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Friday, April 25, 2003

  • Entrepreneurs ready for boot camp
  • New wrinkles in employee drug plan
  • And a few notes for the weekend
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Guelph Spring Festival is under way


[Ten pairs of vertical bars]

Research funding per faculty member is lower at Waterloo than at other top Canadian research universities, as UW provost Amit Chakma noted in his recent budget presentation. It's true that Waterloo is the only one of the big ten that doesn't have a medical school -- a factor that leads to rich research funding -- but still, officials are looking for ways to boost UW's average. (Data from the UW office of institutional analysis and planning.)

Entrepreneurs ready for boot camp -- from the UW media relations office

UW Innovate Inc. is hosting its second annual "Business Start Up Boot Camp" next week. This intensive, four-day practical, hands-on event takes place at the St. Jerome's Conference Centre, starting Monday.

The camp provides young entrepreneurs with many of the tools essential to launching a business. UW Innovate brings together a diverse collection of experienced entrepreneurs and acclaimed industry experts to lead comprehensive discussion groups on the main business start-up issues.

The director of Innovate, Doug Sparkes, points out that "this camp is not for tire-kickers. To qualify for registration, participants had to demonstrate a clear desire and commitment. In a phrase, they are excited."

Last year's participants claimed a fundamental shift that they are confident will result in entrepreneurial activity. A number of Boot Camp 2002's alumni went on to successfully launch their ventures as a direct result of last year's Camp.

As a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Waterloo, UW Innovate's stated goal is to cultivate and nurture the entrepreneurial culture within the UW community. It does so, throughout the year, by means of seminars, sessions, consulting and its annual Boot Camp; all providing students, staff, faculty, and alumni with the edge necessary to succeed.

This year, UW Innovate is bringing in 22 industry leaders, including Jim Love (of Fujitsu Consulting), Hubert Saint-Onge (of Konverge and Know) and Alan Quarry (of Quarry Integrated Communications Inc.). Camp discussion will be based on topics such as the strategic and tactical aspects of business and legal issues, sales and marketing, and networking.

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  • New wrinkles in employee drug plan -- a memo from human resources

    On April 1, 2003 the Board of Governors approved the Pension and Benefits recommendation to implement mandatory generic drugs and voluntary trial prescriptions within the UW Extended Health Care Plan effective May 1, 2003 .

    Both strategies will reduce costs to covered members and the Plan; they will not affect current coverage or cost a covered member any more out of pocket expense provided a covered member uses a pharmacy that charges no more than a $6 dispensing fee.

    Mandatory generic drugs: Unless the doctor indicates 'No Substitutions' on the prescription, the lowest cost generic equivalent drug will be dispensed. If a covered member wants the brand name drug instead, he/she must pay the cost difference.

    Voluntary trial prescriptions: To ascertain possible side effects and to discourage waste when the prescription is not tolerated, a covered member and her/his pharmacist decides whether the dispensing of a small quantity of a new long term use medication is appropriate.

    More information about these two cost efficiency measures can be found in the Question and Answer sheet accompanying the February 18 letter to UW faculty and staff participating in the Extended Health Care Plan.

    And a few notes for the weekend

    Four graduate students finishing up the "Certificate in University Teaching" program will present their research papers this morning, starting at 9:30 in Math and Computer room 5158. The speakers are Kevin Cheung ("Improving Academic Integrity in First-Year Undergraduate Mathematics Classes"); Martha Roberts ("Independent Studies: The Mentor's Role"); Chui-Ling Tam ("Between the Classroom and the Community: Linking Service with Learning"); and Hannah Wilson ("The Interactive Midterm: A Combination of Feedback and Assessment").

    The bookstore, the computer store, the UW Shop and the two TechWorx locations are closed for inventory today (and also tomorrow in the case of the bookstore and UW Shop, which are generally open Saturdays). The UW libraries will be open until 6 p.m. tonight, and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry holds its annual meeting, seminar, graduate student poster session and awards presentation today -- oh, and a reception afterwards. Things get going at 1 p.m. in the University of Guelph's Thornbrough building. At 3:00 the keynote speaker will be Fred McCourt of UW's chemistry department ("Three Decades of Transport and Relaxation"). Later in the afternoon, the chemists and biochemists repair to Guelph's University Centre for the posters, awards, and drinks.

    The Canadian Federation of University Women used book sale will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow at First United Church, King and William Streets. It's a big annual event for many UW people, and I'm told that, as in the past, any leftover books will be shipped up to the used book store in UW's Student Life Centre. They'll be offered all next week, or as long as they last, at 25 cents apiece. The CFUW book sale goes to support the organization's scholarship program, which benefits a number of students at UW.

    Electrical power will be shut down Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. in several buildings: Optometry, Physics, Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture, and the CIM wing of the Davis Centre. "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion," the plant operations department advises.

    The "Starburst Dance Competition" has the Humanities Theatre booked for the weekend. . . . The UW retirees' association will hold a luncheon in the Festival Room of South Campus Hall on Monday, with UW historian Ken McLaughlin as the speaker. . . . Fire drills in most UW buildings will be held on Tuesday (I'll have a few more details Monday). . . .

    Students expecting to receive degrees at June's convocation ceremonies should have submitted an Intention to Graduate form weeks ago, but better late than never. The deadline is March 1 each year, says Carmen Roecker in the UW registrar's office. Nevertheless, she's asking me to pass along a reminder that the forms are available online. She adds: "If you submitted a form earlier in the year for Spring 2003, you need not submit a new form. Address to which Convocation information will be mailed is the mailing address recorded in Quest."

    And . . . a remake of the 1979 film "The In-Laws", this time starring Michael Douglas, will be out next month, and there's a UW connection. Some scenes were shot in the still-unrenovated old textile mill in the funky Galt section of Cambridge that's going to be the new home of UW's school of architecture. The school rented the facility to Warner Brothers as a set, says architecture director Eric Haldenby: "Galt was standing in for Prague."

    CAR


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