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Tuesday, January 8, 2002

  • Renison aims for new building
  • UW's savings account is growing
  • Continuing education courses for winter
  • Sufficient unto the day
Chris Redmond

Foucault proves the rotation of the earth, this date, 1851

Renison aims for new building

[Renison in summer]

The Renison campus, where the planned construction will connect the existing Founders' and Luxton buildings.

Renison College goes public with a $3 million building fund campaign in the winter issue of its newsletter, Renison Reports.

"Construction on a new 50-bed, self-financing residence will begin this spring and it will be ready for occupancy for the academic year 2002-2003," writes Renison chancellor Michael Burns. "Construction on the new academic wing will begin when the campaign is completed." Elsewhere, the newsletter announces that $1,120,000 of the $3 million had already been raised by the end of November.

It says a new lecture hall that's part of the project will seat 175 and will be equipped with "electronic teaching aids that will allow faculty and students to benefit from the latest teaching and learning technologies". A 2,200-square-foot "library and learning centre" will house Renison's arts, social work and Anglican collections. It will provide students with access to electronic periodicals, databases, other on-line learning resources, and "much-needed study space".

An important feature will be the Florence Li Tim-Oi Memorial Reading Room and Archives: "Dedicated to the memory of the Reverend Florence Li Tim-Oi, the first woman priest to be ordained in the Anglican Communion, the Memorial Reading Room will house Li Tim-Oi's personal and related papers. It will provide future generations the opportunity to learn about her life and work."

The East Asian Resource Centre will occupy approximately 1,300 square feet next to the new library and learning centre. A "state-of-the-art multimedia laboratory" will contain 35 computer stations, and will help faculty in several disciplines to teach their courses more effectively and efficiently by using new technologies.

Also planned is a two-room headquarters for the Renison Institute of Ministry, which offers courses and programs to meet the needs and concerns of parishioners, and equips them to carry out "their own baptismal ministries". And construction of five new classrooms "will allow the College to meet the needs of individuals seeking a place in Ontario universities" as enrolments expand.

Construction on the new residence will begin next month and will provide the connecting link between the Founders' Building and the Luxton Building. Students who reside in the Founders' Building will now be able to cross over to the dining hall and the classroom wing without walking outside. "This change will be welcome news to our students," says the newsletter, "particularly during the winter months! The new residence rooms will be fully and comfortably equipped with the latest amenities and technological infrastructure to make studying and living at Renison College an enjoyable and satisfying experience. The new wing will also be fully accessible so that we can house students with special needs comfortably."

Renovations to existing space will provide a new fitness room, music room, student government offices, student lounges, and small study rooms for residence students.

UW's savings account is growing

UW's endowment funds, though still puny compared to those at older universities, are growing fast, according to an update in the recently-published "donor report" for 2000-01.

[Upward graph] Endowments are permanent savings accounts kept by the university to provide annual income for such things as scholarships, faculty positions and teaching equipment. One of the biggest endowments anywhere, and one that UW president David Johnston likes to mention, is the $8 billion (US) fund at Princeton University, which gives that institution about $50,000 per student to spend each year. Closer to home, the University of Toronto endowment fund passed $1 billion (Canadian) three years ago.

Endowments have been a cause for concern at UW for several years. "As a relatively young institution," says the new donor report, "the University of Waterloo needs to increase its base of permanent endowments to support scholarships, faculty fellowships, research chairs, and other priorities for maintaining top performance.

"Thanks to the generosity of corporations, organizations, UW students, faculty, staff, retirees and other friends of the university, Waterloo's endowment funds have grown to almost $68 million in the past nine years.

"The 2001 endowment value of $67,899,000 represents an impressive increase of 23 percent over the previous year. These funds generated income of more than $1.9 million for scholarships, academic programs, research chairs, athletics, and other projects. Endowments provide UW with an important tool for guaranteeing high-quality programs and research. They help attract the best students and faculty, and give the university some flexibility in planning for growth and change. And perhaps best of all, endowments produce lasting benefits -- for the university and for donors."

The donor report says gifts to UW during the 2000-01 year were $22,214,575. It doesn't say how much of that money went into endowment funds, and how much was for buildings or was to be spent right away.

[Blue cover]

The winter term calendar of continuing education courses is available from the distance and continuing education office, phone 888-4002. Full-time UW staff, students and faculty get a discount on course fees.

