Wednesday, November 8, 2006

  • 'High aspiration, high stress'
  • Hagey Lecture addresses US and Iraq
  • Athletes plan 50th anniversary reunions
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Edmund Halley 350 years

When and where

International Apparel Day as International Education Week continues.

Retirees Association fall luncheon 11:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village, details online.

Weekly Wellness Walk sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, meet at 12 noon, front entrance of Needles Hall.

Stress relaxation session sponsored by Employee Assistance Program: "Focused Relaxation" 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158.

Free noon concert: traditional Javanese gamelan music, 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Math international exchange programs information session 4 p.m., Math and Computer room 5158.

Science international exchange programs information session 5:00, Davis Centre room 1301.

International buffet at the Graduate House, 6 to 8 p.m.

Ontario Golden Horseshoe growth plan: presentation by Brad Graham, Ontario Growth Secretariat, 6 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, reception follows.

Free theatre workshop series begins 7 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 306, information from K-W Little Theatre, 519-886-0660.

Safety training for employees: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and safety orientation, Thursday 2 p.m. Safety orientation only, Thursday at 10 a.m. All sessions in Commissary room 112D. Registration online.

Japan video topics (earthquakes, sushi, samurai, automobiles), Thursday 12:10 p.m., Renison College.

International Spouses Group "tips for enjoying Canada's winter wonderland", Thursday 12:45 p.m., Columbia Lake Village community centre.

Prior Resource Group wine and cheese reception hosted by the company that provides overload staff for UW departments, Thursday 2:30 to 4:30, Davis Centre lounge.

Staff recognition program reception for award winners Thursday 4 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, speaks about her new book, Heart Matters, Thursday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Tickets $5 for students, faculty and staff from UW bookstore, $10 general admission from Humanities box office.

Arriscraft Lecture, school of architecture: Charles Walker, Arup Associates, London, "Managing Complexity," Thursday 7 p.m., Architecture lecture hall.

Remembrance Day service Friday 10:45 a.m., Notre Dame Chapel, St. Jerome's University.

Environmental studies master's and PhD programs, information session Friday 1:00 to 4:30, Environmental Studies I courtyard, details online.

'Journey Through Canada' dinner (lobster bisque, apple stuffed pork tenderloin, maple crème brûlée) Friday 5 to 8 p.m., University Club, $39.95, reservations ext. 3–3801.

Canoe and kayak workshops sponsored by Campus Recreation: Friday, canoe 6:30, kayak 8 p.m., registration and details from athletics office, Physical Activities Complex.

School of Accountancy awards night celebration Friday, Waterloo Inn.

Warrior Weekend activities Friday and Saturday evenings, Student Life Centre, including movies, pizza, juggling demonstration, euchre; details online.

'Spirituality and Aging' seminar Saturday 9:00 to 1:00, Conrad Grebel University College, registration free, information ext. 2-4270.

Darfur genocide conference sponsored by UW Genocide Action Group and Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, Sunday 1 to 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350.

Geographic Information Systems Day November 15, 10:30 to 2:00, Environmental Studies I courtyard, details online.

Blood donor clinic November 15-17, Student Life Centre, appointments now at turnkey desk.

'The Importance of Being Earnest' drama department production, public performances November 15-18, 8:00, Theatre of the Arts; preview November 15, school matinees November 16 and 17, tickets from Humanities box office, 519-888-4908.

Winterfest annual staff association family celebration Sunday, December 10, 1:00 to 3:00, Columbia Icefield, registration online (deadline today).

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Employer advisor, Co-operative Education and Career Services, USG 4/5
• Bombshelter kitchen manager, Federation of Students, USG 6
• Instructional support coordinator, Math Faculty Computing Facility, USG 8-11
• Awards assistant, student awards and financial aid office, USG 5/6
• Manager, special projects, Smokers' Helpline, CBRPE, USG 9/10
• Field coordinator, Co-operative Education and Career Services, USG 11
• Secretary/administrative assistant, office of the president, USG 6
• Graduate studies records specialist, graduate studies, USG 6
• Assistant director, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment, USG 9/10

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

[Concrete in the middle of a farm field]

"Bold dreams are part of UW's heritage," provost Amit Chakma said at yesterday's town hall meeting. "Just imagine how much work needed to be done in 1957, and they did it." An aerial view of the campus in mid-1958 shows the Schweitzer farmhouse (now the Graduate House) and the beginnings of the "chemistry and chemical engineering" building (now Doug Wright Engineering). The railway track is at top right. University historian Ken McLaughlin was the speaker at last night's annual meeting of the Waterloo Historical Society, talking about the university's growth as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

'High aspiration, high stress'

It's not just the number of students, faculty and staff that will be increasing at UW over the next few years. The university will also need to add "up to 500,000 square feet of additional space", provost Amit Chakma told yesterday's "town hall meeting" of staff and faculty members.

That will be the most difficult challenge, Chakma said, harder than boosting the number of graduate students (from 2,600 to 8,000) or adding "100 to 200" faculty members and "200 to 300" staff. "We don't have any more room to build buildings!" the provost observed. "Just imagine the fight we'll have when we have to remove parking lots!" Half a million square feet of space would be the equivalent of the Davis Centre plus the CEIT building.

Such ambitious changes are implied by the "Sixth Decade" plan that was approved a few days ago, said Chakma, hitting some high points of the plan and telling his audience what happens next: "Faculties are developing their plans with specific action items. . . . Academic support units have produced responses. . . . Task forces and working groups are being formed to examine cross-cutting issues. It is a job not just for the president and provost, not just for six deans, but for 3,000 of us."

