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Monday, October 16, 2000

  • New rule about outside teaching
  • Submarine reached past 500 feet
  • Convocation will be on the web
  • Just another manic Monday
  • The coming weeks will be busy

New rule about outside teaching

Faculty and staff members will be warned against paid teaching jobs outside UW, under a policy amendment that's being submitted to the university senate for approval tonight.

The amendment adds a clause to Policy 69 about conflict of interest, in a section headed "Conflict of Commitment". It has already been approved by the faculty relations committee and staff relations committee.

Much of Policy 69 is made up of a list of situations where conflicts can arise. The policy notes that "the mere existence" of a possible conflict does not mean that an individual has to stop doing something, but "In the event that a conflict exists or will exist, the immediate supervisor and the member will agree on a course of action to monitor or avoid the conflict."

Existing sections of the policy mention such things as research contracts with companies in which a faculty or staff member has a financial interest; "accepting significant gifts or special favors"; "unreasonably delaying publication of research results"; and spending too much time on external consulting.

The new section, which comes to senate for a vote tonight, warns of "teaching activities for remuneration outside the University, other than occasional lectures, workshops or seminars".

This background information is provided in the senate agenda:

Last Spring the Faculty Relations Committee devoted several meetings to discussing potential difficulties when full-time UW employees undertake paid teaching activities for other institutions. This discussion was triggered by the fact that some universities are actively recruiting faculty members from other universities to prepare web-based courses for them. Other factors are the provincial government's decisions to allow Community Colleges to grant applied degrees and to approve private universities in Ontario, and anticipated enrolment growth and faculty shortages over the next few years. All of these may act to increase the demand for full-time UW faculty and staff to take on paid teaching duties outside UW.

The Faculty Relations Committee concluded that paid teaching activity outside UW may constitute a conflict of interest under Policy 69, and has approved the addition of a "bullet" to the policy to make this clear. Subsequently, this change was discussed and approved by the Staff Relations Committee.

As Policy 69 indicates, the mere existence of a conflict or a potential conflict does not necessarily mean that the activity should not occur. However, before undertaking paid outside teaching activities (including the preparation of web-based or other teaching materials for an external organization), the faculty or staff member must disclose details of the proposed teaching activity to her/his supervisor and obtain approval. A negative decision may be appealed through the normal administrative channels up to and including the Vice-President Academic & Provost.

Each such instance will need to be judged on its own merits. As a general rule, approval will not be given if the activity is seen to be in direct competition with similar teaching activities at the University of Waterloo. Normally, for approval to be given, the activity should be temporary, should not interfere with the faculty or staff member's UW duties, and should not compete with courses or programs offered by UW.

Today's senate meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001. Other agenda items include reports on enrolment plans and -- as requested by senate members at an earlier meeting -- class sizes.


Warriors 27, McGill 25

Submarine reached past 500 feet

The great submarine sandwich project was a success, and Waterloo can expect Guinness Book of World Records immortality.

"Our four judges confirm that we have unofficially built the world's longest sandwich," says Mark Murdoch, director of food services, for whom the giant sub has been an all-consuming ambition this fall. The oven failed him on the first attempt, during orientation week, but Saturday's Oktoberfest sub was all that he could have hoped for.

Says Murdoch: "A team of land surveyors used a laser range finder to map and measure the monster at 502 feet 6 and one-half inches." (That works out to 153.175 meters, by my calculation.)

He says the baking team started mixing dough at 4 a.m. Saturday, and the dough went into the oven at 4:30. "Feet zero through fifty were lit at 6:30, last dough mixed at 6:45, last dough in the oven at 7:30, baking complete at 10:01. Due to very warm overnight temperatures we were able to proof the dough in only two hours, only half of the time planned for. Additionally, the fast hands of the bakery crew, Paul Gatke, head baker, and bakers Don Henderson and Gary Aitman, had the dough in the oven one hour ahead of schedule. That reduced the completion time from 1:00 p.m. to 10:01 a.m. The survey crew and judges arrived at 2:00 and complete the required measurements and observations. Uncle Hans dropped by for a photo op at around 2:30. At 3:00 p.m. the sausage sauerkraut and mustard were delivered (hot) and a team of twenty had the entire length filled in about 20 minutes.

"At 3:30 the crowd on hand began to devour the sandwich." An hour later, the 500-foot snack was history, and work began on dismantling the custom-built oven.

