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Tuesday, April 23, 2002

  • Review of grad studies is planned
  • Offers of admission begin
  • An event for Canada Book Day
  • Other notes on a bright spring day
Chris Redmond

Grad student reports on digital copyright issues


Review of grad studies is planned

UW has called on Adel Sedra (right), provost of the University of Toronto, to do a study that will "identify strategic opportunities for graduate studies at the University of Waterloo and identify how internal processes can be made more effective".

Sedra is scheduled to visit UW on Monday and Tuesday next week, and to submit his report by the end of July.

UW provost Amit Chakma notes that UW's 1997 planning document for the fifth decade, "Building on Accomplishment", mentioned graduate studies as a critical component of UW's teaching, research and service mission. It recommended that UW should increase overall graduate student enrolment back to at least its 1993 level.

"We are about to reach this target in 2001-2002," Chakma writes. "However, in the meantime the landscape has changed significantly. The demand for highly qualified personnel has never been as great as it is today. This demand is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Canada and indeed the world needs more graduate students to be able to actively participate in an increasingly knowledge based global economy. The recent announcement of the Government of Canada to move Canada from 15th to 5th position in R&D intensity will also require significant expansion of graduate enrollment in this country.

"The Federal Government's recently released Innovation Paper points to many exciting opportunities for graduate studies. It sets a target of increasing admission of Master's and PhD students at Canadian Universities by an average of 5% per year through to 2010. Using 2001 as the base line, this target will require universities to increase graduate enrolment by over 40%. With its graduate student body accounting for about 10% of the total enrollment as compared to 15-20% for peer groups, UW has a larger capacity to grow than the others."

The federal innovation paper also calls for more scholarships, better international recruitment, and "a cooperative research program to support graduate and post graduate students . . . wishing to combine formal academic training with extensive applied research experience in a work setting". That last idea, says Chakma, "clearly presents a unique opportunity to UW".

That's the background for the Sedra review. "The central goal," Chakma writes, "is to examine ways to strengthen and improve graduate education at UW; to identify strategic opportunities; to determine what is working, and what needs further improvement or change; and to integrate graduate studies more clearly into the research, and other learning and external interaction missions of the university.

"The role of the review is to identify strategic opportunities for graduate studies at the University of Waterloo and identify how internal processes can be made more effective to allow a successful pursuit of these opportunities. This will involve an examination of the administrative structure, operation and policies governing graduate studies at UW, including the development and support of graduate programs and graduate students, and to make recommendations accordingly. The review does not encompass critical assessment of individual graduate programs, which are evaluated through OCGS reviews."

He lists these specific tasks for Sedra:

Another U of T vice-president is getting a new job. Heather Munroe-Blum, VP (research and international relations) since 1994, has been chosen to be the new principal of McGill University -- a post once held by David Johnston, now president of UW. Munroe-Blum will succeed McGill principal Bernard Shapiro on January 1.
The provost's announcement notes: "Graduate students and faculty members will be invited to participate, and may opt to provide written materials or attend an open meeting. Meetings will be scheduled for graduate program coordinators, the Graduate Students' Association, Deans or designates, and other interested parties requesting such."

Sedra, a professor of electrical engineering and author of a classic textbook, has been "vice-president, provost, and chief academic officer" of the University of Toronto since 1993. His term will end on June 30, and U of T has just announced that his successor will be Shirley Neuman, currently dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan.

Offers of admission begin

The registrar's office has sent out the first 2,839 offers of admission to next September's first-year class, director of admissions Peter Burroughs said yesterday.

Most of the offers -- 2,162 of them -- are for the faculty of arts. By the end of last week, Burroughs said, 88 offers for applied health sciences had also gone into the mail, along with 159 for engineering, 175 for environmental studies, 84 for math and 171 for science.

"Last year," he notes, "we had not made any offers by April 20 because we were struggling with the introduction of the new SA system and the application acknowledgement process." Offers started in the last few days of April, and by May 1 last year a total of 4,714 offers had gone out.

"My office will continue to generate offers on a rolling basis," Burroughs said, "and I expect we will make at least as many offers by May 1 as we made last year.

"The bulk of our offers will be made by May 28 as scheduled."

Last year UW made a total of 14,491 offers of admission -- 84 per cent of them to students from the Ontario high school system -- and ended up with 4,518 first-year students when the final enrolment count was made on November 1.

[Yellow against brown and white]

Daffodils huddle outside Needles Hall after yesterday's light snowfall. A token of hope in the face of north winds, they're also a reminder of the Canadian Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Month. Photo by Barbara Elve.

An event for Canada Book Day

Some university voices will be heard tonight at a local celebration of Canada Book Day, as readers and might-be readers respond to the organizers' invitation: "Come share the joy of a good book brought to life by the warmth and engagement of the human voice."

The event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kitchener's Registry Theatre, on Frederick Street just north of King.

