchase an operating system from the vendor. The University does not have licenses for the Windows operating system (only upgrades). We recommend you purchase a license for Windows 2000 Professional (not ME) with your PC. Equipment arriving this spring will have the current supported version of Windows installed. Then once Windows 2000 is to be deployed in your area, you will already have the required Windows 2000 license.

IST staff members Bob Hicks and Pat Lafranier are available to provide more information to non-academic departments that need it.

Chamber choir performs on Sunday

The UW chamber choir gives its end-of-term concert Sunday afternoon at Parkminster United Church on Erb Street East near the expressway. The choir will sing material all the way from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Jamaica's markets. Director Richard Cunningham tells more:

"This term I have given the students the challenge of singing in many different languages, and in almost as many different styles as we have pieces. Our programme sings of the joys of spring, in a renaissance French chanson, to a Russian folk melody which speaks of coming up out of the depths of Lent. . . .

"We begin with an African chant which was heard by Conrad Grebel College professor Carol Ann Weaver on a trip to Kenya in 1992. Carol Ann told me that she found the experience profoundly moving, and even though she did not write down the chant for two days, still had it ringing in her ears, as it had been done in the service of worship. . . .

"We transport ourselves to Canada of the late 1700s for what I suspect is a work song. It seems to have little plot or meaning, but, as it rattles along quite steadily and firmly, it would be well used for work such as logging or paddling. Its arranger, Godfrey Ridout, was a well-known Canadian musician of the mid to late 20th century."

And then there's "Shenandoah". The concert starts at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon; tickets are $8, students and seniors $5.

Grads ready for research conference

Plans are moving right along for the first "graduate student research conference" at UW, to be held April 4-6 under the title "Sharing Discovery".

A total of 144 grad students from all six faculties will be taking part in three days of oral and poster presentations highlighting their scholarship. Among the 94 oral presentations:

Several faculty members -- and UW president David Johnston -- will give keynote talks at the conference, which is open to anyone interested.

As well, some 50 posters describing research projects will be on display in the Davis Centre, where all conference presentations will be held. Awards will be presented for the best poster and oral presentations.

The idea of a graduate research conference was proposed by graduate studies dean Jake Sivak last year. In an effort to boost enrolment of graduate students at Waterloo, he suggested a number of measures, including what was then envisioned as "an annual two-day graduate student research conference". Response to the call for submissions among graduate students has been so overwhelming that the conference has been expanded to run for three days.

The event is jointly sponsored by the graduate studies office -- which is providing funding -- and the Graduate Student Association. Among its goals, says Sivak, is promoting interdisciplinary research. "The most exciting research developments are taking place at the boundaries between the disciplines."

McMaster staff strike continues

McMaster Daily News

Staff union's web site

Silhouette (student newspaper)

New site about strikes from an Ontario parents' group

Happening today and on the weekend

Class enrolment for fall term classes winds up today. . . . It's the last day of "Compulsion", the exhibition of work by Kelly Mark and Ben Walmsley, in the East Campus Hall art galleries. A new show will be opening at the end of next week. . . .

Walter Herzog of the University of Calgary will speak this morning (10:30, Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute) on "History-Dependent Force Production in Skeletal Muscle".

Also at 10:30, Kamran Sartipi of the computer science department will give a software engineering seminar on "A Graph Pattern Matching Approach to Software Architecture Recovery" (Davis Centre room 1331).

The Computer Help and Information Place, or CHIP, in the Math and Computer building, will be closed over lunch-hour today (11:45 to 1:30) as staff members say farewell to a colleague, Jim Davidson. He's been working in information systems and technology (and its predecessor, the "department of computing services") for 23 years, and will start a new job Monday in the school of optometry.

At 3:30, Andrew Bailey of the University of Guelph gives a philosophy colloquium: "The Unsoundness of Arguments from Conceivability". Location: Humanities room 373.

The national men's hockey championship tournament continues today and through the weekend at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, co-hosted by UW and two nearby universities. Games are at 1:00 and 7:00 today and tomorrow, and the championship game is Sunday at 3 p.m. While most tickets come from the Aud box office (745-0303), UW's athletics department has three-game passes that include free bus transportation from Waterloo.

Tony Lee, "the X-rated hypnotist", performs tonight at Federation Hall. Apparently the show is pretty racy. "Ten years ago there was not a university or college that would touch us," he said in a recent interview. But it's no longer over the top to have volunteers get hypnotized and engage in simulated sex acts on stage, so things should be lively in Fed Hall a few hours from now. Tickets are $4 at the Federation office in the Student Life Centre. Oh, and I loved the headline in Imprint last week: "He'll make you bark like a dog and like it."

Something called the Starmaker Dance Competition brings talented young performers to the Humanities Theatre all day both Saturday and Sunday.

The drama department's production of "The Club" by Eve Merriam continues tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 in the Theatre of the Arts. Tickets: 888-4908.


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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Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo