Thursday, February 8, 2007

  • Accountancy price tag: $12 million
  • Sixth Decade goals and 'stories'
  • Distance education gets director
  • Calendar is ready, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Federation VP resigns

[Sai Kit Lo]The Federation of Students announced yesterday morning that Sai Kit Lo (right), its vice-president (internal), has resigned. The remaining executive members will divide up the VP (internal)'s duties for the rest of the current term, which runs through April 30.

The resignation came after a dispute about a proposed staging of "The Vagina Monologues" in the Student Life Centre great hall on February 14. Lo had blocked the proposed performance, sponsored by the Feds' women's centre, but the board of directors overruled him on Tuesday evening.

Link of the day

Extraterrestrial Culture Day

When and where

Imaginus poster sale continues, today 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Technical speaker competition for engineering students, sponsored by Sandford Fleming Foundation, faculty-wide competition 10 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Warrior football news conference to announce new players and coaches for 2007 season, 11 a.m., Columbia Icefield.

Travel slide show series sponsored by environmental studies: Linda Mortsch on South Africa, 12:10, Environmental Studies I room 2212.

International spouses group gathering to make Valentine's Day cards, 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, children welcome, information e-mail

'Aging, Health and Well-being' Hallman lecture: Jaber Gubrium, University of Missouri at Columbia, "Aging, Life Stories and Social Context", 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Engineering exchanges to France and Switzerland, information session 4:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 3386, details online.

International Development Week continues: Tom Owen speaks about his journey around the Niger River, 5 p.m., POETS Pub, Carl Pollock Hall.

Arts election forum: candidates for Federation of Students executive and arts student senate seat, 5:30 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

[Moll and gangster]UpStart festival of innovative theatre, second week: tonight and Friday at 7, Saturday at 2 and 7, Studio 180, Humanities building; details online. Pictured: "The Nothing Play".

Valentines party at Bombshelter pub, all ages, no liquor, doors open 9 p.m., $6 in advance (Federation of Students office), $10 at door.

'Justice Through the Generations' lectures by Janna Thompson, La Trobe University, Australia, visiting professor in feminist philosophy: "Giving the Dead Their Due" Friday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

St. Jerome's art gallery presents second annual student exhibition, "A-Tribute", opening Friday 5 to 7 p.m.; gallery open Saturdays 3 to 5, Sundays noon to 2.

St. Jerome's University presents religious studies professor David Seljak, "Ethnic Diversity and Christian Unity", Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Warrior Weekend activities, Friday and Saturday evenings, Student Life Centre, details online.

Humanities building electrical power and heating shut down Saturday 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

David Suzuki's "If You Were Prime Minister" Tour, February 13, 11:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $5 from Humanities box office or Waterloo Public Interest Research Group.

'Enhanced Podcasting' presentation by Alan Kirker, Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, February 14, 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Reading week in all faculties February 19-23, no classes.

Ottawa 50th anniversary celebration of UW and co-operative education, with president David Johnston and co-op and career services director Peggy Jarvie, Monday, February 19, 6 to 8 p.m., National Gallery of Canada, details online.

Campus Day open house for future students and family members, Tuesday, March 13, programming 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., details online.

Accountancy price tag: $12 million

The UW board of governors gave final approval on Tuesday to start building a new wing of Hagey Hall of the Humanities to house UW's school of accountancy. Daniel Parent, UW's director of design and construction, said yesterday that work will get going in early spring.

The board approved a budget of $12.3 million for the building, furnishings and other costs, and awarded the construction contract (worth $9.7 million) to Bondfield Construction, which is based in Concord, Ontario.

The new wing will extend from the existing Humanities building, completed in 1969, to the northeast (toward the Tatham Centre). The design, done by RS Architects, was approved by the board of governors last year. But it's been expanded from the earlier plans, from 40,000 square feet originally to 52,000 now. And basement space is being added to house a chiller plant, costing about $800,000, to boost the air conditioning capacity for the south campus.

Donations to help pay for the building are currently at $4.1 million, the board was told, and most of the rest is expected to come from provincial government funding that's provided in recognition of expanded enrolment in accountancy graduate programs.

Separately in Tuesday's meeting, the board was advised that UW has arranged with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities "to convert the Master's of Accounting program from full-cost recovery to grant-eligible. As a condition of that approval, the University was required to reduce tuition from $7,142 to $5,400 per term, effective January 2007."

