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Thursday, April 1, 2004

  • Provost signs another link with India
  • UW still fast-paced, Maclean's reveals
  • Committee covers range of safety issues
Chris Redmond

The Fool

[Red car, grey concrete]

One faculty member in particular -- the owner of a red Mini-Cooper -- was expected to do a double-take when he glanced at the applied health sciences webcam this morning. The camera is monitoring construction of the Lyle Hallman Institute addition at the west end of Matthews Hall.

Provost signs another link with India

An agreement between UW and a high-powered technical institute in eastern India was signed this week as part of an effort to build links that will bring more Indian graduate students and researchers to Waterloo.

[IIT campus] The Times of India said the agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) (right) is to concentrate on "electronics engineering, photonics and bio-sciences". It was signed by UW provost Amit Chakma, who is visiting India as part of a delegation representing half a dozen top Canadian universities. Kharagpur is near Calcutta in the heavily populated state of West Bengal.

Elsewhere in India, UW already has an agreement with the IIT at Chennai (Madras), emphasizing links with the engineering faculty. Chakma will be signing a renewal of that program while he's in India, says Bruce Mitchell, associate provost (academic and student affairs). Mitchell is acting president of UW this week while Chakma is in India and president David Johnston is visiting China.

The provost will also be visiting the IIT at Delhi, Mitchell said, hoping to negotiate a link with UW's math faculty.

India is considered a key partner as UW works to increase its international connections and the number of foreign students here, Mitchell said: "We should be working harder in India, particularly with the IITs, because they have such fine students." He said the engineering and math faculties are setting aside some funds for graduate scholarships specifically to attract top IIT graduates to Waterloo to do graduate work.

The university will also find money to bring an IIT faculty member here for a term at a time, to teach a couple of courses and build research cooperation, he said.

  • Fourth-year fine arts show in ECH gallery (Imprint)
  • Online gallery from UW Photography Club
  • Tony Blair wins another vote on higher tuition fees
  • Harmony in academic labour relations (Univ Affairs)
  • Academics 'in the trenches' -- writing textbooks (Univ Affairs)
  • US army tried to investigate U of Texas conference
  • King's, at U of Western Ontario, marks its 50th with new name
  • Bush administration offers race-neutral admissions ideas
  • Proposed Okanagan university campus bringing concern
  • K-W companies among Global Traders Awards winners
  • Lawsuit over PeopleSoft at an Ohio university
  • The early years of arts and science at U of Guelph
  • Gender gap among Maritime university graduates
  • UW still fast-paced, Maclean's reveals

    What was hot at UW last year is mostly still hot this year, judging from the 2004 issue of the Maclean's magazine Guide to Canadian Universities.

    The 264-page book is an expanded version of the "rankings" issue that Maclean's published in November, and is edited by Ann Dowsett Johnston, arguably the most influential person in Canadian higher education after a decade steering the magazine's comments and rankings.

    [Cover] It includes a double page about each Canadian university, part essay and part listing under such headings as "Popular Profs" and Famous Grads", as well as "What's Hot" and "What's Not". Again this year, the UW section includes a thumbnail photo of author George Elliott Clarke, who earned his Waterloo BA in 1984. And the popular profs are pretty much the same, from Andrey to Zorzitto.

    Statistics are updated, but the Waterloo essay isn't much changed from last year's version, including comments from one young woman (who graduated "two years ago", no longer "last year") about the social drawbacks of co-op student life.

    "The first thing that strikes you about students at the University of Waterloo," the essay begins, "is how quickly they walk: arms pumping, legs churning, they burn across the park-like campus as if surging toward some invisible finish line. Who knows if the students take their kinetic cues from the institution?" Inevitably, the essay touches on "innovation", the BlackBerry remote communication device, the arts-and-business program, and the Research and Technology park.

    So what's hot? Item number one is just a little bit ahead of itself: "Students use the Web to post and update their resumés." The online system in co-op education and career services is expected to go into use next term.

    Also hot: the residence guarantee for first-year students; the orientation toga party and other landmark social events; Engineers Without Borders; campus recreation programs; WalkSafe and RideSafe.

    And what's not? "Shortage of parking close to campus . . . growing class sizes . . . rundown off-campus housing."