Both Chakma and UW president David Johnston talked about the need for "community" and the way growth affects the people who work here. "This is a place of high aspiration and consequently high level of stress," Johnston said, making an appeal: "Be kind to one another, and be gentle with yourself."

He reminded his listeners, about 200 of them in the Humanities Theatre, that the old mantra of "doing more with less" has been out of date for a while. "We have been attempting to do less with less," he said, adding that UW's leaders and managers are "trying to understand where we can shed activities, recognize human limitations". The sections of the Sixth Decade plan that deal with staff members will be discussed by the staff relations committee, he added, to see whether changes in UW's policies are needed to make it easier to attract and support high-quality staff.

"Many of you ask me," said Chakma, "are we trying to do too much?" Looking at a list of current projects — from a possible UW presence in China and Abu Dhabi to a proposed Stratford campus — makes it easy to think so, he said, but "it all depends on one's aspiration. Look at the price we'll pay if we don't!"

The Sixth Decade report takes for granted that UW's aspiration is "global excellence" and a worldwide reputation. The implications are everywhere, from hiring world-class faculty members ("the most important work we do," Chakma said) to adjusting the budget year after year and making sure money is diverted to "targeted" areas. "I feel so passionately about this!" said the provost as he wound up his remarks.

"We believe there is a deliberate rationale for all the things we're doing," said Johnston in his portion of the presentation. "We're building out the university on the strengths that we have established."

He paid tribute not just to the "superb" faculty and staff but to donors (who have brought the university's private-sector funding to more than $50 million this year) and to "outstanding municipal and regional government leadership" that has made partnerships and special projects possible. As for international outposts, he pointed to the longstanding architecture studio in Rome, calling it "an outstanding success — our challenge is to build on that."

Yesterday's session was recorded, and a podcast will be available, probably tomorrow.

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Hagey Lecture addresses US and Iraq

from the UW media relations office

Acclaimed journalist Seymour Hersh will discuss the role of the United States in the Middle East in the 2006 Hagey Lecture, tonight at 8:00 in the Humanities Theatre. Admission is free; no tickets are required. His lecture is entitled "U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib to Today" — today being the day after the American midterm election strengthened the Democratic Party in Congress at the expense of George Bush's Republicans.

[Hersh]Earlier in the day, Hersh (left) will address a student colloquium looking at national security and investigative journalism. The student event begins at 1:30 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1301.

Hersh is widely acknowledged as the most influential and admired investigative reporter of the past 35 years. His special focus is the abuse of power in the name of national security. His journalism and publishing prizes include the Pulitzer Prize, a record five George Polk Awards, the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

His ground-breaking reports include many that are landmark events in American journalism: the Abu Ghraib prison abuse in Iraq, the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the CIA's bombing of Cambodia, Henry Kissinger's wiretapping of his own staff, and the CIA's efforts against Chile's assassinated president, Salvador Allende.

Most recently, Hersh's articles in the New Yorker have probed the underside of the Iraq war and the intelligence and military quagmire caused by the conflict.

Hersh began his newspaper career as a police reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago. He served in the army, before working for a suburban newspaper, then for United Press International and Associated Press. In 1967, he joined the presidential campaign of Eugene J. McCarthy as speech writer and press secretary. He joined the New York Times in 1972, working in Washington and New York. He left the paper in 1979 and has since been a freelance writer, with two six-month returns on special assignment to the Washington bureau of the Times.

Hersh has published seven books. His book prizes include the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Award for biography and a second Sidney Hillman award, for The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. He has also won two Investigative Reporters and Editors prizes; one for the Kissinger book in 1983 and the second in 1992 for a study of American foreign policy and the Israeli nuclear bomb program, The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy.

UW's premier invitational public lecture series since 1970, the Hagey lecture — named after founding president J. Gerald Hagey — is co-sponsored by UW and the faculty association. Hagey lecturers are expected to have distinguished themselves in some scholarly or creative field, and their work cuts across traditional disciplines and national boundaries. Previous lecturers have included Nobel laureates in various disciplines, internationally renowned scholars, architects, peace activists, and well-known artists.

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Athletes plan 50th anniversary reunions

by Diego Merino for the 50th anniversary committee

People in UW's athletics department are filled with enthusiasm about the 50th sport reunions and gala event to be held over the weekend of June 22-24, 2007. The latest edition of the Gold and Black athletics newsletter (below) reveals the hard work and organization that athletics has devoted to the 50th anniversary celebrations.

[“Athletics is leading the University in the planning and spirit of this 50th campus-wide celebration,” says athletics director Judy McCrae. “Their enthusiasm is buoying many others to get involved. Our overall objective is to provide the alumni with a fun-filled weekend with their old teammates and coaches.”

The gala event will be on Saturday, June 23. Doors at the Physical Activities Complex will open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner being served at 7:30 p.m. McCrae invites everyone to make their plans early, as she is sure there are going to be seating limitations.

Apart from the gala on the Saturday night, the newsletter already lists reunion plans for 18 individual sports and promises more updates in the next edition. For instance, the basketball team will revive past glories with a couple of exhibition games to display some of the talent that brought UW many laurels. As well, the volleyball team will organize a barbecue and a beach volleyball tournament at Federation Hall. Registration for any of these events will be online through the athletics website, some time in the new year.

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[Da Capo Chamber choir concert Saturday evening]


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Yesterday's Daily Bulletin