- Last day of classes, and what comes next
- Staff salary agreement runs to 2015
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
Terry Labach, an Internet security expert in information systems and technology, hams it up with a wartime propaganda poster, suggesting that the need for vigilance is nothing new. He'll be speaking at tomorrow's WatITis conference about "Web Application Testing with AppScan".
Last day of classes, and what comes next
Today's the last day of fall term classes — at least, for classes that haven't ended before now as the result of Tuesday-Thursday scheduling or a cancellation of this final lecture. The timetable stretches out to a final Monday to make up for the missed class day on Thanksgiving and ensure that the term has the statutory 60 days of classes. Now, for students, comes a study break, followed by those sometimes dreaded exams. Final exams start Thursday and run through December 22, with this Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11, the designated days for exams in online courses.
The libraries are into their extended exam-time hours: the Dana Porter Library is open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and the Davis Centre library 24 hours a day except for Sundays between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Library officials add that Davis "will be an Exam Study Zone for the extended hours period, meaning that quiet study guidelines will be strictly enforced. There will be attendants present to monitor the library environment and for security purposes, and they will also monitor for noise, cell phone use, and hot foods that are not permitted in the library environment. At both libraries, study spaces (tables, carrels, computer workstations) in both libraries will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis; study rooms are bookable through the online booking system; service desks and related services will be closed at regular times (Porter at 11 p.m. and Davis at midnight)."
Most food services outlets will stick to their regular fall schedules for at least another few days — but today's the last day of operation until January for the Festival Fare cafeteria in South Campus Hall, as well as Pastry Plus in Matthews Hall. Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre will be on a full 7/24 schedule from 7:30 this morning until 7 p.m. on the last day of exams, Wednesday the 22nd.
With classes over tomorrow, and thus some of the demands on computing support staff temporarily lightened, information technology people from across campus will hold the annual WatITis conference in the Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall. An agenda for the one-day event shows that the keynote speaker will be Brad Moggach, president of the Federation of Students. "I will look to focus on a few different topics," says Moggach, including "a brief overview of the Federation of Students, while highlighting our current strategies for student engagement and communication projects, and student expectations in the realm of IT and how that relates to where we currently are and where we want or need to be." Single sessions at WatITis include "Advancing Your Career at uWaterloo", "Experiences Using Office 2010", "The Web Redesign Project", "Cfengine Configuration Management on Linux", "Students and Social Networking Technologies", and "VeloCity — Startup Thinking". The full agenda is online, of course.
Another tradition right after the end of fall term classes is the federal-provincial conference simulation for high school students, which has been hosted by Waterloo’s political science department and the history department heads of local schools for the past 45 years. It will take place tomorrow and Wednesday in several rooms in the Arts Lecture Hall, Hagey Hall and the Modern Languages building. "The conference, which is popularly known as Fed-Prov, is an excellent opportunity for students to become interested and engaged in politics while in high school," says John Jaworsky, professor of political science. "This federal-provincial government simulation is a unique event in Canada." This year, the role of Canada's prime minister will be handled by Ben Woodfinden from Southwood Secondary School in Cambridge. Other students from Southwood Secondary School will serve as federal ministers. Students from other schools will have responsibilities to chair meetings of provincial and territorial ministers. Delegations also participate in committees dealing with finance, justice, health, the environment, agriculture, economic affairs, immigration and aboriginal affairs. A number of special interest groups will be represented this year, including Greenpeace and First Nations. Two schools will produce newspapers during the conference to provide information and promote debate over the two days.
Other groups of high schoolers will also be visiting the university this week and next. December 7-10 and 13-16 bring Kinesiology Lab Days, an annual outreach event for grade 12 exercise science and grade 11 and 12 biology classes. It promises a one-day program of mini-laboratory sessions on assessing, treating, and preventing movement-related illness and injury. "Students will be introduced to equipment and techniques used in many of Waterloo's state-of-the-art kinesiology research and teaching labs. Lab Days experiences range from learning to use electromyography to measuring breath-by-breath oxygen uptake." Elsewhere on campus, tomorrow is CS4U Day in the school of computer science, "a day for grade 8-11 students to come to campus, hear from engaging speakers, and participate in hands-on activities about how the field of computer science is changing our world. No computer science background is required. Participants who wish to attend but are unable to travel to campus can participate via live webcast."
The executive committee of the university senate is scheduled to meet this afternoon (3:30, Needles Hall room 3004) and will, among other things, decide whether the full senate should hold its December meeting as scheduled — two weeks from today — or postpone its business until January. (Most years, the decision is for postponement.) The executive has already been authorized to approve, on senate's behalf, two proposed academic programs that have cleared all the previous legislative hurdles. One is a master's degree in "Development Practice", a professional program to be offered by the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development; the other is the Master of Digital Innovation program from the anthropology department and faculty of arts, the long-awaited flagship degree for the new Stratford campus.
