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Friday, May 10, 2013



  • The Daily Bulletin turns 20: A Three-Part Series
  • A president's western journey
  • Provost's nominating committee seeks input


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


A montage of Daily Bulletins from 1993 to 2006.
The Daily Bulletin turns 20: A Three-Part Series

The Daily Bulletin turns 20 on May 11, 2013. To mark the occasion, here is part one of a three-part history of the Daily Bulletin, which will continue on Monday and Tuesday.

“There is simply no news”

With those five words (if you choose to omit the “Social Contract” subject heading they were in reference to) the Daily Bulletin was born on May 11, 1993.

20 years and more than 4,900 issues later (the 5,000th should drop on Tuesday, August 6 of this year by my calculations) the University of Waterloo’s pioneering electronic chronicle of campus life is still publishing every working day.

It may seem odd that the fact there was nothing to report was worth reporting, but as founding editor Chris Redmond explained when I sat down to interview him over coffee last week, it was the increased pace of news both on and off campus that led to a rethinking of the university’s approach to communications that wound up breaking all sorts of new ground.

“1993 was a year of just a huge amount of things happening, all in a hurry,” says Redmond, who retired in February 2012 after a 39-career at the university. “It was driven by changes in senior administration, the tumult in both federal and provincial politics that led to funding constraints and all kinds of demands for accountability, and the year started with the murder of a student on campus that scared everybody so much and put new demands for fast communications.”

At the time, the university’s Information & Public Affairs department published a weekly print newspaper, The Gazette. However, there were those on campus who were looking at the potential for new avenues of communication offered by a little thing called the Internet.

Before the World Wide Web, there were protocols like Gopher and Usenet, which along with email allowed for online communications.  Redmond recalls being invited to a meeting of a group of people from the university’s library and the department of computing services (the forerunner to Information Systems & Technology) to discuss the University of Waterloo’s presence on Gopher, which was a piece of software that enabled computer users to retrieve information on request. What the committee came up with was the University of Waterloo’s version of a “campus wide information system.”

Many people were involved in Waterloo’s earliest web experiments, including Patrick Matlock, Faye Abrams, Roger Watt, Richard Wells, Christine Jewell, and Carol Vogt, to name a few, but Redmond’s involvement marked the first time that someone on the content creation side of the communications divide was actively participating in shaping the new campus medium.

Bear in mind that around that time, it was big news that the university was getting a voicemail system, and typewriters had not yet completely disappeared from campus. There were computer workstations too, but many of those were still ‘dumb terminals’ plugged into the campus network using a series of blue Gandalf modems that had thumbwheels on their front panels, requiring a user to manually select which ‘channel’ their workstation was supposed to connect with.

As for the university’s first online presence using Gopher, dubbed UWinfo, “it did most of what the Web now does, it just did it in a primitive text-only kind of way,” Redmond remembers. “There was a little bit of factual information, the same sort of thing you’d get on “About Waterloo” and a bit of history, and whenever documents came into existence, someone would put it on the Gopher site, but it took a while before there was very much there.” The UWinfo site was accessed through a numbered text menu navigable by arrow keys.

There were also newsgroups, like uw.general, accessible through Usenet, and Redmond recalls posting news briefs on an ad hoc basis in 1991 and 1992. One such bulletin was posted on January 3, 1993, the first working day of the year, confirming the on-campus beating death of Waterloo graduate student David Zaharchuk.

“Things were moving faster and faster with the arrival of James Downey and the Ontario government’s imposition of a Social Contract,” Redmond wrote in Lions & Chevrons. “Without advance planning, I posted a four-paragraph news summary to UWinfo on the morning of Tuesday, May 11. The next day I published another roundup, and a third one came on Thursday. I had invented the Daily Bulletin, although that title would not be visibly applied to the five-days-a-week report until July.”

And just like that, the Daily Bulletin was added to UWinfo (number 5 on the main menu). It consisted of a few paragraphs of information on various topics of interest and was considered a supplement to the weekly Gazette, but it soon took on a life of its own.

