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Monday, May 7, 2001
The paper said the current plan for a "research park" north of Columbia Street has a price tag of $214 million, including $40 million from governments. "The municipality and region will be asked to provide one-third of the $40.2 million in public sector funds," said the article by Terry Pender, "while the province and Ottawa kick in the other two-thirds. This money will be used for sewers, watermains, sidewalks, roads and environmental work to protect Columbia Lake."
The news story also says that "The 40-hectare (100-acre) park will be the workplace for an estimated 6,000 people, boost exports from this region by up to $10 billion, and feature light-rail links to the main campus, downtown Waterloo and central Kitchener, says a background report prepared for Waterloo city council."
One of the reasons previous attempts failed was the high cost of the infrastructure, but this plan calls for the public sector to build and pay for that part of it.The long-desired research park was last in the news last summer, when the board of governors heard a report on unsuccessful efforts by a "WatPark consortium" to find an anchor tenant and move ahead with the development.
The latest proposal calls for 1.2 million square feet of floor space within several buildings for high-tech companies conducting applied research and innovative product development in cooperation with the university.
The current proposal is for a park on the east side of the north campus, behind the Optometry building. A draft of the document describes it as having "a collegial, campus-like environment with low-rise buildings and large tracts of greenspace reflecting the look and feel of UW itself." It would include "well-lit surface parking", "state of the art telecommunication systems", and pedestrian trails.
West of the development would be something that has been part of north campus proposals since the beginning: a 270-acre "environmental reserve" along Laurel Creek.
Of the $40 million that governments will be asked to provide, just $12 million is actually for the research park on the north campus. The rest will go for nearby roads and other infrastructure, including this year's planned reconstruction of Columbia Street.
Source: Council of Ontario Universities
The Province of Ontario annually invests just over $2.1 billion in university education. Most of this investment flows directly into university operating grants, with the balance going to students in the form of scholarships and financial aid. The Enterprise Canada report, The Economic Impact of Ontario's Universities, finds that, in return for this direct $2.1 billion investment, the province receives more than $3.2 billion back in revenues generated directly and indirectly by the university sector.
The report finds that expenditures on university education are more potent economic stimulants than expenditures on almost any other good or service. For every job created or sustained through expenditures made by a university, another 0.88 of a job is created by the ripple effect of those expenditures through the economy. Sectors that have such high employment-per-dollar "multipliers" (1.88 for Ontario universities) are judged to have a more potent job creation impact than sectors with lower multipliers. The university sector generally provides more employment per dollar than any other sector. Its employment impact is almost double that of the health/social services sector, and almost twice as high as the business/computer services sector. Retailing, accommodation and food services, non-profit institutions serving households, and other service industries also sustain substantial employment, but none matches the employment impact of Ontario universities.
When considered as an "industry," the university sector is a significant employer. There are more people employed directly by Ontario universities (faculty and staff) than there are by the Canadian biotechnology sector, the national advanced manufacturing sector, or the country's aerospace industry. Yet fewer than a quarter of the jobs generated or sustained by Ontario universities are found at the universities themselves. Most of the job creation from the investment in universities is spurred by the expenditures of faculty and staff, institutional spending on materials and goods, the taxable personal expenditures of out-of-province students, the economic activity arising from the commercialization/transfer of university research, and the additional earnings (and therefore expenditures) of university graduates relative to taxpayers/consumers with a high school education.
The main entrance steps at South Campus Hall will be closed from today until about the middle of next week (May 16), the plant operations department advises. Repair work is starting. "For access to the building," says Hans Knepper of plant ops, "use either the side entrance on the east side, or the steps for the walkway to Physics. We will post signs for directions."
The executive committee of UW's senate will meet at 3:30 this afternoon in Needles Hall room 3004, to set the agenda for this month's meeting of the full senate. Major items include approval of degrees to be granted at June convocation, and another crack at revisions to UW Policy 3, about sabbatical leave, which was discussed on campus earlier this year.
The Graduate House will hold open house today and tomorrow, particularly to welcome new graduate students to campus. "Drop by and pick up campus and city info," a flyer suggests. "Don't forget to pick up your pizza coupon. This is your lounge -- check it out!"
Hot water -- and chilled water, steam and compressed air -- will be shut off in Carl Pollock Hall all day tomorrow, from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. "Air conditioning will be off," the plant operations department warns, "but fans will remain on." Reason for the shutdown: connecting utilities systems as the construction work in that area progresses.
The teaching resources and continuing education office presents a workshop at 12 noon tomorrow on "Improving Students' Learning Practices". Last-minute information should be available from TRACE at ext. 3132.
Students who will be graduating in the coming year are invited to attend a job information session Tuesday at 3:30 in the Humanities Theatre. The co-op and career services department says the one-hour session will touch on the interview and job application process, employer information sessions, career development seminars, job fairs and other things people might want to know if they're looking for work after university.
Finally, a note from someone who read the May 1 Daily Bulletin and wasn't entirely happy with the way I described this year's salary increases for staff members:
The staff midpoint increase was 2.65. If a staff member receives an additional increase it is because of where they are in the ratio and their rating. But it is quite possible to receive less than the 2.65 increase even though you are performing above average. To see how this works check the table distributed by HR with the new salary grid. Staff do not have the same system as faculty where everybody receives a basic raise and then receives a merit increase which is a result of their annual performance review. Our raises are wholly merit driven. That is why it sounds like staff are receiving the same raises as faculty but are actually making much less progress.Quite right; the 2.65 per cent increase for staff applies to salary scales, and individual increases can be more than that or less than that.
Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
firstname.lastname@example.org | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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