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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

  • Senate: new health school approved, more international students, research funding up
  • Notes: to follow up, fill in, look ahead
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Senate: new health school approved, more international students, research funding up

Susan Elliott, AHS deanThe big item up for discussion at Monday’s Senate meeting was the proposed transformation of the health studies and gerontology department in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences into a School of Public Health and Health Systems. The motion was introduced by AHS dean Susan Elliott (right) and was passed with little discussion.

Among many other matters covered at the meeting: following from the report of the president, there was a discussion on changes in the destinations of international students and where Waterloo stands in that regard. President Feridun Hamdullahpur reported that in 2010 there was a 280 per cent increase in international students coming to Canada, while the numbers dropped in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the U.S. Meanwhile, Germany and France are becoming increasingly desirable destinations.

At Waterloo, the president said the numbers of international students are increasing at the undergrad and graduate levels; in fact, for graduate students we are “bang on” the Sixth Decade Plan objective (that “international students will comprise 30 % of the total graduate student population” by 2017). But, he adds, other universities have surpassed that target.

One senator raised the question of how well we are taking care of our international students, not just with English language courses but with help in adapting to life in Canada. Bud Walker, director of university business operations (and interim associate provost, students) described the “fairly well developed program” for this purpose that’s been established in the residences. He said lots of students are involved in the residence programs, but there is a need to expand across campus, and there are plans to do so under the Student Success Office.

Registrar Ken Lavigne commented that Waterloo has made 15 per cent more offers to international candidates this year. He also touched on how things are going at the United Arab Emirates campus in Dubai, which opened in September 2009, and where the third admission cycle is now under way. More offers of admission are being made there, “so things are unfolding as they should at UAE.”

Research funding healthy, buildings set to open, Senate start time changes

George Dixon, vice-president, university research, spoke on the overall state of research funding at Waterloo — which seems healthy. Dixon announced that the university received $190,416,804 in total sponsored research awards in 2010-11, an increase of 12.3 per cent over the 2009-10 total of $169.5 million. One contributing factor in a rather complex picture is a high success rate in winning research awards. This year, for example, Waterloo researchers had a 70 per cent success rate in award applications to the major granting councils, well above the national average of 57.5 per cent.

Mathematics 3 - drawingDennis Huber, vice-president, administration and finance, presented an update on capital projects. Right now, 790,000 square feet of construction is on the go. Several major projects will be finished this year, Huber says. Mathematics 3 (left) is 99 per cent complete, Environment 3 and Engineering 6 are both 95 per cent done, and all three will see people moving in before September. The Quantum-Nano Centre should be done by fall, for occupancy next January.

One more thing: “After lengthy deliberation” at the executive level, President Hamdullahpur said, it was recommended that Senate meetings be held at 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, suggested as a more convenient time than 4 p.m. “If we’re comfortable let’s take this small step and see,” Hamdullahpur said, adding that it can always be changed back if it doesn’t work out. The motion was carried. Effective September 2011, Senate meetings will start at 3:30 on Mondays.

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Notes: to follow up, fill in, look ahead

The University of Waterloo was part of an award-winning effort that raised nearly $105,000 for breast cancer research last year. In 2010, 43 Canadian universities, including 18 in Ontario, participated in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s basketball fourth annual Shoot for the Cure. “Among the most successful activities,” says a recent CIS news release, “the University of Waterloo amassed $21,667 with an event that involved most of the school’s varsity teams.” The Shoot for the Cure nation-wide campaign won the Community Group Award at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (Ontario Region) 2011 Volunteer Awards in April.

From the folks at Organizational & Human Development who brought you the 2011 Staff Conference in April: “The 2011 Staff Conference survey is now closed. Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey, and congratulations to Tom Barber, our staff conference survey winner!” Barber, of the Office of Research, won a University of Waterloo travel mug and a copy of the book Switch, co-authored by Dan Heath, who appeared in the OHD Speaker Series in February.

As we mentioned yesterday, Waterloo registrar Ken Lavigne sent an email on Monday to all students, inviting their opinions on four designs of the university’s diploma. Yesterday the email went out to faculty and staff, asking them to take part in the same exercise. “Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts in our short, anonymous survey at by Monday, May 23,” says Lavigne’s message. “Your input will make a valuable contribution to the success of this important initiative.”

