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Tuesday, November 14, 2000

  • 'Best overall' again; other numbers
  • Universities raise election issues
  • Steps toward improving UWinfo
  • New chair for UW board of governors
  • A busy (if cold and wet) campus

[Four cards]
Notecards designed by UW graphic artists and printed in the graphics print shop are for sale from the graphics department at $10 for a package of twelve. Proceeds go to support the campus United Way campaign.

'Best overall' again; other numbers

Maclean's magazine has once again anointed UW the "best overall" university in Canada, based on a "reputational" survey of high school counsellors, business executives, university leaders and others. Waterloo has held that slot every year since 1992.

In its annual universities issue, published yesterday, the magazine also announced that the reputational survey had placed UW first as "most innovative" and for producing "leaders of tomorrow". In the fourth reputational category, "highest quality", UW fell from last year's third-place ranking to fourth place, behind Queen's, Toronto and McGill.

The national reputational rankings always come out a day after the other Maclean's rankings. Yesterday's news included top rankings for UW in reputation among "comprehensive" universities, and the quantitative rankings for quality, which put UW in third place behind Simon Fraser and Guelph.

Other findings from the Maclean's survey:

The universities issue of Maclean's is now available in the UW bookstore, among other places.

Universities raise election issues

An open letter from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada:
During this federal election campaign, we believe candidates from all political parties need to hear about university issues. In today's knowledge society, ensuring that we have affordable, quality higher education opportunities, top-notch research and innovation are key to the future of young Canadians -- and to the country as a whole.

I urge you to raise higher education issues at any opportunity you may have -- all-candidates' meetings, town halls, or while your local candidate is canvassing your area.

To help focus public attention on university issues, we've launched a special Election 2000 section of our Web site. Check our site to read more about the various political parties' views on universities, along with details on the following issues:

We ask you to make sure that candidates across the country hear about higher education issues! Consult our Web site for more information during this election campaign.
The federal election is now less than two weeks away -- Monday, November 27.

The faculty association sent out an e-mail memo yesterday, encouraging people on campus to attend an all-candidates' meeting that's scheduled for Monday, November 20, at 3:30 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1301. "See where your candidates stands and how he/she would handle the problems in education," suggests Frank Reynolds of the statistics and actuarial science department, chair of the association's political relations committee.

Reynolds also encouraged faculty members to pick up the lawn signs that are available from the Federation of Students, raising education as an election issue.

Steps toward improving UWinfo

My colleagues and I in information and public affairs thought people might appreciate knowing that a little progress is starting to happen in our work on UWinfo, the university's central web site, as announced back in the summer.

In particular, we now have an action plan that sets out what's to be done towards "a facelift of basic graphics, content and architecture", followed by work on standards for UW web pages and progress towards "strategic directions and initiatives".

Three of us in I&PA -- expected to be four before long, as we'll soon be posting a technical web position -- have started meeting with some of the people on campus who know a good deal about using the web and have researched and overhauled their own departmental sites. We're also beginning to pull together a "technical advisory committee", a body that was called for when the provost assigned the management of UWinfo to I&PA.

We expect to have an "interim" UWinfo home page in place before long, while work begins on the longer-term design of that page and other central UW web pages.

The UWinfo project is under the direction of a steering committee that includes two associate provosts, a dean, a representative of information systems and technology, and the director of information and public affairs.

New chair for UW board of governors

Bob Harding, chief executive of Brascan Ltd., will become chair of the UW board of governors on May 1, the university secretariat has announced. Harding was elected by the board during the closed session of its fall meeting on October 31.

[Harding] The board is always chaired by one of its "community-at-large" members, who are business leaders and other people from outside the university selected by the board itself to take a share in governing the institution. The current chair is Paul Mitchell, retired chief executive of McNeil Consumer Products Co. in Guelph.

Harding (right) is a UW graduate -- he received his BMath in 1980 -- and a chartered accountant. He has been with Brascan since 1984, and was appointed president in 1992 and chairman in 1997.

"He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Greater Toronto," his official biography says. "Mr. Harding was elected a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) in March 2000. He is married to Linda Dianne Young, also a graduate of Waterloo. His interests include running, cycling, swimming, visual art, golf and travelling."

Recently he has been vice-chair of the UW board of governors, and he was just named to be the board's representative on the nominating committee for the next vice-president (academic).

As chair of the board, he will preside over meetings of the board and its executive committee, and represent the university in some of its dealings with government. He'll also find the president of the university reporting to him, and will give the president his performance appraisal on behalf of the board.

A busy (if cold and wet) campus

The pension and benefits committee is meeting this morning (8:30, Needles Hall room 3004) with a varied agenda. One item is the effect that the elephant of the stock markets, Nortel Networks, has on the valuation of pension investments; another is the "flexible pension plan" provision that's part of the UW retirement program; and a third is, as usual, the coverage provided by the health and dental plans.

A presentation of RealPresenter, software for putting a presentation onto the Web, is scheduled for 11:00 this morning in the "Flex lab", Dana Porter Library room 329.

Wednesday is looking like a particularly eventful day:

And coming Friday: "I will be presenting a live-video interview with Tim Berners-Lee," writes fourth-year math student Lylan Masterman. (Berners-Lee is, among other things, the inventor of the World Wide Web.) "To register for the event, students must be members of studentdev.org. If students are not members, they they can register for free." Masterman is also collecting suggestions for questions to ask his interviewee.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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