Skip to the content of the web site.

Friday, March 11, 2011

  • A spot in the top 100; a new budget; and more
  • Staff member Ethel Spike is mourned
  • March break brings high school visitors
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Truck and worker with brand-new sign]

The R&T Park's new name was unveiled Wednesday, following up September's announcement that it would bear the name of former Waterloo president David Johnston, now Governor General of Canada. "New signs are being installed at the three entrances to the park," says manager Carol Stewart, "and the directory board will be updated in the late spring when two new buildings are completed. Today begins a new chapter for the park community, and we are all proud to move forward with this new brand that represents excellence, vision, and collaboration.”

Back to top

A spot in the top 100; a new budget; and more

The University of Waterloo is among the 100 universities in the world with the top reputations for teaching and research, according to rankings issued this week by Britain's Times Higher Education newspaper. The list, headed by Harvard, MIT, Cambridge and Berkeley, shows Waterloo and nine other institutions (from eight countries) ranked in a "91-100" grouping. Three other Canadian universities — Toronto, McGill and British Columbia — also made the top 100 list. THE has issued various ranking charts in previous years, but this one is the first to be based solely on "reputation" as judged by what the magazine calls "experienced university academics around the world". One-third of the ranking is based on teaching and two-thirds on research.

The senate finance committee will meet this afternoon (1:30, Needles Hall room 3004) to take a first look at the university's 2011-12 budget as proposed by provost Geoff McBoyle. A budget outline distributed in advance of the meeting shows that income is expected to go up by 5.7 per cent from the current year, largely because of enrolment increases, to reach $518 million. Similarly, spending will go up by about $30 million, with approximately $10 million of that money going to salaries and benefits (for both rate increases and new positions). Some of the rest goes to scholarships and bursaries, some to higher costs such as the utilities for new buildings as they open, but the largest share to new or expanding academic programs. The budget plan includes a 2 per cent cut to most departments' expenditures, for a saving of $4.3 million.

The "Great Canadian Appathon" gets going today at VeloCity (in the Minota Hagey Residence), offering students a 48-hour opportunity to develop a mobile game and potentially win $25,000. • It's the second and final day of the Graduate Student Colloquium hosted by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change (IC3, pronounced "ice cubed"), being held in South Campus Hall. • Srinivasan Keshav of the school of computer science will be on CBC television's "Marketplace" tonight talking about the hot-button issue of cellphone billing.

[Magazine cover]The year's second issue of Alternatives Journal, published in the faculty of environment, focuses on food issues, as demonstrated with a cover illustration (right) that would be a picture of a classically draped woman if it weren't, on close examination, actually a still life based on Chinese cabbage. The magazine's writers come from across Canada and sometimes beyond; this issue includes a brief item by Steffanie Scott of the geography and environmental management department, along with her co-chair at the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable. There's also a column from Robert Gibson of the environment faculty, who chairs the magazine's editorial board, lamenting "short-sighted" government policies over the use of non-renewable resources.

And . . . “I have heard rumours,” somebody writes, “that the university wants to shut Edcom down. Is this true?” Edcom is a slightly mysterious group of engineering students that, among other things, enforces order during orientation week, and has sometimes been described as intimidating. So dean of engineering Adel Sedra answers the question, in the latest issue of the Iron Warrior engineering newspaper: “No, this rumour is not true. I do not think the university is trying to ‘shut down’ Edcom. However, members of the senior administration have expressed concern about the dress and behaviour of Edcom, which they feel could intimidate first-year students. Edcom is a valued tradition within our faculty. During orientation week, these carefully selected and trained student volunteers are some of the hardest workers on campus. They are responsible for the complete setup and dismantling of engineering events, providing security for events across campus and ensuring first year students stay safe. The Engineering FOC leaders have been working with the faculty’s Student Relations Officer and orientation advisor, Meg Bauman, to create guidelines for Edcom to ensure orientation runs smoothly. The document outlines the purpose of Edcom, which will help all involved in planning orientation week understand the value of this role. I have assured the senior administration of the university that we will continue to work with our Engineering FOC leaders to ensure all first year students have a fun orientation week, safe and free from intimidation.”

Back to top

Staff member Ethel Spike is mourned

[Spike]A funeral service will be held Saturday afternoon for Ethel (Ziegler) Spike (left), a staff member at the university since 1967, who died Tuesday after some months' illness.

She was "very well loved, very well respected," says a colleague in the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, where she served for the last 30 years of her Waterloo career. In recent years her title was administrative secretary for the department.

"She was always very upbeat, very positive, with such a warm smile," that colleague said, adding that the department includes some faculty members who had known Spike during their student days and considered her one of the best things about coming home to Waterloo.

Spike spent most of her working years in Engineering 2 building, but despite her illness was able to attend the official opening and celebrations when MME moved into the new Engineering 5 building late last fall. "She really wanted to see her office," and was confident that she'd be coming back to work in it, says departmental administrative assistant Donna Kellendonk. Spike was honoured with a 30-year service award as part of those celebrations in October.

