- 'Global excellence' plan gets the okay
- International Education Week begins
- Four paragraphs on four subjects
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
Link of the day
When and where
Biology professor Anne Morgan, "Gardening Naturally Without Pesticides and Creating Biodiversity Around Us", Kitchener Public Library main branch, 12 noon.
Senate executive committee 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004
Computational mathematics colloquium: Stephen Vavasis, combinatorics and optimization, "Robust Solution of Hyperelastic Solids with Large Boundary Deformation", 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.
Career workshop: "Working Effectively in Another Culture" 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.
Economics students 'referencing workshop' by Lori Curtis (Canada Research Chair) and Christy Branston (UW library), with advice on finding resources, 6 p.m., Math and Computer room 2017.
Town hall meeting for faculty and staff with president David Johnston and provost Amit Chakma, Tuesday, 4 to 5 pm., Humanities Theatre.
Tennis workshop sponsored by Campus Recreation, Tuesday 7 p.m., Waterloo Tennis Club, register at athletics department, Physical Activities Complex, $15.
Retirees Association fall luncheon Wednesday 11:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village, details online.
Math international exchange programs information session Wednesday 4 p.m., Math and Computer room 5158.
Hagey Lecture: journalist Seymour Hersh, "US Foreign Policy in the Middle East", Wednesday 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, no tickets required. Student colloquium, "National Security and Investigative Journalism", Wednesday 1:30, Davis Centre room 1301 or 1302.
Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, speaks about her new book, Heart Matters, Thursday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Tickets $5 for students, faculty and staff from UW bookstore, $10 general admission from Humanities box office.
Math Society charity ball November 10, details online, ticket sales end today.
Darfur genocide conference sponsored by UW Genocide Action Group and Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, Sunday, November 12, 1 to 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350.
PhD oral defences
Electrical and computer engineering. Stella Chang, "Design, Optimization and Fabrication of Amorphous Silicon Tunable RF MEMS Inductors and Transformers." Supervisor, Siva Sivoththaman. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Wednesday, November 29, 1:30 p.m., CEIT room 3142.
Chemical engineering. Zhenli Wei, "Direct Catalytic Hydrogenation of Unsaturated Diene-Based Polymers in Latex Form." Supervisors, G. Rempel and Q. Pan. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, December 1, 9 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.
Chemical engineering. Weishu Zhao, "Mass Transfer to/from Distributed Sinks/Sources in Porous Media." Supervisor, M. Ioannidis. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, December 4, 1 p.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.
Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Oleg Orlov, "The Three-Dimensional Damage Percolation Model." Supervisor, Mike Worswick. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, December 5, 9:30 a.m., Engineering II room 2354F.
How too, too wearying was the life of idle young gentlemen in the later Victorian era. That's Brendan Riggs (as Jack) and Brad Cook (as Algernon) in one of the few quiet moments in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest". The classic comedy will be staged by UW's drama department next week in the Theatre of the Arts.
'Global excellence' plan gets the okay
UW's Sixth Decade report was approved by the university's board of governors on October 30, making it the official plan for the years 2007-17 — even though one board member observed that things are moving so fast nowadays that it surely won't last the full ten years.
The document is fourth in a series of reports that have been guiding UW's development since its 20th anniversary in 1977. Prepared by the provost and incorporating plans from the faculties and departments, it was revised and tuned by the long-range planning committee over the past year and given approval by the senate, the academic governing body of the university, in September.
It's officially titled "Pursuing Global Excellence: Seizing Opportunities for Canada", and it's "a blend of strategic and tactical items", said provost Amit Chakma as he asked the board to give the plan its final okay. For example, it calls for "the integration of knowing and learning", or research and teaching, and that general aim is supported by specifics such as "the creation of 20 UW Teaching Innovation Fellowships".
The overall theme is "excellence", measured on the worldwide level. UW will show "global leadership in additional, selected areas of UW's scholarly endeavours"; "at least 12 UW academic programs will be the best in North America"; UW will "stand in the top five in Canada in per capita research intensity", the amount of research funding per faculty member; and Waterloo "will re-affirm its position as the leading co-operative education university in the world."
"Our Sixth Decade," says the plan, "will be the decade where a new kind of boldness and daring will ensure UW achieves the excellence required to make it a premier global competitor." The plan speaks of recruiting "the best faculty through national and international searches", top-quality staff, and "students of the highest calibre, from Canada and abroad".
Chakma told the board: "In some areas we have achieved global excellence. In other areas we have quite a way to go."
Among other points made in the "Pursuing Global Excellence" plan: ¶ Undergraduate enrolment will grow only slightly by 2017, but graduate enrolment will more than triple, from 2,600 last year to some 8,000. ¶ "The UW Library will rank among the top research libraries in Canada." ¶ The student-faculty ratio will fall to 20:1. ¶ "UW will offer a mix of experiential learning opportunities to all regular students," to complement the co-op program. ¶ "On-campus or near-campus housing for 50% of the undergraduate student body." ¶ "The best Year One transition program in North America." ¶ "State-of-the-art research facilities and resources, including information resources."
And more: ¶ "Enhancing opportunities for staff to engage in planning and problem resolution with managers at the unit, Faculty and senior levels." ¶ "At least two international campuses with focused activities abroad." ¶ "Increase the international student population to 20% of the undergraduate student total and to 30% of the graduate student total." ¶ "A 'scholars' village' to house senior undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, visiting scholars, etc., with academic, social and recreational facilities on the North Campus." ¶ "Regular surveys of client satisfaction for all academic support units." ¶ "Annual funds raised to reach 20% of the operating budget."
