Monday, June 7, 2010

  • New emphasis on 'enrolment management'
  • Tipi marks home of Aboriginal Services
  • How pestering the boss paid off for student
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

New emphasis on 'enrolment management'

A new phrase is coming to campus: “total enrolment management”.

Provost Feridun Hamdullahpur told the university’s board of governors that enrolment was a major topic of discussion at the executive council “K-Bay” retreat in late May. Here’s how he summarized the issues in a written report to the board:

While there was consensus among the EC members that enrolment management at UW has been successfully undertaken over the past many years, various challenges including the increased competition for students, more than ever reliance on domestic and international tuition necessitated a thorough discussion of the merit of total (central) enrolment management. 

“It was agreed to proceed with the planning of TEM for the following reasons:

  • A greater capacity to respond to budgetary challenges through enrollment; improved fiscal position for the institution
  • Enrolment management units given greater access to internal resources — institutional visibility
  • Enrolment management units better able to recognize and align their interests with the collective needs of the institution
  • Ease of communication/sharing of data among units
  • Faculty engagement
  • Accountability
  • Effectively utilize personnel resources where needed and broaden personnel knowledge of EM units to improve student service and engagement leading to enhanced retention
  • Increased capacity for alumni fundraising
  • With a multi-year budgeting plan there also needs to be a multi-year enrolment plan with targets indicating how each Faculty is going to contribute to reaching the 2017 goals.

“It was agreed to establish an Enrolment Management Committee consisting of the Vice-President Academic and Provost or delegate (Chair), Deans of each Faculty, and Director, Institutional Analysis & Planning and others (e.g. Registrar, Executive Director of Co-op) as needed. The Committee will determine whether the 2017 goals for enrolment are aspirational or feasible. If they are still viewed as optimum enrolment numbers how do we get there by 2016-17?

“There needs to be annual targets set re: number and quality of incoming students — undergraduate, graduate and international students.”

Enrolment management can include marketing, recruitment and admissions, but also programs in such areas as “engagement” (keeping students interested), “student success” (from tutoring to choosing the right technology), financial aid, residences and so on. There are also the mathematical arts of setting enrolment targets faculty by faculty or program by program, and figuring out how not to be either under or over.

To quote an article published when the concept began to surface in the United States two decades ago: “Enrollment management is an attempt by institutions of higher education to control the size of enrollments through 1) a better understanding of the factors that influence enrollment patterns, and 2) the establishment of structures and procedures to contact more potential students, influence their decisions concerning college attendance and college choice, and retain those students who enroll. In addition to controlling size, institutions are attempting to control the shape of their academic programs by identifying strengths and weaknesses and matching programs to student and community needs.

“Finally, enrollment management is being used as a means of exercising control over the character and mission of individual institutions.”

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Tipi marks home of Aboriginal Services

[White and conical]It's "the newest UW Aboriginal Services arrival to the St. Paul's University College campus," says the program's manager, Emerance Baker. "The 18-foot [six-metre] cedar pole tipi is set up on the green space by the college's main entrance. It will be utilized as a teaching tipi during orientation week, the UW Powwow and our UW Directions conferences."

The program's web site explains that "the services provided by University of Waterloo's Aboriginal Services are premised on understanding, respect, and trust as well as a recognition of and sensitivity to the different cultural values and rights of Aboriginal Peoples and cultures.

"We provide culturally relevant information, facilitate the sharing of Indigenous Knowledges, and provide support services for all members of the UW community including Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, staff, and faculty. We also work in partnership with other KW region Aboriginal community services and organizations."

Baker and her colleagues are currently celebrating National Aboriginal Awareness Month, and will be on hand in Kitchener's Victoria Park as part of National Aboriginal Day celebrations on June 26 and 27. Various organizations will be offering crafts and food for visitors during both days.

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How pestering the boss paid off for student

by Karina Graf, from the Inside Sco-op newsletter for co-op students

Data entry. These two words conjure up thoughts of brain-frazzled zombie workers — a nightmare that can strike fear deep into the heart of most co-op students. When math/business student Mike Thompson started his first co-op term at Gordon Food Service he sat in front of a computer entering data five days a week, eight hours a day. Instead of moaning about performing boring, unskilled labour, he worked his tail off. Thanks to his hard work, four co-op terms later he still works for GFS — no longer doing data entry — and his flexible job has taken him around the country.

Starting his first co-op term, he didn’t know what to expect. “I would get stacks with hundreds of pages to enter a day and I would type them into Excel sheets,” he remembered, “It was basically pure data entry for weeks.” As he became more familiar with Excel, he standardized the process, which allowed him to finish the job in half the time. Instead of surfing favourite websites or chatting with friends (not that any UW co-op student would ever do such things), he was hungry for more work. “I kept getting stuff done and having extra time,” he explained, “I was motivated. Whenever I’d have free time I wouldn’t just sit around; I’d keep asking for projects to do.”

The pestering paid off. Thompson’s boss gave him a huge project: to create a new scheduling tool for the company. GFS is a food distribution company. They gather inventory – chips, pop, meat, napkins – from third party suppliers and distribute it to restaurants like Turtle Jacks, East Side Mario’s and Applebee’s. Several times a week, GFS trucks distribute inventory to each restaurant. The routes, inventory for each route and drivers often change.

