Wednesday, April 4, 2007

  • Board approves 2007-08 tuition fees
  • Businesses open at TechTown
  • Droplets in the daily data stream
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Hate Week, 1984

When and where

Applied Health Sciences Hallman Lecture, "Aging and Well-Being", scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, has been cancelled.

'Single and Sexy' 2007 auditions 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, all welcome. Paid roles for 3 women, 4 men, "and 1 male improvisational keyboard player". Rehearsal and show run August 13 to September 7.

Perimeter Institute presents Daniel Gottesman, PI faculty, "Quantum Cryptography", 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

Pension and benefits committee open meetings for faculty and staff about proposed pension plan changes, Thursday 11:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 6:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 101.

UW-ACE Instructors Group with presentations by Christa Johnston (on resources available inside ACE), Wayne Hawthorne (on pre-tutorial warmups), and Mary Louise McAllister (on increasing online activity in a face-to-face second-year course), Thursday 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Book Club sponsored by UW bookstore and UW Recreation Committee, monthly meeting Thursday noon, in bookstore, South Campus Hall, details online.

International spouses group: colouring Easter eggs (children and adults), Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, information

St. Bede’s Chapel (Anglican) special services at Renison College: Maundy Thursday 7 p.m., Communion and washing of feet; Good Friday 11 a.m. prayer service; Easter Sunday 10:30 a.m. Communion.

Faculty of Arts public lecture: Tim Kenyon, philosophy, "Trawling for Columbine: School Violence in the News Media", Thursday 7 p.m., Waterloo Public LIbrary main branch.

Good Friday holiday Friday, April 6.

Book launch for Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment, edited by Geoffrey Hayes, UW department of history, and others, Monday 7 p.m., Wilfrid Laurier University senate and board chamber.

'Online Peer Mentoring Programs for Distance Faculty' web conference Thursday, April 12, 1:00 p.m., details and registration online.

Roger Watt, information systems and technology, retirement party Thursday, April 12, 3:30 to 5:00, University Club, RSVP ext. 3–8018.

Auditions for June production of "Don Juan in Chicago" by K–W Little Theatre, April 16-18, 7 to 10 p.m., Humanities room 373, information

Architecture student projects end-of-year review, April 17 through June 16, Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building; opening reception Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 23-26, details online. Keynote speaker Roberta Jamieson, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, April 23, 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $3 at Humanities box office.

Friends of the Library authors' event: lecture by history professor Ken McLaughlin, launch of his book Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, and display of work by UW authors, Wednesday, April 25, 3:30 p.m. (note corrected time), Theatre of the Arts.

President David Johnston Run for Health Monday, April 30, 12:00, around the ring road starting at Needles Hall, register with Johan Reis, ext. 3-5418, pledge forms available, T-shirts $20.

Positions available

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

• Counsellor, counselling services, USG 11-12
• Graduate secretary, English language and literature, USG 5
• Information systems technical specialist, information systems and technology, USG 12-13
• Undergraduate administrative coordinator, systems design engineering, USG 5

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Board approves 2007-08 tuition fees

The board of governors yesterday approved a complex list of tuition fee changes for the coming year, with fees for Canadian undergraduate students going up by 4, 4.5 or 8 per cent, depending on year and program.

Appearing in the list for the first time are fees for pharmacy students, as the BScPhm course is expected to begin in January 2008. Students will pay "$1,100 per 0.5 unit course to a maximum of $6,000 per term for domestic students and $2,750 per 0.5 unit course to a maximum of $15,000 per term for international students". That's a higher fee than in optometry, but lower than in accountancy.

In regulated undergraduate programs — architecture, business and math, computational math, computer science, engineering, optometry and software engineering — fees will go up 8 per cent for first year and 4 per cent for upper years. In accountancy programs, the increase is 4.5 per cent in the "provisional" first year, 8 per cent in second year and 4 per cent in upper years. In other undergraduate programs, such as arts and science, fees will go up by 4.5 per cent for first year, 4 per cent in upper years. In all undergrad programs, international students will pay 2 per cent more than this year's level.

The increases are effective with the spring term. They'll take the one-term fee for a first-year engineering student to $4,069; a first-year arts student, $2,291.

Co-op students will also pay a per-term co-op fee of $535, up from this year's $510. And the student services fee is scheduled to go up by 4 per cent for undergraduate students and 7 per cent for grad students.

Graduate student tuition fees are being increased in two stages. For most grad programs, fees will go up in the spring term (5 per cent for domestic students in first year, 2 per cent for all international students) and then in the fall term (4 per cent for upper-year domestic students). For most master's programs in engineering, there will be an additional boost in the fall term of 3 per cent for domestic first-year students, 13 per cent for all international students.

Fees are not rising for the MBET and Master of Taxation programs and several specialized master's programs in engineering. For the Master of Accounting program there will be no increase until winter 2008, when fees will go up 8 per cent for all students. (At the undergraduate level, the accountancy diploma program will also see no increase until an 8 per cent hike in the winter term.)

For the first time, UW is setting fees for the two graduate theology programs that now come under university authority: a boost of about 1 per cent, from $450 per half-course to $468.

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Businesses open at TechTown

“The north campus is part of your campus,” says Toby Jenkins, proprietor of the new TechTown community centre at 340 Hagey Boulevard. She’s encouraging UW staff and faculty members, as well as others, to take advantage of the businesses that have opened or are about to open in the new building, handy to the Accelerator Centre and other buildings in UW’s research and technology park.

One of them was previously based right on campus: the Waterloo office of the Education Credit Union, which occupied space in East Campus Hall until last week. An expanded ECU office opened April 2 in TechTown, providing a broader range of services, including a cash machine, than the campus location allowed.

