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Monday, January 28, 2002

  • 'Why UW shall grow': Chakma's answer
  • Grad returns to read from her work
  • How student became marketing manager
  • Monday, Monday, and onwards from there
Chris Redmond

On the web: news for the soul

[Dribbling chocolate sauce]

Funny things happen when you get involved in a Scunt (from "scavenger hunt"), which is what happened to teams of engineering students and other competitors from Friday through Saturday. I don't have a full explanation of how he came to be lying on his back in this condition, or whether that really was chocolate sauce, but let's hope. Avi Caplan took the photo, and reports that a team representing 1B software engineering won the Scunt, which was operated under the title Scunt Wars. "As the tradition of Scunt goes," he adds, "they will be organizing and running the event next term they're on campus, in the fall."

'Why UW shall grow': Chakma's answer

A memo from UW provost Amit Chakma, distributed to members of UW senate last week and placed on the agenda for a joint meeting tomorrow of the finance and long-range planning committees, faces the question squarely: "Why UW shall grow?"

The memo doesn't leave much doubt. "Either grow or shrink," says Chakma, adding that UW's top management has opted for growth. He gives three reasons:

And he adds: "Even with these measures in place, budget cuts are not precluded. If we decide against growth, apart from not responding to the societal requirements, UW will face greater budget cuts of at least 4% per year for the next several years. On an annual basis, this translated roughly into cutting $5 million from the operating budget or eliminating more than 50 faculty positions. Given the current circumstances the status quo cannot be sustained. The choice for UW is clear, either grow or continue to shrink."

The provost goes on: "Deans' Council and Executive Council have appropriately examined choices available to UW and have decided that UW shall grow. They have also decided that growth must be carefully managed and that any growth plan must meet the dual test of quality and affordability. Planning is occurring at two levels. Faculties are determining academic growth plans in their respective areas and a task force, chaired by Associate Provost Garry Waller, is reviewing various administrative and logistics aspects.

"Growth does not occur without stress and that stress becomes more serious when it occurs under budgetary constraints. We know we have various issues to deal with and numerous challenges to overcome, but we are addressing them in a systematic manner. And we believe the positive outcomes amply justify the effort."

The rest of the memo touches on various things UW will have to worry about to make enrolment growth possible. First on the list is the availability of faculty members: "Proposed expansion plans submitted by the faculties deal with this issue. In many cases, new faculty members will be recruited. Revenues generated by program expansion and enrollment growth will be allocated to all faculties to fund new faculty and staff positions."

Another issue is physical space: "All enrollment growth proposals from various faculties are subject to space availability. The construction projects underway will add nearly 300,000 sq.ft. to our space inventory and should, in conjunction with other construction contemplated, provide enough capacity to accommodate the proposed enrollment growth when combined with other measures such as Late evening and weekend classes, Early Spring admissions in select programs, Careful review of existing space use to ensure we adjust our physical form to changing functions."

The memo goes on to mention residence space, teaching assistants, student services, and co-op jobs.

At the senate meeting last week, Chakma quoted "rough numbers" for possible enrolment growth. He said officials are looking at taking in 540 more first-year students each year, bringing the total from 4,500 to 5,100. The tentative breakdown: 160 in arts, 50 in AHS, 50 in environmental studies, 100 in engineering, 100 in mathematics and 80 in science.

Grad returns to read from her work

Fiction writer Sandra Sabatini will give a reading tonight at 7:30 in the St. Jerome's University common room. The evening will include a short on-stage interview with Sabatini about the writing of her book. Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts, the reading is free and open to the public.

Says a news release from St. Jerome's: "Sabatini is a gifted writer whose work explores the nature of faith, loss, hope, and the grace we all need to remain upright. The One With the News looks at the ravaging effects of Alzheimer's disease and our own amazing ability to laugh until we cry. Told from the point of view of family members and professional caregivers, and even from the Alzheimer's sufferer himself, this collection invites the reader into a world at once strangely dislocated and uniquely funny."

The title story was short-listed for the Journey Prize, which goes to the best fiction published each year in a Canadian magazine. The closing story, "Gifts from the Well-Intentioned," which is worked around an article by John Bayley about his wife Iris Murdoch, the English novelist who also suffered from Alzheimer's, won both the UW Creative Writing Award and the Tom Wolf Memorial Short Story Competition, and the book itself was short-listed for the Upper Canada Brewery Writers' Craft Award, the news release notes.

Sabatini is a recent graduate of the PhD program in English at UW and has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Guelph, where she currently teaches.

The news release ends with two excerpts from what critics say about The One With the News: "With a meandering, circling, returning narrative, like the movement of an ailing mind trying to hang on to doomed memories, Sandra Sabatini deftly traces the life of a family whose husband/father suffers from Alzheimer's disease . . . a heartfelt debut." (Steven Heighton, author of The Shadow Boxer) "Sandra Sabatini can be poignant in the service of comedy and comic in the face of tragedy. Her characters are believable but not predictable in either their ordinariness or their eccentricity, and her sympathy, like her talent, is large." (Kim Jernigan of UW's New Quarterly)

How student became marketing manager -- by Jessica Jones, from a co-op department newsletter for employers

[Bare chest, WWF logo]

Aneil (centre) hanging out with Mike Bullard (back) and wrestlers Christian (right) and Edge (left) at the SkyDome taping of the WWF "Raw is War" pay-per-view event.

Thinking of inviting your current student back for another term? It could reduce recruiting costs, but what other benefits might there be? Science and Business student Aneil Gokhale returned to his co-op employer, Bell Expressvu Satellite Television, for four terms (a total of 16 months). The knowledge and experience he acquired enabled him to take on a more significant role each time he returned. Last term, Aneil was appointed Marketing Manager for the Expressvu pay-per-view service. Not bad for a co-op student!

Aneil took charge of marketing and advertising the pay-per-view line of services, including the movies, special events, and sports packages. He developed the campaigns and promotions, approved publications, obtained licensing from big names like Disney and Alliance Atlantis, and even filmed a commercial! All the aspects of his glamorous job were, "really fun and really cool. It's a sexy industry," he says.

A major highlight for Aneil was working on the hockey season package; 'NHL Centre Ice' is Expressvu's most popular pay-per-view product. Subscribers buy a ticket to the entire season, totalling more than 1000 games. (That's a lot of hockey!) When the play-offs wrapped up, Aneil analyzed the customer information to develop a marketing plan. He then made a two hour presentation of the plan in the boardroom of the NHL, housing four Vice Presidents and five Directors from both Bell and the NHL!

Now, this kind of responsibility isn't commonly handed over to a co-op student, but, besides constantly exceeding Bell's expectations, Aneil credits returning to his employer for allowing him to reach this level. "I started back leaps and bounds ahead of where I would be anywhere else. I knew the product. I knew the team. They didn't have to teach someone new." It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, Aneil explains. His supervisor, Director Christine Robertson, agrees: "Aneil was able to take on more challenging projects. The learning curve was shortened considerably. This not only made my job easier, but allowed him to be more productive and accomplish greater things." Satisfaction all around -- a great example of how a student's return can benefit everyone.

Staff training programs

The winter Get Up & Grow brochure about staff training opportunities will be mailed out to staff members any day now, says Carolyn Vincent in the human resources department. "I just wanted to let you know the programs that will be offered this time around: Leadership 2000, Who Moved My Cheese?, True Colors, Maximum Achievement, and Coaching: Bringing Out the Best in Others.

"The Coaching session is a new program. Effective coaching aims to maximize the performance of everyone associated with an organization. This session is designed to show you how to apply coaching skills in the workplace to help you motivate, guide, and support one another in working toward -- and achieving -- top performance. You will learn to recognize daily opportunities to coach people you work with and develop coaching skills needed to bring out the best in everyone."

Monday, Monday, and onwards from there

Today's the first day of job interviews for co-op students planning to go out on work term from May to August. This "initial phase" of interviews continues through February 15.

A representative of the local immigration services office will give a presentation this afternoon for international students interested in applying for permanent resident status in Canada. "There have been many changes recently to the application procedure," says a memo from the international student office. The briefing runs from 1:30 to 3:00 today in Davis Centre room 1302.

The Muslim Students for Universal Justice group has an event tonight with a provocative title: "America vs. Islam", with the subtitle "The quest for peaceful co-existence or the new crusade war? and in focus, the case of Abdul-Hameed John Walker vs. the USA". Says MSUJ president Abu Obeida Bakhach: "While the title might seem controversial, we tried to portray it as actually three related topics that the media enjoys debating." Those who want more such debate can get it tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in Math and Computer room 2066.

Tonight brings optometry admission information night, for students thinking of entering that professional field. The meeting starts at 7:00 in Optometry room 347.

And . . . two of the campus's elevators are out of commission starting this morning. In the Humanities building it's a short-term project, and the elevator should be running again by Thursday. In the Optometry building, the projected down-time is three weeks.



January 28, 1994: UW is closed because of an overnight ice storm.

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