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Wednesday, March 1, 2006

  • UW preparing 'bird flu pandemic' plan
  • 4,700 early offers of admission
  • Nominations invited for senate
  • PhD oral defences are scheduled
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Ash Wednesday is also St. David's Day


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

  • International programs coordinator, office of research, international programs, USG 7
  • Front of house manager, UW theatre centre, USG 5
  • Manager, financial reporting, finance, USG 13
  • Records and Quest support assistant, registrar's office, USG 4
  • Project leader/applications developer, Ideas for Health, USG 8

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • UW preparing 'bird flu pandemic' plan

    A university-wide committee is preparing a plan detailing how UW would cope in the face of a pandemic of the much-feared "bird flu" or a similar disease that might make large numbers of people sick at the same time.

    "Most large organizations have been asked to prepare a pandemic plan," says Catharine Scott, associate provost (human resources and student services), who's chairing the committee. "We're well into this," she added, saying that the plan will likely be approved and made public before the winter term is over.

    The goal: "a plan for the university to deal with pandemic, if it arrives or when it arrives . . . how we will keep running and ensure that our students can complete their academics."

    Committee members come from such departments as health services, the residences, the UW police, IST, co-op education and career services, human resources, plant operations and food services. Dean of science George Dixon represents academic interests and is the liaison with Deans' Council, the working body of top administrators. Federation of Students and Graduate Student Association leaders are also part of the group.

    Governments have been preparing plans for major contagious disease attacks for almost two decades, but the issue has been given new urgency by the threat of bird flu -- also known as avian flu, H5N1, pandemic influenza or, more generally, Febrile Respiratory Illness (FRI). The Waterloo Region health department issued an update in November warning that "the threat of a pandemic is now at its highest level since 1968" and summarizing issues for health care and the local economy and community. Barbara Schumacher, director of health services at UW, is a member of the health department's "Community Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan Community Stakeholders" group.

    4,700 early offers of admission

    "The admissions cycle is in full swing," registrar Ken Lavigne told the UW senate Monday evening, reporting that 4,796 young people have been sent offers of admission to the university for next September.

    Those are the first of the offers that will go out between now and mid-summer as UW works toward filling a first-year class that will -- if all the targets are met exactly -- include 5,452 students next fall. There are separate targets for various programs within the six faculties and for two inter-faculty programs: software engineering and, for the first time this year, computing and financial management, which is hoping to admit 60 students.

    Lavigne said offers have gone out from all the faculties but one -- engineering -- which will make its first offers after marks from high school students' fall semester are available, about the end of March.

    The applicants receiving offers this early in the year are mostly high-flyers, the registrar said, and almost 3,300 of them have received offers of scholarships along with admission. Lavigne noted that UW president David Johnston has been signing the scholarship letters personally, a gesture that potential students have said impresses them.

    The registrar noted that first-choice applications in the "OSS" category, from students now in Ontario secondary schools, are up by 11.6 per cent overall, with all the faculties showing increases from last year's level. Mathematics (with a 18.2 per cent increase) and science (17.3 per cent) lead the list. Non-OSS applications are also up across campus, by 14.3 per cent. In that category science is in the vanguard, with a 40.6 per cent increase, perhaps the result of publicity about the soon-to-open school of pharmacy, Lavigne said.

    Nominations invited for senate

    The university secretariat has issued a call for nominations for the following seats on the UW Senate:

    One faculty member of the University to be elected by/from each Faculty of the University, term from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2009.

    WHEN AND WHERE
    Application deadline today for admission to begin UW studies in May.

    Engineers Without Borders events to raise awareness about Canada and international poverty: "Washing Out Poverty" 12:00, Student Life Centre; Great EWB Race across campus.

    Stress relaxation session, next in the weekly series, 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program.

    Free noon concert at Conrad Grebel University College: "Orchid Ensemble: Chinese-Western Fusions", 12:30, Grebel chapel.

    The Adventurous Life of Syrah/Shiraz wine-tasting, with live entertainment by "Blind Date", fund-raiser for Graduate Student Research Conference, Wednesday from 6 p.m., tickets $10 in advance at the Graduate House.

    Kinesiology professor emeritus Neil Widmeyer gives the Fred Binding Memorial Lecture at Wilfrid Laurier University: "Aggression in Sport," 7 p.m., WLU senate and board chamber.

    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics lecture: Lisa Randall, Harvard University, "Warped Passages." 7 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information online.

    Hildi Froese Tiessen, Conrad Grebel University College, "The Story of a Novel", annual Edna Staebler Research Lecture at Joseph Schneider Haus, Kitchener, 7:30 tonight (not Thursday as noted yesterday).

    UW Smoke-Free Day sponsored by Leave the Pack Behind Thursday, Student Life Centre: pancake breakfast, information fair, games, entertainment, guest speaker (12:10).

    'E-Merging Learning Workshop' by Mark Morton, Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, Thursday 11:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

    Drinking water lecture: Steve Hrudey, TD Canada Trust/Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment, "150 Years and Counting: Drinking Water Safety Lessons are Learned Slowly", Thursday 3:30, Humanities Theatre, admission free.

    Arriscraft Lecture: Massimiliano Fuksas, architect, Rome, "Lost in Translation", Thursday 7:00, Architecture lecture hall.

    Blackforest Coffee House (34th annual), music at St. Paul's College. Friday includes Royal City Big Band, Uncle Seth; Saturday includes Chris Bray, Critical Mass, Dave Held. MacKirdy Hall, St. Paul's, from 8:00 both nights, tickets $5 one night, $8 both nights, refreshments for sale. Details online.

    Warrior Weekend Friday and Saturday evenings, Student Life Centre, kicking off International Celebration Week.

    Seven faculty members of the University to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the University, terms from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2009

    Five faculty members of the University to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the University, terms to April 30, 2007.

    One faculty member of St. Jerome's University to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Jerome's University, term from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2009.

    One faculty member of St. Jerome's University to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Jerome's University, term from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2007.

    One faculty member of St. Paul's United College to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Paul's United College, term from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2009

    Two graduate students of the University to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the University, terms from May 1, 2006 to April 30, 2008.

    Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (phone ext. 6125) and from the Secretariat webpage. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 17, 2006. Elections will follow if necessary. A list of faculty and graduate student members of Senate whose terms expire as of April 30, 2006, is available on the website.

    PhD oral defences are scheduled

    Here's the latest list of graduate students who are about to defend their completed doctoral theses.

    Management sciences. Fred Pries, "Build, Rent and Sell: Options for Commercializing New Technologies Arising from University Research." Supervisor, P. Guild. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, March 3, 10 a.m., Carl Pollock Hall room 4335.

    Civil engineering: Ali Naseri-Moghaddam, "Study of the Effect of Lateral Inhomogeneities on the Propagation of Rayleigh Waves in an Elastic Media." Supervisors, G. Cascante and L. Rothenburg. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, March 10, 9:30 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

    Chemical engineering. Guangwei He, "Synthesis and Characterization of Nano-sized Polymer Particles Using Differential Microemulsion Polymerization." Supervisors, G. L. Rempel and Q. Pan. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, March 24, 9 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

    Computer science. Jingwei Wu, "Open Source Software Evolution and Its Dynamics." Supervisor, R. Holt. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, March 30, 2 p.m., CEIT room 3002.

    CAR


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