The 8,500-member Education Credit Union, which has its main branch at the public school board headquarters on Ardelt Avenue in Kitchener, merged with the former University Faculty and Staff (Waterloo) Credit Union seven years ago. It now offers members “a full range of services including deposits, investments, credit, wealth management and insurance”.

The TechTown branch offers more than 5,500 square feet of space, with a main floor for Member Services and a mezzanine area for Lending Services. “The Wealth Management Services department will have separate offices within the same complex off the main atrium,” an announcement says.

Also new at TechTown, according to Jenkins:

• “Columbia Lake Health Club is offering a non-members program and an exchange program to all University of Waterloo faculty and staff. Workout for free (details are online) or register for specific fitness programs that don’t require full year membership.” The phone number for details is (519) 746-7416.

Kids and Company has opened a 120-child day care centre. “Faculty and staff are welcome to consider Kids and Company as a child care option. The facility is fully licensed, staffed with skilled and friendly caregivers to bring your child the best early years experiences.”

The day care will have an official opening celebration next Tuesday, April 10, with Monty Solberg, Ontario minister of human resources and social development, on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. RSVPs for the event go by e–mail to

• TechTown Dentistry opens April 12 “and is taking new patients”.

• “TechTown Café will be opening at the end of April and is bringing fair trade, organic coffee which is roasted on premises. Exceptional coffee, healthy food choices and protein shakes can be enjoyed in the TechTown Atrium, on the outdoor patio or be packed up to go.”

Says Jenkins: “Each tenant is focused upon a high level of customer service with customized programs and services catering to professionals, knowledge workers and area residents."

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Droplets in the daily data stream

The environmental studies faculty will play hosts to more than 320 high school students today and tomorrow as it holds Discovery Days. "After the success of our first ES Discovery Day this past December, we began planning for this early spring session," says Karin Davis outreach and communications specialist for ES. She said the students, accompanied by 19 teachers, are coming from 10 high schools. "We are running 24 workshops on each day," she said, "delivered by 33 student and 2 faculty volunteers." Among the topics: digital mapping, "green marketing", Geographic Information Systems, public transit design, and water and soil quality testing.

The faculty association will hold its annual general meeting this afternoon, starting at 2:30 in Math and Computer room 1085. The agenda includes a report on annual elections, a look at the financial statements (treasurer David DeVidi says the association has assets of about $440,000), and a series of reports from committees. Any word from the Academic Freedom and Tenure committee, which is sometimes outspoken about grievances and controversies, will come orally, as will an update from Metin Renksizbulut, chair of the compensation committee. Discussion of the association's planned survey of workload and merit pay information is also on the agenda, along with a discussion of proposed changes to the UW pension plan.

Ann Barrett of the UW writing centre notes that “The last sitting of the English Language Proficiency Examination for this academic year will take place on Thursday. The exam is in the usual venue — the Physical Activities Complex — and students can choose to write at either 5:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Students who want clues and tips for passing the ELPE can attend one of our popular ELPE Strategy Sessions which will be held on Wednesday. Students should visit our web site for times and places. The weather forecast says that Thursday evening is going to be a cold one, so students should note that the lineups for the exam are heaviest at Red North. Students who walk around the building to Red South, Blue North, or Blue South will be able to wait in cozy comfort. Students should remember to bring their WatCard, something to write with, and lively ideas, but no electronic or paper aids.”

UW got an unscheduled cheque for $14 million from the Ontario government a few days ago, the board of governors was told last night. Such a thing has happened before, said president David Johnston: "end-of-year money" distributed by the province at the close of its fiscal year, in response to continuing pleas for extra funding from the universities and colleges. Provost Amit Chakma can find plenty of good uses for the cash, Johnston said. "We certainly appreciate it, although it's last-minute money," said Chakma, adding that the first concern will be to clarify the rules on how it can be used. If it's restricted to "infrastructure" uses, such as buildings, the top priority will be some energy conservation projects that will reduce UW's utility bills in the years to come. If it can be used for ordinary operating purposes, there are one-time expenses to which he can apply it, Chakma said, starting with a $2.8 million "scholarship deficit" in funds for student aid. Besides the $14 million, the provost told the board, Ontario has come through with a special $1 million grant for clinical education costs in the school of optometry.

And here's news from the alumni affairs office: "We have 100 free tickets for 'The Buddy Holly Story' at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse that we want to give to UW alumni who are also staff or faculty. There are 50 tickets for Friday, April 6 (8 p.m. show) and 50 for Saturday, April 7 (2 p.m. show) and they are available to alumni on a first come, first served basis. Alumni can come to the reception at Office of Alumni Affairs, second floor of South Campus Hall, to pick them up, 8:30 to 4:30 Wednesday or Thursday. Questions can be answered at ext. 3-2036."

With winter term classes over, term projects a present reality, and exams starting in a few days, students will note that unofficial grades for the term will start appearing on Quest on April 22. • ArtWorx, the art supply outlet in East Campus Hall, closes as of today, not to reopen until September, but other retail services outlets, including the bookstore, continue their normal hours during exam time and after. • Pastry Plus in Matthews Hall and the Festival Fare cafeteria in South Campus Hall have closed for the season.

Finally . . . no, UW president David Johnston doesn't get optical coverage as a taxable benefit from his employer. In the wake of the $100,000 salary disclosure last week, a media report said Johnston's taxable benefits include "dental and optical" insurance, but that's an error. In response to an inquiry, UW vice-president (administration and finance) Dennis Huber states that the president's benefits "include life insurance, automobile benefit, and a housing loan (just those three items)", but no vision care coverage. And dental coverage is not a taxable benefit, for the president just as for other UW employees.


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