Among other developments at Tuesday's board meeting:

• Brenda Halloran, newly elected mayor of Waterloo, took her seat on the UW governing body for the first time, and took the opportunity to hand out lapel pins celebrating the city's 150th anniversary.

• Fee increases in UW residences were approved, with the amounts going up by 4.0 per cent, effective next September, in most cases.

• The building and properties committee reported that a "steering committee" is being set up "to help guide the development of the detailed Master Plan for the northwest campus lands, which total 185 acres." That area includes the planned library, YMCA and playing fields developments off Bearinger Road.

• Board chair Bob Harding reported that a review of UW's "external relations" is under way, aimed at setting directions for fund-raising and related activities once Campaign Waterloo comes to a close. At the same time, a search committee is looking for UW's next vice-president (university relations).

• At a reception after the meeting, which was held at St. Jerome's University, UW historian Ken McLaughlin spoke briefly about the friendship between Gerry Hagey, founding president of the university, and Rev. "Corky" Siegfried, who headed the existing St. Jerome's and brought it into federation with UW. The two men "were very similar in character", says McLaughlin, "and ecumenical before the term was commonplace."

The board meeting also talked about budgets, internationalization, and expansion of UW's graduate programs. The Daily Bulletin will report further tomorrow.

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Sixth Decade goals and 'stories'

Faculty and staff across campus will be receiving copies of Seizing Opportunities and Pursuing Global Excellence, a booklet that tells the stories of Waterloo’s Sixth Decade Plan, within the next few days. It's a product of my colleagues here in Communications and Public Affairs, and edited by associate director Kelley Teahen.

The original document approved by the university’s governing bodies in fall 2006 is posted on the Secretariat website and is organized into 19 topic sections, each with a subsection of bulleted goals and benchmarks. All those points fall into four themes that are explored in more detail, through images and stories, in Seizing Opportunities, which will also be sent to community leaders, government officials and university partners. An online version will be posted (it's not there yet), and a three-fold introductory brochure will be used to drive people to the online version of the publication.

“It’s important that everyone connected to University of Waterloo aspire to the Sixth Decade goals,” says provost Amit Chakma, who led the development of the plan over a nearly three-year period. “It’s my personal hope that Seizing Opportunities will raise awareness about the Sixth Decade Plan, and inspire people across campus and in our wider community.”

[Seizing Opportunities cover]Those four overarching goals of the Sixth Decade plan are to expand the quality and amount of research; significantly increase graduate student opportunities (the report calls for 8,000 graduate spaces to be in place by 2017, up from the 2,500 now registered in 2007); strengthen undergraduate studies, particularly by creating more opportunities for students to learn from experience and by enhancing the university’s signature co-operative education opportunities; and embrace the world, by expanding Waterloo’s presence around the globe, by providing international opportunities for Canadian students, and by attracting more international students to Waterloo.

The iconic image for Seizing Opportunities is one of students supporting a globe (left). There is one from each of Waterloo’s six faculties; an equal division by gender; two grad students with four undergraduates (which is close to the 2017 ratio, under the plan); and a current international student, Yili Sun, representing Waterloo’s ambition to bring more of the world to Waterloo.

Teahen says there will be no 2006 Annual Report for UW, as most of what used to appear in such documents is now duplicated by the university’s Performance Indicators Report, issued in the fall. Instead, CPA will produce special reports such as Seizing Opportunities to keep the community informed.

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Distance education gets director


Cathy Newell Kelly (right), who has been acting director of UW's distance and continuing education office for the past year and a half, now has the job on a permanent basis.

Her appointment as Director was effective February 1, says a memo from Gail Cuthbert Brandt, interim associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation), to whom the DCE office reports.

Says the memo: "Cathy has been a member of the DCE management team since 1996. . . . Under Cathy’s guidance, DCE has continued to be a leader in the development and delivery of high quality on-line courses, and in the provision of learning opportunities for adult learners across Canada. Through its Continuing Education division, DCE also acts on behalf of UW to meet individual and corporate educational needs in the Waterloo region.

"In addition to providing leadership for DCE, Cathy is currently President of the Ontario Council for University Lifelong Learning (OCULL)."

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Calendar is ready, and other notes

I found myself wondering the other day just how many undergraduate courses UW offers. The place to find out officially, if I had the patience to count, would be the 2007-08 calendar, which was published this week — "just in time," a message from the registrar's office notes, "for Pick Your Plan Week." The primary vehicle for the calendar is the web site that also includes calendars dating back to 1995-96 (in web format) and 1973-74 (as PDFs). Pick Your Plan Week, scheduled for February 26 through March 2, is the time when undergraduate students do the paperwork, if they need to, for choosing or changing a major, or adding a minor or option. Once that's out of the way, they can look ahead to online class enrolment "appointments", March 19-31 (for spring courses) and June 11-23 (for fall courses).