Six area residents -- an artist, a musician, an editor, a bookseller, a librarian, and a former advertising copy writer -- will share passages from their favorite books. One of the six is Gary Draper of St. Jerome's University, who's more often found introducing literary speakers (at the St. Jerome's late afternoon series) than being one of them. "An editor of The New Quarterly and Brick Books," a news release says, "Gary is also a regular reader on Monday Night with the Arts (FM 98.5). When inspired, he can carry on lengthy conversations in a host of different accents."

Among the other readers tonight is local bookseller Tricia Siemens. "This is a chance," says the news release, "to recover the pleasure you took in being read to as a child and to extend that pleasure to others as proceeds from the evening will go to support the work of the Literacy Group of Waterloo Region.

"Michael Higgins, the energetic and articulate president of St. Jerome's University who has written extensively on books and the media, will introduce the evening and invite the audience to join in some lively book talk after the readings. Other highlights include New Quarterly editors Mark Spielmacher on guitar and Rae Crossman lifting a poem off the page and into the ears of the audience, a draw for a variety of book prizes donated by area bookstores, and an informal reception after.

"Canada Book Day is part of an international celebration of the written word. The date is significant because a number of literary giants -- Shakespeare, Cervantes, Nabokov -- were born or died on that day. In Spain, it is the day of Books and Roses. For the first time this year, independent bookstores in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge will join the celebration by offering roses donated by local florists to anyone who purchases a book as a gift for a friend, proceeds again going to the Literacy Group. Roses will also be available at the Registry along with copies of "Wild Writers We Have Known", a special issue of The New Quarterly, celebrating the Canadian short story and story writers."

Tickets are $10 ($5 students, seniors, Waterloo Regional Arts Council members) and are available at the door or by calling WRAC at 744-4552. The event is sponsored by the Waterloo Regional Arts Council, UW's The New Quarterly, and the Literacy Group of Waterloo Region.

UW seeks a chancellor

A notice from the university secretariat:

The University of Waterloo is seeking a Chancellor (term from May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2006) to succeed Dr. M. Valentine O'Donovan, whose second term ends April 30, 2003. As titular head of the University, the Chancellor presides at Convocation ceremonies, chairs the Presidential Nominating/Review Committee and has the opportunity to represent UW, with its diverse academic, entrepreneurial culture and growing international reputation, at a broad range of functions.

Members of the University community and UW alumni are invited to send nominations, accompanied by a resumé, by July 31, 2002 to: Lois Claxton, Secretary of the Chancellor Nominating Committee, University Secretariat, University of Waterloo, telephone 519/888-4012, fax: 519/888-6337, e-mail lclaxton@uwaterloo.ca.

Candidates must be Canadian citizens. The Committee encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible minorities, native peoples, and persons with disabilities. All nominations will be treated in confidence.

Other notes on a bright spring day

First of all . . . today's the day designated for annual fire drills in UW's buildings. In the morning -- between about 8:30 and noon -- there will be drills on the north and west side of the campus: Optometry, the PAC, the Student Life Centre, Needles Hall, the arts buildings, the Dana Porter Library, Environmental Studies I and II, the General Services Complex and the Village I core. After lunch the rest of the campus gets a turn: the engineering buildings, South Campus Hall, the science buildings, Math and Computer, the Davis Centre, East Campus Hall and the B. F. Goodrich building.

The Waterloo Advisory Council, representing employers, continues its spring meeting today in Needles Hall. Bruce Lumsden, director of co-op education and career services, will be speaking this morning on "Co-operative Education Issues for the Next Five Years", and later WAC members will spend a good part of the day meeting in groups with officials of the various faculties. In midafternoon, Jill Porter of the development and alumni affairs office will lead a session about WAC members' possible role as "ambassadors" for the university.

The LT3 technology centre offers a session today on "How to Design and Implement a Learning Impact Study" (1:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library room 329).

Later this week . . . according to an announcement in the faculty association's Forum, "the first meeting of the interdisciplinary coffee talk society" is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Graduate House. Achim Kempf in applied mathematics is the organizer and can provide more information (ext. 5462).

As we get close to the end of the 2001-02 fiscal year, various UW departments will be having to take inventory. Noemia Fernandes in retail services notes that the bookstore, UW Shop and Techworx in South Campus Hall will be closed for inventory Thursday and Friday. The computer store and Techworx in the Student Life Centre will be closed Friday only. She adds: "Departments needing to make purchase from the current year's budget can do so until the close of business on Tuesday, April 30."

Speaking of shutdowns, here's a reminder that electrical power will be shut down over most of the campus on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Among other services affected, the libraries will be closed, and some of the library's electronic services won't be available (but the Trellis database will, at the URL trellis1.tug-libraries.on.ca). The Davis Centre (other than the library), the Student Life Centre and Math and Computer are among buildings not affected by the shutdown.

Coming in June: "UW's first interdisciplinary health research conference", under the title "From Cell to Society". It's described as "a unique university-wide conference that will focus on the great breadth of health research currently being conducted at Waterloo and stimulate ideas for future collaboration". The event is scheduled for June 19-21 in the Hallman Institute, Matthews Hall, and there will be lots more information about it as the dates get closer.



April 23, 1992: Watbun, the 20-year-old Honeywell computer in the Math Faculty Computing Facility, is turned off forever.

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