Tuesday, June 17, 2003
It must be the earliest a salary settlement has ever been reached. But it's no big surprise, since the faculty association held an open board meeting last week, telling its members that a draft agreement had been reached.
Provost Amit Chakma told the UW senate that the agreement involves a 3.3 per cent increase in salary scales in each of the two years -- that is, on May 1 in 2004 and 2005.
In addition, he said, "there will be an 'outstanding performance' fund that will allocate merit to the top 10 per cent of the faculty." He spoke briefly about it, saying details will be circulated today.
The salary agreement also includes a shift in the formula for progress-through-the-ranks increases, which will make individuals eligible for full PTR increases longer into their careers than at present.
The provost said that with faculty salaries settled, Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services), "is now going to engage with the staff association very quickly to try to get a similar settlement" with non-union staff. That would happen through the Provost's Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation.
It's billed as "Collaboration Technology Vision Day", co-sponsored by the university and the company, which has its headquarters on Columbia Street a few steps from campus. Researchers, students, professors and the public are encouraged to attend.
A company news release explains: "Open Text Corporation and the University of Waterloo are proud to present . . . a day of discussion about the future of collaboration. Open Text is one of the largest software companies in the world. Starting from the University of Waterloo as a spin off, Open Text has grown to more than $250 million in annual revenues in the past 10 years.
"As a proud member of the Waterloo technical community and ongoing research programs at the University of Waterloo, Open Text will be sharing knowledge and vision with its partners in innovation at the University of Waterloo. Researchers, students, professors and the public are encouraged to come out and see what's on the cutting edge and beyond!
"Keynote presentations by the President of the University and Open Text's own Chief Executive Officer will be preceded by sessions on research efforts, technical synergies and vision by Open Text research staff and management as well as the University of Waterloo academic and management staff."
Open Text is the company behind the LiveLink "collaboration and knowledge management software". A decade ago, it was best known for the first major web search engine, a product of full-text indexing and string search technology that had developed out of UW's New Oxford English Dictionary project.
As a spinoff from what's now the Centre for the NOED and Text Research, Open Text was incorporated in the summer of 1991 and shipped its first products that fall. Frank Tompa, director of the NOED-Text centre, will be one of the speakers this morning, giving some historical background.
The day's activities start with a welcome and introduction at 9:45, followed by words from Anik Ganguly, executive vice-president (products) for Open Text. Tompa speaks at 10:00.
At 10:30, Gary Promhouse, chief scientist (search technology) for the company, will talk about research relationships between UW and Open Text. Then Fakhri Karray of the systems design engineering department will address the research issue from the university's point of view.
At 11:30, Neil Wilson, the company's vice-president (product marketing), speaks on "products and direction". And at 12 noon, Tom Jenkins, CEO of Open Text, and David Johnston, president of UW, will give a joint keynote address on "A Collaborative Vision". Question-and-answer sessions at 1:00 will wind up the day.
As part of today's celebration, Open Text has issued an "Engineering Challenge", open to undergraduate and graduate students. "The challenge consists of two industry-specific engineering problems," which were published in the Gazette last week and are also on the company's web site. "The winners who produce solutions most apt to today's technologies and business requirements will receive a one-term work engagement or research fellow sponsorship by Open Text."
And tonight, the people who joined UW's faculty and staff that year, a quarter of a century ago, will be feted at the annual reception of the 25-Year Club -- being held in the Physical Activities Complex, just about the only place on campus big enough for a gathering of the old-timers and their guests.
People have been added to the 25-Year Club list regularly since 1982, when UW itself celebrated a silver anniversary, and each year there are new names on the list. A handshake, a photograph and a piece of jewellery mark the occasion -- that, and an evening of reminiscence with colleagues and former colleagues going all the way back to the university's founders, or at least those who worked with them.
Bob Hicks of information systems and technology is one of the guests of honour tonight, one of the 52 people officially listed as having arrived in 1978. Among the others are Sherry Bell of the grounds crew, Tony Cullen of the optometry school and Frank Saccomanno of civil engineering. The full list will be published in next week's Gazette -- along with a shorter list of people who received 25-year honours in 1993, are still working at UW, and will be honoured tonight for 35 years of service.
Thinking back to 1978 -- when postage was 14 cents and people were watching "Saturday Night Fever" -- the 25-year crowd will have plenty to remember. It was, for example, the year Porcellino, "the boar" (right), came to campus (and was sited, at first, inside the Modern Languages building).
|Also new in 1978: the Waterloo Pump|
There's much to remember. UW's 25-year veterans -- Ken Davidson, Sandra Hayes, Terry Stewart and all the rest -- can indulge in some memories tonight. The reception, by invitation only, starts at 6 p.m. in the PAC.
But first there's today to get through, under a clear sky (and a high UV index). Happening at UW today:
|One more photo from convocation, showing one more contribution to UW: Alan George, dean of mathematics, accepts a giant cheque from Stephen Skrzydlo and Daryl McEachern for the Pink Tie Pledge from graduating math students. Total contribution from the class of 2003: a little more than $82,000. Later in Saturday's ceremonies, engineering students presented a similar cheque to their dean, some $66,864 for the Plummers' Pledge.|
The English Language Proficiency Program, in conjunction with counselling services, is offering several "short and free workshops" this month. Topics include essay writing skills (June 19 or July 9), grammar skills (June 26), and report writing skills (July 2 and July 24). Each session runs an hour and a half or two hours. To register for one of the workshops, call counselling services at ext. 2655.