[University of Waterloo]


Past days


About the DB

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

  • Food services director leaving
  • In search of a director for CECS
  • The Crew behind the spectacle
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

Learning Disabilities Month

[Murdoch with arms outspread]

Food services director leaving

Mark Murdoch, UW's larger-than-life food services director for the past 14 years, will be leaving the university as soon as his replacement is chosen.

"It's a selfish move," Murdoch (pictured) said yesterday, insisting that he doesn't have specific plans yet, but "I have absolutely no doubt that I will land something fantastic." He said he has been wanting to do something different, didn't feel right about job-hunting while still holding down the UW position, but has "a couple of irons in the fire".

"I love food, love the service industry," said Murdoch, who was with the catering department at the University of Guelph before coming to UW 18 years ago. He moved up to the director's post four years later.

"Food services is in really good shape," he said, adding that work this summer on the Davis Centre cafeteria will wind up a ten-year cycle of renovations to food outlets across campus. From Village cafeterias to hole-in-the-wall coffee counters, and counting the newest coffee shop in the CEIT building, there are now 19 food services outlets, he noted.

He stressed that his departure reflects "absolutely no differences of opinion" with UW management. "I'm thrilled with the time I've spent here." He's also somewhat lighter, and used his own battle with weight and good eating habits as part of a food services "Staff Health Challenge" last summer.

Said a statement from his boss, Bud Walker, UW's director of business operations: "Over his time at UW, Mark has made an immeasurable contribution to UW and he will be missed. The Food Services operation that Mark and his team have developed is quite simply one of the best university food operations in North America. The intense commitment that Mark has shown to the welfare of students, the enhancement of the campus environment and the betterment of staff is a legacy of which he can be proud. His personal responsiveness to quality, value, service, wellness, atmosphere and diversity is well known throughout the campus community.

"Mark will be staying on until a successor is appointed. I have sincerely enjoyed working with Mark and I hope that you will join with me in wishing Mark the greatest of success for the future."

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

  • Administrative/technical secretary, electrical and computer engineering, USG 4
  • Systems support specialist, engineering computing, USG 11/12
  • Undergraduate secretary, pure mathematics, USG 4
  • Executive director, co-op education and career services, USG 20

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • [Lumsden]

    In search of a director for CECS

    The search process has started for the next head of UW's co-operative education and career services department, to take over when the current director, Bruce Lumsden (right), retires this summer.

    The new CECS head will be titled "executive director", says a memo from UW associate provost Bruce Mitchell. And the job will be classified "USG 20", a rung on the university's staff pay scale that was just introduced last fall.

    The job -- considered one of the key jobs at the level just below UW's executive council -- is listed in today's "Positions Available" from the human resources department, and external advertising has also started, as Mitchell noted in a memo to CECS staff a few days ago.

    Says the job posting, in part: "Managing a staff of 90, the Executive Director will develop and sustain strong relationships with students, faculty, and employers, in order to maximize relevant employment experiences for students and, through the Career Services Unit, ongoing career development opportunities for both students and alumni. The new Executive Director will bring excellent relationship-building skills to the position, and will have a sound understanding of both the public and private sector marketplaces. He/ she will have experience managing a large and diverse organization or department, and will be confident and capable of representing the University and its programs to its employer partners. Knowledge of emerging labour trends and changing economic conditions will be essential, as will be an ability to work cooperatively and collegially within an academic environment.

    "Co-operative education is integral to the mission of the University of Waterloo, and its career services programs are highly regarded and critically important to both students and alumni. The Executive Director will bring new energy to this important portfolio."

    Mitchell says a search committee has been set up -- as sometimes happens for very senior jobs -- and will be advisory to him as associate provost. He's also chairing the committee. "The intent is to have representatives from different parts of CECS, as well as the Faculties and students," he wrote. Other committee members are George Dixon, the dean of science; Adel Sedra, dean of engineering; Cathie Jenkins, Alnoor Karsan and Pam Waechter of the CECS staff; Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resource and student services); and Becky Wroe, president of the Federation of Students. "Janet Wright and Associates Inc., specialists in executive searches, is assisting in the process," Mitchell added.

    The Crew behind the spectacle

    The student group sponsoring today's "Blackout" extravaganza in the Student Life Centre is a Federation of Students spinoff that calls itself "The Crew".

    Dana Evans of the Federation staff explains a little of what the group is about: "We started it in the latter part of the fall term. It is made up of a highly motivated group of students that want to help meet the new needs of students and to provide more volunteer opportunities for them. They are getting into the student body to find out what students are all about, what they are into, what type of event they would like to attend, what they want their campus to feel like, and also generate a sense that the Feds are alive and well and are here for everyone."

    [Crew logo] Apparently what students want in the last week of term is high-powered dance and acrobatics moves, and that's what they'll get in two shows today in the SLC great hall. "This event will definitely be something to remember," says Enam Rabbani, one of the Crew's leadership, predicting that "Blackout" will be "something people can talk about for months".

    The great hall will indeed be blacked out, and a stage with full concert lighting will be set up. The first 20 minutes of each show will feature campus dance troupes -- from ethnic to hip-hop -- and then comes a 20-minute performance by Team Ryouko, an extreme stunt performance group based in Toronto that specializes in a fusion of martial arts, acrobatics and breakdancing. Performances today are at 12:40 and 2:40.

