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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  • Waterloo departments in the top 150
  • Development and alumni offices moving
  • Seeking the next secretary of the university
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo departments in the top 150

A British agency that last year ranked Waterloo 145th among the world’s universities has published more of its rankings for specific subjects, and in a few of them this university has already achieved its ambition of being in the top 100 worldwide.

The high rankings aren’t just in high-tech fields, either, as the newest rankings from Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. in London cover six fields in the “arts and humanities”. In three disciplines — English, philosophy and geography — Waterloo is grouped somewhere in the 101st-to-150th range. Waterloo doesn’t appear on the other three lists. Some of the subject lists include as many as 200 universities, while others cut off somewhere between 150 and 200.

There are seven Canadian universities listed in the top 100, ahead of Waterloo, in English language and literature, seven in philosophy, and three in “geography and area studies”. Other Canadian institutions appear in the 101-to-150 groupings, which are listed alphabetically rather than in rank order.

In the spring, QS published its “World University Rankings by Subject” for Engineering and Technology, and put Waterloo 36th among the world’s top universities in “computer science and information systems”. Waterloo also placed 41st in the world in civil and structural engineering, and 46th in electrical engineering. Waterloo was lumped into the “51-100” group in two other listings, chemical engineering and mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering.

In earlier subject rankings, QS has placed Waterloo somewhere between 51st and 100th for mathematics, behind Toronto, McGill and British Columbia, and approximately tied with Alberta, McMaster and Queen’s. In “environmental sciences”, Waterloo is also in the 51-to-100 group, behind UBC, Toronto and McGill. And in earth sciences, it’s in the 51-to-100 group along with Dalhousie, Queen’s, Alberta, and Calgary, but behind UBC, Toronto and McGill.

It appears in the 100-to-150 group for chemistry, physics, “metallurgy and materials”, and psychology, but is not listed in the “biological sciences” rankings.

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Development and alumni offices moving

The new Student Success Office will begin operations this fall on the second floor of South Campus Hall, in office space currently occupied by the development and alumni affairs offices. "Move-in will occur from mid to late August," says the director of the SSO, Sean Van Koughnett. He's also expecting to make an announcement any day now about the people named to the four senior positions in his department, which were advertised on campus a few weeks ago.

Making room for the new organization means a move-out for the development and alumni affairs staff who have been working there. Here's how that will work, according to a message issued yesterday by interim vice-president (external relations) Tim Jackson:

"In order for the Student Success Office to have prominence on campus, and to house student-related services in a convenient central location, the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs has begun to move from its current space in South Campus Hall. Given space constraints, the teams comprising ODAA will be moving into different spaces across campus. Our goal is to reunite ODAA under one roof when new administrative space is created on campus.

"As of July 11, the vast majority of individuals will call the Research Advancement Centre 1, situated on the north campus, home. This includes the Central Development Team (annual, leadership, and planned giving) and Advancement Services, which is comprised of gift processing, finance, IT, and the records and research teams. The student call centre has moved to the main floor of SCH (room 108A) and will remain there. (Note: calling hiatus June 30-July 11.)

"The Principal Gifts team, led by Linda Kieswetter, will temporarily call RAC 1 home, before moving into the Math and Computer building once renovations are complete (approximately September 2011).  Alumni Affairs will temporarily be situated elsewhere in SCH. As of August 15, they will call the Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology (PAS) building home. To accommodate the move, degree and portrait frame sales will only be available online, with free shipping within North America.

"Telephone extensions for all individuals will remain the same. Updated on-campus addresses for each individual, including specific building codes and room numbers, will be available in the university’s telephone directory. For those needing to meet with individuals in RAC 1, a shuttle service, picking up regularly in front of Needles Hall and the Davis Centre is available.

"During this time of transition, every attempt has been made to minimize disruption to the services ODAA provides to campus partners and the external community. However, your patience is appreciated as services, including tax receipts, donor profiles, and data requests, will be delayed. As individuals become situated in their new offices, they will immediately resume work. We anticipate that the office will be up and fully functional by July 14."

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Seeking the next secretary of the university

A committee is at work looking for the right person to take on the senior administrative job known as Secretary of the University, president Feridun Hamdullahpur has announced in a campus-wide memo.

In the university’s whole history, only two people have held the post — Jack Brown from 1971 to 1990, and Lois Claxton from January 1991 until she left Waterloo early this year to take a job with the Governor General’s office in Ottawa. Dennis Huber, vice-president (administration and finance), is officially interim secretary of the university at present.