Staff salary agreement runs to 2015
Non-union staff members and the university administration have agreed to a long-term salary plan that matches the five-year settlement that faculty members accepted in September.
It means that staff, who received no range increase (but the usual merit increases) on May 1 this year, will similarly have a 0 per cent range adjustment on May 1, 2011, and then 3 per cent increases on May 1 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The new agreement was announced by e-mail to staff on Friday afternoon after a recommendation from the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation was accepted by provost Geoff McBoyle. The committee balances representation from the staff association (including its president and past president) and university management and the human resources department.
Said McBoyle’s memo: “As per the email sent out May 19, 2010, a one-year staff salary agreement was approved effective May 1, 2010. The agreement provided for the usual merit increases but no adjustment to the salary ranges. This was in keeping with the provincial government’s budget statement of March 25, 2010, which imposed a two-year freeze on range adjustments for agreements signed after the March 2010 budget.
“In accordance with Policy 5, 'Salary Administration, University Support Staff', the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation has met several times since May in order to discuss a longer-term salary agreement with the understanding that there will continue to be a freeze on range adjustments for the 2011-12 fiscal year.” The agreement was unanimous and was made final at the committee’s meeting on November 24, he said. They are “subject to ratification by the Board of Governors”.
The adjustment will increase the salary ranges for USG staff (and thus move salaries upward) by zero next spring and 3 per cent in each of the following years; “apply the regular merit program for all USG staff”; and continue the familiar rule by which staff nearing retirement can exchange a week of annual vacation entitlement for a one-time 2 per cent increase in salary.
McBoyle noted that “This recommendation, together with the staff salary agreement approved in May 2010, is consistent with the university’s agreement with the faculty association, dated September 10, 2010.”
Link of the day
When and where
Christmas lunch buffet at University Club through December 22, 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 33801.
Carol Wooten, human resources, retirement open house 2 to 5 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301, RSVP ext. 32078.
Biology II building heating and ventilation shut down 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Instrumental chamber ensembles directed by Ben Bolt-Martin, department of music, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, admission free.
Water Boys a cappella group end-of-term concert, special guests “TBA” from U of Toronto, 8 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC great hall, pay what you can.
Grand River CarShare celebration of new vehicle parked at Conrad Grebel UC, Tuesday 12:30.
Lions magic benefit show Tuesday 1:00, 5:30 and 8:00, Humanities Theatre.
Faculty association fall general meeting Tuesday 2:00, Math and Computer room 4059.
WatRISQ presents Adam Kolkiewicz, statistics and actuarial science, “Variance-Optimal Hedging for Path-Dependent Options” Tuesday 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.
Christie Blatchford, Globe and Mail columnist, speaks about her book Helpless Tuesday 7 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, free tickets from bookstore by Tuesday noon. Details.
English Language Proficiency Exam Wednesday, Physical Activities Complex. Details.
Alternatives Journal holiday open house: all welcome, food, free books, subscription deals, Wednesday 11:00 to 3:00, Environment I courtyard.
R&T Park winter market with booths offering holiday gifts, Thursday-Friday 4:00 to 8:00, TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard. Everyone welcome.
Be Engaged roundtable discussion for staff December 14, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1568. Details.
Christmas and New Year’s holiday: last day of work Thursday, December 23; UW closed December 24 through January 3; first day of work in 2011 is Tuesday, January 4.
School of pharmacy application deadline for January 2012 is January 9, 2011. Details.
Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students to apply for September admission, January 12 (other deadlines pertain to some programs). Details.
PhD oral defences
Psychology. Michelle Jarick, “June Must Be Right and 9 Is On Top: An Investigation of Time-Space and Number-Form Synaesthesia.” Supervisor, Michael Dixon. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Thursday, December 9, 10:00 a.m., PAS building room 3026.
Kinesiology. Samuel Howarth, “Mechanical Response of the Porcine Cervical Spine to Acute and Repetitive Anterior-Posterior Shear.” Supervisor, Jack Callaghan. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Thursday, December 9, 10:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.
Pure mathematics. Rishikesh, “Lower Terms in the Moments of L-Functions.” Supervisor, Michael Rubinstein. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, December 10, 1:00 p.m., Mathematics and Computer room 6005.
English language and literature. Olga Gladkova, “Identification of Epistemic Topoi in a Corpus of Biomedical Research Articles.” Supervisor, Randy Harris. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Friday, December 10, 1:00 p.m., Hagey Hall room 232.
Psychology. Nicole Ethier, “Paralinguistic and Nonverbal Behaviour in Social Interactions: A Lens Model Perspective.” Supervisors, Erik Woody and Pamela Sadler. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Friday, December 10, 1:30 p.m., PAS building room 3026.