Stay tuned for part two on Monday, May 13.

Headline image created by Andrea Sweet, Communications & Public Affairs.


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A president's western journey

by Matt Bondy and Alison Boyd.

Last week President Feridun Hamdullahpur, along with Vice-President, Advancement Ken McGillivray, headed west to engage Waterloo alumni chapters, talk up the exciting developments happening in and around campus, and attend a prestigious conference of thought leaders and leading policy experts.

The week began at the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference, where President Hamdullahpur participated in an hour-long panel discussion about the value and role of university education in North America and beyond.  Alongside such distinguished co-panelists as Gray Davis, the former governor of California, President Hamdullahpur made the case for the kind of innovative, entrepreneurial, and experiential education that makes the University of Waterloo so unique. Video clips from the panel discussion are available on the president’s website.

The tour of Waterloo alumni chapters began at Facebook headquarters, in Palo Alto, with over 100 Waterloo alum in attendance. Mike Jutan (BMath ‘07) spoke about his role at Industrial Light & Magic, a Lucasfilm’s visual effects studio, and Jim Mitchell (BSc ‘66), Vice President, Photonics, Interconnects and Packaging at Oracle, also participated in the gathering. While an undergraduate student, Mitchell was part of the foursome responsible for the WATFOR FORTRAN compiler.

Ken McGillivray, Consul General of Canada David Fransen, Paul Salvini, and Feridun HamdullahpurNext up was an alumni event co-hosted by the Consul General of Canada, David Fransen (BA ’76, MA ’77), at his official residence in Los Angeles. The president of Waterloo’s Alumni Council, Paul Salvini (BMath ’92), is Chief Technology Officer at Christie Digital Systems, and he spoke about technology in Waterloo Region, highlighting local success stories, including local companies like Christie Digital and Bufferbox, as well as the university’s own VeloCity Garage. (Pictured at right are Ken McGillivray, David Fransen, Paul Salvini, and Feridun Hamdullahpur)

Last but not least, on Friday May 3rd, with Hamdullahpur in attendance, Waterloo’s Dean of Science Terry McMahon welcomed Professor Maurice Dusseault to another full house of engaged alumni at Calgary’s Metropolitan Conference Centre. The event featured a presentation on how and why shale gas, shale oil, and environmental issues are changing Canada’s energy future.

“These events provide an opportunity to network and reconnect with our Waterloo family,” said Ken McGillivray. “It keeps us up to date on their activities, and helps us ensure we remain responsive and in touch with their needs, interests, and activities.”

Waterloo’s alumni are regularly engaged not only through in-person visits, but through many touchpoints including Waterloo Magazine. The latest edition of Waterloo magazine is currently entering circulation.


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Provost's nominating committee seeks input

The Vice-President, Academic & Provost Nominating Committee has been constituted under the terms of Policy 48, according to a memo circulated by President Feridun Hamdullahpur.

The university has engaged the services of Colleen Keenan and Gerri Woodford of Odgers Berndtson, an international executive search consulting firm to assist the committee. "Both have extensive experience in university sector and are familiar with the University of Waterloo," says the pres dent's memo.

"Advertisements for the position will be placed in various locations, including University Affairs, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Globe and Mail."

Policy 48 charges the committee with the responsibility of soliciting the views of those affected. Committee members intend to consult with the members of Executive Council; presidents of FAUW, the Staff Association, CUPE, Federation of Students and Graduate Student Association; heads of the federated university and affiliated university colleges; members of the Board of Governors; and anyone else the committee deems appropriate.

All interested faculty, staff and students are also invited to convey their views on matters concerning the position to any member of the nominating committee. "The committee especially invites you to consider the following questions:

  1. What are the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the University of Waterloo, and what is the role of the vice-president, academic & provost in addressing them?
  2. What advice do you have for the search committee as to the background, credentials, qualifications and leadership style that should be sought in the next vice-president, academic & provost?
  3. Do you have any suggestions as to individuals to whom the committee should speak about this opportunity?

