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Wednesday, June 18, 2003

  • What a day for a beach party
  • Planning committee talks about health
  • Notes for today and tomorrow
  • The talk of the campus
Chris Redmond

The world's librarians come to Toronto

[Posed in front of bright tents]
Campaign volunteers posed at the Keystone launch party a year ago.

What a day for a beach party

"Look for the life-size Sky Dancer on the horizon as you reach the beach," says a flyer for today's noontime party.

The beach? Well, that's the green space between Math and Computer and the Biology buildings, and it's the site of two hours of music, entertainment, food and boasting today, as the Keystone Campaign holds its customary summer morale-booster.

"Come and celebrate the tremendous success," Keystone organizers say, pointing out that staff, faculty and UW retirees have so far given some $2.2 million towards the Keystone goal of $4.5 million for UW by 2007. It's the on-campus division of the $260 million Campaign Waterloo.

Keystone was launched June 20 last year, and organizers say more than 1,700 people took part in that day's picnic. Despite a "chance of thunderstorms" in today's forecast, there might be an equally good crowd for the one-year celebration.

The event starts with a parade, or rather, three parades, leaving at 11:30 from various parts of the campus and mingling at beach central. Keystone representatives in departments across the university are organizing the starting points.

Once everybody gets together, the party -- scheduled to run until 1:30 -- will include food, music, displays, and "beach card bingo". And, says Shelley Rudd of the development office, people can also play games: "fish pond, limbo, golf challenge, beach ball soccer, sand castle building, hula hoop, tattoos, water games, face painting, frisbee".

Rudd also promises "the birth of the Beach Ball Broadcasting System, undertaken by survivors of UW's legendary Varsity Briefcase Drill Team", performing as part of the opening ceremonies today.

The lunch hour -- 11:30 to 1:30 -- has been "designated as paid work time for all UW staff and faculty to participate in the annual event", says a memo from UW president David Johnston that went out a few days ago. "For those departments providing essential services and thus obligated to remain open during this 2-hour period, please try to make arrangements so that everyone has an opportunity to participate."

Ten hours later, there will be a Keystone event for staff who work the night shift -- mostly in the plant operations department. That party starts at 10 p.m. in the Festival Room in South Campus Hall, and will include food and drink, entertainment and pride, and a door prize draw the same as at the noontime picnic.

[PowerPoint screen behind him]

Open Text president Tom Jenkins was a keynote speaker at yesterday's "Collaboration Technology Vision" day in the Tatham Centre, sponsored by the spinoff company and UW. Jenkins announced that Open Text has allocated a new $1 million grant to support research at Waterloo, with decisions yet to be made about what projects will get the funding.

Planning committee talks about health

"A UW presence in health" is a major agenda item today for a meeting of the senate long-range planning committee. It starts at 3 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3004.

The topic continues from a meeting April 23 when the committee -- which includes the deans, faculty representatives and other members from senate -- began a discussion of what role health might play in UW's future, including a proposed relationship with the Toronto-based Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.

The committee, which hasn't been very active since the end of work on the "Building on Accomplishment" or "Fifth Decade" report in 1997, hasn't made a decision about starting a Sixth Decade study. In the meantime, it's going to spend some time on specific issues, starting with health. Today's meeting is also expected to discuss the UW "innovation strategy" document.

"Can we remain a vibrant institution without a major presence in health?" asked provost Amit Chakma, chairing the April meeting. In fact, members noted, UW already does a great deal of work in health areas. "There's health-related research going on in all faculties, but we don't bring it together," said Mike Sharratt, dean of one UW unit that actually has "health" in its name -- the faculty of applied health sciences.

He brought to the meeting a brief proposal for a "public health program" that would link fields ranging from the behavioural sciences to health economics, gerontology and statistics. "The proposed program seems timely," said his brief presentation, "given the growing concerns about public health among the scientific community and the general public."

It's just one example of the sort of thing that could happen at UW over the next few years, said Sharratt, suggesting that "some day" the university could see a whole new faculty of health, "to put all the pieces together" including the existing AHS.

"We should be biting the bullet and looking at whether we need a medical school," said the dean of science, George Dixon.

"I think you would find major resistance to that from a number of people in our faculty," Sharratt noted. But, said dean of arts Bob Kerton, there's no doubt that medical studies, and health activity generally, carry with them access to generous research funding -- something that could benefit almost every area of the university.

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  • Universities reopen in Myanmar (Burma)
  • All-female university in Bangladesh
  • Notes for today and tomorrow

    The elevator in the PAS (Psychology) building is going out of service today for an upgrade. It'll be back to the old up-and-down in early July.

    Copy centres will be open only from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today -- closed for the afternoon, back to regular hours on Thursday.

    Christine Overall, visiting professor in philosophy, will give her third lecture in a series on human aging, today at 2 p.m. in Humanities room 373. Today's title: "Age Rationing and Generational Cleansing: Assessing the Duty to Die".

