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Thursday, October 27, 2011

  • 'Best overall' university, now for 18 years
  • Prof cited for improving women's lives
  • Day of the orange T-shirts, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

'Best overall' university, now for 18 years

Maclean's magazine has once again recognized the University of Waterloo as having the best reputation of any Canadian university, as its 2011 Maclean’s University Ranking results hit the newsstands yesterday and today.

“Again this year,” Jennifer Kieffer of the institutional analysis and planning office says, “Waterloo has topped the reputational rankings, being named the Best Overall university in Canada, a position Waterloo has held for 18 of the 21 years for which Maclean’s has published their ranking of Canadian universities.

“Waterloo is also in the top position as Most Innovative and for producing the Leaders of Tomorrow in the reputational results, with third place (to McGill and Toronto) for Highest Quality. Waterloo has been number one in the Most Innovative and Leaders of Tomorrow categories in Maclean’s reputational ranking for each of the past five years.” In fact it’s the 20th consecutive time that Waterloo has been ranked Canada's top university for innovation.

In the overall university ranking, Kieffer noted, Waterloo is evaluated as a Comprehensive university, a category that includes universities with significant graduate student enrolment and research activity, but without medical schools. Within the Comprehensive ranks, Waterloo placed third (behind Simon Fraser and Victoria), “the same place we held in last year’s ranking.”

The Maclean’s university ranking evaluates comprehensive schools using 13 different indicators, she said. Waterloo ranked first this year on four of them — reputation plus student awards, social sciences and humanities grants, and scholarships and bursaries. The university is second in “total research dollars” and third in three more categories, but near the bottom of the pack in operating budget, student services and library expenses.

"It's rewarding to see the people within the institution recognized for their contribution to the overall success of the university," said Geoff McBoyle, Waterloo’s provost. "It's the students, faculty and staff that create the culture of innovation, connection and excellence that has been recognized today."

And president Feridun Hamdullahpur commented: "This is gratifying for me to see that corporate and academic leaders responding to the Maclean's survey have once again given the University of Waterloo top marks. A university's reputation and ability to provide innovative programs is critical to successfully attracting the best and brightest students nationally and internationally, so this is one of our measures of success. It's encouraging to see that Waterloo's students, scholarship and research are recognized by all and this makes us even more committed to continue to build on our tradition of academic excellence."

The full published results of the 2011 ranking are available online.

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Prof cited for improving women's lives

Susan M. Shaw, who recently retired from Waterloo’s department of recreation and leisure studies, has received a 2011 “Woman of Distinction Award“ from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

The award, sponsored by OCUFA’s Status of Women Committee, recognizes women who “have improved the lives and working conditions of academic women and, by extension, their colleagues, families, and friends”.

Says committee chair Helene Cummins: “Professor Shaw has tirelessly advanced the cause of women in academia with respect to hiring and retention practice, inclusive workplace environments, and family-friendly policy. Her leadership and advocacy on behalf of academic women embodies the spirit of the Woman of Distinction Award.”

[Shaw, centre, at OCUFA presentation]According to the president of the association, Constance Adamson, “OCUFA is committed to advancing and protecting the personal, professional and academic interests of women in the academy. That is why we are so proud to bestow this honour upon such an exceptional advocate for academic women.”

A citation issued by OCUFA observes that “Much of what we know of leisure and gender can be traced to Sue Shaw. She pioneered research on time use and stress; intersections of work, leisure and family; changing ideologies of motherhood and fatherhood; and the role of leisure in reproducing and resisting dominant ideologies. Sue was president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences. Her scholarship has been recognized through receipt of two major North American leisure research awards, the Sapora and Roosevelt; and is namesake of a third, the Shaw/Mannell.

“Complementing her scholarship, Sue brought issues of leisure and gender into the classroom by developing undergraduate and graduate courses which have afforded, from feminist perspectives, gender-based insight into people’s lives. She consistently earned perfect classroom ratings from both undergraduate and graduate students.

“Sue advocated for women in the workplace, with focus on female academic staff. She served the Organizing Committee for the Action Conference sponsored by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. She chaired the World Leisure and Recreation Association’s Task Force on Women. Sue was a member of the Professional Women's Association Executive Committee, co-chaired the UW Feminist Caucus and served 17 years on UW’s Status of Women and Inclusivity Committee.

“Sue Shaw served the broader Waterloo community as Department Chair, Associate Dean, Faculty Association Board of Directors, Senate and Senate Graduate Council, University of Waterloo Commission on Institutional Planning, and on Tenure and Promotion committees. She has tirelessly advanced the cause of women in academia with respect to hiring and retention practice, inclusive workplace environments, and family-friendly policy.”

The award was presented at a dinner in Toronto last weekend (photo above).

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[Speaker with PowerPoint]

Using the metaphor of a water bottle for the income and outgo of money, financial planner Bradley Roulston spoke last week at "Graduate Richer" workshops at both Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. The events were sponsored by the Waterloo Banking Project, which is seeking to develop student-managed financial services.

Day of the orange T-shirts, and more

Student Success Week continues, leading up to the opening celebration for the Student Success Office tomorrow in South Campus Hall, and as part of the proceedings, today is Mental Health Wellness Day. “It’s the day,” says Virginia Young of the SSO, “where many individuals and departments across campus will wear one of our T-shirts to build awareness about mental health issues on campus. The goal of the day is to communicate an open and helping environment that allows individuals to feel comfortable discussing issues they may have around mental health.” After all, she says, a recent study found that “87% of students surveyed at a Canadian university felt overwhelmed by the things they need to accomplish. We want to make sure our students know that there is help if they are feeling this way. This is why many front-line staff in Food services, Housing and Residences, the Registrar’s Office, Retail Services, Counselling Services, Health Services, the Student Success Office, and many more areas will be sporting the T-shirts for the day. We have also targeted faculty and instructors teaching the largest classes today, and many of them have agreed to participate.” By yesterday, word was that organizers had distributed 1,200 shirts to staff and faculty who will wear them today.

The university’s 2010-11 financial statements, with certification from auditing firm Ernst & Young, were presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of governors. The document is oriented to reassuring governors and accountants that the university is financially sound; it isn’t a year-end equivalent of the operating budget that predicts how the university will spend its money. (Indeed, the financial statement no longer even includes a table that divides the year’s cash flow into operating, capital, research and ancillary enterprises, as it did for many years.) Still, the document contains some interesting numbers. Total income to the institution in the past year was $780,862,000, and total expenditures were $712,803,000, with most of the difference coming to rest as the value of the university’s new or improved buildings. Total assets, as of April 30 this year, are shown as $1,441,134,000, including some $719 million in buildings.

[Crouching to work on photos at ground level]A juried exhibition that showcases projects by two recent Master of Architecture graduates of the Waterloo architecture school will open tonight at the Design at Riverside gallery on the main floor of the Architecture building. One of the two, Gillian Tyrell, is seen at left laying out her photographs for the exhibition. titled “If Walls Could Speak”.  In her part of the exhibition, Tyrrell investigates the dormant memories in the Good Shepherd Magdalen Asylum — part of a vast system that imprisoned Ireland’s so-called “fallen women” for a span of more than two centuries. “The Cork asylum now lies in ruins,” she says, “its stories buried beneath toppled stone and decrepit brick, testifying to a past swathed in silence and collective acquiescence. By threading the memory of the architecture’s past through imagery of the ruin’s present, the identity of place may be said to breathe once again.” Fellow-student  Jeffrey Cheng investigates a folk temple in rural Suzhou, China. The village surrounding the temple has since been ploughed under the grey earth. “Upon that land, a type of urban development that demands no less than total modernization will rise. The yellow painted temple will be all that remains, the last moment of colour in ancient yet silenced landscape.” The exhibition runs through November 6; tonight’s opening celebration starts at 6:30.

And . . . a reminder from the human resources department that the myHRinfo system will shut down for a systems upgrade from November 3 at 4:30 p.m. until Wednesday, November 9. "During the shutdown period, users will not be able to login or to make changes to any information using myHRinfo. Check for updates on availability."


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[Armitage and Gillard]

Howard Armitage, accounting professor and former director of the Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, poses with Australian prime minister Julia Gillard during a recent economic summit in Wollongong. Gillard acknowledged his contribution to the event and the comparisons he drew between Waterloo and Wollongong, an area formerly reliant on manufacturing that is now attempting to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Link of the day

'The best of Waterloo's geek culture'

When and where

Pre-enrolment for spring 2012 undergraduate courses, October 24-30. Details.

