Wednesday, June 21, 2006

  • Anniversary will ask: why not?
  • Associate VP for learning leaves his job
  • A call for ‘lifelong alumni connections’
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

DWE reopens after gas scare

The Doug Wright Engineering Building, home of the chemical engineering department, was shut down in the late morning yesterday because of a leak of hydrogen sulphide — a poisonous substance, known for its "rotten egg" smell, that's much used in metallurgy. The problem was traced to a corroded valve on a gas storage cylinder in a store-room. UW's safety office ordered the building closed; police cordoned it off and the leaking cylinder was taken outside, where a chemical disposal team picked it up in early evening. The all-clear was given about 8 p.m. and DWE is back in normal operation this morning.

Link of the day

National Aboriginal Day


The classical studies department has a new chair: Riemer Faber, a specialist in philology and poetry, took on that role as of July 1, succeeding Leonard Curchin.

When and where

Ashley Meyer, recreation and leisure studies student, funeral service 2 p.m., Community Fellowship Baptist Church, Conservation Drive.

World Cup soccer showings at Student Life Centre: Netherlands vs. Argentina and Ivory Coast vs. Serbia and Montenegro, 3 p.m.

Career workshop: "Career Interest Assessment" 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1112, registration online.

Smarter health seminar: Bill Haver, Lakeside Medical Clinic, "The Physician in E-Health: The Missing Link", Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, register online to attend or for live webcast.

Jay Thomson, department of kinesiology, retirement celebration 3:00 to 5:00, University Club, RSVP

Robert Kerton, dean of arts, reception marking end of his term as dean, 3:30 to 5:30, Festival Room, South Campus Hall; dinner follows, information ext. 2218.

International spouses group "summer stroll along the river" in St. Jacobs, postponed from previous date, meet Thursday 1 p.m. at Columbia Lake Village community centre, off Columbia Street west of West-mount Road. All spouses of international students or pro-fessors welcome. Information

Volunteer Impact Awards sponsored by Volunteer Action Centre, Thursday 6:30, Centre for International Governance Innovation, 57 Erb Street West, details online.

City of Waterloo presents Cynthia Nikitin, Project for Public Spaces, "Planning for Public Spaces", Thursday 7 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, reservations and information online.

Shot in the Dark golf tournament at Westhill Meadows, Thursday 9:30 p.m. Faculty, staff and students welcome; registration $35 (includes glow-in-the-dark equipment) at athletics department, Physical Activities Complex.

Canada's Wonderland trip organized by Federation of Students, Friday, tickets $37 at Fed office, Student Life Centre.

Graduate Student Association picnic at Elora Gorge Conservation Area, Saturday, buses leave campus 8:30 a.m., tickets $10 at Graduate House (includes transportation and two meals), all welcome.

Embargo on telephone changes June 26 through August 8 in preparation for the switch to 5-digit extension numbers, details online.

Grant writing seminar and workshop for arts faculty members, with details on SSHRC "stories and strategies", June 28, 9 a.m., details online.

Positions available

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

• Research ethics officer, office of research, USG 8
• Faculty receptionist/ secretary, dean of mathematics, USG 4
• Undergraduate program assistant, department of economics, USG 5
• Scheduling coordinator, audio-visual, USG 4
• Executive director, industrial research alliances, dean of mathematics, USG 12
• Payroll benefits assistant, human resources, USG 4/5

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Anniversary will ask: why not?

[50th Anniversary logo]UW’s 50th anniversary next year will celebrate “the spirit of ‘why not?’”, a gathering of 150 department heads and other key people was told yesterday.

They met in the Theatre of the Arts at noon hour, invited by UW’s president to attend an anniversary briefing, pick up a T-shirt with the newly unveiled logo (left), and enjoy a hamburger before heading back to their departments to spread the word. Seven of UW’s cheerleaders did a brief 50th anniversary routine, and a series of committee chairs reported on the work that’s been done so far to plan next year’s activities.

The university’s official founding date is July 1, 1957, but the 50th anniversary will stretch through almost a year, from a launch party in the Physical Activities Complex on January 11, 2007, through to a closing ceremony on December 6.

The anniversary will “ celebrate UW’s accomplishments, but to look to the future as well,” said Lois Claxton, secretary of the university and co-chair of the anniversary program committee. Hence the “why not” theme, which president David Johnston tied in to a line he likes to quote from playwright George Bernard Shaw.

The co-chairs of the anniversary steering committee — retired faculty member Bob Norman and retired staff member Shirley Thomson — introduced the committee chairs who have been working with them over the past months. One of those is applied health sciencese dean Roger Mannell, representing the faculties and academic departments, who took the platform along with Myroslaw Tataryn of St. Jerome’s University as representative of the colleges. Mannell stressed that while there will be a few special activities because of the anniversary, the hope is that departments will give “a 50th Anniversary flavour or twist” to many events they were going to hold anyway, such as conferences and reunions. “Tools” to help, such as logos, posters and invitation templates, will be available, the audience was assured.

