Tuesday, April 8, 2008

  • Johnston till 2011? Comments wanted
  • 'Faith stripped of its facades' in novel
  • Plant operations online; other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Special class schedule at WLU

Part-time faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University are back to work after an agreement to end a two-week strike was ratified by the Contract Academic Staff union and the employer. "A schedule of special classes has been put together for CAS-taught courses to run Monday evening, Tuesday and Wednesday in Waterloo," writes WLU registrar Ray Darling. "Exams will be run according to the regular schedule beginning Thursday." Details are on the WLU website, and have been e-mailed to Laurier students — but UW students taking Laurier courses aren't on the WLU e-mail list and may not have received the news. "Sorry for the inconvenience this job action has caused you," Darling adds.

Link of the day

Search and rescue 350 years ago

When and where

Faculty association annual general meeting 2:00 p.m., Math and Computer room 1085.

Applied health sciences public lecture: Luis Rodriguez, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Aging, Communities and Planning for the Future”, 3:00, Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Arts faculty council 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Engineering Jazz Band “With Respect to Time,” charity concert 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Proceeds to Waterloo Regional Food Bank and Engineers Without Borders. Tickets $10 at Humanities box office.

UW Chamber Choir spring concert, 7:30 p.m., Waterloo North Mennonite Church, 100 Benjamin Road, admission $10 (students/seniors $8).

Graduate Conference in Philosophy (15th annual), keynote speaker Patricia Churchland, University of California at San Diego, Wednesday-Thursday, Humanities building, details online.

Winter term examinations begin Thursday, end April 24; schedule is online.

Benjamin Eby Lecture at Conrad Grebel University College: James Reimer, “Christian Theology Today: What Is at Stake?” Friday 7:30 p.m., Grebel chapel.

Web and e-mail outage as server room reorganization continues: UW home page and most web sites unavailable, as well as ‘mailservices’ and other servers, Saturday 7:30 to 11:00 a.m.

CKMS-FM visioning session to discuss the station’s future, Saturday 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Athletics Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, Saturday, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

Conrad Grebel University College Convocation Sunday 2:00, Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building.

Staff salary system and settlement information sessions, Tuesday, April 15, 12:30 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113, repeated April 23, same time and room.

‘Are You Following Me?’ Employee Assistance Program presents workshop on “profiling stalkers, Internet dating and safety”, Thursday, April 17, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 21-24, details online. Seminar for students preparing postdoctoral applications, Monday, April 21, 10:00, Davis Centre room 1351. Keynote talk by Thomas Homer-Dixon (energy and climate change, “the ingenuity gap”, social change) Monday, April 21, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $2 at Humanities box office.

Learning about Teaching annual symposium May 12-14, details online, including Presidents’ Colloquium Monday May 12, 2:00, Humanities Theatre: Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin, “Changing Students’ Attitudes about Who’s Responsible for Learning,” reception follows, all welcome.

Spring Convocation: applied health sciences and environmental studies, Wednesday, June 11, 10:00; science, June 11, 2:30, arts (some programs), Thursday, June 12, 10:00; arts (some programs), June 12, 2:30; mathematics, Friday, June 13, 10:00; computer science, June 13, 2:30; engineering (some programs), Saturday, June 14, 10:00; engineering (some programs), June 14, 2:30, details online.

PhD oral defences

Psychology. Christopher Striemer, “Attention and the Parietal Cortex: Investigations of Spatial Neglect, Optic Ataxia, and the Influence of Prism Adaptation on Attention.” Supervisor, James Danckert. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Monday, April 21, 9:30 a.m., PAS (Psychology) room 3026.

Electrical and computer engineering. Ismael El-Samahy, “Secure Provision of Reactive Power Ancillary Services in Competitive Electricity Markets.” Supervisors, Kankar Bhattacharya and Claudio A. Cañizares. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, April 22, 9:00 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Chemistry. Donald E. Spratt, “Calmodulin Binding and Activation of Mammalian Nitric Oxide Synthases.” Supervisor, J. Guy Guillemette. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday, April 23, 10:00 a.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Nima Eslaminasab, “Development of a Semi-active Intelligent Suspension System for Heavy Vehicles.” Supervisor, Farid Golnaraghi. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, April 24, 2:00 p.m., Engineering III room 4117.

