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Thursday, June 24, 2004

  • Fewer students will be from Ontario
  • Two-year agreement for CUPE staff
  • Profs' plans for sabbatical leave
Chris Redmond

Fête nationale du Québec

[Bird's eye view]

Hotel-style rooms will be available in the new apartment tower at St. Paul's United College starting September 1, and reservations are being taken now. They're intended for anyone visiting campus -- short-term researchers, parents of students, employers, speakers. "Each room has a private bathroom, fridge and microwave," says Lindsay Restagno at St. Paul's. "The building houses graduate students and other visiting faculty, providing a highly talented and interesting environment. Guests have access to the facilities at St. Paul's, including a fitness room, games room, outdoor patio and access to the cafeteria. Free parking is included." Rate: $75 a night or $455 a week, including breakfast. More information: 885-1465 ext. 203, or e-mail hotelstpauls@uwaterloo.ca.

Fewer students will be from Ontario

Only about three-quarters of UW's first-year students next fall will be from Ontario high schools, if this week's figures from the admissions office hold up.

A report on confirmations -- students who have been accepted to UW and say they'll be here in September -- shows 3,859 Canadian citizens or permanent residents from Ontario secondary schools, 734 others from Canada, and 458 who will be coming (from overseas or, in some cases, from Ontario schools) on international visas. That's a total of 5,051.

That means the university as a whole is close to the admissions target, which was set at 5,253, says Peter Burroughs, the director of admissions. (He notes that another 100 or so acceptances are known to be in the pipeline, and more could trickle in.)

The pattern of acceptances is "markedly different than any previous years", says Burroughs, noting that last year -- the year of the "double cohort" -- 88 per cent of first-year students came straight from Ontario high schools. The number of Canadian students from outside Ontario is looking to be twice what it was last year, and the number of foreign students is almost double.

He credits "aggressive recruitment and admission of non-OSS and visa students this year", when it was clear that the number of Ontario applicants was going to be way down.

Enrolment at record level (Star)

'Entrance requirements lowered to attract students' (Globe and Mail)

'Star students find it's raining money' (Star)

Waterloo stands to be one of the few Ontario universities with as many students as it wanted this fall. Across the province, a total of 53,895 high school students have confirmed that they'll register in universities this fall, the Council of Ontario Universities said yesterday, as well as 13,498 from other sources. But institutions have as many as 70,000 campus spaces waiting for them.

Even at Waterloo, the demand isn't consistent across the university. The arts faculty is way over its target for September, with 1,431 acceptances for 1,240 spots (115 per cent). And the science faculty is under target, with 745 acceptances for 975 spots (76 per cent). That's the opposite of how things stood in 2003, when science was bursting at the seams and arts had unfilled space.

Other faculties are somewhere in between, with engineering at about 105 per cent, mathematics and software engineering at 96 per cent, environmental studies at 82 per cent, and applied health sciences at 79 per cent.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

  • Evening supervisor, library user services, USG 4
  • Records assistant II, development and alumni affairs, USG 4
  • Human resources information analyst, human resources, USG 7
  • Faculty financial analyst, dean of science office, USG 9

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • Two-year agreement for CUPE staff

    Members of Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793 have ratified a two-year collective agreement with UW that includes pay increases both years.

    CUPE 793 represents hourly-paid employees in the food services and plant operations department, and are the only unonized group at UW. Their previous contract expired April 30. Neil Murray, assistant director of human resources, said the new agreement, ratified by union members on Tuesday afternoon, is effective through April 30, 2006.

    It includes a 3.3 per cent across-the-board increase this year and again next year. (That's the same increase in the 2004 and 2005 settlements for faculty and non-union staff members.)

    Other features of the CUPE agreement, according to Murray: "An increase in group leader premium from .90 per hour to $1.00 per hour for the life of the agreement. An increase in 2nd and 3rd Class Shift Engineer premiums to .70 per hour for the life of the agreement. An increase in shift premiums from .65 per hour to .70 in the first year and .80 in the second year.

    "Establishment of a new category, Regular Recurring, which is analogous to Regular part time [for non-union staff]. Benefits coverage, vacation accrual and service accrual will be the same as for regular part time staff. Improvements to Bereavement Leave to bring it in line with the Staff Bereavement Guidelines. The date for the exchange one week of yearly vacation for a two percent (2%) salary increase has been extended to April 30, 2011 for retirements on or before April 30, 2014. An increase in the subsidy for safety footwear from $65 per year or $130 over two years to $75 per year or $150 over two years.