The report demands "community engagement" and "alumni engagement", "administrative excellence", "resource diversification", "competitive compensation" for both faculty and staff, an improved student advising process, and a guaranteed level of support for graduate students.
Watch for much more publicity about the Sixth Decade plan — the text is available online already, but there will be publications, likely early in the new year, to elaborate on its key points and describe things that are already being done to help achieve them.
International Education Week begins
UW takes part in International Education Week today through Friday, with what organizers promise will be “an informative and educational look into unique aspects of many different nationalities”, not to mention a time to promote internationalization at UW.
IEW was celebrated in over 77 countries last year, says Darlene Ryan of the international student office, who’s coordinating things. Campus activities are being organized, she says, “under the auspices of the Office of the Associate Vice-President Academic, which provides oversight to UW’s internationalization efforts”.
The goal of the week is “to provide an opportunity for students from all countries to learn more about and interact with the many different cultures on campus. The activities of the week will help to raise an awareness of international education and its significant benefits to Canada.”
Events will focus on opportunities for current UW students to participate in international education, with a session about exchange opportunities, sessions about studying and teaching abroad through Renison College, and workshops by Co-operative Education and Career Services entitled “Working Effectively in Another Culture.”
As well as practical sessions, there will be opportunities to learn from guest speakers and participate in discussion forums throughout the week. Major events include an "AIDS in Africa" student forum organized by St. Jerome's University (Tuesday), a traditional Javanese Gamelan concert at Conrad Grebel University College (Wednesday), a Japanese video presentation at Renison College (Thursday), and a lecture by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson (Thursday evening) organized by the UW Bookstore.
Other IEW activities include a discussion of Haitian refugees and peace issues at Conrad Grebel University College (Thursday), a presentation by Tariku Kebede, a student refugee sponsored by the UW World University Services of Canada committee (Thursday), and various country displays in the SLC (Tuesday). Wednesday is International Apparel Day, “and you are encouraged to wear your favourite international clothing.”
For those interested in overseas exchange opportunities, several faculties will be holding information sessions: mathematics and science on Wednesday, arts on November 23. In addition, there will be a session on international opportunities presented by the International Programs Office, Engineers Without Borders, and Renison College (Thursday). For its part, Career Services will be presenting sessions on working effectively in another culture (today) and exploring international experiences (November 14).
Says an announcement: “The committee hopes that UW staff, faculty, and students will have the opportunity to participate in one of the many events during the week, and learn more about the international education opportunities and events that benefit our campus.” There’s more information on the International Education Week website.
Four paragraphs on four subjects
The co-op and career services department issued some statistics on Friday about the number of students who have jobs this term and the number who have been matched with winter term jobs so far. Here's the word from CECS director Peggy Jarvie: "The final employment statistics for the Fall term show 5 students who remain unemployed out of 3,806 students scheduled for a co-op work term, resulting in an employment rate of 99.9%, compared to 99.7% last year. 244 more students participated in co-op this Fall than last. Employment rates in Fall term are generally higher than in other terms due to the very low numbers of students in their first work terms. The current employment statistics for Winter 2007 show 4,838 students scheduled for a co-op work term, with 2,598 employed for an 55.5% employment rate (last year’s employment rate at this time was 54.1%). The match after the main round of interviews took place earlier this week; the next interview cycle begins next week. The number of students scheduled for a co-op work term is down slightly this year over last by 17, with 47 more students employed. Final employment rates for Winter terms are generally in the mid-90s, and we anticipate the same to be the case this year. While the number of job postings and interviews has been higher than usual for a Winter term this year, many employers were unable to fill some or all of their postings, so the overall employment rate has not significantly improved."
"As part of UW providing a safe, healthy work and educational environment," writes Douglas Dye of the university's safety office, his department is offering training sessions this week, something that happens early in every term. "UW's Health, Safety and Environment Program requires," he notes, "that all UW employees that have not previously attended attend one of the sessions." It comes in two variations. Staff who need both Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training and a general safety orientation can get it in one 90-minute session Tuesday, November 7, at 10 a.m., or Thursday, November 9, at 2 p.m. Safety orientation only, without the WHMIS component, takes an hour, on November 7 at 2 p.m. or November 9 at 10 a.m. All sessions are in Commissary room 112D, and registration is online. WHMIS training for students, Dye notes, is provided online through UW-ACE. Questions? He's at ext. 3-5613.
Here's another name of a UW staff member who's hoping for public office in the Ontario municipal elections set for next week. It's Roger Watt, a veteran of the information systems and technology department, who's on the ballot not in Waterloo Region but in Bruce County, along the Lake Huron shoreline. He's trying for a seat on the Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanash Township council, representing Ashfield ward, where he and his family have a cottage. "I am told I am the first 'seasonal recreational' property owner to run for ACW council," he reports. "I have been planning for some years to do this after I retire," but he's trying it a few months before retirement since the next election year doesn't come until 2010.
And . . . a photo that turned up on Flickr overnight claims to show "a hack in honour of Guy Fawkes day at the University of Waterloo". The same photographer has a spectacular picture of lightning flashing in the sky near the Dana Porter Library.