Thursday, January 15, 2009

  • President signs Emirates agreement
  • Tenure for 37 at Waterloo last year
  • Just a few other morning notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

President signs Emirates agreement

UW president David Johnston is in the United Arab Emirates today, taking part in a ceremony to launch the partnership that will enable Waterloo to open a campus there. The first students, in chemical engineering and civil engineering programs, are expected to be in classes this fall.

The engineering program is to be on the campus of the Dubai Men's College, one of 16 institutions under the supervision of a UAE agency called the Higher Colleges of Technology, the Middle East's largest provider of higher education. The partnership that's being marked today involves UW, HCT, and the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training, a consortium of technology companies associated with HCT.

A memorandum of understanding among the three parties was signed a few hours ago at the HCT headquarters in Abu Dhabi, about 120 kilometres west of Dubai.

The idea is to operate “two-plus-two” programs in which students take their first two years of study at a site in the UAE, then come to Waterloo for the last two years. The two engineering programs are to be followed by two mathematics programs, information technology management and finance and risk management, starting in 2010 at a site in Abu Dhabi.

[Sheikh]Says a statement issued by Johnston in the UAE today: "On behalf of the University of Waterloo I would like to thank the Higher Colleges of Technology, the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training, and His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan (left) for establishing this exciting partnership.

"Internationalization is at the core of the University of Waterloo’s Sixth Decade Plan, entitled 'Pursuing Global Excellence and Seizing Opportunities for Canada.' We are committed to establishing a Waterloo presence overseas, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to work with HCT in the United Arab Emirates. Given the growing significance of the Gulf region on the global stage, we believe that it is vitally important to have a high quality presence with a high quality partner in this region.

"This partnership connects Higher Colleges of Technology with our top-quality engineering and mathematics faculties in North America. . . . We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to establish research connections and collaborations in chemical and civil engineering, information technology management and financial analysis and risk management. Graduates of these programs will benefit from studying both in the UAE and in Canada and will be truly global citizens who can better connect their international education to the needs and opportunities of the Gulf Region.

"The University of Waterloo has built a reputation as one of Canada’s leading universities, and in 2009 we continue to build on a global scale. This collaboration will help us bring Waterloo to the world, and the world to Waterloo."

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Tenure for 37 at Waterloo last year

A total of 37 UW faculty members were given tenure in 2007-08, says the annual report of the University Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, a brief document that will be on the agenda for discussion at the monthly meeting of the university senate on Monday.

The report shows that 25 of those people got tenure in the usual way — applying for it, and for promotion to associate professor, after a few years as assistant professors. The other 12 faculty members to receive tenure were more senior professors who were tenured at the time they were appointed to jobs at UW.

The committee breaks down the numbers by sex (25 men and 12 women during the year) and also includes some other figures: 37 reappointments of faculty members with “probationary” appointments that are expected to lead to tenure; 1 person who applied for tenure and promotion but didn’t receive it; 14 who were already tenured and took the last step up the ladder, promotion to full professor.

It also notes that for statistical purposes, UW has 717.25 male faculty members and 229.00 female faculty.

Mary Thompson of the statistics and actuarial science department is the chair of UTPAC. She writes: “Tribunals were formed in response to one appeal to the UTPAC Chair against the decision of the President not to tenure and promote to Associate Professor and to one appeal against the decision not to promote to full Professor.

“In each case, the tribunal reviewed the T&P dossier considered at earlier levels (i.e., DTPC, FTPC, UTPC) and weighed the additional submissions (oral and written) heard or made available. The first appeal was denied; the second granted.”

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Just a few other morning notes

You'd better not delay any longer if you want to sign up for this term's procrastination workshop. Or the session on sentence structure, or an eight-session series on "managing anxiety and panic", or a little crash training on "smart searching" of books and online research information, or an hour on how to prepare for law school. All those are examples of workshops being offered for students this term by various UW departments. Three main listings of them are online: one from counselling services and the writing clinic, one from the library, and one from career services. Other highlights of the various programs include study skills workshops from counselling, and a program on "exam preparation" later in the term when April suddenly doesn't look so far away; a session in career services, very popular in the past, titled "Are You Thinking about an International Experience?"; and the library's briefing on research tools and library services, aimed at new graduate students and offered January 20 in the Dana Porter Library and January 28 in the Davis Centre. Happening today: a "career interest assessment" workshop at 2:30 in Tatham Centre room 1112.