 "If you prefer to respond in writing, your submission should be directed to Logan Atkinson, secretary of the university (c/o Secretariat, Needles Hall; ). Your confidential input and feedback will be very important in shaping the position profile and informing the direction of the search."

Nominations, applications and expressions of interest will be held in strict confidence and can be sent via email or in hard copy to Colleen Keenan or Gerri Woodford at:

        Odgers Berndtson

        200 Bay Street, Suite 3150

        Royal Bank Plaza, South Tower

        Toronto ON M5J 2J3

        Fax: 416-366-7353

Comments are due no later than May 31 and will be held in strict confidence by the committee.


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Link of the day

A riot so vicious because the stakes were so low

When and where

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, May 10, 8:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Conrad Centre presents the E-Launch Awards, Friday, May 10, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Conrad Centre. Details.

Ziva Kunda Memorial Lecture, Friday, May 10, 3:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul's. Details.

Dance Odyssey, Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12, Humanities Theatre.

GO Open Data conference, Saturday, May 11, all day, School of Pharmacy. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 Change program, Sunday, May 12 to Thursday, May 16. Details.

Feds Welcome Week 2013, Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17.

Canada 3.0 Youth Program 2013, Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Senate Graduate & Research Council meeting, Monday, May 13, 10:30 a .m., NH 3001.

Senate Long Range Planning committee meeting, Monday, May 13, 11:30 a.m., QNC 1201.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture featuring David Eppstein, University of California, Irvine, "From Information Visualization to Soap Bubbles," Monday, May 13, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

WIN Seminar Series featuring Professor Michael Chabinyc, University of California Santa Barbara, "Order and Charge Transport in Organic Solar Cells". Monday, May 13, 3:00 p.m., QNC 1501.

Canada 3.0 conference, Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15, all day, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

LabVIEW User Group Meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., E5 4106-4128. Details.

uWaterloo Blooms, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m., SLC Multi-Purpose Room.

UWRC Book Club featuring "419: A Novel" by Will Ferguson, Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs presents The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, "Can values be transformative in international affairs?" Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 p.m., Seagram Room, CIGI. RSVP via email.

Campus Walk 2013, Tuesday, May 21 to Friday, June 14. Details.

Senate meeting, Tuesday, May 21, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Dr. Jiujun Zhang, Principle Research Officer, National Research Council Canada, Vancouver, BC, "PEM Fuel Cell Catalysis and Supercapacitors at National Research Council of Canada," Thursday, May 23, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Retirement celebration for Martin van Nierop, Wednesday, May 29, 4:00 p.m., University Club.

Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, June 4.

Keystone Picnic, Friday, June 7.

23rd Annual Matthews Golf Classic, Monday, June 10. Details.


PhD Oral Defences

Earth and Environmental Sciences. Syed Ismail Hussain, "Treatment of Water-borne Nutrients, Pathogens, and Pharmaceutical Compounds using BOF Slag." Supervisors, David Blowes, Carol Ptacek. On display in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Tuesday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., EIT 2053.

Computer Science. Reid C. Kerr, "Addressing the Issues of Coalitions and Collusion in Multiagent Systems." Supervisor, Robin Cohen. On display in the Faculty of Mathematics graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., DC 2310.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Tarek Khalifa, "Design and Analysis of Split and Aggregated Transmission Control Protocol (SA-TCP) for Smart Metering Infrastructure." Supervisor, Kshirasagar Naik. On deposit in the Faculty of Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, May 14, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

School of Planning. Abel Lopez Dodero, "Planning Public Transport Improvements in Mexico: Analysis of the Influence of Private Bus Operators in the Planning Process." Supervisors, Jeffrey Casello, Clarence Woudsma. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Thursday, May 16, 2:30 p.m., EV1 221.

School of Public Health and Health Systems. Eva Neufeld, "Suicide-Related Behaviour in Later Life: Examining Risk and Protective Factors among Older Adults Receiving Home Care Services in Ontario, Canada." Supervisor, John Hirdes. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, May 17, 9:00 a.m., BMH 3119.

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