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Thursday, March 29, 2001

  • Fine arts students show their work
  • Faculty pay hike raises budget question
  • Board will vote on co-op building fee
  • The talk of the campus


Just an average face: Pascale Proulx, a fourth-year student, "has seamlessly combined her interests in fine arts and computer science", said fine arts professor Art Green. "She came across a theory that the faces rated as most attractive are actually the faces that are most average. She tested this theory in averaging together her fellow students' faces, and the composite visage is this Mona Lisa-like result."

Fine arts students show their work

An exhibition of recent works by fourth-year graduating fine arts students opens on March 29 in the East Campus Hall galleries. Titled "Document 25," the exhibition includes around 50 pieces in half a dozen disciplines.

Says Will Gorlitz, a fine arts instructor who this week received a distinguished teacher award from UW and who is himself a leading artist: "While some of the pieces in this show are very conceptual, others are a visual delight. The exhibition is characterized by hope . . . slight irony to society . . . idealistic . . . a celebration of life."

He adds: "This show is the culmination of years of hard work by these students. It is a means to formally recognize the successful completion of their studies in a professional context. Although I am supervising the exhibition, the students do everything from collectively curating it to writing the catalogue, as it is part of the learning process. Every aspect of this show is modelled after a gallery or museum system."

As visitors wind their way through the gallery, they will see traditional media, such as oil on board and canvas, to digital pieces, both animated and still. As well, there will be interactive web-based work, installations of sculpture and works on paper.

It's the first exhibition of any consequence to these students, which Gorlitz describes as a "response to tradition in innovative and experimental ways. We encourage the students to discover their own individuality, follow their instincts, follow their noses."

In a toast to creativity, the public is invited to attend the awards presentation at 4 p.m. today at the galleries. It will be followed by an opening reception where the public is invited to meet and speak with the artists. Admission is free. The show will continue on display until April 19.

Faculty pay hike raises budget question

Faculty members will receive a 2.65 per cent scale pay increase this spring in addition to the usual "progress through the ranks" (merit) increases, it was announced yesterday.

The increase emerged from negotiations between the faculty association and university management, the president of the association, John Wilson, said in an e-mail message to faculty members. He said the settlement also includes "an increase in the value of full sabbaticals to 85 per cent -- this last to remain unchanged for the next three years".

A few hours later the provost, Alan George, confirmed the news in response to a question at a meeting of the senate finance committee, calling the figure "just a shade under inflation".

The provost was then asked how much the increase is going to cost, in a year when the draft budget is already showing a deficit. "You can multiply as easy as I can," said George, pointing out the numbers to multiply: 2.65 per cent, and an estimated cost of $1.4 million for each 1 per cent increase received by faculty and staff. Since faculty are about half the payroll and staff the other half, the faculty scale increase brings a bill of about $1.8 million.

"Salary discussions with the staff are still ongoing," the provost said, "so it's still unclear what we'll be faced with in terms of an operating deficit. But it's not pretty." Even with zero salary increases the draft budget was showing a deficit of $1.8 million. And at yesterday's meeting, George repeated what he had told UW's senate earlier in the week: he has asked deans and other leaders to plan for a one-time reduction of 3 per cent in total budgets this year.

Chris Farley, president of the Federation of Students, asked what the effect of that 3 per cent cut will be: "Are we talking about infrastructure, or staff, or longer lineups?"

"You're right," said George, "it's going to be really painful in all areas. I wouldn't discount the possibility of staff reductions, and there will be fewer courses offered than might otherwise be."

UW president David Johnston chimed it: "One just begins with retirements and resignations. Slowing down on filling vacant positions is the first approach."

Board will vote on co-op building fee

Students will indeed be asked to pay $25 a term towards the cost of the new co-operative education and career services building, according to the agenda for next week's meeting of the UW board of governors. There's been lively discussion about whether student leaders should support the proposal, which was floated a few weeks ago.

A $25 surcharge on the co-op fee (currently $400 a term) would be collected starting when the new building goes into use, according to a proposal coming to the board from UW's vice-president (administration and finance). "The $25 increase will be collected for a period not exceeding 25 years. . . . UW undertakes to raise donations to the extent possible to reduce this fee."

The memo from the vice-president says students would end up paying just about half of the building's $8.7 million cost. The other half is coming from the Ontario government.

