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Thursday, March 9, 2006

  • Officials assess fee announcement
  • Another associate dean for co-op
  • Free admission to Mennonite events
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

World Kidney Day


[Plants against brick]

'Living walls' in the Environmental Studies I foyer and courtyard are expected to improve the quality of the air in the building, provide research opportunities and serve as a valuable education tool for students and visitors. A bonus: the sound of the water trickling through the wall surface. The "interior plantscapes" are a symbol of future green directions in the faculty; new dean Deep Saini is seen pointing the way upward. ES alumni and development officer Patti Cook, who helped raise funds for the green wall project, says contributions came from faculty, staff, and foundations, plus $20,000 from the student Waterloo Environmental Studies Endowment Foundation.

Officials assess fee announcement

Student leaders were saying they were "very disappointed" within an hour after the Ontario government's tuition fee announcement yesterday, but UW officials are still working over the figures to see what the new policy will let them do about balancing the university's budget and maintaining or improving quality.

There might be some preliminary answers when provost Amit Chakma meets with the senate finance committee today (1:00, Needles Hall room 3001) to go over a draft of the 2006-07 operating budget.

Chris Bentley, the provincial minister of training, colleges and universities, yesterday announced what he called "a regulated tuition framework" as well as increases in student aid funding. The government also asserted "a student access guarantee that means no qualified Ontario student will be prevented from attending Ontario's public colleges and universities due to lack of financial support programs" -- a province-wide version of the guarantee already offered at UW.

"Institutions that want to increase fees," said Bentley, "may do so only if two conditions are met: they participate in the student access guarantee, and any fee increases improve the quality of programs."

More from Bentley's announcement: "Through our Reaching Higher Plan, our government is investing in more spaces, increased student aid and improved quality. But more needs to be done to enhance quality. To achieve our goal, we need an additional contribution from students. For every $3 extra Ontario invests under Reaching Higher in postsecondary education, we are asking students to contribute $1.

"The student contribution will come from a regulated tuition framework. Increases will be capped, predictable and linked to improvements in quality and access. Institutions will have more flexibility to set fees, but only within this capped, regulated and predictable framework.

"Under the plan, average tuition increases for the coming year will be limited to about $100 for almost 90 per cent of college students and about $200 for almost 70 per cent of university students. Increases in tuition fees may vary, but the majority of undergraduate students will see increases below 4.5 per cent. Tuition will be allowed to increase by a maximum average of up to five per cent at each institution. For professional, graduate and certain other programs, institutions may increase fees up to a maximum of eight per cent in the first year of study, but only if the institutional average is five per cent or less, the student access guarantee is in place, and the money buys improvement in quality. Increases will be limited to four per cent in subsequent years of study."

That's the information that Chakma and other UW officials are chewing over as they put together a budget for the year that will begin May 1. The most recent draft, distributed to finance committee members earlier this week, is showing total spending of $355 million in the coming year, up from $327 million in 2005-06.

Almost exactly half of the money -- $175 million -- is expected to come from the provincial government. The other half comes from tuition fees ($146 million) and miscellaneous other sources ($35 million). But that's based on a guess that undergraduate fees will go up by 7 per cent this year, a figure that appears too high based on yesterday's government statement.

UW's Federation of Students, echoing the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, lamented the prospect of higher fees next fall. Said a statement: "Ontario students are already paying proportionally more of universities' operating costs through tuition fees than their Canadian counterparts. It is unacceptable to ask Ontario students to bear an even greater burden."

The province has promised to "invest $6.2 billion more in postsecondary education and training over the next five years", the minister said yesterday. That figure is from last year's provincial budget.

"Since coming into office," Bentley added, "the Ontario government has made a series of improvements to student aid." More improvements were part of yesterday's announcement -- including more Access Grants to students from lower-income families, and the first increase in many years to the annual book and supply allowance under the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

[Aplevich]

Another associate dean for co-op

Engineering has become the second faculty to appoint a senior official specifically to deal with issues related to the co-op program.

Dwight Aplevich (right), a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering, has been named Associate Dean, Co-operative Education and Professional Affairs, said an announcement from engineering dean Adel Sedra.

"In his new portfolio," the dean wrote, "Professor Aplevich will deal with all matters in Engineering related to co-op and will be the liaison between the Faculty and the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Services. As well, Dwight, working closely with Wayne Loucks [the associate dean for undergraduate studies], will take on the responsibility for program accreditation by the CEAB."

Aplevich has been a faculty member since 1969 -- specializing in circuits and controls -- and is co-author of Introduction to Professional Engineering in Canada. He has served as chair of the University Committee on Student Appeals, associate dean (computing) in engineering, and the university's associate dean of graduate studies.

Establishing associate dean positions for co-op affairs was a recommendation of last year's UW-wide co-op review, and one other faculty has done so already: mathematics recently named Brian Forrest to be associate dean (co-operative education). Other faculties are finding other ways to get a similar job done.

WHEN AND WHERE
International Celebration Week cuisine: Mexico and Ireland today in Mudie's, Mexico and USA in REVelation, China at South Campus Hall, Italy at Renison College.

Track and field Warriors participate in CIS (national) championships today in Saskatoon.

Sandford Fleming Foundation debates: finals 11:30 outside POETS Pub, Carl Pollock Hall (today, not Friday as stated yesterday).

