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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

  • Four more years for president
  • Board chair makes the announcement
  • All invited to the campaign launch
  • Annual contest: when will it be warm?
Chris Redmond

Shrove Tuesday


Four more years for president

David Johnston (left), fifth president of UW, will stay in office through June 2009, the university is announcing this morning after the senate and board of governors approved his reappointment last night.

Johnston, who took office in June 1999, will finish his original six-year term in the summer of 2005. His reappointment will be for four years, not the standard six-year term.

Reappointment comes on the advice of a presidential nominating committee that has been at work since last fall, under the terms of UW's Policy 50 on presidential appointments.

Its first job, according to the policy, was "to solicit, with the prior knowledge of the incumbent and by whatever means it may decide, the opinion of the University community as a whole with respect to the reappointment of the incumbent. If the incumbent is found to be generally acceptable, the committee shall then determine the incumbent's willingness to accept reappointment. If the incumbent indicates willingness to accept, the committee shall recommend reappointment."

A statement issued last night says that "The Committee consulted broadly, both internally with those groups that make up the university community, and externally with those knowledgeable. Based on those responses and their own assessment of the performance of the president, the committee determined there was extremely strong and widespread support, throughout the University as well as externally, for his reappointment."

The chair of the board of governors, Bob Harding, says in the statement that Johnston's "vision, energy and splendid leadership are fundamental to Waterloo's progress, particularly as we move to launch a most ambitious fund-raising campaign."

In a memo to the campus today -- quoted in full below -- Harding notes that Johnston's age was taken into consideration. Born in June 1941, Johnston will reach 65, normal UW retirement age, in 2006. He will give up his tenure as a professor when that happens, Harding's memo says. He'll be 68 by the time he ends his term as president.

Johnston is a graduate of Harvard, Cambridge and Queen's who taught law at Queen's and Toronto, then became dean of law at Western Ontario in 1974. He was principal of McGill University from 1979 to 1994. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and the author of a number of books mostly in the area of securities regulation and legal issues surrounding computing and communications. He has served on several national committees working on issues of cyber-access and "smart communities". He and his wife, Sharon, have five daughters and live on a farm near Heidelberg, north of Waterloo.


Bob Harding, chair of UW's board of governors (and chairman of Brascan Corp.)

Board chair makes the announcement

Here's the text of a memo being issued this morning by Bob Harding, chair of the UW board of governors:

"I am pleased to report that yesterday the Board of Governors approved Senate's recommendation that Professor David Johnston be reappointed President and Vice-Chancellor for a second term, from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2009.

"President Johnston's reappointment enjoys extremely strong and widespread support throughout the University community as well as in local, provincial and national constituencies. His exceptional leadership, energy and acumen are generously acknowledged and widely valued and inform his ambitious agenda to reinvigorate UW's entrepreneurial culture and innovative spirit.

"I am aware questions may arise concerning President Johnston's appointment beyond age 65. The momentum of our campaign culminating in 2007 with UW's 50th anniversary, the visionary strategic agenda which our community is looking to the President to realize, and the unequivocal support expressed by the UW community for his reappointment, all serve to inform the four-year reappointment and renewal of the presidential contract. As well as holding the office of president, Professor Johnston is a tenured professor; sensitive to mandatory retirement in place for faculty and staff, he has indicated his intent to relinquish his professorial tenure at age 65.

"I am delighted President Johnston is prepared to accept reappointment and am enthusiastic about continuing to work with him as Waterloo launches a bold fund-raising campaign and charts a course which will further distinguish an already-distinguished university."

All invited to the campaign launch

Invitations have gone to faculty and staff members across campus for the launch celebrations of Campaign Waterloo on Tuesday, March 23.

Students are welcome at the party too, says Annette Trudel of the development office, who's helping to plan the event -- scheduled for 11:30 to 1:00 that day in the Davis Centre great hall.

  • 'Premier set to break tuition pledge' (Star)
  • Planning for Tim Horton's in the Student Life Centre ('uwstudent.org')
  • Philosophy journal plans Ardeth Wood memorial issue
  • 'Quirks' of arts endowment fund referendum (Imprint)
  • Waterloo Region 'particularly competitive' for business
  • New federal government signals changes for universities' (Univ Affairs)
  • The Rise of the Creative Class (and its relevance for Canadian cities)
  • U of Guelph picks political scientist to be provost
  • What's this new web feature, RSS?
  • 'Pathways to College' for underserved groups
  • 'On the Consensual Campus': love and sex in this generation
  • Student groups react to possible college teachers' strike
  • Student learns lecturing technique under pressure
  • Would you take your clothes off for an A?
  • Film vs. digital: advice in first-year student newsletter
  • Life sciences industry faces challenges (Star)
  • Ottawa business wants to build 'global leaders'
  • Yukon College asking for more money
    Let's Make a Deal stop-smoking contest, registration today and tomorrow, Student Life Centre.

    Canadian Computing Competition written today by high school students across Canada, sponsored by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing.

    French studies information meeting for students considering a major or minor, 10:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 124.

    Certificate in University Teaching research presentations, 1 p.m., Math and Computer room 5158.

    Black History Month event: dance performance by Association of Caribbean Students, followed by hip-hop film, 6:00, Student Life Centre.

    Engineering Shadow Day for high school students tomorrow, details on the web.

    'Jazz Vibes', free concert at Conrad Grebel University College chapel, Wednesday 12:30.

    Smarter Health seminar, "From Data to Health Informatics", Jean-Marie Berthelot, Statistics Canada, Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

    'Oil Policies and the Future of Indigenous Territories in the Ecuadorean Amazon", Wednesday 4 p.m, Humanities room 373.

    Novelist Neil Bissoondath reads, Wednesday 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University, Sweeney Hall cafeteria.

    Hockey playoff first game, Warriors vs. Lakehead Thunderwolves, Wednesday 7:30, Columbia Icefield.

    'Tablet PCs in a Collaborative Instructional Environment", Thursday 9:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, information on the LT3 web site.

    Planning professor Laura Johnson, author about teleworking, speaks at Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Thursday 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1101, reservations ext. 7167.

    Teaching Dossiers workshop, chiefly for grad students in the Certificate in University Teaching program, Thursday 1:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

    After all, students are major donors to Campaign Waterloo, providing funds for the Columbia Icefield and Student Life Centre expansion, a graduate scholarship fund and endowment funds in most of UW's faculties. Altogether, Campaign Waterloo has a goal of raising $260 million for the university and its "talent trust" by the university's 50th birthday in 2007.

    The March 23 event will feature "light lunch" and remarks from some of the campaign's leaders.

    Organizers would like to hear from anyone who's planning to attend -- e-mail join-us@uwaterloo.ca -- so they can estimate numbers.

    A second launch celebration is scheduled for later the same day, at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, aimed at big-city alumni and corporate supporters of UW and the Campaign.

    Annual contest: when will it be warm? -- from Frank Seglenieks, coordinator of the UW weather station

    The UW weather station will be six years old on February 27, 2004. This means it is time for the annual weather station contest. The challenge is to guess the date and time that the weather station's temperature will first go above 20 degrees Celsius. So far it has been a colder than average winter; does that mean we are due for a turnaround in the temperatures, or will it stay frigid? You decide. Details on how to enter the contest are on the main weather station web page The deadline to enter is Thursday, February 26, at 4 p.m. Last year's contest saw over 600 people enter.

    This year there are prizes for the two people who are the closest to guessing the correct time. The prizes are a book titled The Weather Sourcebook and a Weather Tracker's Kit that includes an introductory weather station for children.

    In the six years of operation of the weather station, the earliest day that the temperature hit 20 degrees was March 8 in 2000, while the latest was last year's date of April 15. However, in the past some pessimistic contest entries have chosen dates in late May.

    The research weather station, located just west of Columbia Lake on the north side of Columbia Street, has Class A equipment provided by Environment Canada and Alberta-based Campbell Scientific. The weather station is used for educational and research purposes.

    As part of an upper year project course, a group of UW civil engineering students found a suitable location for the station, designed the instrument structure, and erected the structure. Another group of students designed a Web site that shows the current readings from the weather station as well as an archive of weather data going back to 1998. This website is very popular, averaging about 750 hits a day, although at times when the weather is severe the number of hits on the site can reach upwards of 1,500 a day. Since April 2000, the Web site has had almost two million hits.

    The data available from the station include current temperature, wind chill, precipitation, relative humidity/dew point, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and incoming radiation. Gardeners, landscapers, engineering consultants and schoolchildren are among the people who have used the current readings and the archives from the weather station.


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