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Friday, March 2, 2012

  • Themes emerging in mid-cycle review
  • Xerox chosen as copy service provider
  • Registration open for girls math workshop
  • Notes on a Friday
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Themes emerging in mid-cycle review

President Feridun Hamdullahpur delivered an update on the Mid-Cycle Review to the campus community on Wednesday and spoke about the themes that had surfaced during the first consultation phase, held in the previous term.

Speaking in the Humanities Theatre, he began by outlining the foundational pillars on which the university’s success rests: academic excellence, research excellence and impact, co-operative education, graduate studies, internationalization, and entrepreneurship. He explained that undergraduate education was the base that each foundational pillar stood on, and that the existence, size, and importance of each pillar was non-negotiable as the university considered its goals and objectives in the context of the Sixth Decade Plan.

The president informed the audience about the process involved in the first phase of the review, including the questions that were asked at each consultation session. He said that there were more than 3,400 participants who gave feedback either at the sessions or online.

The feedback gathered from the online survey and consultations was categorized into 73 statements organized into clusters, which were rated for both importance and feasibility by a subset of 75 participants who had been chosen at random. The ideas and statements were further refined to the following seven major themes:

  • Student Opportunities and Experience;
  • Quality of education;
  • Resources;
  • Clear effective leadership;
  • University of Waterloo Environment;
  • Visibility and outreach; and
  • Image and Philosophy.

“They are in close connection to our foundational pillars,” Hamdullahpur said of the seven themes. “They will guide us in how we can achieve our goals, and strengthen and enhance our pillars.”

On the issue of student opportunities and experience, Hamdullahpur spoke of the necessity of being focused on students. “That is the reason why we are here,” he said. “Everything we do, they have to be at the centre.”

The suggested objectives listed under that theme included ensuring students have a balanced life, ensuring students are prepared for their careers, increasing school spirit, and providing more co-op opportunities.

The emergence of quality of education as a theme was not surprising, Hamdullahpur said, but it was revealing. “It is connected to all the other themes,” he said.

Increasing the quality of teaching, including online learning opportunities, ensuring excellence in supervisors and mentors, and decreasing the ratio of students not only to faculty, but to all support staff including TAs, instructors, secretarial, registrar, and other staff, emerged as quality improvement objectives, along with increasing support for graduate students and support for inter and trans-disciplinary activity.

The resources theme called for a re-evaluation of resource allocation, and the provision of clear accountability and transparency in resource allocation.

On visibility and outreach, Hamdullahpur spoke of the need to better tell this university’s story to audiences both internal and external. “As much as we are proud in our position and stature in society,” he said, “nevertheless there are a lot of people in Canada and the world who don’t know the quality and level of our education and scholarship.”

Suggested objectives included a renewed focus on branding, participating in the local community, and building partnerships both locally and internationally with universities, businesses, and other organizations.

Building a university brand and marketing it abroad was only part of the story, however. Objectives under the University of Waterloo Environment theme include building a stronger sense of community on campus, both virtual and physical, and improving equity and environmental sustainability throughout campus.

In addition, improvements to internal communication and administrative processes were specific objectives of the Clear and Effective Leadership theme, along with decreasing “siloism” as a way of opening the lines of communications that can help make each member of the university proud of what the institution is doing.

For Image and Philosophy, Hamdullahpur spoke of addressing the teaching and research balance. “So many of our colleagues are tremendously successful in both categories,” he said. “This is the environment we want to have.” Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship also emerged as objectives in this category.

The president also outlined the next steps that would be taken in the review, including the recruitment of expert teams and focus groups that would lead to the development of action plans and accountability frameworks with goals, objectives, actions, measurable outcomes, responsibilities and timelines – all by the Fall of 2012.

The president then took questions from the audience, and from webcast viewers who submitted queries via email, read out by Vice-President External Tim Jackson. He answered questions on subjects as diverse as gender equity, the north campus, athletics, and resource efficiency.

The president concluded by thanking the audience and asking them to continue the dialogue as the review continued. “I need input from all of you,” he said.

The president’s presentation is available on the Mid-Cycle Review site.

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Xerox chosen as copy service provider

By May Yan, Director, Retail Services

Retail Services is pleased to announce that Xerox Canada Ltd. was chosen to be the University’s service provider through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the campus Multi-functional copiers/printers.

The new service agreement replaces the previous agreement that was effective from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2012.

In October 2011, a fleet copier satisfaction survey was conducted with stakeholders, prior to issuing the RFP. In November 2011, an evaluation committee was struck to begin the RFP process. The committee members included representatives from IST, Procurement, and Retail Services. The RFP was advertised on December 14, 2011 and closed on January 11, 2012.

Xerox was rated the highest scoring during the RFP evaluation and in the final assessment scores.

The current fleet of copiers will be replaced with brand new multi-function devices that are energy efficient, boast newer technology, and will increase efficiencies. Xerox Canada is committed to offer total satisfaction through the performance of their Xerox equipment and through the provision of excellent customer service for uWaterloo in partnership with Retail Services.

Plans are underway for swapping out the current fleet of copiers with the new fleet. Information about the new models and options for users will be communicated shortly to each department fleet copier contact.

For more information please contact John Jaray, Fleet Copier Manager (jjaray@ or May Yan, Director Retail Services (myan@

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Registration open for girls math workshop

an advisory from the media relations department

Applications are now available for Think About Math, the annual workshop at the University of Waterloo, intended to boost Grade 9 girls’ interest in mathematics. Registration closes Monday, March 5 at 9:00 a.m.

