Wednesday, August 25, 2004
|Morton Globus of UW's biology department -- pictured serving at the mace-bearer at a recent convocation ceremony -- officially retired August 1 after 32 years as a faculty member. A specialist in animal physiology and animal development, he has also had a keen interest in science-and-business issues, and was involved in launching a new program that begins this year. He was a Distinguished Teacher Award winner in 1996. His wife, Swani Vethamany-Globus, also of the biology department, retired last year.|
"We have to de-energize from the street in," says Rick Zalagenas, director of maintenance and utilities. He said he's well aware of the inconvenience that the shutdown -- even on a summer Sunday -- will cause to the campus. "It isn't something that we're taking lightly," he said, "but we're dealing with an emergency situation." The university's top officials, members of Executive Council, were notified last week, he said.
The problem, Zalagenas said, struggling not to be too technical, is corona damage at the main distribution bus -- the point where power that comes in from the Columbia Street direction is redistributed to multiple "loops" feeding campus buildings. Affected are all the buildings inside the ring road, plus Optometry, the Villages, Fed Hall and Minota Hagey.
Sunday's work "gets us through the winter without blowing the place up", he said. He warned of another shutdown next April to continue the work, and a third one in August 2005 "to upgrade the main electrical feed".
Plant ops will bring in many of its staff this Sunday, not just to work on the main repair but also to do other electrical projects that would otherwise have caused smaller shutdowns at other times. In addition, a maintenance firm that specializes in high-voltage work has been called in to help.
The hydro shutdown will expand an outage that was already planned for UW's computer systems, because of maintenance in the machine room in Math and Computer. Zalagenas said yesterday that information systems and technology was working out what systems it can maintain during the complete Sunday blackout, using an auxiliary generator that's being brought in.
Elsewhere on campus, local generators will be in use in a few places to keep sensitive research equipment going, and there's expected to be a run on dry ice as a backup for freezer equipment. The Dana Porter Library will be closed for the day. The UW telephone switchboard will be working, but Zalagenas urges people not to put too much load on it.
And in general he's asking people across campus to turn things off -- especially computer equipment -- before they leave on Friday, so there won't be a surge in demand when power is restored Sunday night.
On this week's list from the human resources department:
Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.
"The federal government needs to reassume its responsibility for funding post-secondary education," says James Kusie, national director of CASA. "Canada's post-secondary institutions are relying more on students because the money just isn't coming from anywhere else."
Here's some of what StatsCan had to say in its announcement of the annual "Financial Information of Universities and Colleges Survey":
"Revenue for Canada's 154 universities and degree-granting institutions grew at their fastest pace in three years in 2002/03, largely the result of increases in tuition fees and federal government grants. Student fees have reached their highest level, and now surpass 20% of total revenue. After adjusting for inflation, universities took in $18.6 billion, up 6.4% from 2001/02. It was the strongest gain in three years.
"The two biggest factors driving this growth were a 10.4% jump in income from student fees, the largest in the last 10 years, and a 15.5% increase in federal grants and contracts. Student fees accounted for a record 20.5% of revenue compared with only 12.0% in 1990/91.
"For the second consecutive year -- and only the second time since 1990/91 -- university revenue from public sources grew more rapidly than those from private sources. Total revenue from government rose 8.1%, almost twice the pace of 4.3% from private sources. As a result, government funding for universities accounted for 56% of the total revenue in 2002/03, the highest level in six years. However, this was still well below the proportion of 69% in 1990/91.
"Revenue failed to keep pace with spending for the second consecutive year. Universities spent a record $19.1 billion in 2002/03, up 8.7% from the previous year, and a 25.9% increase since the start of the decade. Salaries, wages and benefits accounted for 55% of total expenses while 4% went to scholarships."
The StatsCan figures lump together money for university operations, construction, research and universities' business operations. "In total," the agency said, "grants and contracts to universities from all three levels of government reached $10.4 billion, up 8.1% from 2001/02 and the fifth consecutive yearly increase. Of this total, provincial governments paid the lion's share or just over $8.0 billion (+6.5%), followed by the federal government at just over $2.2 billion. Almost all the federal cash was earmarked to support sponsored research.
"In recent years, provincial governments have increased their contribution to university financing. Since the start of the decade, their funding has increased at an annual average rate of 5.6%, compared with an annual average decline of 1.5% during the 1990s.
"The provinces' share of university funding fell from 58% in 1990/91 to 45% in 1999/2000. Since then, this rate of decline has levelled off, and in the academic year 2002/03, the provincial government share was 43%. In contrast, the federal government accounted for 12.0% of revenue in 2002/03, compared with 8.9% in 1999/00."
The release continues: "Since 1990/91, income from student fees has risen at an average annual rate of 8.1%, compared with 1.6% from governments. Provincially, the share of total revenue represented by student fees was higher than the national average in Nova Scotia (30%) and New Brunswick and Ontario (27% each)."
StatsCan said there was "a short-term surge in construction projects in 2002/03. . . . Spending on infrastructure, which includes buildings, land and land improvements, accounted for 7% of total spending, the largest proportion in 13 years."
Also: "Universities granted $751.4 million in scholarships, bursaries and prizes during 2002/03. This was four times the amount in 1990/91 and 60% higher than in 1999/2000. . . . $415.2 million were allocated to scholarships alone, excluding sponsored research. Three-quarters of this was paid by Ontario institutions to their students ($300.5 million). As a result, Ontario allocated 7.3% of its general operating expenditures to scholarships, bursaries and prizes, whereas the rest of Canada allocated an average of only 1.7%."
Training camp for the football Warriors opens today, and a lot of sweat will have flowed by the time the team plays its first game -- on September 6 (Labour Day) at the University of Ottawa. That's followed by a game at McMaster on September 11, and the season's first home game doesn't come until September 18 with a visit by the York Yeomen. Says the Warrior web site: "Head Coach Chris Triantafilou considers this recruiting class one of his deepest ever and a great compliment to the skill players acquired in the past few recruiting classes. This year's squad, while young, looks to be considerably improved from last year's playoff team. With 37 accomplished freshmen coming to camp, expect a number of training camp battles for playing time." Last year's team finished 2-6 in OUA league action.
Practices have also begun for the baseball Warriors, who will be the first team in action this fall season. They play Brock on September 1 at Toronto's SkyDome, visit Laurier on September 5, then have a pair of home games on Labour Day, hosting Toronto and McMaster. The baseball season will wind up before the end of September, with playoffs lasting until Thanksgiving.
Joan Hull, who worked for many years in the Village I office, died on August 4 at the age of 87. Among those mourning her is Ken Hull, music professor at Conrad Grebel University College, one of her two sons. And clearly music is a family affair: "Donations may be made to the music program at St. George's Anglican Church as expressions of sympathy," the death notice suggests.
Planned renovations to the Bombshelter pub in the Student Life Centre, originally scheduled for this summer, "have been delayed indefinitely", says Raveel Afzaal, vice-president (administration and finance) of the Federation of Students. He writes that "we are in the process of working out the cost for these renovations, since the cost estimates that we got were way above our budget." Meanwhile, an immediate problem in the Bomber has been solved. In recent months several people have bashed their heads on TV sets that hung from the ceiling; the issue even reached UW's joint health and safety committee. "The television sets have been removed," Afzaal reports.
Happening tomorrow: "Globalization and Values", a seminar at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2 p.m. (reservations and information, 885-2444); Aboriginal drum social at St. Paul's United College, 6 to 10 p.m.