Wednesday, April 2, 2008

  • Governors approve deficit budget
  • Winter ends, spring begins, and more
  • Grads find UW 'spacious, not lonely'
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

International Children's Book Day

When and where

Library hours during exams: Davis Centre open 24 hours, except Sundays 2 to 8 a.m. Dana Porter open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day. Circulation services also available.

Iron Chef UW presented by International Student Connection: cooks from various lands present authentic cuisine, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Student Life Centre great hall, tickets $3.

Music student recitals, Conrad Grebel University College chapel, 12:30 p.m.

Intellectual Property “from Universities to New Businesses” (“how to find a technology partner”), 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, sponsored by UW research office, C4, and other groups, registration ext. 33300.

German Cinema screening in English or with subtitles, free: “Germany in Autumn,” 6:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

'Effectively Using the Environmental Bill of Rights' by speaker Louisette Lanteigne, 7:00 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 309.

Perimeter Institute presents Jeffrey Rosenthal, University of Toronto, “The Curious World of Probabilities” 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, spring concert rescheduled from March 8, now to be held today, 8:00 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener, tickets $20 (students and seniors $15).

Artworx, East Campus Hall, last day for the season April 3, reopening in September.

UW Book Club meeting scheduled for Thursday noon hour has been cancelled, to be rescheduled.

International Spouses outing to St. Jacobs' Mennonite Story Museum, Thursday. Meet promptly at 12:45 p.m. in CLV community centre parking lot. $3 per adult. Space limited: pre-register at Children must have age-appropriate car seat.

Chemical engineering seminar: Basil Favis, École Polytechnique, “Novel Materials Generated Via Complex Morphology Control in Polymer Blends,” Thursday 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series: David D. Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "A Brief History of Predicting the Future of the Internet", Thursday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1350.

International Space University founder Robert Richards speaks on the Google Lunar X Prize, Thursday 5:30, Physics room 145.

Vancouver alumni networking reception Thursday 6:30 to 8:30, H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, details online.

Orchestra@UWaterloo spring concert: Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto, featuring concerto competition winner Taylor Wang, Thursday 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets free from Humanities box office.

Calgary alumni networking reception Friday 6:30 to 8:30, Ski Jump Tower, details online.

UW Choir spring concert, Sunday 3:00, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, admission $12 (students/seniors $10).

Last day of classes for winter term is Monday, April 7; examinations April 10-24.

‘Your Last Lecture’ for faculty of arts class of 2008, Monday, April 7, 12:30, Humanities Theatre, celebration with UW president, dean of arts and others, register by e-mail:

Water Environment Association of Ontario social evening (pizza dinner and Brick Brewery) to mark last day of classes, April 7 from 6:00 p.m., tickets $8 for student members.

“2 Days for You” staff conference April 8-9, most sessions in Rod Coutts Hall, register online.

Faculty association annual general meeting Tuesday, April 8, 2:00 p.m., Math and Computer room 1085.

Waterloo’s Engineering Jazz Band “With Respect to Time,” charity concert Tuesday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Proceeds to Waterloo Regional Food Bank and Engineers Without Borders. Tickets $10 at Humanities box office.

UW Chamber Choir spring concert, Tuesday 7:30 p.m. (revised date and time), Waterloo North Mennonite Church, 100 Benjamin Road, admission $10 (students/seniors $8).

Graduate Conference in Philosophy (15th annual), keynote speaker Patricia Churchland, University of California at San Diego, April 9-10, Humanities building, details online.

Harryfest 2008 marks the retirement of Harry Panjer after 28 years as a faculty member in statistics and actuarial science, April 11-12, Davis Centre, details online.

Staff salary system and settlement information sessions, Tuesday, April 15, 12:30 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113, repeated April 23, same time and room.

44th annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, April 18 (9:00 to 9:00) and 19 (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, King and William Streets; book dropoff information online.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 21-24, details online. Keynote talk by Thomas Homer-Dixon (energy and climate change, “the ingenuity gap”, social change) Monday, April 21, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $2 at Humanities box office.

UW bookstore, UW Shop, TechWorx and Campus TechShop closed for inventory Wednesday, April 30.

Positions available

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

• Managing director, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, Dean of Engineering Office, USG 15
• Managing director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Dean of Engineering Office, USG 15
• Administrative assistant, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Dean of Engineering Office, USG 6
• International employment advisor, Co-operative Education & Career Services, USG 7
• Residence life co-ordinator, Housing & Residences, USG 7
• Parking control officer, Parking Services, USG 4
• Theme area ‘A’ secretary/financial support clerk, Electrical & Computer Engineering, USG 4
• Co-ordinator, international marketing and recruitment, Registrar's Office, Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment, USG 9
• Career advisor, Co-operative Education & Career Services, USG 8. One-year assignment, starts April 21.

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Governors approve deficit budget

by Brandon Sweet, Communications and Public Affairs

One week and one day after Senate gave its stamp of approval to the 2008-2009 Operating Budget, the Board of Governors did the same thing yesterday at its quarterly meeting in the Board and Senate room in Needles Hall, passing the budget unanimously.

As previously reported in the Daily Bulletin, spending for the 2008-2009 year is proposed to be $406.5 million while income is forecast at $403.5 million. The balancing act required of the university in the coming year involves taking on a “structural deficit” of nearly $3 million while reducing expenditures by $4.9 million, which translates into a 2 per cent reduction across the board.

In his presentation to the Board of Governors, Amit Chakma, vice-president academic and provost, stated that despite the structural deficit being carried this year, the budget was balanced.

The context for the budget, according to Chakma, is that inflation is running between 2 and 3 per cent above the Consumer Price Index, averaging 5.5 per cent, while provincial grants per FTE (full time equivalent) student are declining. Universities are constrained in their ability to raise tuition fees, with increases capped at 5 per cent. The provost explained that student fees constitute approximately 41 per cent of the budget.

Debate on the budget quickly moved away from the particulars and focused instead on the larger issue of declining funding for post-secondary education in Canada and the difficulty in rallying public support for universities in an environment of competing priorities. Carl Zehr, mayor of the City of Kitchener and member of the board, spoke about the experience of municipalities reframing their infrastructure “asks” as an issue of economic prosperity as opposed to simply potholes and suggested that changes to the message might resonate more strongly with both government and the public.

Chakma concluded his presentation by looking ahead and describing how new budgeting strategies fit with the university’s sixth decade plan. The new approaches include a focus on international enrolment growth, consistent growth in endowment income from year to year, and significant increases in professional master’s programs.

Governor Tim Jackson noted that the board’s Finance and Investment Committee “put Amit through a more grueling process than he’s used to” during their deliberations on the proposed budget and said that the committee was very pleased with the results. “We should be proud of what Amit, Dennis [Huber, vice-president, administration and finance,] and the team have done to manage our affairs,” he said.

On a related note, those in attendance who were looking for fireworks at the Board of Governors meeting were probably disappointed, as the controversial CKMS fee was removed without ceremony or debate as part of an omnibus motion that included changes to both the student services and co-op student fees.

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Winter ends, spring begins, and more

If you thought March was unusually cold and snowy, that wasn’t just late-winter blues. Frank Seglenieks of the UW Weather Station reports that “the overall temperature for March was 2.75 degrees below average … the second coldest March in the last 20 years,” and the 71 cm of snow that fell during March (more than half of it during the big storm of March 8 and 9) was “quite a bit more than the average of 24.1 cm.” More details on the station’s website.

With the winter term rapidly drawing to an end, both instructors and service departments are realizing with astonishment that spring term classes will begin in a few weeks. Hence this memo from Sarah Bunte, copyright coordinator in UW Graphics: "Instructors are encouraged to prepare their course packages for the spring term and submit them before April 16. Orders submitted before this date will be available to the students before the first day of classes. You can place your order by phoning Sarah Bunte at ext. 33996, emailing, dropping in to Graphics (COM building) between 8:30 and 4:30, Monday to Friday, or ordering online. Make sure materials are ready for the beginning of term by placing orders now!"

Meanwhile, a project is continuing to update UW's 16-year-old campus master plan. One evidence of the work will come today, says Sharon Rumpel, the university's manager of parking services. "Paradigm Transportation Solutions Limited," she writes, "in cooperation with Parking Services, will be conducting lot usage surveys in all campus parking lots from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m." At last week's open house in the Student Life Centre, the panels displayed by consulting firm Urban Strategies certainly touched on parking, as well as open space, building sites, pedestrian routes, rapid transit and other issues.

“If you are a student from China,” says a recent memo from Waterloo International, “you are invited to participate in a study called ‘Cross-Cultural Negotiation’, which investigates how negotiators from other cultures interact with negotiators from China. This study is being conducted by Dr. Wendi Adair and Michelle Castaldi of the Department of Psychology. In this study, you will be asked to listen to an audio taped negotiation between a Chinese negotiator and a negotiator from another culture, and to complete a series of questionnaires about your culture and your evaluations of the cross-cultural negotiation. This study takes approximately 45 minutes to complete, and you will receive $10 for your participation. If you are interested in participating, or if you would like to know more about this study, please email”

Ernie Regehr of Waterloo, senior policy adviser for Project Ploughshares and adjunct associate professor of peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College, has received the 2008 Arthur Kroeger College Award for Ethics in Public Affairs. Regehr is a founder and former executive director of Project Ploughshares, one of Canada’s leading peace organizations, served in 1994-95 as acting president of Grebel, where Project Ploughshares began more than 30 years ago. “Ernie is highly regarded both nationally and internationally as a researcher, analyst and advocate for peace,” says current Grebel president Henry Paetkau. “His lively engagement with faculty, staff and students, his skill in helping us understand the intricacies of global conflict, and his ability to inspire us to become peacemakers were instrumental in the establishment of the first academic peace studies program in Canada at Conrad Grebel and the University of Waterloo in 1977.” The award, given by the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University, will be presented in Ottawa tomorrow.