David Seljak, of the religious studies department at St. Jerome's University, is an evil man — well, at least he's been teaching RS 121, "Evil", and so he's the natural speaker for a three-evening series on "Confronting Evil Today", which starts Friday night. Says a flyer: "Modern society has brought us many benefits; however, it has also unleashed new death-dealing forces on a previously unimaginable scale. Dr. Seljak asks why is it that frequently the greatest evil emerges from our dreams of building a good society? Like democracy and material prosperity, total war, genocide, ecological destruction, manufactured famines, and global imperialism are all products of modernity. Using the work of Holocaust philosopher Stephen T. Katz as well as sociological studies of ideology, we will discuss the role of ideology and the unique features of modern society — including bureaucracy, technology and scientific reason — in these new forms of evil." The series is free and open to the public; the first lecture starts at 7:30 tomorrow in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome's, with the other two following on January 23 and 30, same hour and same place.

UW's Graduate Student Research Conference is being held a little later in the calendar than previous ones: it's scheduled for April 27-30, in the niche between the winter and spring terms. Some other details have now been announced for this 9th annual conference, jointly sponsored by the graduate studies office and the Graduate Student Association, although there's no word yet on who will be the keynote speaker. Says a web site: "Graduate students may participate by presenting either a short seminar or a poster. A limited number of presentations will be formally judged and eligible for prizes. Further information and guidelines for submissions are available throughout this site. All students (graduate and undergraduate), staff and faculty on campus, and anyone from the surrounding community are also encouraged to register and attend the sessions. Registration will be open in March. Themes for the 2009 Graduate Student Research Conference are Humanities & Social Sciences; Health, Life & Environment; Physical Science, Math & Technology. The Conference will also host specialty sessions for Biology; School of Optometry; Aging, Health & Well-Being; Certificate in University Teaching." Deadline for grads to submit abstracts for the conference is February 6.


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[Bandy flyer, white on black]

The Artery Gallery, operated by UW fine arts students, holds an opening reception for “Bandy”, local music and art, Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at 158 King Street West. Admission is $5. The exhibition runs through January 31.

Link of the day

British Museum at 250

When and where

Clubs, Services and Society Days with tables and displays in the Student Life Centre great hall, Thursday-Friday 10:00 to 3:00.

Graduate studies in mathematics information session for third-year and fourth-year undergraduates, 4:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents “Migrant Workers in Ontario” 5:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

German film series: “Metropolis” (1927), 6:00, East Campus Hall room 1220.

Bombshelter pub presents Paul MacLeod with special guest Lindsay Ell, doors open 9 p.m., $5 at the door.

Engineering alumni ski day at Osler Bluff Ski Club, Collingwood, Friday. Details.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, breakfast seminar, “Working in a Family Business”, Friday 7 a.m., Waterloo Inn.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: updates on Web Content Management System, Intrusion Security and EndPoint Security, Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Study in China summer program information meeting Friday 12:00 noon, Renison University College cafeteria (also February 13 and March 13).

Knowledge Integration seminar: Thomas Homer-Dixon, Balsillie School, “The Causes of Group Identity Conflict”, Friday 2:30 p.m., Environment II room 2002.

Wilfrid Laurier University opening of Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action, keynote speaker Budd Hall (University of Victoria), Friday 2:30 p.m., WLU Science building room N1002. Details.

Nominating committee for provost: nominations for committee seats due Friday 3:00 p.m. Details.

Philosophy colloquium: Michael Cholbi, California State Polytechnic at Pomona, “Moore’s Paradox and Moral Motivation”, Friday 3:30 p.m., Humanities room 373.

Free showing of “The Bicycle Thief” (1948), sponsored by Render (UW art gallery) and Recycle Cycles, Friday 6:30 p.m., refreshments beforehand at Queen Street Commons Café, 43 Queen Street South, Kitchener.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre Friday and Saturday evenings: films, crafts, food, pillow fight and pajama contest. Details.

Co-op job postings for spring work term begin January 17; employer interviews begin January 29.

Fantastic Alumni, Staff and Faculty Day at Warrior basketball games vs. Guelph, Saturday, women 2 p.m., men 4 p.m., Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Renison University College Founders’ Day celebrations Saturday: Evensong and Convocation 3:30 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener, reception 5:00 p.m., Renison great hall.

An Evening of Astronomy (outside telescopes, inside talks and displays, refreshments), Saturday 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Physics building. Details.

Blood donor clinic Monday-Tuesday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

Engineering Research Office presents “Commercialization Success at Waterloo: How Your Office of Research Can Help” January 29, 1:30, Davis Centre room 1304, register ext. 32060.

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