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Monday, January 14, 2002

  • Task force on women is at work
  • Accessing Statistics Canada data
  • Student positions on the UW senate
  • More talk, and more action
Chris Redmond

The geeks who saved Usenet

On the horizon

Wednesday, January 16: "Holy Wars, Jihad, Terrorism and Wars Against Terrorism", Naseem Mahdi of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, 7 p.m.

Also Wednesday: Native activist Ward Churchill speaks, 7:30

Thursday, January 17: "Pre-Optometry Night", 7 p.m.

Thursday through Saturday: the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference

January 21-25: Blood donor clinic, Student Life Centre

Monday, January 21: Jewish studies lecture, "60 Years Since the Wannsee Conference"

Tuesday, January 22: Grand opening of UW Sustainability Project

Wednesday, January 23: Political scientist Alan Cairns gives the 21st Faculty of Arts Lecture

Friday, January 25: Lucinda Vardey speaks at St. Jerome's on "The Language of the Feminine Spirit"

Also January 25: Tony Lee, "X-rated hypnotist", at Federation Hall

Task force on women is at work

In December, the provost established a Task Force on Female Faculty Recruitment in response to recent concerns about the relatively low percentage of women being hired to fill open faculty positions.

The terms of reference of the Task Force include direction to consult with faculty as appropriate.

Says a memo this week: "We would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to invite interested faculty to forward views concerning impediments in recruiting female faculty, and suggestions on what might be done to address these matters, to any member of the Task Force, no later than February 8. As well, we would encourage respondents to bring 'best practices' of which they may be aware to the Task Force's attention."

Members of the task force:

Spotlight on library staff member

Here, by permission, is a memo sent out to library staff members recently by Melanie Watkins, manager of training in the user services department.

I would like to share the wonderful and continuing success story of one of our casual staff, David Porreca.

David successfully defended his PhD thesis this month and will be awarded his doctorate in Medieval Studies from the Warburg Institute, University of London, UK, in January 2002. Research for his PhD required travel to see 33 pre-1300 Latin manuscripts in 21 cities in 10 countries. David achieved his Master of Arts (Medieval Studies) from the University of Toronto in 1997 and his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (Medieval Studies) from the University of Waterloo in 1996.

We have been fortunate to benefit from David's employment with us since he started at Conrad Grebel College in October 1994, and through the years has worked at the Porter and Davis libraries and lately at UMD as well.

Presently David is teaching Latin at WLU, having gained valuable experience as a Latin instructor at the University of London over the past year. He is actively applying (57 apps out!) for post-doc fellowships and tenure-track jobs.

The best news of all is that he and his wife Rebecca are expecting their first child in June. Please join me in congratulating David and wishing him every success and happiness for the future.

Accessing Statistics Canada data -- from the library's on-line newsletter

There are now two major sources of Statistics Canada data available at the University of Waterloo:

Data Liberation Initiative (DLI): The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) provides University of Waterloo faculty and students with access to Statistics Canada data files and databases for teaching and academic research. DLI data is to meet the strict confidentiality requirements of Statistics Canada. Access to DLI data is available online through TriUniversity Data Resources (TDR).

Use of DLI data is limited to current faculty and students at the University of Waterloo for "teaching, academic research and publishing, and/or planning of educational services within [the] educational institution" (from the Data Liberation Initiative Data Acquisition and Use Agreement). To find out about recent developments, visit Data Links, the official TDR newsletter published every term.

The UW Library Electronic Data Service (UW-EDS) located in the Porter Library, room 512A, holds CD-ROMs, hardcopy codebooks, and provides assistance. If we do not have the data that you require please contact Susan Moskal (srmoskal@library), Richard Pinnell (rhpinnel@library), or Shabiran Rahman (srahman@library).

DLI data fills many research and teaching needs of faculty and students. However, from time to time, users discover that the level of data or the variables available in the DLI data set does not meet their research needs. Statistics Canada has located Research Data Centres across Canada to bridge the gap between the data available from DLI and the more specific needs of researchers.