Says Murdoch: "We now need to complete documentation for Guinness and attach statements, video, photos, etc and courier it to England for verification and hopefully the award."

Convocation will be on the web

"An exciting new addition" will be part of UW's fall convocation this Saturday, potentially bringing the morning and afternoon ceremonies to fans all over the world.

"I've decided to offer a live web broadcast of the ceremonies," says Charlene Schumm, assistant registrar (scheduling), who's largely responsible for staging convocation. "Space and therefore guests are limited," says Schumm, and a webcast is "a way of providing all our graduates' friends and family members with the opportunity to witness the graduation."

She said planning for a webcast has been "a long and involved process", with the technical work being done by the audio-visual centre and the department of information systems and technology (IST). Things didn't fall into place in time for the webcast to be announced in information that was mailed to this week's graduates, but as of late last week, "I understand that it's a go!"

The audio-visual centre will have two cameras in the Physical Activities Complex main gym -- "one to record the students as they walk onto the stage and, are hooded and the other to record them as they receive their diplomas", Schumm said. A-V is also providing staff members and "a reality card on our editing suite that allows digitization, compression and streaming capabilities", added Dominik Gratzer, UW's audio-visual director.

A feed from the cameras will go to the distance education web server, which will make it available to the world, he added. "This is a team effort by the registrar, audio-visual and distance ed . . . our first attempt, and we're hoping everything goes well."

Convocation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday for applied health sciences and arts, and at 2 p.m. for engineering, environmental studies, independent studies, mathematics and science.

More than half way

The on-campus United Way drive was more than half way to its goal at the end of last week, half way through the two-week campaign period.

The United Way office reports $76,358 in gifts and pledges from a total of 315 donors. Target for the campaign is $142,000.

In addition, several hundred dollars has come in from special events, and more is expected. The chemistry and earth sciences departments, for instance, have launched a penny drive. "Our goal is to collect 1,000 moles of copper," a memo says, and at 63.55 grams per mole, that would be rather more than 27,000 pennies. Coppers can be sent or brought to Chemistry Stores in the ESC building.

Just another manic Monday

Repair work is to start today on the University Avenue overpass, which will be out of operation for about a month. As the job begins, there will be a detour for University Avenue traffic. Today and tomorrow, from about 9 to 6, the eastbound lanes will be closed between Seagram Drive (the campus entrance) and the plaza; Wednesday and Thursday, the westbound lanes will be closed, same hours, same area.

The pensions and benefits committee is meeting this morning (started at 8:30 in Needles Hall room 3004), presumably to continue its difficult discussions of proposed changes to the health and dental benefit plans.

The physics department presents a talk today by F. Markoupoulou of the Max-Planck-Institut in Potsdam: "Models of Quantum Spacetime", at 3:30 p.m. in Physics room 308.

The second presentation of a workshop on "Teaching Dossiers, Part 1" is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon in Carl Pollock Hall room 3386. Sponsored by the teaching resources and continuing education office, it's facilitated by Kelly Pryde and Gary Griffin of TRACE: "You will learn what a dossier is and how you can use one. You will also learn about the steps you can take to create your own dossier. . . . The workshop is open to anyone who teaches at UW."

Away from UW . . . something called Student Fairs 2000 comes to Toronto today and tomorrow, with exhibits and representatives from a number of out-of-province colleges and universities on hand to talk to future students. The fair is being held in the atrium of the CBC building on Front Street West.

And with word about an opportunity for lunch tomorrow, here's Jason MacIntyre of UW's retail services department:

The Computer Store kicks off its "Fall Lunch Series" events Tuesday with an IBM-sponsored lunch. We've invited several of our key vendors to come on campus to demonstrate their newest products to UW faculty and staff. Those who attend can expect to be treated to a free lunch, in-depth presentations about some of the best new technology products on the market, and an opportunity to speak directly with technology industry representatives. IBM's talk will be held in the Davis Centre room 1304, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17.
MacIntyre adds that printed invitations with a list of a month's worth of lunchtime speakers are on their way across campus.

The coming weeks will be busy

Here's a quick list of major UW events that will be here before we know it and gone before we appreciate them: Last day of classes for the fall term will be Monday, December 4. Last working day of the year is Friday, December 22, and the first working day of 2001 is Tuesday, January 2.


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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Copyright © 2000 University of Waterloo