Chemistry. Rocsana G. Pancescu, “Kinetics of Deliquescence of Ammonium Sulfate Aerosols.” Supervisor, J. J. Sloan. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, April 25, 10:00 a.m., Chemistry II room 361. (Previously announced for April 4.)

[Johnston in oratorical mode]
Johnston till 2011? Comments wanted

UW’s Presidential Nominating Committee — with faculty, staff, students and board of governors members chosen through elections and other processes over the past few weeks — has held one meeting and already has something to announce. Here’s the official announcement, issued by the university secretariat on behalf of the committee:

“Following his first six-year term as President, David Johnston (pictured) was reappointed to a second term, effective July 1, 2005. Because mandatory retirement provisions were in effect at the time of reappointment, his second term, which would normally have been six years, was truncated to four years, expiring June 30, 2009.

“The Presidential Nominating Committee, established by Policy 50, is soliciting opinion with respect to President Johnston's reappointment to a further two-year term. Such reappointment would have the effect of his serving a full six years beyond the end of his first term. As part of this process which serves to benefit both the incumbent and the University, the Committee is seeking informed opinion of the President's performance from the UW community. Within UW, the Committee is extending an invitation directly to individuals and groups.

“The Committee is interested in knowing the campus community's views. Comments and opinions should be submitted through the Secretary of the University, Lois Claxton, Needles Hall, Room 3060 on or before May 9 at 4:00 p.m. If you prefer to make your comments orally, please feel free to contact any member of the Committee.”

A more detailed letter, bearing the same invitation, will be sent to staff and faculty members later this week.

The secretariat has also just announced the results of elections that were used to fill several positions on the nominating committee. Elected as the staff representative was Mark Walker of the registrar’s office, who received 299 votes compared to 117 for Chantel Franklin (alumni affairs) and 57 for Jason Testart (Computer Science Computing Facility).

Acclaimed as faculty representatives were Roger Mannell (dean of applied health sciences); David DeVidi (philosophy, and president of the faculty association) for the faculty of arts; Deep Saini (dean of environmental studies); and Terry McMahon (dean of science).

Elected as the representative for faculty in engineering was the dean, Adel Sedra, who received 49 votes, compared to 25 for Keith Hipel of systems design. Elected as the representative for faculty in mathematics was Peter Forsyth (computer science), who received 31 votes compared to 30 for Frank Zorzitto of pure math. Elected as faculty-at-large members were Sheila Ager (classical studies) with 80 votes and Barbara Moffatt (biology) with 79 votes. Other candidates were George Freeman (electrical and computer engineering), 66 votes; Shelley Hulan (English language and literature), 47 votes; David Taylor (computer science), 78 votes; Alan Webb (accounting and finance), 31 votes.

The other committee members are chosen by the UW board of governors, including the two student representatives, who will be Kevin Royal of the Federation of Students and Craig Sloss of the Graduate Student Association. Board chair Bob Harding heads the nominating committee. The full committee membership is listed online.

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'Faith stripped of its facades' in novel

“Spiritual warfare gets messy,” the publisher says, in a newly published novel by Don Ranney, who retired from UW’s department of kinesiology and school of anatomy in 1999 and who has based his story on his own experience as a missionary surgeon.

[Book cover]The book, When Cobras Laugh, is written in collaboration with a Waterloo graduate, Ray Wiseman, who spent the early 1970s in apartheid South Africa. “In order not to bring disrepute on any person or organization (and avoid lawsuits),” the authors say, “names have been changed and identities disguised.” They add that Ranney, who is not famous for his height, “had fun portraying himself as a tall, brilliant, good-looking American.”

The tale is “a fact-based fictional account of an unmarried American orthopedic surgeon and a married Canadian commercial artist who go as missionaries to India and South Africa respectively. It glistens with humour, tension and intrigue but to some may be disturbing.”

Their publicity quotes a youth pastor who says, “Are you ready for this? No more Christian fantasy land. No more missionary super heroes of mythical proportions. This is faith stripped of its hypocritical facades. Spiritual warfare gets messy. The battle is not where you expect it. From the experiences and observations of two real-life missionaries comes this tale that will slice open your view of reality and lay bare your own faith.”

The book lists for $15.95 from Capstone Fiction, a recently founded firm based in Virginia. Its web site explains: “We publish only inspirational fiction (for adults, teens, and children) including allegory, biblical, contemporary, fantasy, futuristic, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, and science fiction.”