The Hydrogen Education Foundation has announced that a UW team is one of five finalists in the 2007-2008 Hydrogen Student Design Contest, Waterloo's team is made up mainly of engineering students, the engineering faculty's e-newsletter points out: "Teams were challenged to use a budget of $3 million to design an airport hydrogen system that would address noise, air pollution and groundwater contamination. Designs were based on the Columbia International Airport in Columbia, SC. The contest winner will be announced at the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference beginning at the end of this month in Sacramento, California."

This note from Becky Wroe, FEDS orientation and special events manager: The UW Canada Day Celebrations, a joint endeavour between Communications and Public Affairs and the Federation of Students, has a full-time summer job opening for an administrative coordinator. "This person acts as a resource to the UW Canada Day Celebrations Steering Committee, a group of UW students who plan the details of the event, and also works closely with many UW departments. The position is funded with the assistance of the Work Placement program, meaning applicants must be OSAP eligible. More detail is available on page 8 of the March 28 Imprint." For a full job description, email Patricia Duguay ( Send applications to Pat Duguay, deadline: April 11.

Winners of the Accounting and Finance Living-Learning Community's 2008 Case Competition on March 29 were Sowmya Ranganathan, Asma Mian, and Sandaleen Taqdees. The competition was open to all first-year accounting and financial management students at UW. "For many students, it was their first opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learned in class to a business case," says Melissa McNown, co-ordinator of the residences' Living-Learning Programs.

On Friday, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) presents Jim Harding speaking on “Canada's Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System,” which is also the title of his recently published book. From the WPIRG press release: “A retired professor and adjunct professor of Justice Studies at the University of Regina, Dr. Jim Harding has researched and spoken on environmental health issues for over thirty-five years. He taught at the University of Waterloo in Integrated Studies (now Independent Studies) and Environment Resource Studies. As director of research for Prairie Justice Research at the University of Regina (1982-91), he chaired the Uranium Inquiries Project.” Harding speaks Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room, Student Life Centre, and at 8 p.m. at St. John's Kitchen, 97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener. “Please bring a small food item as a donation.”

Applications to spend a term or a year on exchange at a university in Germany in 2008-09 are due by April 14 (e-mail for details). • Jonah Levine of UW's Federation of Students has details on the April 9 "Partners in Higher Education Dinner" being held ($75 a plate) at Toronto's Sutton Place Hotel, sponsored by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. • The International Student Connection of the Federation of Students is sponsoring a bus trip to this Saturday's Maple Syrup Festival in Elmira, north of Waterloo, with tickets going for $5.

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Grads find UW 'spacious, not lonely'

last in a series of features in UW’s new graduate student recruitment brochure

It didn’t take long for Alice Chan, a second-year organic chemistry master’s student, to realize that she wasn’t in Canada anymore. Stepping down onto a Hong Kong subway platform, she was amazed by the swirling mass of commuters around her. “I haven’t seen so many people in one month at Waterloo as I’m seeing right now in this station,” she thought while visiting her home city.

It’s a common observation made by international students: There are a lot of green, open spaces on campus — and enough room for students to roam without knocking elbows with anyone.

[Chong and Chan]But that’s hardly to say the campus feels lonely. Climb the stairs to Prof. Michael Chong’s organic chemistry lab and it’s easy to feel the ease of camaraderie between students and faculty, a feeling no doubt fostered by the extroverted Chong. “Dr. Chong is so willing to teach,” says Chan. “He’s so patient and spends so much time with every one of his students. That’s the reason I came back.” They're pictured together, left.

Chan originally came to Waterloo back in her second year of undergraduate study for an 11-month exchange program with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She enjoyed her time at Waterloo so much, learning new science and getting out on the rivers and lakes to canoe and kayak, that applying for a graduate spot with Chong just made sense.

Today her research reflects one of his areas of expertise, asymmetric catalysis. The goal of asymmetric catalysis is to create chiral compounds. The demand for chiral compounds in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical industries has been escalating, and these industries look to labs such as Chong’s to develop new ways of converting molecule A into molecule B.

Insect pheromones is another area of interest. Females secrete pheromones to attract males, so farmers use them as a potent chemical guardian to interfere with the insects’ ability to find mates.

“On one hand you get this relatively simple chemistry, but it has a real end-use,” says Chong. “I get a kick out of that.”


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