Thursday, May 10, 2007

  • Conference season under way in REV
  • Universities see enrolment growing
  • A dollar here and a dollar there
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Against the West Nile virus

When and where

Graduate Association for Recreation and Leisure Studies research symposium today, Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621, details online.

Clubs, Services and Societies Days sponsored by Federation of Students, today and Friday 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

'Spring gardening' presentation by David Hobson, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302, no preregistration needed.

Instructional registration for campus recreation programs ends 4:00 today, details online.

Volunteer English tutors: information session for anyone interested, 5:30, Student Life Centre room 2143, to be repeated May 14 and 16, more information online.

Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' presented by Lost & Found Theatre, Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12-$20 at Humanities box office.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Club That Really Likes Anime two-day screening, Friday 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 12:00 to 10:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 116, admission with $8 membership.

Carousel Dance Centre spring performance, "Mary Poppins" and "A Night at the Met", Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1:00 and 7:00, Sunday 12:30, Humanities Theatre, details online.

Community Project Day for spring cleaning, Saturday at sites around Kitchener-Waterloo, organized by Volunteer Action Centre, details online.

Mothers' Day brunch at University Club, Sunday 11:00 and 1:30, $24.95 per person, reservations ext. 3-3801.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Richard Bartrem, WestJet, "Why WestJet Cares: The People and Culture", Monday 12:00 noon, Arts Lecture Hall room 113, RSVP ext. 3-7167 by Wednesday.

Staff association barbecue Tuesday, May 15, 11:30 to 1:30, outside Federation Hall; registration has officially closed.

Book launch for Hard Passage: A Mennonite Family's Long Journey from Russia to Canada by Arthur Kroeger, Tuesday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College great hall.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 21, classes cancelled, UW offices closed.

Safety Awareness Day with sessions on gas cylinder safety, inspecting the workplace, lab safety and other topics, plus exhibits and vendors, Thursday, May 24, details and registration online.

Toronto 50th anniversary alumni celebration with chancellor Mike Lazaridis, president David Johnston, co-op director Peggy Jarvie, Thursday, May 24, 6 to 8 p.m., Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place, details online.

Procurement and Contract Services annual trade show for faculty and staff: VWR scientific supplies May 28, computer suppliers May 29, Basics Office Supplies May 30, all in Davis Centre room 1301.

Groundbreaking for Optometry building addition Friday, June 8, 11:15 a.m. on west side of existing building.

Risk Management and Insurance conference sponsored by Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance, Saturday, June 16, Math and Computer building room 2065, details online.

One click away

Webcam shows goose on Accelerator Centre roof
Bursaries honour three aboriginal students
Cambridge support asked for student 'green' house
Livejournal discussion of new UW 'records management' post
More about recent grant for fuel cell research
Cheating, or postmodern learning? (Business Week)
McMaster staff angry after salary adjustments
Transit pass 'a tough sell' at Toronto campuses
Toronto universities face enrolment crisis (Globe)
Religious interest surges among US students (NY Times)
Tech agency boasts of Waterloo's 'small cities of the future' ranking
'Bullying of academics' European blog
Universities find growing use for cellphones
York U settles with banned student
Funding cuts hurt research (London Free Press)

[Addressing a crowd in the bar]

The dean of arts, Ken Coates, speaks to a group of arts students and alumni at a lunch gathering in the Graduate House a week ago today. "Did you know there are over 200 arts alumni who work on campus?" says Alex Lippert, arts alumni officer, who ought to know since she invited them all to the event, co-sponsored by the arts student life manager. "It was well attended, good food and good conversation," she reports.

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Conference season under way in REV

Guess who's coming to campus: folk dancers, nanoscientists, Presbyterian elders, volleyball players, wheelchair athletes, and participants in the annual Multiple Sclerosis Society bike tour of southern Ontario.

Those are among the groups that will be occupying space over the coming weeks in Ron Eydt Village, reborn as UW's "conference centre" when it's not needed for undergraduate housing during the spring term.

The annual schedule notes groups as small as a dozen people (participants in the Warrior Volleyball Camp in early July) and as big as several hundred (the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies summer conference in June, the Ontario Coptic Youth Convention in early August). They range from the deeply academic (a June gathering of cryptography researchers) to the blatantly trivial (participants in Waterloo's Busker Carnival in August). There are children and young people, including participants in a Perimeter Institute program for scientifically gifted high school students, and there's a tourist group from France. The Village will even house ten rooms' worth of out-of-town relatives attending a wedding on the second weekend in August.

A highlight of the conference season this year will be the General Assembly — the national governing body — of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, which will bring about 400 ministers and lay leaders to the Village for the first week in June. Major meetings of the General Assembly will mostly be held in the Columbia Icefield gymnasium.

UW's conference operation, which hasn't been the same since the retirement of long-time REV manager Dave Reynolds, is under new management, says a memo from Bud Walker, UW's director of business operations. He notes: "The UW Conference Centre has been operated for many years out of Ron Eydt Village by the Department of Housing and Residences. Housing has looked after marketing, conference management and summer accommodations and UW Food Services has provided food and beverage services.

[Keppler]"Because of the nature of conference activity throughout the year we have decided to move the conference operations to Food Services. The Centre will continue to run out of Ron Eydt Village with Food Services handling the marketing and conference management functions as well as the food and beverage services. Housing will continue to provide summer accommodations to conference guests.

"Susanne Keppler (right) has recently been hired to manage the UW Conference Centre. Susanne has come to UW after working in the conference field at Humber College, Georgian College and Ryerson University."

Walker notes that Pam De Leo of Housing "will be working full time with Susanne in the Conference Centre. Pam has had a number of year’s experience assisting the Conference Centre with summer accommodations, event arrangements and the traditional short-term summer hostel operations — as well as her regular student residence duties at Ron Eydt Village. Please feel free to contact Susanne or Pam regarding any on-campus conference you may be planning, or any needs you may have relative to event planning, seminars or workshops."

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Universities see enrolment growing

a news release from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Canadian university enrolment will grow nationally by between 70,000 to 150,000 full-time students over the next decade despite challenging demographics in some regions of the country, according to a new study by the AUCC.

The first volume of the 2007 edition of Trends in Higher Education focuses on enrolment. It contends that the demands of Canada’s increasingly knowledge-based economy will continue to drive national enrolment growth. With the labour market requiring more and more skilled knowledge workers, Canadians will keep looking to university education to develop the talent and expertise they need.

“While demographics remain important, the study shows that participation rates are a much more significant driver of enrolment increases than changes in the population,” said AUCC president Claire Morris. “Students understand that Canada’s labour market requires a highly-educated and skilled workforce. This is why national enrolment numbers have hit new records over the past six years, as more students head to universities to gain the skills they need.”

AUCC is the voice of Canada's universities. It represents 92 Canadian public and private, not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges.

The number of jobs for degree-holders doubled from 1.9 million in 1990 to 3.8 million last year and there’s no reason to believe that this trend will abate. While Statistics Canada figures show the population aged 18 to 21 will begin to decline nationally in 2012, the increasing demand for university graduates points to a greater percentage of this cohort seeking higher education opportunities. A host of factors also influence participation rates, such as: urbanization, immigration and international students, parental influence, socio-economic status, labour market demand, demand for graduate education, and financial returns.

Canada cannot afford to be complacent about university enrolment and participation, Morris added. Trends points out that the extent of enrolment growth depends heavily on the country’s ability to supply and finance the required human and physical resources.

“The ability to add students is constrained by a university’s existing physical and human resources, as well as how they can be expanded and utilized. Investments in capacity and quality will be key determinants of the prospects for future growth in both supply and demand of higher education,” she said.

And while there will be an overall increase in university enrolment in Canada over the next decade, the study also projects that the national trend may not be reflected in all areas of the country and not every university will experience the same pressures. “Some of our universities will face challenges due to significant declines in the population of the youth cohort in their regions, but it is important to note that this will not necessarily translate into enrolment decreases. Institutions and decision-makers in regions facing population declines must consider all the factors that influence participation rates in their planning rather than focusing solely on demographic projections.”

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A dollar here and a dollar there

[Examples: international fees, research overhead]One of the Waterloo buzzwords this year is "income diversification". The topic came up in the provost's budget presentation to UW's board of governors recently, and what's reproduced at left is a PowerPoint slide from that presentation showing some examples of how UW adds to its annual $180 million in government operating funds and $150 million in student tuition fees. International student fees, byproducts of federal government research funding, private-sector money for scholarships and faculty positions, all are part of the "diversification", provost Amit Chakma said. Other sources of UW income (not counting the research and business enterprises, which have their own rules and restrictions) range from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (for some health services expenses) to interest on short-term investments.

A Cornell University expert will speak today about “Pursuing Equity Planning in Post-Katrina New Orleans”, in a talk sponsored by the School of Planning but held in the main lecture hall at the Architecture building in Cambridge. The speaker is Ken Reardon, chair of Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, and formerly of the Urban and Regional Planning Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For his role at Illinois in establishing and directing the university's highly-regarded East St. Louis Action Research Project, he was awarded the 2000 American Institute of Certified Planners President's Award. His research interests focus on community-based planning in severely distressed urban neighbourhoods, alternative approaches to community development, urban social movements, and municipal government reform. At Cornell, he is working with the Colleges of Architecture, Art, and Planning; Human Ecology; and Agriculture and Life Sciences to strengthen urban outreach activities in Ithaca, Rochester, and New York City. Reardon was selected as a 2005 Dale Prize Winner for Excellence in Urban Planning by California Polytechnic University at Pomona. Today’s lecture is open to the public at no charge.

Signs leading to the Environmental Studies buildings indicate that the Pragma Council, alumni and professionals who gather to advise the UW School of Planning, is meeting today. • Details aren't on hand yet, but the UW Bike Centre, based in the Student Life Centre, has set tomorrow (likely at noon) as the time for its spring auction of used bicycles. • The staff association will offer graduate and undergraduate student awards again this term, each worth $500 from the association and another $500 from the Education Credit Union; application deadline is May 31 and the student in question must be an association member or spouse, child or grandchild.

Researchers from UW will be among the 200 people expected today and tomorrow as Auto21 holds its annual scientific conference at the Hamilton Convention Centre. Auto21 is a federal Network of Centres of Excellence focusing on automotive research and development, and includes UW experts from fields ranging from mechanical engineering to kinesiology. "The conference brings together Canada's leading automotive researchers, industry, government and NGO representatives to explore emerging automotive issues," says Peter Frise, scientific director of the umbrella organization. "It's also an opportunity to develop new collaborations." The big attractions of the conference are a pair of panel discussions, one on "Knowledge and Technology Transfer to the End User" and one on "Working with Government and Large and Small Industry". Panelists at the second session, describing their experiences in research partnerships, will include Xianguo Li of UW's mech eng department, whose work involves the use of hydrogen fuel cells to power motor vehicles.

Friday night's dance at Federation Hall, featuring The Lost Faculties, raised "just over $2,500" for the Laurelwood Child and Family Foundation, organizers report. •  Some 50 high school students are due in today for a three-day "return engagement" event sponsored by Waterloo Unlimited. • "You will have until May 11," which is tomorrow, "to submit accounting transactions related to the 2006-07 fiscal year," the finance office has reminded UW departments.


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