Four scenes from a tragedy

Still while Ismene glows like the candles
Antigone sits silent on the stair
or from the terrace looks into the dark.
It seems that in her eyes she shows the future,
and I am drawn to her to read it there.

"Antigone: A Play in Four Parts" is the final project of the drama department's current directing class. The play combines scenes from the original "Antigone" of Sophocles and Jean Anouilh's 1945 adaptation. Each member of the class (Marc Andre Barsalou, Joanne Cope, Carolyn Magwood, Erica McNiece) has directed one scene -- with separate casts and independent visions -- and the four scenes come together to retell the great tragedy in a unique way. The play runs tonight through Saturday at 8:00 in Studio 180 in the Humanities building. Admission is "pay what you can", with donations accepted for the Food Bank.

The talk of the campus

I'd better start with a couple of corrections. First, in yesterday's Bulletin I referred to the traffic between the campus computer network and the outside world as being "almost 12 megabytes per second". Wrong; those megs are bits, not bytes (there are eight bits in a byte, I'm pretty sure). The per-second traffic is 11.9 megabits or 1.5 megabytes.

And in yesterday's Gazette we mentioned a planned reunion at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, and thanks to a typographical error said it would be happening on March 6, a date that's already history. The WCI reunion is scheduled for Saturday, May 26. (For more information, call 884-9590.)

Bruce Lumsden, director of co-op education and career services, was on CBC radio this morning commenting on the hard times being faced by Nortel Networks, which is a big employer of both co-op students and graduates. "Nortel's a very competitive firm in recruiting practices," said Lumsden, saying he thinks Waterloo students will still find the company an attractive place to work.

A note from Monday's meeting of the UW senate: UW vice-president (university research) Paul Guild presented plans for Innovate Inc., a "pre-incubator" for new ideas developed on campus, and mentioned that one group keenly interested in the idea is the Entrepreneurs Association of UW. He said his office has already signed a memorandum of agreement with the EAUW -- which has grown to some 500 students since it was founded less than a year ago -- for its involvement with Innovate.

UW president David Johnston was one of the invited speakers when the Ontario Liberal party held its policy conference at Niagara-on-the-Lake over the weekend. A column in yesterday's Star reported a little of what happened: "Johnston drew an almost visceral reaction when he said it was inconceivable to imagine his university without a philosophy program or English and history programs that make sure 'all those wonderful engineers are literate as well as numerate.' This was clearly a gathering deeply offended by [Ontario premier Mike] Harris' glorification of 'techies' at the expense of arts and the humanities."

The Record reports that "a 24-year-old Windsor man", not named, "has been charged with robbery in connection with an incident in which a 28-year-old University of Waterloo student was robbed at gunpoint while walking on a campus road in January".

The stores of South Campus Hall are hosting "Customer Appreciation Day" today, says Jason MacIntyre of the retail services department: "Once each term, we hold a special sale to thank all our customers for their support of our stores. This event will feature 25% off regular-priced merchandise at the UWShop, 25% off regular-priced general books at the Bookstore, 25% off architecture supplies at TechWorx SCH, and 25% off UW-crested stationery products at TechWorx SCH." Not included: textbooks, software, custom and specialty products, electronics, and items already discounted.

Also in retail services, but across campus at the computer store, today brings the first of three "lunch and learn" sessions -- free food and presentations about new high-tech products. Today: Iomega data storage. Sign-up is through the store's web site.

There's another noontime recital today at Conrad Grebel College, more music students showing off their talents. Today's program includes a Mozart flute solo, Beethoven on the piano, Schumann and Mendelssohn songs, a saxophone concerto and Bach on the violin. The music starts at 12:30 in the Grebel chapel; admission is free.

An "exchange presentation night", with students from Germany and Japan talking about their homelands, starts at 5:00 this afternoon in Engineering II room 1303E.

Raj Dubey of the mechanical engineering department will speak on "Spirituality and Yoga" at 7:00 tonight in Math and Computer room 4021, in the second presentation from the newly formed Spiritual Heritage Education Network.

The International Student Association has announced "a big end-of-term party" tonight starting at 8 at the Noodles Factory, a restaurant on University Avenue a short way east of campus.

Among things scheduled for tomorrow:


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