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Monday, March 31, 2003

  • Snow in the air as March ends
  • UW lists $100,000 salaries for 2002
  • Grads ready for research conference
  • Profile of an anthropology prof
Chris Redmond

Birthday for René Descartes

[Helmet in his hands]

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be the speaker Wednesday as the Friends of the Library presents its annual "lecture and authors event". The talk starts at 1:00 in the Theatre of the Arts.

Snow in the air as March ends

With the winter term winding down -- tomorrow is the last day of classes in two of the six faculties -- students now off campus are turning their thoughts to May 5, when the spring term will begin. (Fees are due May 1, by the way.) "Open enrolment" for May-to-August courses starts today through the Quest system. (Class enrolment for fall term courses will begin in early June.)

About the spring term, by the way: the Village I residence complex will be back in use this year, after being closed through the summer months in 2002. Residence students for the spring are being accommodated in Mackenzie King Village, Village I, and UW Place. From May to August, Ron Eydt Village is always devoted to conference activity, and for this year the Columbia Lake Townhouses will be closed in the spring as well. "This gives us the opportunity," says housing director Gail Clarke, "to perform much needed maintenance work at this facility."

In preparation for winter exams, the libraries are beginning extended hours as of today. The schedule (now through April 21) is a bit simpler than in the past: "Dana Porter Library, every day from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Davis Centre Library, every day from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m."

The Association of Graduate Planners presents a special event at noontime today: a talk, or really two talks, by Isaac Karanja Mwangi, who holds a PhD from Waterloo and is now at Kenya's University of Nairobi. He'll speak on "Issues and Events in 1994-2001 Period: The Momentum For 2002 Transition General Election in Kenya", followed by words about "Challenges and Opportunities For Planning Graduates in East Africa". The event starts at 12 noon in Environmental Studies I room 350, and "free snacks and beverages" are promised.

"Fiction writer and 'zine publisher" Hal Niedzviecki of Toronto will give a reading at 4:00 this afternoon in the common room at St. Jerome's University.

Voter count: Reporting the results of the GSA election the other day, I quoted the announcement of the chief returning officer to the effect that there had been "2,168 eligible voters". In fact, CRO Jason Grove now says, "The 2,168 voters should be 2,468. There are 2,167 full-time and 481 part-time grads."
The annual meeting of the Graduate Student Association will be held at 6:00 tonight in Needles Hall room 3001. All graduate students are eligible to attend and take part. The agenda of the meeting includes extensive changes to the GSA's bylaws, including a provision for eliminating the Affiliate Member status and replacing it with "Graduate House Member".

The Arts Student Union will hold a pub night this evening at the Weaver's Arms on Phillip Street, 7 to 11 p.m. Special guest is TSN host and columnist James Duthie, ASU president Will Hamilton says.

Tomorrow . . . the UW bookstore will reopen following several days of renovations. . . . The UW board of governors will meet at 2:30 in Needles Hall room 3001. . . . Students in Arts 303, "Designing Learning Activities with Interactive Multimedia", will present their final projects (6 to 9 p.m. in the Flex lab in the Dana Porter Library). . . .

And students who need to meet the English proficiency requirement should plan to write the English Language Proficiency Exam at 7:00 this Friday night (April 4) in the Physical Activities Complex.

UW lists $100,000 salaries for 2002

UW is releasing a list this morning of the 311 employees who were each paid more than $100,000 during 2002.

It's something public-sector employers in Ontario have had to do annually since the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act was passed in 1996. Other universities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, and the government itself are making similar information for last year public today.

The great majority of names on the UW list are of professors. More of them are appearing on the list each year, as average faculty salaries climb, this year reaching $92,650.

The $100,000 list also includes a number of senior administrators and a few people in staff positions. Seven names on the list are from St. Jerome's University, one is from Renison College and one from Conrad Grebel University College.

President David Johnston is still receiving the highest salary at UW, according to the disclosure list. There are several new names near the top of the list, including provost Amit Chakma, in his first full year at Waterloo.

Here's the top-ten list of UW salaries for the past year:

The published list generally identifies the deans and other academic administrators simply as "professor". In addition to the year's salary, a figure is given for taxable benefits received by each individual, mostly for employer-paid life insurance.

Grads ready for research conference -- from the UW media relations office

The largest graduate student research conference in Canada will be held April 2-4 at the University of Waterloo.

Jointly sponsored by the Graduate Studies Office and the Graduate Student Association, the third annual "Sharing Discovery" conference showcases research accomplishments of 159 UW master's and doctoral degree students, who will give poster or oral presentations. The public is welcome to attend the conference sessions, to be held in Davis Centre rooms 1301, 1302 and 1304, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no registration fee.

"This is an excellent chance for graduate students to present their work and it's also a great opportunity for people from the community to come out and see some of the excellent research that is done right here," said Penny Pudifin, conference co-chair.

Speakers for this year's conference include three UW faculty members who have received Faculty Excellence in Research awards -- John Thompson of biology, Phelim Boyle of accounting, and Keith Hipel of systems design engineering. As well, there will be a keynote address by Darin Graham, president and chief executive officer of Communications and Information Technology Ontario, who will represent the four Ontario Centres of Excellence. The centres -- which help forge research partnerships among faculty, graduate students and industry -- will host an information booth at the event.

The five conference themes are selected from UW's strategic research plan: environment; health; information technology; innovation, society and culture; and materials and systems.

The idea of a graduate research conference was proposed by a former dean of graduate studies, Jake Sivak, in 2000. Among its goals is promoting interdisciplinary research, as the most exciting research developments are taking place at the boundaries between disciplines.

A total of 159 grad students from all six faculties will be taking part in three days of oral and poster presentations highlighting their scholarship. Some examples of the 118 oral presentations:

As well, 41 posters describing research projects will be on display in the Davis Centre.


Profile of an anthropology prof

She says she's "a book junkie", and she's also a supporter of UW's Keystone Campaign. She's Harriet Lyons (right), faculty member in the anthropology department and former director of the women's studies program.

A "donor profile" that appeared recently in the Gazette notes that Lyons started out to study English literature, but took a course in folklore along the way and Originally, in university taking English literature, Lyons took a course found it so fascinating that she ended up changing her major to anthropology. After completing her doctorate at Oxford, Lyons held positions in the United States and at Wilfrid Laurier before joining UW in 1991.

What do you do on campus? "I teach a variety of anthropology courses including Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion -- a very popular course among students. Research is also a priority. I recently coauthored, with my husband, a book titled Irregular Connexions: Some Themes in the History of Anthropology and the History of Sexuality."

Why do you feel the university needs funds today? "The major challenge facing universities today is large class sizes. I wish there was a university fund that could lower class sizes. It would benefit students and help faculty balance their teaching, research, and personal lives."

What motivated you to give to Waterloo? "I give to women's studies and anthropology at UW because they have been very good to me. They are both small programs where even a small gift can make a real difference. For example, a part of my gift sponsors two anthropology journals for the library."

Where did you grow up? "I was born in New York City and lived on Boynton Avenue in the Bronx until I was eight. My earliest memory is sitting on the fire escape when I was two when the street erupted into a celebration. Years later, I was told it had been V-E Day. Boynton Avenue is one of the places in the Bronx that now has memorial wall paintings. I have incorporated photographs of these murals taken by Martha Cooper in my Principles of Social and Cultural Anthropology course."


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