    "A one time only signing bonus of $100. There are other language changes but these are the highlights."

    Pension and benefits committee, 8:30 to noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

    Health informatics seminar: "Megavoltage Images in Radiation Therapy", Hamid Tizhoosh, systems design engineering, 11:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

    Architecture job match results available on JobMine, 1 p.m.

    Career development workshops: "Interview Skills, the Basics" 1:30, "Preparing for Questions" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

    David Williams, school of optometry, retirement reception, 3:30 to 6:00, University Club, information ext. 3177.

    Alumni reception "after work" in San Jose, California (Fairmont Hotel).

    Festival of Art and Spirit at St. Jerome's University opens with wine and cheese reception, 7 p.m., UW art gallery, East Campus Hall, admission free. Tomorrow, Ojibwe storyteller Rene Meshake, 2:00, ECH room 1219, and other events; details online.

    Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) will not open until 10 a.m. Friday (usual opening 8:30).

    GradComm car wash Friday, noon to 6 p.m., parking lot B1 near East Campus Hall, fund-raiser for engineering graduation celebrations 2005.

    'Teaching Dossiers' workshop sponsored by teaching resource office, Monday 12:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2527, details online.

    Profs' plans for sabbatical leave

    Professors will be visiting Mexico and Germany and places closer to home, including their own labs and desks, as they go on sabbatical starting July 1.

    A sabbatical leave is a period when a faculty member can be away from normal teaching and administration duties to concentrate on research and other activities. Depending on how long the leave is, and how long the faculty member has waited, salary continues at its normal level or may be reduced.

    Says the UW policy on sabbaticals and other leaves: "The purpose of a sabbatical leave is to contribute to professional development, enabling members to keep abreast of emerging developments in their particular fields and enhancing their effectiveness as teachers, researchers and scholars. Such leaves also help to prevent the development of closed or parochial environments by making it possible for faculty members to travel to differing locales where special research equipment may be available or specific discipline advances have been accomplished. Sabbaticals provide an opportunity for intellectual growth and enrichment as well as for scholarly renewal and reassessment."

    Sabbaticals are formally approved by UW's board of governors, and starting last year, board members asked to see a brief description of what each individual will be doing on sabbatical. Those descriptions are now published in the board agenda. Here are a few of them, for some of the professors whose sabbaticals will start July 1, 2004.

    [Chen] Pu Chen (right) of chemical engineering will be on sabbatical for six months: "I will be spending the first three or four months of my sabbatical to complete the first draft of a book on molecular interface phenomena, for which I have signed a contract with Abington Hall. The remaining time of my sabbatical will be split between the MIT tissue engineering lab and Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Berlin, Germany."

    Mariela Gutiérrez of Spanish and Latin American studies will take her year-long sabbatical in two halves, July through December this year and again next year: "Translation of 30 of Lydia Cabrera's three volumes of Black (Afro-Cuban) short stories; I'll incorporate a prologue (200 pages) and cultural footnotes for the benefit of neophyte readers. I will also start researching in Mexico towards a future publication on Latin American women of knowledge (XVII to XXI centuries)."

    Robert Needham of economics will be on sabbatical July through December: "to complete a book on Canadian economic development that is in next to final draft form, and make recommendations for revision of undergraduate and graduate programs in light of accurate and unanswerable critiques of neo-classical micro theory which is currently their basis."

    Barbara Bulman-Fleming of psychology, director of the teaching resources office, will take a one-year sabbatical: "I hope to continue my research concerning hemispheric specialization during part of my sabbatical, and work on teaching resources related work (possibly concerning initiatives to enhance the culture of academic integrity on the campus)."

    Sherry Dupuis of recreation and leisure studies will be on sabbatical for six months: "Although I have a number of goals . . . my major priority is to prepare and publish a number of articles from three large projects I have been involved in over the past three years (Ontario Dementia Caregiver Needs Project, In-House and Community Access Recreation Program in Long-Term Care Settings Project, Longitudinal Study on Families in Long-Term Care Settings)."

    I'll quote from more faculty members' sabbatical plans in a future Daily Bulletin.


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