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing will host these three-day workshops at the Waterloo campus from May 2 to May 5, and from May 23 to May 26. There is space for 40 participants at each workshop.

This is the fourth year for event, which gives young girls in high school the opportunity to learn about the lifestyles and fulfilling careers of women who have graduated with a degree in mathematics. Girls will also participate in interactive labs and hands-on activities. They will learn how the field of mathematics relates to such fields as the environment, the stock market, and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. University of Waterloo faculty members and professional businesswomen and businessmen will lead all of the sessions.

Application forms and more information is available online.

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Notes on a Friday

March is National Engineering Month, and this Saturday and Sunday the Waterloo Engineering Society, the Consulting Engineers of Ontario, and the Professional Engineers of Ontario have organized events at The Museum on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the occasion. Writes Michael Seliske, Vice President External of Engineering Society "A", "There will be professional Engineers, engineering students and demonstrations of Christie Digitals VeinViewer technology. There is also a very large collection of K'nex which are available for children to build bridges and other structures." The events begin at 10:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. both days. More details are available online.

Here's the second Nutrition Month "myth vs. truth" supplied by Health Services dietician Sandra Ace:

Myth: Avoid carbs if you want to lose weight.
Truth: Cutting carbohydrates might help you lose weight in the short term, but it’s mostly because you are eating less food and fewer calories. To lose weight and keep it off, exercise regularly and use Canada’s Food Guide to plan a balanced diet.

If you have any comments or questions about these nutrition submissions, please contact Sandra Ace.

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2012 Wilson Cup Final Four this weekend

Basketballs will be dribbled and dunked with gusto this weekend as the University of Waterloo plays host to the 2012 Wilson Cup Final Four on Friday and Saturday.

The games will be played in the Physical Activities Complex and will be broadcast on The Score.

Friday's halftime show will feature Slam Dunk Entertainment.

Tickets are $15 per adult for an individual day pass, and $10 for youth. Tournament passes are $20. To purchase individual tickets call 519-888-4567 ext. 35869 and for group tickets call 519-888-4567 ext. 35433 or email Jim Hagen.

Link of the day

Dress in Blue Day

When and where

University of Waterloo's Materials Research Society (MRS) Student Chapter inter-departmental mixer, Friday, March 2, 11:00 a.m., E6-2024. RSVP online.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "Re-frame your retirement," Friday, March 2, 2:00 p.m., TC 2218. Details.

Knowledge Integration Seminar featuring David Goodwin, Research Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), Friday, March 2, 2:30 p.m., St. Paul's room 105.

19th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Helen Longino of Stanford University, "The Sociality of Scientific Knowledge: not just an Academic Question", Friday, March 2, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

I2E Startathon, Friday, March 2, 5:00 p.m., Mathematics 3. Details.

The Arts Student Union presents "The Three A's of Awesome" featuring author and blogger Neil Pasricha, Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Region Macintosh Users' Group workshop, Saturday, March 3, St. Jerome's room 3014, 10:00 a.m. Contact rcrispin for more info.

Propel Centre for Population Health Impact research seminar, Accelerating Cross-Campus Research Ideas, Initiatives and Impact: A focus on preventing chronic disease and promoting health and wellness, Monday, March 5, 1:00 p.m., Village 1 Great Hall, RSVP to dbrick

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador, with Daniel Payne (fiddle, accordion, mandolin, flute, whistle, and bodhran), Wednesday, March 7, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Asian Night at REVelation, Wednesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.

International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, Wednesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m., Walper Terrace Hotel. Kitchener. For tickets and details call Jan Meier at 519-579-5051. Details.

Alumni Theatre Night featuring "Scenes from an Execution," Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, presented by the Department of Drama and Speech Communication. Details.

Weight Watchers at Work registration session, Thursday, March 8, 12:00 p.m., PAS 2438.

Reading at St. Jerome’s University: poet Julia McCarthy, Thursday, March 8, 4:30, StJ room 3014.

Resistance Culture: An evening of spoken word poetry and art with Remi Kanazi, Thursday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., MC 4020. Presented by Students for Palestinian Rights. Details.

Fusion Science and Business conference, March 9 and 10. Details.

Philosophy Colloquium in celebration of 50 years of Philosophy at Waterloo, Friday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

The Global Pro-Justice Movement featuring activist Frank Barat, Friday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., CPH 3607. Presented by Students for Palestinian Rights. Details.

Drop, Penalty 1 Period ends March 12.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 11 Design Program, Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16.

KI-X 2012: Capstone Design Project on display at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Monday, March 12, 12:00-4:00, Tuesday, March 13, 12:00-7:00, Wednesday, March 14, 12:00-6:00, 263 Phillip Street. Details.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering graduate students, Monday, March 12, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period begins March 13.

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring Brass Essentials, Debra and Martin Lacoste (trumpets), Trevor Wagler (french horn), Carolyn Culp (trombone), Susan Follows (bass trombone), Wednesday, March 14, 12:30 p.m.

Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies lecture series ‘Testimony and Human Rights’, featuring a presentation by Professor Marjorie Ratcliffe (University of Western Ontario), “Solos en Ameríca: Children of the Spanish Civil War”. Wednesday, March 14, 3:30 p.m., HH 373. Reception follows at 4:30 p.m.

Center for Career Action workshop "Setting Work And Life Goals," Thursday, March 15, 3:30 p.m., TC 1208. Details.

Systems Design Symposium 2012, Friday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer.

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