[University of Waterloo]


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Friday, April 1, 2005

  • RIM founder reappointed chancellor
  • 206 grad students present research
  • Notes on the first day of the month
Chris Redmond

Foolery | Maple syrup | Daylight saving

[Beside UW flag]

Lazaridis at last year's launch of the Institute for Quantum Computing

RIM founder reappointed chancellor

Mike Lazaridis, founder, president and co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), has been re-appointed chancellor of the University of Waterloo, a news release announced after the appointment was approved by the university senate earlier this week.

Lazaridis, whose current three-year term of office ends April 30, 2006, will serve a second three-year term, taking him to 2009. The chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university, who presides at convocation, sits on both the board of governors and the senate, chairs the presidential nominating committee and sometimes advocates the university's interests in public statements.

"Mike Lazaridis is a passionate, eloquent and compelling champion for education and fundamental research. How fortunate for the cause of higher education in Canada that he will continue be the University of Waterloo's chancellor," UW president David Johnston said in the announcement.

"I have long enjoyed my association with the University of Waterloo, which I consider a great source of innovation, new knowledge and talent for our society," Lazaridis said. "I am very pleased to accept the honour of continuing to be its chancellor."

Says the news release: "Lazaridis is recognized as one of Canada's leading visionaries and entrepreneurs, and is also known as a powerful and passionate advocate for education at all levels. His commitment to UW is profound, dating from his undergraduate days. He is the recipient of a UW honorary degree, a Doctor of Engineering, and as chancellor and member of the board of governors has been engaged, active and supportive of the UW enterprise.

"Founded while he was a student in 1984, RIM is best known for the BlackBerry, the world's first complete and secure end-to-end wireless solution for e-mail and corporate data delivery. Lazaridis holds 38 U.S. patents and oversees all product strategy, research and development, manufacturing and operations at RIM.

"A community leader and philanthropist whose private support of research is unparalleled in Canada, he founded the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in 2000.

"Lazaridis is credited with altering the profile of scientific research in Canada through the creation of the Perimeter Institute. In donating $100 million towards its creation, he embarked upon the fulfillment of a vision for research that is unlike anything ever seen in Canada.

"As well, his gifts to UW have helped establish the Institute for Quantum Computing as one of the leading centres of its kind anywhere."

Easier access on HR web site

"There is a new look to the HR web site," says David Dietrich of UW's human resources department, and e-mail went out to faculty and staff members on Wednesday night to alert them.

"As indicated in our last HR News publication," said the message, "Human Resources is changing the way we communicate with the campus community. . . . Recent changes to our website make it easier for faculty, staff and CUPE 793 members to access UW policies, procedures, guidelines and other information that is important to them. Input and suggestions were solicited from CUPE 793, the Faculty Association and the Staff Association and their feedback was appreciated.

"We encourage you to review the changes [and] to add the link to your favourite bookmarks so you can keep up to date on employment-related information that may affect you.

"Our intention is to continually improve our website to provide the information you need, so if you have comments or suggestions please send us an email."

206 grad students present research -- from the UW media relations office

The largest graduate student research conference in Canada will be held April 4-7, 2005 at the University of Waterloo -- and the public is invited to attend.

The fifth annual "Sharing Discovery" conference highlights research accomplishments of more than 200 master's and doctoral degree students at UW. They will give presentations under the themes of Social Sciences and Humanities, along with Science and Technology.

All sessions are open to the public and will be held on the UW campus in the Davis Centre, rooms 1301, 1302 and 1304, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is no registration fee.

"The conference showcases the extremely high quality and great diversity of graduate studies at the University of Waterloo," said Bill Power, conference chair and associate dean of graduate studies. "It's a pleasure and privilege for me to be involved and I would certainly encourage anyone with an interest in emerging research to come out and experience first-hand some of the exciting achievements of our future academic, business and policy leaders."

This year's keynote speaker is former politician Stephen Lewis, one of Canada's most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights. He was recently named Maclean's Magazine Canadian of the Year and awarded the Pearson Peace Medal for his outstanding achievements in the field of international service and understanding. His address, "Academic Research: Impact in the Global Community," will take place Monday at 2:00 in Davis Centre room 1350.

[At the foot of the steps]

Accessibility can be a big problem when you're a Canada goose and not welcome in the Physical Activities Complex. The photo is by computer engineering student Daniel Yum, who reports that geese seem to be nesting against the PAC wall, just out of the frame of this photo.

As well, the conference will hold a panel discussion on "Mentoring and Graduate Supervision," featuring a speech by David Malloy, associate dean of the faculty of graduate studies and research at the University of Regina. The panel discussion will take place Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 in Davis 1302.

A total of 206 master's and doctoral degree students from UW's six faculties will participate in four days of oral and poster presentations focusing on their scholarship. More 40 posters describing research projects will be on display throughout the week in the Davis Centre. Among the topics to be presented: "The Genetic Fallacy: The Misinterpretation of Current Genetic Research," by Joseph Mikhael, philosophy department; "Housing Design, Communal Areas, and Management Style: Their Effects on the Well-Being of Single Parents and Their Children," by Gavin Blackstock, school of planning; "Retardation of a Large Organic Contaminant Plume in Fractured Sedimentary Rock," by Jessica Meyer, earth sciences.