    Graduate Student Research Conference continues. Individual presentations today, 9 to 5, Davis Centre 1302 and 1304 and CEIT room 3142. Panel discussion, 1:00, DC 1302, on Ontario Centres of Excellence. Tomorrow, panel on "Interdisciplinary Communication", 9:30, DC 1302.

    'Ontology Development in Health Informatics', Jose Arocha, health studies and gerontology, 11:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

    Leave the Pack Behind stop-smoking program presents awards for successful ex-smokers, 12 noon, Student Life Centre.

    'Using UWone to Enhance Learning, Teaching and Testing in Science 238 and Physics 111", 4:00, Physics room 150.

    Tax clinic open to students, faculty and staff, sponsored by Accounting Students Education Contribution, 2:30 to 5:30, CEIT room 1015. Bring documents with questions or to get income tax return completed at no charge.

    'Single and Sexy' auditions for September's show, 6:30 to 10, Humanities Theatre.

    Centre for International Governance Innovation noon talk, "Why Are More American Men Working Longer Hours?" Peter Kuhn, U of California, Santa Barbara. Friday 11:45, 57 Erb Street West.

    Faculty association annual general meeting, Friday 1 p.m., Math and Computer room 2017.

    'Women and Worship'. St. Jerome's University lecture, Sister Miriam Martin, Saint Paul University, Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall.

    Arts Student Union Graduation Ball, Friday evening, Waterloo Inn, information from ASU office.

    'Using Science to Fight the Global Tobacco Epidemic', President's Circle breakfast and talk by psychology professor Geoffrey Fong, Tuesday 7:30 a.m., South Campus Hall, tickets online.

    Board of governors, Tuesday, April 6, 2:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

    'Tips for a Healthy Back', Lori Kraemer, applied health sciences, talk sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, noon April 7, Davis Centre room 1302.

    Committee covers range of safety issues

    From the slope of the ground outside the Graduate House to safety precautions for the use of grinding machines, UW's joint health and safety committee was busy over recent months, a summary of its work shows.

    The summary, covering items dealt with during the fall term, was posted recently on the safety office web site and appeared in last week's Gazette.

    The document also notes that the committee will need a new and more complicated structure when the UW architecture school moves to Cambridge and the university officially has two campuses. (Already there's a full-time UW office on Gage Avenue in Kitchener, and work, particularly research, is carried out other places as well.) The health and safety committee report says UW will ask the Ontario ministry of labour to authorize "a Multi-Workplace JHSC, applying to all UW workplaces within Waterloo Region".

    Here are a few of the items discussed by the committee, as summarized in the fall term report:

  • "Engineering Science Quest (ESQ) experiments. UW experiments are reviewed by Faculty and Chemistry Manager. If chemicals are being used, a demo is done first to ensure the experiment is safe. Instructors receive a week of training for summer camps to ensure experiments are performed correctly and personal protective equipment is used."

  • "Waterloo Fire Department reviewed the convocation layout and the occupancy levels for the Physical Activities Complex."

  • "About 100 supervisors attended a training session in May. More sessions are planned in 2004."

  • "Ontario universities have joined a group to pool resources, share best practices and help each other develop and manage effective health and safety programs. JHSC assists program selection and evaluation."

  • "JHSC reviewed bicycle history and felt that UW's efforts should be directed to providing bicycle safety education to students. Health Services to incorporate a bicycle safety component into their education program."

  • "Bauer Road. Blind spot around the curve of the road. Plant Operations cut down brush."

  • "Entrance Columbia Street. Brighter signal lights installed."

  • "Food Services Cleaning and Training Procedures. Food Services initiatives include: establishing a Department Health and Safety Committee; changes to purchasing of goods; improvements for transportation of goods; infrastructure upgrades and training programs."

  • Injury report: "Hand held grinder twisted in hand causing finger to touch grinder. Personal protective gloves should be worn."

  • "Student injuries during Orientation events were minor except a fall."

  • "The worker members of the JHSC conducted annual inspections of buildings which included: LIB, MC, DC, ESC, C2, OPT, PAS, ML, HH, AL, ECH, EIT, B1, B2, ES1, ES2, PHY, BMH and the Services Tunnels. The Committee reviewed the inspection protocol and revised the 2004 schedule to address the increase in campus space to ensure all areas are inspected."


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