Continuing education courses for winter

"Discovering the Hero Within" will be the quest guided by instructor Craig Beam in one of the new UW continuing education courses offered this winter. In the tradition of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, the course will explore such archetypes of the self as the wanderer, the warrior and the magician, and the roles they play "in our heroic journeys."

The course is one of several first-time offerings available this winter. New professional development courses include Team Building, Team Presentations, Group Facilitation Skills, and Hiring the Best: Interviewing and Selection Skills for Managers.

New in the computing skills category are Introduction to Macromedia Flash 5.0, Safe Computing Basics, and Dreamweaver.

New personal development courses are Practicing Poetry: A One-Day Workshop, Creative Writing for Teens, and The Celtic Tradition of Storytelling.

As usual, a number of online courses are offered, from Intermediate Java 2 Programming to Guiding Kids on the Internet. Continuing education also provides private, in-house training courses tailored to the need of organizations.

Start dates for winter courses are from January 7 through April 25. To find out more or to register, visit the continuing education web site or the office at 335 Gage Avenue in Kitchener.

Library books due

Library books that were signed out by faculty, graduate students, and staff before the beginning of December are due on January 9 -- that's tomorrow.

Books should be returned or renewed before the deadline, says Alex McCulloch of the library's user services department, who tells users that "If they are renewing on-line, the name of the tab in Trellis to go to is 'your library account'."

He adds: "On-line help for renewing is available. Patrons should not try to renew more than 50 books at a time."

Sufficient unto the day

I notice co-op students scanning the Needles Hall bulletin boards to check the times for return-to-campus interviews. They're scheduled today through Thursday. And a reminder: in most programs, work reports (from students who were on the job in the fall term) are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday.

It's "Welcome Week" at the Graduate House, with various events to get grad students off to a good start for the winter. Today and tomorrow, grads are invited to drop by the house to pick up coupons for Pizza Day, which is happening Wednesday at noon. Thursday evening there's a "grad mixer" starting at 8 p.m.

"You can make a difference," says the Federation of Students, announcing that nominations are open for for positions on the Fed executive, students' council and the UW senate for the coming year. Nominations are open through January 18, and there will be an open house on Thursday (4 p.m. in Ground Zero in the Student Life Centre) to provide more information to students who are interested.

I don't know much about art, but I know that Simon Frank is at work today creating something for the East Campus Hall gallery. "The object," says a news release, "is a huge 18-foot tree, resting on the floor of the Gallery, created out of the shavings gathered from City of Hamilton work lots after trees in the city are trimmed or cut down. Frank's installation is part of a long history of landscape-based environmental art produced in the last 40 years which questions the give and take and social responsibility of those of us living an urban, industrialized life." Construction is scheduled to go on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, and the resulting "installation work" will be on view until February 7, when Frank will officially destroy it.

The arts faculty council will meet at 3:30 this afternoon in Humanities room 373.

Note to graduate students: if you are being paid as a teaching or research assistant this term, and were not on the monthly payroll in December, you should plan to do payroll paperwork today or tomorrow. "Students who were on monthly payroll in December 2001 and whose banking information has changed should also sign up. Please bring your Social Insurance Number and bank account information (void cheque if possible)." If you sign up at one of these sessions, and the department that's paying you does what it's supposed to do, the first month's pay will show up in your bank account on January 25. Today's signup session runs from 2 to 3 p.m., and tomorrow's from 10 to 11 a.m., both in Davis Centre room 1302.

Repair work in mechanical rooms in the Arts Lecture Hall is planned for today through Thursday; "there will be an odour in the building," warns Peter Fulcher of the plant operations department. And, running water in the Optometry building will be shut down tomorrow (Wednesday) from 7 to 8 a.m. so that plumbers can connect pipes as part of the construction of the building's new laser surgery clinic.

Elsewhere on campus . . . what do you call three holes in the ground? Well, well, well. Work is under way on the Village Green, south of Village I, as Tom Galloway of plant operations explains: "We are putting in a drainage system. The Village Green is in the flood plain and drains very poorly. Sports activity on the often wet field chews it up easily. With the drainage system we are hoping we can maintain better turf conditions."


January 8, 1993: A memorial service is held in the Theatre of the Arts for graduate student David Zaharchuk, murdered in a corridor of Engineering I on New Year's Day.

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