Tuesday, February 23, 2010

  • 'Anomalies' fixed for 17 women faculty
  • Top financial lecturer visits Thursday
  • Applicants have high marks; other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Snow streaking through the air]

Ice dancing: 'Here's a shot from the bridge by St. Jerome's University," said an e-mail note from W. Jim Jordan, graduate student in philosophy, at the height of Monday afternoon's snowstorm. "The combination of clear cold water, blowing sticky snow, and the ducks was too good to pass up."

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'Anomalies' fixed for 17 women faculty

The latest issue of the UW faculty association’s Forum newsletter includes an update on the process, launched in 2008, to examine and correct “anomalies” in the salaries of some women faculty members. David DeVidi, past president of the association, summarizes what has  happened since a “salary equity committee” reported last year that a number of individual women might have lower salaries than they should.

“In the end,” DeVidi writes, “the committee divided those cases into three categories. In the first category were three women for whom there was unquestionably a salary anomaly. These three received an immediate salary adjustment, the amount of which was determined by the Provost. At the other end of the spectrum were women whom the committee determined not to have a salary anomaly.

“This left a group of 27 women in a middle category. These cases were variously described by members of the committee as not having a current salary anomaly but needing to have their cases watched carefully as they were in danger of becoming anomalous, or as arguably having an anomaly but the case not being as clear as for those in the first category.”

In the end, he writes, Deans’ Council discussed the issue and “decided that each of these 27 cases would be considered by the dean of the faculty member’s faculty to determine whether an adjustment was warranted, and the deans would work to come up with a mechanism by which the salaries of all faculty members can be monitored each year to spot potential anomalies as they arise. . . .

“The result of the deans’ review was good news for several members. More han half (14) of these 27 members received a salary adjustment.” However, DeVidi goes on, the faculty association is concerned that the 13 women who did not receive such adjustments “were clustered in two faculties”, and is wondering whether the procedures followed there were not adequate. “We hope the deans will continue to work with us on these residual concerns.”

Other notes in the February issue of the Forum:

• The faculty relations committee has agreed to implement most of the recommendations made last year by a working group on the performance review process for faculty members.

• The faculty association no longer has an arrangement with the  Graduate Student Association by which it pays a token amount — $1,000 a year — to provide Graduate House membership for all faculty. “The rate cannot be justified when compared to that paid by grad students, about $45 a year,” the newsletter notes. “Individual members of the UW community may purchase an affiliate membership at $20 per term.”

• Nominations close March 5 for the position of faculty association president for 2010-11, and for four seats on the association’s board of directors.

• Roydon Fraser, the faculty representative on the Advisory Committee on Traffic and Parking, says the committee has been looking at “ideas that might actually start to reverse the dismal parking situation for many faculty and staff”, such as differential fees for parking lots based on how close they are to the south campus buildings. “It is not clear how students will react, as there was no student representative at the last meeting,” he acknowledges. “However, the shuttle will be much improved and students will pay noticeably less.”

• David Wang of electrical and computer engineering, long-time editor of the newsletter, is giving up that position. He uses his last editorial to comment on the “Rate My Professors” website and tell the story of negative comments made there about himself. They included charges that he uses his position as a teacher and graduate supervisor to impose his Christian beliefs on students. “These accusations,” says Wang, “are entirely false . . . this anonymous writer chose to use this website to attack my character in a libelous manner.”

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Top financial lecturer visits Thursday

a release from the university's media relations office

One of North America's leading economic thinkers, Bob Pozen, will outline his plans for how to mend the battered financial system in the United States during a major talk at Waterloo on Thursday. It's part of a series of lectures by prominent speakers organized by the school of accounting and finance.

[Too Big to Save]Pozen, chair of MFS Investments Management, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies, will give a public lecture based on his latest book, Too Big To Save? How to Fix the U.S. Financial System. A book signing and reception will follow the public talk, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Festival Room of South Campus Hall. Preregistration is suggested.