Staff association annual general meeting 9 a.m., Math and Computer room 5158. Details.

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

Philosophy colloquium: Ann Garry, Humphrey Chair in Feminist Philosophy, “Metaphors of Intersectionality” 1:00, Hagey Hall room 373.

Career workshop: “Project Management” 1 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Library workshop: “SimplyMap Canada” 1:15, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Chemical engineering seminar: Ajay Dalai, University of Saskatchewan, “Development of Novel Carbon Nanotubes Supported Catalysts” 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

'Web research skills for activists’ workshop organized by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, 5:30, Student Life Centre room 2135.

Indian Film Festival presents “Three Idiots” (2009), 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 124. Details.

Global Youth Network information session about volunteer trips to India and Morocco in May 2012, 7:30, Math and Computer room 4042.

Deadline for 50 per cent refund of fall term fees, October 28.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Ed Chrzanowski, “App Development on iPads” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Friday 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Wilfrid Laurier University fall convocation, Friday 10 a.m. (installation of chancellor) and 2:30 p.m. (honorary degree to boxer Lennox Lewis), Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Engineering 6 building grand opening Friday 10:30 a.m., by invitation, information ext. 33580.

Gem and Mineral Show Friday 12:00 to 6:00, Saturday 10:00 to 5:00, CEIT building atrium. Details.

International development speaker: Lucie Edwards, Balsillie School, former Canadian high commissioner, “Fighting Apartheid Inside South Africa” Friday 12:00, MacKirdy Hall, St. Paul’s U College.

Balsillie School of International Affairs seminar: “Turning the UN Bureaucracy into a Learning Organization” Friday 12:30, 57 Erb Street West.

International spouses “secret campus tour” Friday 12:45, meet outside CEIT building, information e-mail patty91872@

Co-op student rankings for winter term jobs (“main” group of students) open Friday 1 p.m., close October 31, 2 p.m.

Psychology colloquium: Richard Aslin, University of Rochester, “What Eye Tracking and Neuroimaging Can Reveal about Infants’ Language Processing and Visual Attention” Friday 1:30, PAS room 1229.

Knowledge Integration student poster conference, “Design in Museums”  Friday 2:30, Environment I courtyard.

Chemical engineering Park Reilly Distinguished Seminar: G. D. Yadav, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, “Insight into Catalyst Design and Synthesis for the Development of Green Processes” Friday 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

John Holmes and Michael Ross, psychology professors, retirement reception Friday 3:30 to 5:30, University Club, RSVP sladams@

Hallowe’en Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland, sponsored by International Student Connection, Friday, buses leave Davis Centre 6:30 p.m., tickets $5 at  Federation of Students office.

Church college alumni outing to “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Stratford Festival, Friday, tickets $75, information fwmartin@

Wilfrid Laurier University centennial weekend October 28-30, with opera concerts by Jane Archibald (Friday 8 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church; Sunday 2 p.m., Maureen Forrester Recital Hall); “Ahead by a Century” gala evening (Saturday 6:30, Bingemans); video release on YouTube (Sunday 1 p.m.).

Science open house with children’s activities and presentations, Saturday 10:00 to 4:00, CEIT building. Details.

Federation of Students annual general meeting Monday 12:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Town hall meeting with president and provost Tuesday 3:00 to 4:30, Humanities Theatre.

One click away

Student’s spectacular time-lapse video of campus
Quantum-Nano video: ‘Building for the future’
Fight in SLC leads to weapons charges
Record interviews Hamdullahpur as he is installed
University presidents approve statement on academic freedom
‘Queer issues’ and the Ontario cabinet shuffleResearch and innovation ministry linked with economic development and trade
Federation VP: students’ responsibility for quality?
AUCC applauds report of R&D funding panel
Waterloo grad on Fortune magazine’s ’40 under 40’
Also aiming at Canada’s top five: the U of Ottawa
‘Why university shouldn’t be just a ticket to a job’
Laurier now a ‘comprehensive’ university, Maclean’s says

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