Athletics director Judy McCrae gave a rundown on her department’s anniversary activity, including plans for a massive reunion — involving alumni of at least 19 varsity sports — on a single weekend next June.

A book about UW’s history (“the sense, the spirit, the excitement of Waterloo”) will be launched at the time of the annual Friends of the Library lecture next spring, said Ken McLaughlin of St. Jerome’s, co-chair of the anniversary historical committee.

And Bob Copeland of the development and alumni affairs office announced that a portion of the funds raised through anniversary “sponsorships” from local companies will go to create a 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment, which will provide scholarships at the undergraduate and graduate levels on a permanent basis.

A 50th anniversary web site was launched yesterday to provide logos, event information and other resources, and more information is promised online over the coming months.

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Associate VP for learning leaves his job

[Carey standing]Tom Carey (right), who started UW’s Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology (LT3) and spent the past fall and winter on leave from his post as an associate vice-president, isn’t returning to that senior position, the provost has announced.

Carey — a faculty member in the management sciences department — has served since 2002 as associate VP (learning resources and innovation), in charge of the teaching resource office, distance and continuing education, and the audio-visual centre, as well as LT3. Earlier this spring it was announced that A-V is becoming part of the information systems and technology department.

Carey went on sabbatical leave September 1, and Gail Cuthbert Brandt, associate vice-president (academic), has been doubling as interim associate VP for the LRI portfolio. Carey was to begin a new term on May 1, but told colleagues by e-mail last week that he and UW's provost had not agreed on "a renewed mandate . . . funny how your outlook changes when you are faced with an explicit decision about the last few years of your career!"

Says a memo from provost Amit Chakma:“Upon completion of his term, Dr. Tom Carey will be providing leadership to the Online Teaching Commons research and innovation project. This project currently involves 10 Canadian universities including Waterloo, as well as several U.S. partners including the State University systems in California, North Carolina and New York.

“Tom will be based in California but will be back in Canada at regular intervals for activities with the Canadian members of the project. Tom will be on a leave of absence from UW from September 1, 2006, to August 31 2007 to work on this important initiative.

“I am very pleased that Gail Cuthbert Brandt has agreed to continue to look after the Associate Vice President Learning Resources portfolio.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tom for the leadership he has provided during his term as Associate Vice-President Learning Resources and Innovation. Many of the initiatives launched under his leadership will continue to serve well the teaching and learning mission of the university.

“On behalf of UW, I wish Tom the very best in his new leadership role in advancing the Online Teaching Commons project.” The project is one of a cluster of “networks and partnerships” started or promoted by Carey to link researchers interested in teaching and learning issues, as well as help institutions share curriculum materials, especially of the electronic variety.

Carey, whose PhD is from UW’s school of computer science, came to Waterloo a decade ago from the University of Guelph.

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A call for ‘lifelong alumni connections’

a message from David Revell, president of the UW Alumni Council, as it appears in the spring issue of the UW Magazine

"I read some updated numbers recently about UW alumni: we are now 125,000 strong and we live in 137 countries around the world. More than 10,000 reside outside Canada, with about 6,000 in the United States and almost 1,000, in Hong Kong. Our reach truly circles the globe, and as we spread out geographically, graduates who have left the Southern Ontario nest are expressing an increasing interest in staying involved with their alma mater.

"The makeup of our UW Alumni Council for 2006 is a good illustration: two members are currently living in New York and California, with others in Ottawa and Montreal. Our council of 16 members also reflects other diversities. Graduating years around the table range from '72 to '04, and members represent all faculties and the federated university and affiliated colleges.

"One trait we all share is the wish to give back to an institution that we respect and whose accomplishments we admire. Since its founding almost 50 years ago, UW has established a solid reputation as the largest co-op educational institution in North America. A number of graduates are in positions of influence in the business, academic and non-profit worlds, and alumni entrepreneurs have led the creation of a respected and thriving technology hotbed in Kitchener-Waterloo.

"As the reach and breadth of UW graduates grows every year, the challenge for our council is this: How can we strengthen existing links between UW and its alumni? How can we help forge lifelong connections?

"Our mandate is to advance the mission of the university and to help serve the needs of the alumni community. We represent the voice of the alumni on broad UW initiatives such as the long-range strategic plan for the university, a review of co-operative education and career services, student recruitment, and fundraising.

"Lifelong alumni connections are crucial for moving a relatively young university like UW into the sphere of long-established, renowned institutions such as Harvard or MIT. The cycle is a "virtuous circle" where great academic programs put a talented pool of graduates into the workforce, who then give back to the university to keep programs vibrant, fresh and growing for future students.

"The Alumni Council believes that UW deserves to sit in that league. With the help of all alumni, wherever they live, we believe UW can attain that goal."


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