    Rabbani describes the Crew as "a brand-new, all-volunteer group, specializing in innovative marketing and event planning for the UW community. Members vary from first-year students to fourth-year students from nearly every faculty. The Crew is run under the guidance of Dave McDougall, Feds marketing, and Dana Evans, Feds special events.

    "The focus of the Crew is to add something extra to student life, a dimension of UW that, according to a reputational survey by Maclean's magazine, has been lacking over recent years. The latest events promoted and planned by the Crew have included a collaboration with Engineers Without Borders on the Halo 2 tournament, and two sold-out shows for Russell Peters at Federation Hall, their greatest success to date. The Crew looks forward to expanding their membership within the next few years in order to contribute as much as possible to the overall quality of student life.

    "The Crew has no fixed hierarchical structure, which has been a contributing factor to the overflow of creativity at meetings. The project leaders for Blackout have been Niket Shah, Mariano DeMarinis, Dean Pitton and Faraz Warsi."

    Blood donor clinic continues through Friday, 10 to 4, Student Life Centre.

    Nutrition drop-in with Irene Pace, health services dietitian, 11:30 to 1:30, Columbia Icefield fitness centre.

    K-W Software Quality Association 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

    Political science talk: "Political, Civil Society, and Media Perspectives on the International Criminal Court", graduate student Laszlo Sarkany, 12 noon, Humanities room 334.

    Stress relaxation series: "Guided Visualization" 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program.

    Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents Anant Kumar reading from his latest book, Die Uferlosen Geschichten, 4:00, Humanities room 373.

    Careers in law: alumni working in the legal field share their experience, 7 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218, registration online.

    'Five Conflict Management Tips' by Catherine Fry, conflict management and human rights office, Thursday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302, all welcome.

    Federation of Students general meeting Thursday 4:30 p.m., great hall, Student Life Centre. Agenda includes election and ratification of 2005-06 board of directors, proposed increase in Fed fee.

    Society of International Students general meeting to discuss whether the society should become a Federation of Students service, Thursday 6:00, Coutts Hall room 306.

    Dr. Stan's Science Circus ("science fun for the whole family") Thursday 7:30, Physics room 145.

    Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Shiv Talwar, "A Taste of Life in an Indian Ashram", Thursday 7:30, Math and Computer room 4021.

    Orchestra@UWaterloo spring concert Thursday 8 p.m., Humanities Theatre, admission free, donations welcome.

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

    [Blue water]

    'New Songs' and Soundscapes' is "a unique concert of new music" by Carol Ann Weaver (faculty member at Conrad Grebel University College) and Rebecca Campbell, to be heard at 12:30 today in the Grebel chapel. The event involves "vocals, piano, turntables, and drums, bringing together the very old and the very new in celebration of ethnic Mennonite music and poetic text". It's a spinoff of the "Sound in the Land" festival held last year. Pictured is Weaver and Campbell's album "Awakenings", also released last year.

    And a little of this and that

    Friday is the deadline for comments about the position of vice-president (university research), as requested a few weeks ago by the nominating committee. It's seeking a successor for Paul Guild, the VP since 2001, whose term ends at the end of this year. "The Committee," its invitation said, "seeks feedback and advice, in confidence, on the issues and challenges affecting UW researchers, the Office of Research, and on the desirable attributes sought in a Vice-President," the invitation said. The committee can be reached through Emily Barnes in the university secretariat (ebarnes@uwaterloo.ca). Advertising for the position has set a deadline of May 20 for nominations and applications. VP research

    Something called the Centre for Research and Education in Human Services, based in downtown Kitchener, is holding a launch celebration today for a $1.2 million research program under the heading "Taking Culture Seriously: Community Mental Health in Context". The issue is the difficulty faced by newcomers to Canada -- "trying to learn their way around, dealing with an unfamiliar language, the pressures of finding housing . . . such stressors over a long period of time can create mental health issues. . . . There is a growing need in Canada to reconsider traditional approaches to mental health support in order to better understand and integrate the needs and challenges of a diverse multicultural population." The CREHS study will be done "in partnership with university and community organizations in Toronto and Waterloo Region", although there's no indication that UW is involved specifically.

    A number of local physicians will attend a reception and dinner at a downtown restaurant tonight to hear more about the "Family Medicine Centre" that's proposed for UW's health sciences campus in Kitchener. The nascent UW school of pharmacy and the local Academy of Medicine, the doctors' association, are sponsoring the evening, at which the nine physicians so far involved in the project will talk about their plans. The centre's chief work will be to provide internships for young doctors who have been trained at Western and McMaster's medical schools, but links with the pharmacy school and other UW units are expected to be strong.

    The Warrior sports season has come to an end with one last tournament, the national curling championships, held at the University of Alberta, in which UW's men's and women's teams both participated but didn't finish in the medals. . . . The annual Graduate Student Research Conference is almost upon us, with activities Monday through Thursday next week and a keynote address by diplomat Stephen Lewis on Monday afternoon. . . . Arts becomes the first faculty to announce its valedictorian for spring convocation, naming Lucia Salazar to speak on behalf of arts grads at the June 16 ceremony. . . .


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