She is survived by her husband, Ed Spike, a long-time laboratory instructor in the department of electrical and computer engineering.

Visitation will take place today, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home on King Street. The funeral service will be held there Saturday at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow. Memorial donations to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre or Canadian Cancer Society are suggested by the family. Donations in her memory can also be made to the UW Recreation Committee, in which she was very active, through the Keystone Campaign.

Back to top

March break brings high school visitors

Ontario’s schools and families will observe March break next week, and that means a number of special activities at the university, including the Tuesday open house for potential students, known to old-timers as Campus Day.

High school students, their parents and their friends are welcome to visit the Waterloo, Kitchener (pharmacy) and Cambridge (architecture) campuses to find out about university life during Tuesday’s event. Overall hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The open house will take place as the decision about where to attend university next fall looms over high school students across the province. As they visit, prospective students will participate in information sessions and activities related to undergraduate studies.

"This campus-wide event gives applicants, parents and school personnel the opportunity to participate in activities that will increase their interest in and level of commitment to the University of Waterloo," says Kim McKee, manager of the visitors centre. "We also hope that this day will increase the number of applicants who confirm their offers of admission to Waterloo after they gain a more detailed understanding of university life at Waterloo."

The day will include campus and residence tours, a “student services fair” at the Student Life Centre, faculty sessions in appropriate buildings around campus, and information sessions about co-operative education, residence life and financing one’s education. More information is online.

"We are expecting between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors that day," McKee warns, "which translates into about 2,500-3,000 extra vehicles. Since Waterloo only has about 400 visitor parking spaces, we are encouraging students, staff and faculty to look into finding alternative ways of getting to school/work on event day so that parking spaces can be available for our guests. We are also looking at finding alternative visitor parking off campus. Parking services will have parking attendants directing traffic to lots in the following order: UWP, X and M. Once these lots are full, parking will be directing cars to open parking spots in all campus lots, as needed."

Also happening at Waterloo during March break:

• Engineering Explorations, tours and activities in the engineering faculty for students in grades 6 through 8. Details.

• Waterloo Unlimited enrichment program for grade 11 students, March 14-18. Details.

• Engineering Science Quest one-day camps at Stratford (grades 2-4) and Waterloo (grades 1-6) campuses. Details.


Back to top

Link of the day

Daylight Saving Time

When and where

CIS women’s hockey national championships through Sunday at Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre, hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University. Details.

Oracle Financial System downtime scheduled to continue until morning of March 16.

Germanic and Slavic studies presents Andrew Port, Wayne State University, and Gary Bruce, Waterloo, “Debating East Germany: A Dictatorship, but What Kind?” 11:00, Modern Languages room 245.

Education Credit Union lunch-and-learn session: “Let’s Talk Mortgages” 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Staff career seminar: “Sell Your Skills” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Brock Hart, Machteld Faas Xander, “Be Curious, Embrace Diversity” 2:30, Environment 2 room 2002.

Scientific and Technological Literacy series sponsored by department of philosophy: Carla Fehr, Iowa State University, “The Public Understanding of Science When Scientists Are the Public” 3:30, Hagey Hall room 373.

Fashion for Change fashion show, 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Relay for Life fund-raiser for Canadian Cancer Society, with overnight entertainment and speakers tonight 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Student Life Centre, registration $10. Details.

‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’ by Shelagh Stephenson, production by department of drama, continues Friday-Saturday and March 17-19 at 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

‘Orange Pop’ concert sponsored by Engineers Without Borders, performers including Unaccompanied Minors, Acabellas, Water Boys, 8:00, Conrad Grebel UC great hall, $3 donation suggested.

Dungeons and Dragons tournament sponsored by WatSFic, Saturday. Details.

Juggling Festival (19th annual) hosted by UW Juggling Club, Saturday-Sunday, Student Life  Centre; performance in Humanities Theatre, Saturday 7 p.m., tickets $5. Details.

Drop, penalty 1 period for winter term courses ends March 14.

Senate graduate and research council Monday 10:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Pi Day (3/14) celebrations organized by Math Society, Monday, third floor of Math and Computer building, including pi-zza 11:00 to 1:00, pie at 1:59.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills for Academic Positions” Monday 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Anthropology lecture: Pascale Sicotte, University of Calgary, on dispersal in primates and conservation issues facing primates, Monday 4:00, PAS building room 1229.

Garage sale in support of Beyond Borders trip to Kenya: sales of used goods, handmade cards and Ugandan jewellery, Wednesday 11:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre lower atrium.

Blood donor clinic March 17, 10:00 to 4:00, and 18, 9:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Details.

‘Food Justice: Our Food, Our Bodies’ symposium hosted by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, March 18-20.

Senator Roméo Dallaire, former commanding officer of UN forces in Rwanda, presented by Arts Student Union, March 18, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $35 (arts students $30) at Humanities box office.

‘So You Think You Can Dance Waterloo’ March 19, Federation Hall. Details.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin