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Thursday, January 24, 2002

  • What it means to be 'qualified'
  • Some corrections and clarifications
  • Art gallery doubles attendance
  • Thursday is the busiest day
Chris Redmond

Today in history: gold in California

[On the lawn of Biology II]

Little darling, the ice is slowly melting. Here comes the sun -- well, above-freezing temperatures anyway, as a temperate winter continues. The snowpeople on the lawn of Biology II were dripping away yesterday when photographer Barb Elve happened by.

What it means to be 'qualified'

If you don't meet the qualifications, you don't have to be considered for the job -- that's a new "interpretation" of UW's Policy 18 on staff hiring, as approved by the staff relations committee.

Neil Murray of the human resources department explains: "The committee looked at the policy last year to see if, in general, it was still in step with the times. SRC ended up focusing on the concept of minimum qualifications -- how it has been applied historically and whether it was still appropriate.

"HR received feedback from some senior managers, and the staff association received discussions with staff (including their town hall meeting in the fall). Discussion in committee continued over a period of a few months in the fall and concluded in December with a recommendation that the current language remain unchanged but the interpretation be revised in that applicants to open positions must meet all the advertised requirements in order to be 'minimally qualified'.

"Therefore, an applicant who does not meet all of the advertised requirements is not 'minimally qualified' and a manager has no obligation to interview.

"The committee also recommended that HR continue to work closely with hiring managers to ensure that advertised qualifications are specific and appropriate to the position."

Ontario says no to Queen's

The Ontario government has told Queen's University that it will not be allowed to set its own tuition fees, the Star reports this morning.

Some corrections and clarifications

I said in Tuesday's Daily Bulletin that the board of governors executive committee would be meeting that day. It didn't, and Tracy Dietrich of the university secretariat explains why: "At its most recent meeting, the Board agreed to set aside meetings of the Board Executive Committee for one year and vest the agenda preparation responsibility with the Chair, Vice-Chair, President and Secretary. In October 2002, the procedure will be reviewed and a decision taken at that point on how to proceed. If there is a need to convene BEC, either with respect to agenda or for some other matter, that will be done. . . . Rarely has the BEC seen the need to adjust either the agenda or ask for revisions to the reports. As a consequence, these regular meetings are now very brief and the question was raised whether such meetings are a necessary and productive use of Governors' time."

Also on Tuesday, I wrote that as far as I could tell, all the student representatives, both undergraduate and graduate, had voted against the "statement of purpose" about student financial aid at Monday evening's senate meeting. Sabesh Kanagalingam, president of the Graduate Student Association, asks me to correct that statement: "I would like to clarify," he writes, "that I abstained from voting."

And I wrote that there are five positions up for grabs in the coming Federation of Students election. In fact there are four, as I'm reminded by Brenda Beatty, currently vice-president (student issues): president, VP (SI), VP (administration and finance, and VP (education).

And -- Tuesday must have been a bad day -- I wrote that a recent change in the staff performance evaluation form had been instigated by the staff relations committee. In fact, it came from the provost's advisory committee on staff compensation, which also brings staff leaders and administration together but which isn't the same body as the SRC.

Next, Glenn Ward of the health studies department writes about Tuesday's report of an "information literacy" project in which he's involved along with Yulerette Gordon of the UW library. "While I appreciate being mentioned as a major participant in the pilot project," he says, "I should point out that I played a very small role in the actual grading of the project. Yulerette did much of the work and was assisted by my very capable teaching assistants Gillian Flynn (Health Studies graduate student) and Harshna Patel (4th year undergraduate student in Health Studies), who did the painstaking job of grading the assignments."

Not from Tuesday, but from January 16: there may have been some confusion when I listed the members of the Keystone Fund campaign council and noted that some of them are chairing working groups for the Fund. Bonnie Oberle in the development office, who does the paperwork for such things, asks me to make clear that there will be five people leading four working groups: communications (Tina Roberts of the undergraduate student recruitment office), sponsorship (Tom Galloway of plant operations), volunteers (Nancy Heide of information and public affairs), and launch and annual events (Pat Cunningham of mathematics and Wendy Rose of development and alumni affairs). Says Oberle: "All five of the chairs/co-chairs are recruiting volunteers for their working groups this month."

Art gallery doubles attendance -- from this week's Gazette

The UW art gallery managed to double the number of visitors last year from the previous year despite an ongoing budget crunch. In its annual report for 2000-2001, gallery director/curator Carol Podedworny reports that efforts to raise the visibility of galleries in both Modern Languages and East Campus Hall have contributed to the increase in attendance.

During the past year, the profile of the galleries has been raised, says Podedworny, through the installation of signage at Phillip Street and University Avenue (provided by the Region of Waterloo), the distribution of media press kits, improvements to the web site, additions to the mailing list, and revival of the advisory committee.

As well, in the past two years, she adds, the gallery has "been able to increase its commitment to student participation; increase its visibility on campus and in the region; increase its exhibition, events and publication programming; and develop a promotional strategy."

Artist Dave Hind, whose works are currently on display in the gallery in East Campus Hall, will give a performance there from 5 to 7 p.m. today.
Although the galleries continue to operate on an annual budget of $21,745, which remains unchanged since 1997, a number of "cost-containment efforts" have been adopted to maximize resources. Among those:

Costs of cross-disciplinary exhibitions in the Modern Languages Gallery, featuring works from various departments across campus, are shared by or paid entirely by exhibiting departments. Exhibitions in the East Campus Hall Gallery have included those co-produced with other "nationally recognized galleries" which help share production costs. Exhibitions produced by the UW Gallery are loaned to other galleries for a fee. Two donations totalling $7,500 covered the costs of framing 39 works on paper from the university's permanent collection. Ontario Arts Council grants of $7,500 assisted with the production of two exhibition catalogues. Six work-study positions were created for students at the galleries through UW Student Awards.

Other future options being explored to reduce costs include rental of gallery space to local cultural organizations, and a collaboration with St. Jerome's University. The UW gallery plans to produce a series of exhibitions of works of contemporary Canadian art donated to St. Jerome's by an alumnus.

Despite belt-tightening efforts, however, the state of the permanent collection remains a grave concern for the gallery, says Podedworny. There is currently no money in the budget to cover the costs of providing adequate storage space with environmental controls, conservation, matting and framing, or documentation of some 600 works in the permanent collection, valued at about $700,000.

The gallery also needs improved signage, she adds, including directional signs on campus for both galleries, a sign on the exterior of East Campus Hall, and a sign in the Modern Languages building.

In a strategic plan prepared last fall by members of the gallery's advisory committee, the need for an increase in the budget, as well as funds for the completion of renovations to the East Campus Hall space were highlighted. The advisory committee also identified a number of future directions for the Gallery, including the development of a newsletter, a membership program, and increased participation by departments across campus in the exhibitions and programs provided by the gallery.

Expert discusses spy world

A leading Canadian expert on intelligence and security will deliver a public lecture on the spy world tonight at 7:00 in the Humanities Theatre. Admission is free.

Wesley Wark, a historian at the University of Toronto, is the speaker. His talk, "Unmasking the Spy World: The Future of Cloak and Dagger", is part of the student-created "2020: Building the Future" distinguished lecturer series.

A consultant to the Privy Council Office of Canada on intelligence policy, Wark is also a fellow of Trinity College and an associate of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. He has published numerous books and articles on Canadian and international intelligence and security issues. He is the past-president of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (1998-2000) and organized the association's September 2000 conference held in Ottawa on the "Future of Intelligence."

Wark is co-editor of the London-based journal Intelligence and National Security and editor in chief of the forthcoming Oxford University Press encyclopedia, The Companion to Modern Espionage.

Thursday is the busiest day

Continuing in the Davis Centre today is the fourth-year design project symposium, involving students from electrical and computer engineering. Also continuing today, and tomorrow as well, in the Student Life Centre, is a blood donor clinic (call 1-888-2DONATE for information).

Across campus in South Campus Hall, the bookstore is holding a "Make Us an Offer" sale in the concourse. I walked through yesterday and saw dozens of people with gleaming eyes, scanning hundreds of books on topics from gay life to the history of architecture. The event continues through Friday.

Not everybody knows that little people as well as big ones attend this university. But life is lively at the Early Childhood Education Centre in the psychology department -- and especially so today. A "Handful of Bubbles puppet show", about the hot topic of hand-washing, comes to the centre for morning and afternoon performances, thanks to the Waterloo Region community health department.

And speaking of Waterloo Region: the transportation planning division will hold an open house today to discuss plans for the construction of Ira Needles Boulevard, a long-awaited road named after one of UW's founders. It's to run along the west side of Waterloo and a bit of Kitchener, parallel to Fischer-Hallman Road and incorporating what's now West Hill Boulevard. Today's open house will run from 4 to 8 p.m. at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School on University Avenue West.

Tonight is math pub night from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at (I'm pretty sure) the Bombshelter. There will be live music by Red Pepper Fetish, DJed music by Phat Albert, and "limited free snacks", not to mention a limbo contest.

Dereck Revington of the school of architecture speaks under the title "Skin of Light", tonight at 7:00 in Environmental Studies room 280, as the architecture lecture series "24 Academic Positions" continues.


January 24, 1992: Provost Alan George asks staff and faculty members to agree to a one-year pay freeze because of a government squeeze on university funding.

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