Folks in the housing officer are "very excited", Mike Iley there tells me, about a new electronic development: "The Department of Housing and Residences is proud to announce the launch of its new online ranking form and deposit process for this year’s first-year admissions cycle. Effective immediately, incoming first-year students wanting to live in residence during their first year are directed to a web site where they can simply rank their preferred residence communities (UW Residences or any of the 4 Affiliated Colleges) and submit their $500 non-refundable residence deposit online. In order to have a place in residence guaranteed, admitted students must submit their Online Ranking Form and non-refundable deposit by June 11 at 4:30pm. This new web-based process including the convenient option of paying the residence deposit online via credit card (Visa and MasterCard). Students preferring to pay the deposit via cheque or money order are still permitted to do so. When completing the Online Ranking Form, students will arrive at the payment options section of the form, where they can choose to either pay online, or mail a cheque or money order attached to their printed confirmation page.” Any questions can go to Jennifer Ferguson, manager of admissions and marketing at

[Lips]And if you think that's exciting, check out the memo about "Hot & Spicy Safer Sex" from UW's health services, which "is looking for dynamic students to join our volunteer Peer Health Education teams". About the hot-and-spicy stuff: "This interactive, fun seminar starts with the infamous 'Condom Demo' — participants required! We investigate your fantasy date, run a Q&A session, and progress to include our boys vs. girls Sex Tac Toe game. This seminar focuses on safer sex behaviours, relationships and birth control." There's also an Alcohol & Drug Awareness group: "Be part of the student team that promotes responsible drinking and factual drug information through events such as The Matrix Impaired Driving Simulator, SLC Display Booth, Bulletin Board Campaigns, etc." Both teams do presentations in residence and Student Life Centre display booths throughout the fall and winter semesters. A volunteer application form is available at health services, where nurse Sandra Gibson looks forward to hearing from new participants.

Not quite so sweaty, but rather vital, is this note about taxes from the human resources office, addressed to staff and faculty members: "It's that time of year again and the Human Resources Department is getting ready to print the T4 and T4A tax forms for the 2006 tax year. To ensure that your tax forms get to you, we would appreciate it if you could login to MyHRinfo, verify your home address, and update it if necessary. We will be mailing the tax forms at the end of February. So, if you have moved in 2006 or will be moving before the end of February, be sure to update your address by February 12, 2007. Please put Dec 31 2006 in the Date Change Will Take Effect box below your updated address. Thank you very much for your cooperation."

Tickets go on sale today for the second annual International Women’s Day Dinner, to be held Thursday, March 8, in South Campus Hall. Tickets, $30 apiece, can be bought through the Humanities Theatre Box Office (519-888-4908). Last year’s inaugural event, held at the University Club, sold out quickly. The organizing committee decided to move the dinner to a larger venue, said Christine Tauer Martin of Counselling Services, who is the event’s chairperson. “However, we still want to keep the event intimate enough so that people have a chance to visit and connect with one another.” For that reason, only 120 tickets are available. The event is organized by volunteers from staff and faculty and is open to members of the university community. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women’s Stories”, and attendees will enjoy a three-course internationally flavoured meal, time to socialize, and inspiration from two guests who will share their stories. Marita Williams, Manager of Space Information and Resource Planning, is also an alumna, a published essayist, an ordained deacon, and a candidate for priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada. Carol Ann Weaver, professor of music at Conrad Grebel College, is a composer and pianist who has toured internationally. She will be performing selections from her CDs, as well as new compositions, with singer/songwriter Rebecca Campbell. Catherine Schryer, an English professor and director of the teaching resource office, will serve as MC. And yes, the committee would like to confirm: there will be chocolate (complimentary) and wine (through the cash bar). The UW International Women’s Day Dinner is supported by Human Resources and Student Services, the Faculty Association, and the Staff Association.

The UW Recreation Committee has discounted tickets for the Total Woman Show being held in Kitchener this weekend. • "Flower-grams" to be delivered on Valentine's Day in Village I, Mackenzie King Village and Ron Eydt Village will be on sale there on Monday and Tuesday. • The upgrade to the Oracle Financials system "is proceeding well and on schedule", says Helen Hannusch of the finance office, adding that there should be an announcement early next week about when the system will be available to users again.


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