Three book launches are planned: in Fergus on April 19 (1:00 to 4:00) at Cherry Hill Entertainment in the Old Fergus Market); in Kitchener on April 26 (10:00 to 12:00 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church); and at UW on May 8 (11:00 to 3:00 in the Student Life Centre). An event in Toronto is being planned for early June.

Don Ranney has a BA in anthropology, as well as his medical degree, from the University of Toronto. He obtained his surgical qualification (FRCS) in England, where he served briefly as a medical officer with the British Special Air Service. “The India side of When Cobras Laugh,” he writes, “is based on my four and a half years there as an orthopedic surgeon performing leprosy reconstructive surgery, and the mismatch I felt between the mission board’s policies and my view of God.” Back in Canada, he spend 30 years at UW, where he established the School of Anatomy. He remains active in medical practice and pain research.

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Plant operations online; other notes

UW's largest department, plant operations, now has a presence on the web, becoming the last major unit of the university to present itself online. It's a sizeable site, including a staff directory, floor plans of UW buildings, documentation about the department's work, a photo gallery of buildings, and the option of submitting works requests online. "Plant Operations," the site reminds users, "is the University of Waterloo's largest support department, with a gross budget of $31,000,000 and a staff of 350 full time employees. Plant Operations is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of 65 buildings with an area of approximately 6,400,000 gross square feet located on 1,115 acres of land. Those efforts are managed using 20,000 electronic Work Orders. In addition, approximately sixteen hundred renovations and improvements with a total value in excess of $14,000,000 per year are undertaken by various sections in Plant Operations." There's a whole section of the site dealing with sustainability efforts, from grass preservation to electrical efficiency, and the Daily Bulletin will be saying more on that topic very shortly.

[Conference logo]The "Two Days for You" staff conference begins first thing this morning with "inspirational speaker" Sunjay Nath. His theme is "the 10-80-10 principle", which "rewards and grows Top 10 behaviors and eliminates Bottom 10 actions". Later sessions deal with networking, work-life balance, technology and diversity. Friday was the official deadline for staff to register, but there's space available for most of the keynote sessions: Nath at 8:45 today in the Humanities Theatre, plus three sessions in the Theatre of the Arts: Bill Williams at 2:30 today ("Stephen Covey's 7th Habit, Sharpen the Saw"); Helice Bridges at 10:00 Wednesday ("Who I Am Makes a Difference"); and Judy Suke at 2:30 Wednesday ("Create the Life You Want, Let Laughter Lighten the Load"). Many of the smaller, concurrent sessions are at maximum seating capacity. The registration desk will be in Humanities this morning, then in Rod Coutts Hall for the rest of the two days.

"The next English Language Proficiency Examination," says Ann Barrett of the UW writing clinic, "will be held on Wednesday, April 9, in the Physical Activities Complex. To ensure that all students get a seat, we have designated the 5:30 p.m. exam sitting for AHS, Arts, CFM, ES and Science students. The 7:30 p.m. exam sitting is for Engineering, Math and Software Engineering students. Students must bring their WatCard (no admittance to the exam room without a WatCard) and something to write with. No aids (electronic or paper) are permitted. Students who want tips for passing the ELPE can attend one of our ELPE Strategy Sessions which will be held in various locations across campus on Tuesday, April 8. Everything students need to know about the ELPE is also listed on our web site."

David Wilkins, American ambassador to Canada, is visiting Waterloo Region today for a series of events, including a reception hosted by Canada's Technology Triangle; among his private meetings will be one with UW president David Johnston. • The faculty of arts "advancement team", which was getting pretty squeezed in the Modern Languages building, has moved into its new home on the first floor of the PAS (Psychology) building. • The UW Gamers group is holding "an Omegathon" today in the Student Life Centre: "a gauntlet of classic and new games, designed to highlight the most awesome of all gamers".

And . . . I was embarrassed to realize that the list of sabbaticals that appeared in yesterday's Daily Bulletin was the exact same list that had been published on March 25. Still worse, it included a listing of a sabbatical (for Diana Denton of the drama and speech communication department) which, as I've already noted, has been cancelled because of administrative workloads. You don't want to know the details behind how these mistakes were made. Let's just say that I hope to provide another list of sabbaticals within the next few days, and this one will be brand-new.


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