Southwestern Ontario Research Data Centre: SWORDC, located at the University of Waterloo, is one of nine Research Data Centres established by Statistics Canada across the country to provide access to longitudinal micro data master files. This data is collected by Statistics Canada but not available through DLI because of confidentiality issues. SWORDC at UW is the equivalent of a Statistics Canada office, and is located in a secure area on the second floor of the PAS building. Pat Newcombe-Welch of Statistics Canada is the analyst available on location to ensure that outputs leaving the Centre pass a "disclosure analysis" which ensures that no identities of individuals are revealed.

The SWORDC Regional Coordination Committee consists of faculty and staff from universities across Southwestern Ontario. Andrew Barker (UW Office of Research), Pat Newcombe-Welch (RDC Analyst, Statistics Canada), and Debra McGonegal (UW Development Office) are non-voting members of the board.

Currently the following longitudinal surveys are available to the researchers through SWORDC:

Once a research project has gone through the approval process, the RDCs will provide access to surveys other than those listed. Discussion about making Census data available is currently underway.

Students and faculty should consult with UW-EDS staff or Pat Newcombe-Welch of SWORDC to determine the level of data needed for their specific research. For more information about SWORDC and the application process to use the data, please see the Guide for Researchers and other information located at the Southwestern Ontario Research Data Centre home page.

Student positions on the UW senate -- a notice from the university secretariat

Nominations are requested for the following undergraduate student seats on Senate:

Elections (terms from May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2004):

By-election (term from May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003): Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat and the Federation of Students Office, and online. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, January 18, 2002. The Election Committee will hold a meeting with all candidates at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the close of nominations.

Student Senators completing their terms/stepping down as of April 30, 2002: Rob Robson, Applied Health Sciences; Brenda Slomka, Arts; Alex Matan, Engineering; Nayan Gandhi, Environmental Studies/Independent Studies; Albert Nazareth, Science; and Stephen Lockwood, at large.

Elections will be conducted electronically; the polls will be open from 8:00 a.m., Monday, February 11 to 4:00 p.m., Friday, February 15.

Refer to the following websites for information re Senate and its Committees and Councils: University of Waterloo Act, senate committees.

More talk, and more action

Andrew Telegdi, the member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, is expected on campus tomorrow morning to make an announcement of "Canadian funding to support environmental management in China", the UW news bureau says. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Environmental Studies I building.

Meanwhile, a couple of things are happening today, including an information meeting for people who might like to take part in Weight Watchers this term. It's scheduled for 12 noon in Humanities room 373. This program is open to faculty, staff and students. The 14-week series costs $203 per person, while students receive a discounted price of $183. The on-campus contact person is Sandie Hurlburt at ext. 3104. "There is no need to confirm attendance," she says. "Just come on Monday to find out more." My apologies for losing the last few words of the announcement on this topic in Friday's Bulletin -- I must have been interru

The Federation of Students environment commission will hold its first meeting of the term today at 6:15 in the Conrad Grebel University College cafeteria.

A note from the graduate studies office: "Students interested in applying to graduate studies at the University of Waterloo are reminded that the application deadlines for many of our programs are coming up very soon. Application deadlines and requirements for Master's and PhD programs are available online. Please contact Amy Aldous at 888-4567 ext. 5946 or aaldous@uwaterloo.ca for more information."

And John Vellone, who signs himself as "trainer" of the University of Waterloo Campus Response Team, writes that UWCRT is now accepting applicants for volunteers for the winter term. "The UWCRT is an on-campus first aid team providing pre-ambulance care on an events basis. Volunteers receive continuous first-aid refreshers, weekly advanced training, realistic training sessions, and have the opportunity to compete in national first aid competitions. The application deadline is January 17, and applications are available at the turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre. For more information, e-mail uwcrt@hotmail.com. Standard First Aid and Level-C CPR (or equivalent) certification is a minimum requirement."

Finally, here's a reminder to co-op students that those who will be going through the interview process this term should pick up the "master copy co-op record" in Needles Hall tomorrow. The first job posting for spring term jobs will go up on Wednesday.


January 14, 1959: Renison College receives a charter from the Ontario government. Its first home is a house on Albert Street. January 14, 1964: With a ceremony in the Theatre of the Arts, Wyn Rees is installed as principal of Renison.

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