Career workshop: "Career Decision-Making" 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Mathematician Don Saari, University of California at Irvine, speaks today 4:00 at Perimeter Institute, Friday 2:30 at Wilfrid Laurier University (room SBE 1230), co-sponsored by UW Faculty of Mathematics.

Forum for Independent Thought weekly conversation: Jan Narveson, philosophy professor emeritus, talks about poverty, 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

'From Burma to Canada: A Student's Life from a Refugee Camp to Waterloo.' 5:30, Tatham Centre room 1112, sponsored by World University Service Canada, Waterloo chapter.

International Women's Week concert at Bombshelter pub from 6:30 p.m.: Knock Knock Ginger, Fatima, other groups.

'Danish Cartoons Revisited: The Real Life Story of Prophet Muhammad' 7 p.m., presented by Muslim Students Association, Rod Coutts Hall room 101.

Arriscraft lecture: Rodolphe el-Khoury, University of Toronto, "Recent Work", 7 p.m., Architecture lecture hall.

Turnkey coffee house, Student Life Centre great hall, from 7 p.m., with Tappin' Toes Dance Troupe, Jamie Riske and others, free.

Architecture co-op job rankings open 7 a.m. Friday, close Sunday night; match results available Monday.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Diana Denton, drama and speech communication, "Presentation Hints and Tips for Techies", Friday 8:45, IST seminar room.

Rainbow Reels "queer films festival" Friday from 6:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302, details online.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Kitchener health sciences campus and Pharmacy building, Tuesday 9:30 a.m., King and Victoria Streets.

An anthropologist's take on love

An expert on the cross-cultural study of romantic passion will speak tonight in UW's Public Anthropology Lecture Series. William Jankowiak of the University of Nevada will give a public talk titled "A Case for Emotional Monogamy: Ethnographic Inquiries into Sex, Love and Intimacy."

It starts at 7 p.m. in PAS building room 2083. The talk will be the second of two public lectures this year sponsored by UW's anthro department in a series on "Health, Culture and Society".

In his lecture, based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Jankowiak will discuss evolutionary theory concerning human romantic attachment. He has conducted research in China, among polygamous Mormons in North America and among American swingers, and is the author and editor of books on social life and family intimacy in urban China, romantic passion, drugs and colonialism, as well as intimacy and sexuality.

He will argue that though human cultures attempt to reconcile love and sexual activity, they are never completely successful. While evolutionary theorists have been concerned with male and female variation in erotic desire and behaviour, they have ignored the evolutionary significance of emotional intimacy.

Free admission to Mennonite events

Two big events are imminent at Conrad Grebel University College -- a pair of guest lectures, followed by a book launch. Here are the details.

'Time and Memory' is the theme of the 2006 Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist Mennonite Studies, with the subtitle "Secular and sacred aspects of the world of the Russian Mennonites and their descendants". The speaker is James Urry, professor of Anthropology at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Urry will speak at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night in the Grebel great hall. A reception follows tonight's lecture, titled "Time: the Transcendent and the Worldly", which will examine different forms of time in Russian Mennonite communities during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Fridayıs lecture, "Memory: Monuments and the Marking of Pasts", will consider how Mennonites in Europe and North America have constructed memorials in remembrance of past events, especially through marking pioneer achievements and various episodes of victimhood and suffering.

"Dr. Urry's extensive research on the social organization and communal life of Russian Mennonites makes him uniquely qualified to analyze and reflect on this particular strand of Mennonite history and tradition," says Grebel president Henry Paetkau. ³I'm thrilled that he's making the long trip from New Zealand to be this year's Bechtel lecturer."

Urry is well known for his pioneering research on Mennonite life in the Russian colonies. He has lectured and published extensively on various aspects of the Mennonite experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union. More recently, that interest has been expanded to include the Mennonite experience in Canada, particularly Manitoba.

The Bechtel Lectures were established in 2000 by Waterloo County businessman and farmer Lester Bechtel. The purpose of the lectureship is to foster interest in and understanding of Anabaptist/Mennonite faith by seeing it projected through the eyes of experts from a range of disciplines.

'Sound in the Land' was a festival and conference about Mennonite music, held at Grebel in May 2004. It "marked the first time," organizers say, "that Mennonites, in their 300-plus years of being in North America, gathered together for the express purpose of discovering, hearing, studying, and celebrating collective Mennonite voices in music.

Now Sound in the Land is a book, subtitled "Essays on Mennonites and Music", edited by Maureen Epp and Carol Ann Weaver, both on the Grebel faculty. The essays, some of which were presented in 2004, examine the wide range of musical styles and practices that make up "Mennonite music" today, ranging from traditional hymns and concert music to popular and non-western genres. "The essays offer a broad perspective on genres, disciplinary approaches, and artistic practices," a reviewer notes. "At the same time, they manage to show that individuality counts and that convergences of styles and values need not threaten cultural continuity, but may actually contribute to it."

The book -- published by Pandora Press -- will be launched Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Grebel chapel. The evening includes readings by Maureen Epp and Anna Janecek, music by Stephanie Kramer and Len Enns and by Rebecca Campbell and Carol Ann Weaver, and "ethnic Mennonite food". Admission is free.

CAR


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