There’s no written university policy about how a secretary is chosen, but the plan the president has announced looks much like the searches for other senior officials, with a nominating committee drawn from various parts of the university. In this case there’s also a representative of the board of governors, since a major part of the secretary’s position involves working with the board.

Says the president’s memo: “This is to inform you that a nominating committee is now in place and has begun the process of identifying a new secretary of the university. Information about the position and a formal advertisement are available on the committee’s website.

“Over the next month, the committee intends to consult members of the university community who interact regularly with the secretary of the university. Notwithstanding, you are invited to convey your views on matters concerning the position to any member of the nominating committee (identified below).

“The committee especially invites you to consider the following questions and seeks your input and feedback:

  1. What are the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the secretary of the university?
  2. What advice do you have for the search committee as to the background, credentials, qualifications and leadership style we should be seeking in a new secretary of the university?
  3. Do you have any suggestions as to individuals to whom we should speak about this opportunity?

“If you prefer to respond in writing, your submission should be directed to the committee’s executive search consultants via Colleen Keenan, Janet Wright & Associates Inc., 174 Bedford Road, Toronto, Ontario M5R 2K9; e-mail ckeenan@

“Comments are due no later than July 31, 2011 and will be held in confidence within the committee.”

Here are the committee’s members:

  • Feridun Hamdullahpur, chair, 519-888-4766, president@
  • Erin Windibank, associate university secretary, ext. 32225, erin.windibank@
  • Susan Elliott, dean of applied health sciences, ext. 31107, elliotts@
  • George Freeman, president, Faculty Association, ext. 32876, george.freeman@
  • Trevor Grove, president, Staff Association, ext. 34679, uwsa.president@
  • Janet Passmore, associate provost, human resources, ext. 38914,
  • Jud Whiteside, Board of Governors representative, 905-415-6721, jwhiteside@

Search Consultants: Jack Dimond, Janet Wright & Associates Inc., 416-923-3008 ext. 228, jdimond@; Colleen Keenan, Janet Wright & Associates Inc., 416-923-3008 ext. 227, ckeenan@


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Link of the day

Today in Canadian history

When and where

WatRISQ presents Sebastian Ferrando, Ryerson University, “Arbitrage and Hedging in a Non-Probabilistic Framework” 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Math Society carnival Wednesday 11:30 to 3:00, Davis Centre quad.

‘Yoga in the Village’ free yoga and relaxation class sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Wednesday 12:05, Village I great hall, reservations e-mail sandra.gibson@

Career workshop: The Power of LinkedIn, Wednesday 3:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Wednesday at BMO Field, Toronto, bus sponsored by Waterloo athletics department leaves 4:45 p.m., tickets $65. Details.

Canada Day in San Francisco reception welcoming Waterloo alumni, Wednesday 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Quadrus Conference Centre, Menlo Park. Details.

Library workshop: “Exploring the World with Google Earth” Thursday 10:15, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Canada Day, Friday, July 1, university closed. North campus celebrations 2 to 11 p.m. Details.

Drop, penalty 1 period for spring term courses ends July 8.

Architecture employer interviews for fall term co-op jobs, held in Toronto July 8, in Cambridge July 11-13; rankings July 14-15; match results available July 18.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses: first-time students, July 11-24; open class enrolment, July 25.

Staff association golf social July 12, 4:00, Brookfield Country Club, $45 basic fee. Details.

Student Life 101 visits for future first-year students, July 14-15, 18-19, 22-23, 5-26, 28-29, August 2-3, 5-6, 8-9.  Details.

Last day of classes for spring term, July 26.

PhD oral defences

Statistics and actuarial science. Ji Eun Choi, “Stochastic Volatility Models and Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimation.” Supervisors, Bovas Abraham and Ken Seng Tan. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, July 8, 9:30 a.m., Mathematics and Computer room 6027.

Management sciences. Bissan Ghaddar, “New Conic Optimization  Techniques for Solving Binary Polynomial Programming Problems.” Supervisors, Miguel Anjos and Juan Vera. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, July 8, 9:30 a.m., Engineering 2 room 3324.

Computer science. Jason Selby, “Unconventional Applications of Compiler Analysis.” Supervisor, Mark Giesbrecht. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, July 8, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 2310.

Health studies and gerontology. Vahe Kehyayan, “Relationships Between Quality of Life and Selected Resident and Facility Characteristics in Long Term Care Facilities in Canada.” Supervisor, John Hirdes. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, July 8, 10:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

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