Pozen, who is also a senior business lecturer at Harvard University, will share his insights on how to reform the financial industry and explain why changes must be made in the wake of the meltdown. His book also gives a detailed look at the run-up to the crisis, along with possible remedies.

"We are delighted to have yet another one of North America's thoughtful leaders in the financial industry to speak at the school," says Jim Barnett, director of the school of accounting and finance. "Bob Pozen's lecture follows closely on the heels of our inaugural lecture from Don Stewart, CEO of Sun Life Financial. We are grateful to our alumni and supporters at Sun Life for helping get this lecture series off the ground."

In his book, published in November, Pozen analyzes alternative models for government stakes in banks, recommends a new board structure for large financial institutions, examines the importance of a broader federal jurisdiction over systemic risks and proposes a way to revive the securitization (process to distribute risk) of loans.

Pozen is a former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's advisory committee on improving financial reporting. In 2003, he served as secretary of economic affairs for the then governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Pozen was also vice-chairman of Fidelity Investments and president of Fidelity Management & Research Company.

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Applicants have high marks; other notes

As of February 12, UW had made 5,714 offers of admission for this September, says associate registrar Nancy Weiner. That’s about as many students as it would take to fill the whole first-year class, if everyone who received an offer accepted it — but they don’t, and experience shows that it takes four times that many offers to end up with the right number of students on Labour Day. The science faculty has made nearly half of all the offers it expects to make, math only about 22 per cent, and engineering almost none so far. Nearly all the offers are to Ontario high school students, Weiner says; out-of-province and, especially, international offers tend to come later. “Many of the early offers have been based on an assessment of applicants’ grade 11 marks,” she reports. “Although our applications are down this year, it appears that the quality of grades received at this point is higher than last year, which is reflected in more scholarship candidates.” Some 4,707 offers of entrance scholarships have been made. “The next round of offers on a larger scale will begin in March,” Weiner notes.

As we all take a deep breath after the Virtue-and-Moir gold medal in ice dancing last night, word keeps arriving of more Waterloo alumni and friends who are involved in making the Olympic Winter Games happen. (And then there’s Andrew Dilts, graduate student in management sciences, who’s keeping some of us up to date on Vancouver doings through his tweets.) Allison Salter, a 2002 kinesiology graduate, is at the Games, volunteering as an “anti-doping chaperone up at Cypress Mountain where the moguls, aerials, snowboard and skin and snowboard cross events are taking place. My job is to chaperone an athlete that has been selected for drug testing until that athlete is ready to provide a blood and urine sample for testing. Athletes are selected based on their finishing position and randomly. The best part about this job is that I am the first contact with the athlete following the completion of their event — meaning I get the best seats in the house! I'll be standing in the finish chute for all events and stay with the athlete through press interviews, celebration and heartache until she is ready to provide her sample.” Her husband, Scott, a 1999 kin grad now working as a chiropractor, is on hand supporting two members of the United States speed-skating team. Olympic competition in women’s bobsleigh begins today; that brings Waterloo graduate Heather Moyse, who serves as brakeman on the Canadian team, into the spotlight.

Says a memo from St. Jerome’s University: “Dr. Myroslaw Tataryn, Vice-President & Academic Dean, recently announced that he would not seek reappointment after completing his current term of office which runs until June 2011. At its meeting on January 28, 2010, the Board of Governors initiated the process (Bylaw 1, Section 6.6) to find Dr. Tataryn’s successor. The Board is committed to a successful search process and encourages and welcomes the involvement of the University community (students, staff, faculty and Board members) in this very important undertaking. Our goal is to identify and attract an outstanding Vice-President and Academic Dean. It is expected that the Search Committee will complete its work in time for the Board of Governors to announce the name of the successful candidate early in 2011. Notwithstanding the confidential nature of the search process, the committee will be seeking input and providing updates throughout the process. The Search Committee will be chaired by the Board Vice-Chair, Maureen O’Donoghue Rich, who may be contacted through the Search Committee Secretary, Trenny McGinnis.”

Sandra Hurlburt of the human resources department reports that T4 slips — the document that summarizes 2009 salaries for use in income tax filing — were mailed to thousands of staff and faculty members’ home addresses on Friday. • With the women’s volleyball season at an end, Ontario University Athletics has named its all-star team, including two members of the Warriors, Kate Flanagan and Bojana Josipovic. • The New Hamburg Independent reports that Peter Roe, retired from UW’s systems design engineering department and still serving as director of engineering exchange programs, has filed papers as a candidate for Wilmot Township council in this fall’s election.


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Link of the day

Handel at 325

When and where

Teaching-Based Research Group drop-in session for faculty and staff interested in research about teaching and learning, 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Graduating students’ information session and lunch sponsored by student life office and alumni affairs office, 11:30, Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Details.

Canadian Computing Competition for high school students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, today. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Grading” 12:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Personal Tax Planning: Brown Bag Lunch by staff association and Education Credit Union, speaker Alan Wintrip, 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Library workshop: “Patent Searching” 2:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshop: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism,” 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

WatRISQ seminar: “Multi-Factor Affine Extension of the Heston Model with Stochastic Interest Rates” 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Computer Science Club presents Nicholas Harvey, “The Best Algorithms Are Randomized Algorithms” 4:30, Math and Computer room 5136B.

Blood donor clinics Wednesday-Thursday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre multi-purpose room.

‘So You Think You Can Dance Waterloo’ auditions continue Wednesday-Friday, Physical Activities Complex; competition March 27. Details.

Free noon concert: Mennonite art songs (Mel Braun, baritone, and Laura Loewen, piano) Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

School of planning speaker: Fred McGarry, Centre for Community Mapping, Wednesday 12:30, Environment I room 354.

Sociology colloquium: Anthony Doob, University of Toronto, "Politics, Policies, and Imprisonment in Canada, 1958-2010”, Wednesday 2 p.m., Hagey Hall room 1108.

Staff workshop: “Exploring Your Personality Type” Wednesday 2 to 4 p.m., Tatham Centre, register lkoblyk@ uwaterloo.ca.

Café-rencontre: Catherine Dubeau, département d'études françaises: “Freud en bulles! Psychanalyse et bande dessinée francophone”, mercredi 14h30, Modern Languages salle 245.

Career workshop: “Multiple-Mini Interview Practice Session” Wednesday 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1214. Details.

Federation of Students town hall forum on the co-op experience, Wednesday 5:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, has been cancelled.

Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Cooperative Education seminar: Kerry Mahoney, career services, "Student Learning Outcomes: Online and Face-to-Face Instruction Using Subjective and Objective Measures" Thursday 12:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

International Spouses monthly gathering: Elisabeth Adrian, career services, “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre.

TEDx Waterloo “journey into the future” of “Technology, Entertainment, Design”; speakers include Raymond Laflamme, Institute for Quantum Computing, and Philip Beesley, architecture, Thursday 1 to 8 p.m., the Gig Music Hall, downtown Kitchener. Details.

Greg Cummings, information systems and technology, retirement party Thursday 3:30 p.m., South Campus Hall, Laurel Room, RSVP elmartin@ uwaterloo.ca.

Religion and Public Life Conference at Wilfrid Laurier University, Friday 9:00 to 4:30, Paul Martin Centre. Details.

Co-op job ranking (main group) opens Friday 1:00 p.m.

CASA Charity Fashion Show Friday 7:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Grebel alumni in Ottawa, family day, starts at noon Saturday. Details.

‘Extreme Ice Racing’ show at Kitchener Auditorium, outing sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Saturday 7:00 p.m., discount ticket information e-mail schatten@ uwaterloo.ca.

Pre-enrolment for fall term undergraduate courses, March 1-7 on Quest.

Student Climate Change Colloquium (second annual) sponsored by Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, March 3-4, South Campus Hall, deadline for submission of abstracts February 8. Details.

Canada 3.0 Interactions, continuing the discussions at Canada 3.0 in June 2009: keynote speaker David Jacobsen, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and panelists, March 3, 8:30 a.m., PwC, 145 King Street West, Toronto. Register.

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