Also: "A Comparative Evaluation of Power Management Systems for a Fuel Cell Vehicle," by Jennifer Marshall, electrical and computer engineering; "Social Influence on Adolescent Smoking," by Rashid Ahmed, statistics and actuarial sciences; "Early Social Experiences and Propensity for Addictive Behaviour in Rats," by Anna Lomanowski, health studies and gerontology.

The conference is organized through the office of the dean of graduate studies, with support from the UW president's office, the Graduate Student Association, the Graduate Studies Endowment Fund, retail services (CampusTechshop) and the deans of the six faculties. Financial support has also been provided by Northern Digital, Research In Motion, Virtek Vision International, SportChek (Conestoga Mall), and Basics Office Products.


Notes on the first day of the month

James (Jim) Downey (right), former president of the university, officially retires today after a UW career that began with his arrival in the president's office April 15, 1993. He ended that term in 1999, said he was returning to full-time work as a professor of English, but got detoured into other administrative roles instead. He served as acting vice-president (university relations) and then as founding director of the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education. Now it's formal retirement from the department of English, according to the faculty of arts monthly report. Newfoundland-born, Downey held a series of posts at Carleton University, ending as its acting president, before heading the University of New Brunswick (1980-1990) and then UW. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Blood donor clinic, last day, 10 to 3, Student Life Centre.

Shine Dance Competition Friday and Saturday, Humanities Theatre.

UW Stage Band spring concert Friday 7 p.m., great hall, Conrad Grebel University College.

Chamber Choir spring concert Saturday 8 p.m., Waterloo North Mennonite Church.

University Choir spring concert Sunday 3 p.m., First United Church.

BMO Financial Group recognized for contributions to UW scholarship funds, accountancy and architecture, Monday 12 noon, Tatham Centre.

Instrumental chamber ensembles spring concert Monday 7 p.m., great hall, Conrad Grebel University College.

UW board of governors Tuesday, April 5, 2:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Writing yesterday about the Federation of Students general meeting, I said that it would formally elect the Feds' board of directors for the coming year, which would "look startlingly like the elected president and vice-presidents". Only partly right, I was reminded by Lawrence Lam, who will become the vice-president (internal) on May 1. "The Board includes the elected president and VPs," he writes, "plus five councillors." The general meeting last night chose those councillors: Randy Besco, Renjie Butalid, Jonathan Fishbein, Steven Hayle, and Michelle Zakrison.

Works by Natalie Reis, a graduate student in UW's fine arts department, are on display through April 15 at the Artery Gallery in downtown Kitchener. It's her thesis exhibition, under the title "Catharsis" -- consisting, she writes, of "works on paper, all of which incorporate aspects of painting, drawing and printmaking. The artist uses artistic conventions to put into question notions of figuration and subjectivity. The gallery contains six distinct pieces: five murals made up of 40-50 prints each, and a back wall exhibiting hand-drawn images." There's an opening event for the show Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.; the gallery is at 158 King Street West.

Three local institutions are bringing together senior United Nations staff, along with current and former ambassadors, scholars and "members of civil society", for a major international conference on UN reform -- timed immediately after Secretary-General Kofi Annan tabled a report, entitled "In Larger Freedom", on the subject earlier this week. The Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, and Wilfrid Laurier University are co-sponsoring the conference, entitled "The UN: Adapting to the 21st Century". The conference will draw key participants, including Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette, former Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy, and Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch, to Waterloo from Sunday to Tuesday. Fréchette will launch the conference with a public lecture at 5 p.m. on Sunday. A WLU news release tells more.

Amateur sports season will be in full swing shortly, and a good many people on campus will find themselves coaching children's teams, says Michelle Robinson of the UW campus recreation program. "Are you coaching your child's soccer or slow-pitch this season? Get certified with emergency first aid before the season starts!" A day-long course will be offered Tuesday in the Physical Activities Complex. Another opportunity: "Consider getting certified with the National Coaching Certification Program," which involves four evenings and one weekend in May. More information: phone ext. 7126. Day of mourning . . .

Retirement "training sessions", under the title "Bridging the Gap", are available for faculty and staff members (and off-campus people) who are approaching the retirement years, says a note from UW's human resources department. Workshops will be offered Tuesday nights, from April 12 to May 17, at the Rockway Centre in Kitchener. More information is available from the centre at 741-2576.

Two lectures that were to be given by British journalist Robert Fisk -- well known for his coverage of conflict in the Middle East -- have been cancelled. "Mr. Fisk is now unable to leave his post," says a memo from Jason Coolman, UW's director of alumni affairs, announcing the cancellation. He was to speak in Waterloo on April 12 (giving the Kerr-Saltsman Lecture on International Affairs) and at an alumni luncheon in Toronto the next day.

Yesterday I wrote that the latest winners of the Distinguished Teacher Awards were "for 2004", and of course that should have said 2005. . . . Today is billed as a "day of mourning for all innocent lives lost in the Arab-Israeli conflict", as Israeli Culture Week continues. . . . With classes over for half the campus and about to end for the other half, the Festival Fare cafeteria in South Campus Hall has closed for the season. . . .


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