The existing scheduling tool was archaic. He created a program in Microsoft Access that allows managers to assign drivers to routes, view route history and make intelligent decisions — an interactive transportation labour scheduler called the People Plan. The new program was implemented at the Milton GFS centre.

Thompson’s hard work was noticed by other managers, who hired him for a second, third and fourth work term. His fourth co-op at GFS National was his best term yet. “I travelled the country and worked on national projects,” he says. “I took the People Plan and brought it throughout Canada. I travelled to Vancouver, Calgary twice, Edmonton twice, Winnipeg, Montréal, Yorkton. I probably spent about a third of the time out on the road.” Even though he’s back in school now, Thompson still works part time for GFS.

Another perk of that fourth term job was the flexibility it offered. Thompson worked from home much of the time. “A lot of times everybody at a company thinks the co-op student works for them,” he said. “So everybody dumps stuff onto the student because they’re the lowest person in the company. It can be very time consuming if you’re doing other people’s work that you really shouldn’t be doing. But it’s just not your place to say no. Working from home, I avoided a lot of that.”

Thompson grins as he explains how he was able to turn an entry-level work term into a fantastic job. “It’s what you do with what you’ve got,” he said. “I’ve been at GFS so long I’ve seen a lot of co-op students come through in the data entry position. You get a lot of people who come in and they do the data entry and they don’t do anything else. They’re angry they have to do all this data entry. But I was just doing my job, and then I was motivated to use my spare time to do more stuff instead of socializing with people and taking long lunch breaks.”

Part of his motivation was his desire to make a difference. “I think you’ve got to make a lasting impact,” he says. “When you’re done your job, if no one remembers you, no one’s going to care if you’re not there any more. You’ve got to be motivated and accomplish things.”


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Time marches on

The registrar's office has announced that the final exam schedule for spring term courses is now available online. Exams will run August 3 to 14.

Link of the day

Tom Jones

When and where

Lloyd Auckland Invitational Mathematics Seminar for high school students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, June 6-12.

Class enrolment for fall term undergraduate courses, June 7-12; see appointment times in Quest.

Wilfrid Laurier University convocation June 7-11 (two ceremonies each day in WLU athletic complex); June 23 (two ceremonies in Brantford. Details. Honorary degrees to singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, author Wayson Choy and others (details).

Career workshop for graduate students: “Careers Beyond Academia” 12 noon, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Senate executive committee 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Senate undergraduate council Tuesday 12:00 noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

Conrad Grebel University College fund-raising banquet for Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment for Leadership Training, speaker Gareth Brandt, Columbia Bible College, “Leadership for the Next Generation: Is the Church Ready?” Tuesday 6:30 p.m. at Grebel, tickets $50, phone ext. 24237.

Open jam night at the Graduate House every Tuesday, through July 27, 7 to 10 p.m. No cover charge, 19-plus.

Retirees Association bus tour, “Castle  Gardens and Wings” (Casa Loma and Canadian Air and Space Museum) Wednesday, details 519-885-6719.

Paul Heinbecker, for Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks on foreign policy and recent events in Gaza, sponsored by department of history, Wednesday 2:00, Doug Wright Engineering room 3522.

Health and wellness fair for people with developmental disabilities and their families, featuring School of Pharmacy students and other groups, Wednesday 5:30 to 8:30, Creekside Church, 660 Conservation Drive.

Ring road closed between PAS building and Needles Hall, because of Environment 3 construction work, June 10 to July 12.

‘Test drive the iPad’  Thursday 11:00 to 2:00, Campus Tech (Student Life Centre) and E-Smart (South Campus Hall).

Net Change Week webcast, “The Future” and “Cybersecurity” panels, Thursday 12:00 to 4:00, Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Retirees Association annual general meeting Thursday 3:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village, information 519-888-0334.

Media conference to discuss Waterloo football team and tests for banned substances, June 14, 11:00, information mstrickl@

Alumni networking event at CBC headquarters, Toronto, guest Denise Donlon of CBC radio, June 14, 6:00. Details.

Centre for Extended Learning (formerly distance and continuing education) open house and name change celebration, June 15, 3:30 to 5:30, 335 Gage Avenue, Kitchener, RSVP jmoser@

100th Convocation June 16-19, Physical Activities Complex: AHS and environment, Wednesday 10 a.m.; science Wednesday 2:30 p.m.; arts Thursday 10:00 and 2:30; mathematics Friday 2:30; engineering Saturday 10:00 and 2:30. Details. Special session Sunday, June 20, 9:45 a.m., Perimeter Institute, for MSc (physics) graduates.

UWRC Book Club discusses The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, June 16, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Canada’s Wonderland bus trip organized by Federation of Students, June 18, bus leaves Davis Centre 8:30 a.m., tickets $54 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

25-Year Club annual reception June 22, 6:00, Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

Lorraine Nesbitt, counselling services, retirement reception June 23, 3:30 to 6:00, University Club, RSVSP cbernard@

Female faculty networking opportunity sponsored by faculty association Status of Women and Equity Committee, June 24, 4:00 to 6:00, Graduate House upstairs lounge, information ext. 33468.

Canada Day holiday Thursday, July 1; UW additional holiday Friday, July 2; offices and most services closed, classes not held. Canada Day celebrations on the north campus, children’s activities, music, arts and crafts fair, fireworks, 2 to 11 p.m. Details.

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