Looking ahead: Each year the Region of Waterloo takes part in the Annual Commuter Challenge, in which individuals and workplaces explore alternative forms of travel within their communities, whether for work or recreation. Mark Lisetto-Smith of Organizational and Human Development announces that the University of Waterloo will again be participating in the Commuter Challenge, which this year – the 12th –  takes place June 5 - 11. “The Commuter Challenge is the perfect time to try new ways of commuting to work, so give it a try!” says Lisetto-Smith, who is Waterloo’s Commuter Challenge Co-ordinator. “On June 5 to June 11 – bus, bike, walk, or carpool to work and give our cars a vacation. As an added incentive, Grand River Transit is offering 2 for 1 Transit Tuesday on June 7, when two passengers can ride for the price of one.” To make your activities count toward the university’s effort, visit the Commuter Challenge website and register. Select University of Waterloo as your employer and record your progress. Questions? Call Mark Lisetto-Smith at extension 38257.

Although the “list” of children’s on-campus summer programs given in the Daily Bulletin of May 11 was not meant to be exhaustive, one or two did feel left out. “I believe you have understated the wide variety of programs that will be available through athletics for summer camps,” says Jeff Slater of athletics. He notes that the roster includes basketball, volleyball, hockey, field hockey, and, starting this summer, “a multi-sport camp for 7 to 12-year-olds” that will run July 4-8 and August 15-19. Details are on the athletics website. Also missed out was the Peace Camp at Conrad Grebel University College. This day camp “to explore peace” is for kids who have completed grades 6 to 8; it runs August 8 to 12.

And finally… “Call it ORG-B,” offers Brian Dietrich, an architectural designer in plant operations. That’s his riposte to a (possibly risky) comment by Daily Bulletin editor Chris Redmond yesterday, as two dozen Waterloo administrators were getting ready to head west to the annual executive retreat. This year it’s being held, today through Friday, at the Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend on the shore of Lake Huron. As Redmond wrote, this gathering “has been known as ‘K Bay’ for decades, but the university has parted ways with Barrie’s Kempenfelt Bay resort and a new nickname is clearly called for.”

CPA Staff

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Link of the day

International Museum Day

When and where

UW Sustainability Project volunteer meeting today 6 p.m., Student Life Centre room 3103.

Chemistry seminar: Ivan Huc, University of Bordeaux, “Folding and Assembly of Helical Nano-Architectures” today 10:00, Chemistry 2 room 361.

UWRC Book Club: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, today 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Country presentations: Pakistan and Ghana today; Ontario and the Prairies May 27; St. Maarten June 2, all at noon, Needles Hall room 1116.

Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) workshop with grand master Michael Gould, today, 1-2:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Free, no experience needed. Details:

‘Painting the Town Green’ presentations from local environmental organizations, organized by Climate Action Project, today, 3 to 5, Student Life Centre room 2134. Details.

Career workshops today: “Career Exploration and Decision Making” 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Work Search Strategies for International Students” 3:30, Tatham room 1208. Details.

Italian Night at Mudies cafeteria, Village I, Wednesday, 4:30 - 7.

Advanced mindfulness workshops (Counselling Services) May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 4:30-6 p.m., St. Bede’s Chapel, Renison U College. Details

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering student chapter, first meeting of term today 5:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 3607.

East-West Concert Series: Shakuhachi (Zen flute with East-West Ensemble and University Choir) today, 7:30 p.m., Renison U College great hall, admission free.

‘Roots of Love’, a film by Harjant Gill, screening (panel discussion to follow) sponsored by arts, religious studies and St. Jerome’s today 7:30, Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s.

Library workshop: "New Faculty and Grad Students: Research Tools and Library Services" Thursday 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Education Credit Union seminar: Stephen P. Haller, lawyer, “Wills and Powers of Attorney” Thursday, 12:05, Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by May 13.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society production: “Princess Ida” May 19 and 21 at 2:00, May 19, 20 and 21 at 8:00, Humanities Theatre, tickets $35 (students $20) at Humanities box office.

Prof. Kazunori Kataoka, University of Tokyo, speaks on “Self- assembled Nanodevices from Smart Block Copolymers for Gene and Drug Delivery.” All welcome. Thursday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Details

Health Services closes Thursday at 4 (normal closure is 5 p.m.)

Alumni reception during Ontario Association of Architects annual conference, Thursday, 5:30, InterContinental Toronto Centre. Details.

Inderpal Grewal, Yale University, “Outsourcing Patriarchy: Media and Honour Killings in Contemporary India” Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

Drop, no penalty period ends May 20; deadline to withdraw from spring term courses with 100 per cent fee refund.

Victoria Day Monday, university closed.

Start-Up Chile program presentation by Nicolas Shea, Gov't of Chile advisor. Monday, May 30, 9:30 a.m. - noon, Needles Hall room 1101. RSVP to

President’s Golf Tournament in support of Athletics Excellence and Awards Fund, Monday, June 6, Westmount Golf and Country Club. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Educational support specialist/advisor, Health Services, USG 10 
• Psychiatric nurse, Health Services, USG 10
• Assistant to the dean, Dean of Applied Health Sciences office, USG 6

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin