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Friday, April 2, 2004

  • Staff nominations start arriving
  • Faculty association meets today
  • On the very last day of classes
Chris Redmond

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

[Legault at desk]

Jocelyne Legault of the earth sciences department retired March 1. A specialist in paleontology, she joined UW's faculty in 1976, and served terms as chair of the earth sciences department and as "advisor on interdisciplinary programs" to the vice-president (academic).

Staff nominations start arriving

The nominations are arriving for UW's first Special Recognition Awards for staff, which are to be given out this fall. Students, faculty members and staff colleagues are all taking the opportunity to make nominations, says Trenny Canning in the university secretariat, who handles the paperwork.

The awards, announced last fall, carry a $1,000 prize, and as many as 250 of them are to be given this year, using funds set aside for "recognition" as part of the annual staff salary package. Everybody at UW can submit nominations.

"Have staff gone out of their way to help you?" the brochure for the program asks. "Then nominate them." A nomination form is available online or in paper form.

Says the brochure: "The Special Recognition Awards have been created to recognize staff membersą dedication, hard work and continued commitment to excellence in the performance of their jobs. These are staff members who come to work each day committed to making UW a better place. Contributions are made in a variety of ways and through a wide diversity of jobs at UW.

"Because of this diversity and because some jobs do not lend themselves to the spotlight as well as others, staff, faculty, students and others are encouraged to seek out those dedicated and committed staff who may not always have the opportunity for special projects or highly visible successes. This does not mean that the awards are for that group exclusively -- only that they should reflect the true nature of all UW staff in their breadth and scope."

Later, it adds that the criterion for the award is "staff who make UW a great place to work every day by consistently demonstrating the use of the Basic Principles for the UW Workplace" -- a list of five do's also used in the "Leadership for Results" staff training program. These are the principles:

The awards aren't related to job performance as reflected in annual reviews and ratings.

More from the brochure: "All University Support Staff (i.e., regular on-going full- or part-time staff members regardless of position funding source) are eligible for the awards, except members of Executive Council and, for 2004, members of the Staff Compensation Committee. USG grade level and position in the salary range are not factors. Temporary and casual earnings staff, CUPE Local 793 staff and staff from the Federated University & Affiliated Colleges are not eligible. Awards are made on an individual basis (i.e., no team or group awards) and award recipients will not be eligible for another award until two salary years have elapsed."

The nomination deadline is June 30, and this year's awards will be made in November.

Faculty association meets today

The UW faculty association holds its annual general meeting this afternoon, with an agenda that includes a one-year reduction in association fees -- from 4.75 "mils" (cents per $10 of salary) to 3 mils.

Reason: the association is in such good financial shape that its accumulated surplus is making the auditor uncomfortable, according to a report from association treasurer Metin Renksizbulut. "This rather large surplus," he writes, "has been due to a significant increase in the membership fees collected (more faculty and larger salaries)."

Today's meeting starts at 1 p.m. in Math and Computer room 2017.

Among other items on the agenda will be the results of the annual elections, and an annual report from association president Catherine Schryer; words from Len Guelke, chair of the academic freedom and tenure committee; and reports from other committee chairs.

The agenda for today's meeting includes the minutes of the last general meeting, held in December. Some brief excerpts from those minutes:

"Since the introduction of Policies 76 and 77, there have been several situations in which tenure candidates have been approved at the Department and Faculty level but not at the University level. The importance of teaching is being stressed and candidates are advised to listen to any red flags the Chair mentions, clear up issues in writing, and have a teaching dossier that includes more than just teaching evaluations. . . .

"The issue of salary anomalies is a concern at all universities and is worse at some other institutions than at UW. High salaries must be offered to attract top people, but that creates problems at the lower end of the salary scale. The anomalies fund provided for in the Memorandum of Agreement sets aside 5% of the annual merit pool; this amounts to about $100,000, which is not a lot of money to fix problems across campus. . . .

"There is a real interest in trying to correct some of the inequities facing sessionals but sessionals do not attend meetings organized to discuss their situation."

Graduate student research conference winds up with panel discussion on "Interdisciplinary Communication", 9:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Centre for International Governance Innovation noon talk, "Why Are More American Men Working Longer Hours?" Peter Kuhn, U of California, Santa Barbara. Friday 11:45, 57 Erb Street West.

English Language Proficiency Exam, 7 p.m., Physical Activities Complex.

'Women and Worship'. St. Jerome's University lecture, Sister Miriam Martin, Saint Paul University, Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall.

Arts Student Union Graduation Ball, Friday evening, Waterloo Inn, information from ASU office.

Alumni career workshop, Saturday, Tatham Centre, fully booked.

'If It Rained Knowledge' philosophy lecture series, Russell Hardin, New York University, Monday-Thursday 1:30 and Tuesday 7 p.m., Humanities room 373.

[Turn Off the Stars at the Bomber tonight]

On the very last day of classes

Arts, science, environmental studies and applied health sciences wind up the winter term class schedule today; engineering and math finished earlier in the week. Winter term exams start Monday and run through April 22 (with a break on Good Friday, April 9). And the spring term will be here momentarily. Online "appointments" for students to choose spring undergraduate courses end this weekend, and "open enrolment" through Quest begins Monday. For the fall term, enrolment appointments will start June 7.

Where there's asphalt, there's a parking issue -- hence this message from Tom Galloway of UW's plant operations department: "Hagey Boulevard servicing the North Campus is a City of Waterloo street and City of Waterloo Council has just amended their Traffic Control Bylaw to prohibit parking anywhere on Hagey Blvd. No Parking signs have started to be installed and should be completed this week. Warning notices will be posted on vehicle windshields next week and the following week regular ticket enforcement will ensue by City Bylaw Enforcement staff." He adds that the South Service Road, reaching into the north campus from Columbia Street just above the lakeshore, "is a UW street and no parking is permitted as per the normal UW policy. UW Police will enforce this matter if required."

A good-sized delegation from UW attended this year's conference of the PeopleSoft Higher Education Users Group -- staff from some 700 universities that use PeopleSoft systems in their administration. The 2004 conference, held in Atlanta last month, offered more than 400 sessions. The weekly "professional development seminar" for UW computing support staff, being held first thing this morning, will include reports on highlights of the conference from Melissa Conrad, Derek Kirkland, Rahul Racharia and Dave Kibble of information systems and technology; Dorothy Chapman, Joanne Voisin and Kelly Wilker-Draves of the registrar's office; and Neil Murray of human resources.

The Information Systems and Technology department (IST) is offering computing courses in April to UW faculty, staff and students. The following courses are being offered for students: Web Management Using Dreamweaver MX, Using and Managing a Linux Workstation. The following courses are part of the Skills for the Academic e-Workplace program, and are offered to faculty, grad students, and staff with instructional responsibilities: Concept Mapping with CMap, Advanced SAS Programming, Hybrid Parallel Programming, Lecturing with PowerPoint, MATLAB Graphical (GUI) Programming. Information about the courses, along with a registration form, can be found on the web.


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