[University of Waterloo]


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Thursday, December 18, 2003

  • A new list of UW's buildings
  • Donors support MBET scholarships
  • Budget talk, and other notes
Chris Redmond

Countdown to Christmas

  • Deficit statement from Ontario finance minister
  • 'Pre Bomber Show' has interviews with Big Sugar, other musicians, and hockey stars
  • $105 million gift to McMaster medical school
  • Columbia Street, 'one of Ontario's worst roads'
  • Ontario will give auditor power to look at universities
  • The music downloading issue in Canada (Post)
  • Let's Hear It for Internet Plagiarism
  • The stress that twentysomethings experience (Star)
  • Inspiration: From Concept to Commercialization (Communitech)
  • WLU launches criminology program in Brantford
  • [Carty]

    Arthur Carty, former UW chemistry professor and dean of research, and currently president of the National Research Council of Canada, will take on a new job early in 2004. He'll become "national science advisor", a position that hasn't existed for three decades. New prime minister Paul Martin announced the appointment last week, along with his new cabinet. Lucienne Robillard of Montréal becomes minister of industry, heading the department with the biggest role in funding research and innovation, and Joe Fontana of London becomes parliamentary secretary responsible for science and small business.

    A new list of UW's buildings

    I played a small role last week in getting an updated list of UW's buildings posted on the web, where it's available to help answer questions like, "What year was the Modern Languages building built?" and "Which is bigger, Humanities or Psychology?"

    Answers: 1962 and Psychology, respectively. As for the list, if you can't remember the URL, you can always find it by searching on keyword "Buildings" from the UW home page.

    Building statistics were provided by the plant operations department, and I reviewed the public names of the buildings with the help of Nancy Heide, one of my colleagues in the communications and public affairs department. It's partly a matter of taste whether to say "Dana Porter Library" or "Dana Porter Arts Library", for example, so we made a choice, and checked that we had the right middle initials on some buildings that have middle initials.

    The list includes square footage (and the equivalent in square metres), adding up to almost 531,000 square metres, or 131 acres of floor space.

    It includes the main campus buildings, from the Doug Wright Engineering Building (1958) to the Centre for Environment and Information Technology (2003), and more besides. The list shows the church colleges; various kiosks, sheds, utility vaults and pedestrian tunnels; houses on the north campus; and even three buildings on the property near Aberfoyle, south of Guelph, that UW owns as a research site.

    The biggest building at UW? That would be UW Place, more than half a million square feet. Or, if you consider UW Place to be several separate buildings, and the same for the Villages, then it's the Davis Centre, just nudging out Math and Computer. The oldest building? The Brubacher House, dating from 1846, far ahead of the Graduate House (1925).

    Donors support MBET scholarships -- from the 2002-03 UW donor report

    The first students in Waterloo's one-year Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) program hit the books this past September. They are a varied group, some with the ink still fresh on their undergrad degrees, and others returning to school after years of experience in business or industry.

    What these students have in common is that they are either entrepreneurs -- people wanting to start their own businesses -- or intrapreneurs -- people already working in organizations who want to make their companies more innovative.

    MBET is a full-cost-recovery program, with tuition fees of $20,000, so it's important for the program to provide scholarships to attract the best students, regardless of their financial means. To meet this need, the program has established a number of prestigious scholarships for outstanding students.

    [Arora] "The MBET program addresses the need to promote, foster, and nurture innovation and entrepreneurship in Canadian business," says Upkar Arora (left), a graduate of the first class of the School of Accountancy in 1985, who contributed $10,000 for an MBET scholarship.

    "I have been fortunate to benefit from the University's pioneering spirit when it established Canada's first and foremost professional school of accountancy in 1982 and the generosity of those who supported that school in its fledgling days," says Arora. "The MBET scholarship provides graduates with that same opportunity -- to develop an outstanding foundation from which to build successful careers, which will impact business and the communities in which they operate."

    Arora, who is co-founder and partner of Illumina Partners Inc., a company focused on acquiring, restructuring, and building small- to medium-sized businesses in Canada, was also part of the interview process for the first MBET candidates.

    "I believe investment in innovation and entrepreneurship will be the cornerstone of a vibrant and flourishing Canadian economy and will enhance Canada's competitive position on the world stage," says Arora.

    Several other individuals, foundations, and corporations are providing scholarship assistance to MBET students. The program is also indebted to Ted Cross, Ross and Doris Dixon, CMA Ontario, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hubert Saint-Onge, the Gamble family, Tim Jackson, and a number of donors who wish to remain anonymous.

    The MBET program is offered through the University's new Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CBET). Structured differently from typical MBA programs, its goal is to produce leaders who can transform ideas and innovations into commercially viable products and services, and build the businesses of tomorrow.

    Student presentations on this term's work in Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

    Registrar's office closed 11:45 to 2:00 today.

    UWone gradebook, workshop from LT3, 1 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

    Joint health and safety committee, 1:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

    Computer Help and Information Place closes early today, at 3 p.m.

    "Libraries and Instructional Technology", LT3 workshop by Raymond Yee of the California Digital Library, 11 a.m. Friday, Flex Lab.

    Fall term exams end tomorrow.

    Budget talk, and other notes

    Among the topics touched on at Monday's meeting of the UW senate was the state of UW's finances, as provost Amit Chakma noted that total revenue to the university is up by $38 million this year from last year. (And yes, he and his colleagues found ways to spend it all.) "The current budget that we're going through is probably one of the best budgets we'll have had," the provost said, warning of more difficult times ahead. In the coming year, he said, "we may just be able to withstand the difficulties." Among the challenges: a government-imposed freeze on tuition fees, and uncertainty about the level of grants to make up for the money that won't be coming from students as a result.

    Chakma also told the senate that one of his, and UW's, priorities for this year is to review "resource allocation" within the university, with special attention to budgeting funds in a "strategic" way. Any changes will come "in a gradual manner", he said, but he expressed interest in "activity-based budgeting" ("in many ways we're doing it on an ad hoc basis"). He also said the deans have talked about setting up an "excellence fund" that would get 1 per cent of UW's annual revenue each year.

    On a third note, the provost said the workload of faculty and staff members continues to be a concern. He said UW has been moving in the right direction by adding people in both categories. Not only are the Canada Research Chairs (eventually 53 of them) additions to the faculty roster, but another 40 new tenure-track faculty positions are being funded from the provincial Quality Assurance Fund and other sources. At the same time, the provost said, 33 new staff members have been hired in the past year. "That doesn't mean that workload is disappearing," he observed, "but it means that we have 33 more colleagues to help us out."

    The November-December issue of the faculty association's Forum newsletter is just out, and includes a brief note from association president Catherine Schryer on faculty concerns about the PeopleSoft software system. The issue has been raised in the faculty relations committee, she reports: "Our position is that academic concerns must predominate and that a software system cannot overrule such concerns. We have secured ongoing updates on the system and promises that all academic units will be consulted on the implementation of the system."

    And . . . the library announces in its electronic newsletter that "The UW @ UW pilot project, initiated last spring to explore the feasibility of expanding the book and article retrieval service, has been extended to the end of the Winter 2004 term. This expansion of service allows UW faculty, graduate students, and staff to place holds on books in the UW and UW affiliated library collections and choose any of the eight on-campus library sites for pick-up (Dana Porter, Davis Centre, UMD, Optometry, Renison, Conrad Grebel, St. Jerome's, and TRACE); to request photocopies of journal articles from these collections and have them delivered to an on-campus address. Article requests are subject to copyright regulations. This service will continue to be free of charge and continue to offer a 3-work-day turnaround."


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