    Dennis Giokas of Canada Health Infoway will speak today as part of the "smarter health" seminar series. His talk, "Canada's Electronic Health Record Solution Architecture", starts at 3:00 in Davis Centre room 1302.

    The career development seminar series continues, today with "Successfully Negotiating Job Offers", starting at 3:30. Information and registration are through the career services web site.

    Some of the people who make Canadian campuses beautiful and environmentally healthy -- members of the University Grounds Organization -- are gathering at UW today through Friday. The event is based at the Ron Eydt Village conference centre, and hosted by UW's grounds supervisors, Les Van Dongen and Jerry Hutten of the plant operations department.

    A Renison College alumni get-together is scheduled tonight at Waterloo's Brick Brewery. (Last-minute information: 884-4404 ext. 657.) Among the activities tonight, besides intellectual appreciation of Brick's products, will be the announcement of the winner in a contest Renison has been holding. "We want the unplugged tales that only alumni know," the invitation said, "tales of pranks, strange happenings, characters you have encountered during your time at Renison. The winner of the best anecdote will receive a RenisonWear package which includes a sweatshirt, T-shirt and hat valued at $100." Can't wait to hear that story.

    The Canada Foundation for Innovation says it will be announcing a "significant investment" today -- "funding for newly recruited faculty members to perform leading-edge research". Presumably it's more of the New Opportunities grants that are already supporting work by a number of UW researchers. Today's announcement will come at noon at the University of Ottawa.

    Tomorrow, the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry will present its annual Pfizer Synthetic Organic Lecture. The speaker is Paul Wender of Stanford University, talking on "The Chemistry-Medicine Continuum", 3:30 p.m. in room 1200 of the University of Guelph's Thornbrough building.

    Not happening tomorrow: a workshop on Ontario's Bill 198 about changes to automobile insurance, with an emphasis on the health care implications. The workshop, announced by UW's Centre for Applied Health Research, has been cancelled.

    The talk of the campus

    The last of the faculties got approval this week for procedures to be followed if the dean thinks the grades in a class are too high or too low. Procedures for four faculties were approved by the UW senate in April, but proposals from environmental studies and applied health sciences were sent back for more work. ES and AHS both presented revisions to Monday's meeting of the senate; they look a lot like the ones that were previously approved for arts, math, science and engineering, and they quickly got the okay.

    Also approved by senate on Monday evening was a new UW degree: Master of Management Sciences. It's actually just a new name for the Master of Engineering degree when earned through the department of management sciences. "Master of Engineering is a poor description for the education that our students receive," a memo from the management sci department explained. The MEng was introduced last year as an alternative to the traditional Master of Applied Sciences graduate degree, which involves a thesis. The MEng is strictly coursework and isn't designed to lead onwards to a PhD. Many of the students taking it through management sciences are working full-time in industry and studying part-time.

    And senate approved changes in a few words of UW's Policy 40, about the duties of a department chair and how chairs are chosen. A key change, provost Amit Chakma explained, "would make explicit that a Chair's duties include the management of support staff" -- five words to that effect are added right between "the implementation of the academic program" and "the allocation of space" in the list of the chair's duties.

    UW's library is introducing new software to manage interlibrary loans today. The new system, RACER (for Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting), is a joint project of university libraries across Ontario, says Christine Jewell, acting head of interlibrary loans and document delivery in the UW library. "There will be a period of adjustment over the summer months," she warns, "but we are looking forward to a streamlined service that will enhance the efficiency of resource sharing. . . . The new system will allow members of the UW community to search a set of library catalogues and submit an ILL request for a desired item." There's more information on the library web site.

    Chandrika Anjaria of UW's information systems and technology department has a lot of energy and gives it to a lot of community causes, and sometimes someone says thanks. That happened a few days ago, when Anjaria was one of a group who received annual awards from the Mayor's Advisory Council for Kitchener Seniors. Anjaria was honoured in the "leadership" category, particularly for her work in establishing Club 55 for seniors in the East Indian community in Kitchener-Waterloo.

    Many of the former editors of Imprint -- and it's had quite a number of them -- will be returning this weekend, along with other staff, for a reunion to celebrate the student newspaper's 25th anniversary. (Perhaps not everyone knows that Imprint is actually UW's third campus-wide student paper, following the Coryphaeus and the Chevron, but that's a story for another day.) Workshops, a wine-and-cheese party and a formal dinner are all on the program for this weekend. Anyone interested can call Neal Moogk-Soulis or Laurie Tigert-Dumas at the newspaper, 888-4048, for more information.

    An annual report from UW's traffic and parking appeal board -- actually, from staff representative Judy Reidt -- appears in a sheaf of annual reports prepared by the UW staff association. It notes that in 2002-03, "approximately 11,260 parking tickets and warnings were issued. There were 129 letters of appeal read and voted on. . . . Monies collected through the issuance of citations on campus are donated by parking services to the UW scholarship and bursary funds. This year over $128,000 will be donated to this fund."

    And yes, today's Wednesday and there should be a weekly positions available list from the human resources department. Look for it on the HR web site.


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